Simple Cedar Plank Salmon

Enjoy a restaurant experience at home with this surprisingly simple recipe. The cedar plank infuses the salmon with heavenly notes of woodsmoke while keeping it moist and tender. And the summer-fresh medley of lemon and seasonings makes it a must-try, must-repeat meal family and guests will adore.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes + 1–3 hours marinating time

  • Cook time: 15–20 minutes

  • Primary ingredient: Salmon

  • Serves: 4 servings

  • Find more: 2-4, 4-6, Dinner

  • Also good with: Pickerel, Trout


  • 1 whole side of salmon (16–24 oz / 452–680 g) OR 4 pcs salmon fillets (4–6 oz / 113–170 g per piece) preferably skin on, pat dry
  • Cedar plank(s), food-grade or untreated
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (5 g) fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 5 tsp (20 ml) pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (6 g) lemon zest, finely grated
  • 2 tsp (2 pcs / 6 g) garlic, minced
  • ½ to 1 tsp (3 to 6 g) salt
  • ½ tsp (1 g) black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 2 tsp (6 g) capers, roughly chopped
  • Lemon slices
  • Fresh dill
  • Garnishes:
  • 2 lemons, cut in half


To Prep

  1. Soak a food-grade cedar plank(s) in water for at least 1 hour. (Check for manufacturer’s recommendation if using a store-bought plank.) Ensure the plank is large enough to hold the side of salmon or salmon fillets. To prevent the plank(s) from floating, weigh the plank(s) down with cans.
  2. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together olive oil, chopped dill, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and black pepper until the salt dissolves. Reserve 1–2 tablespoons of the marinade and stir in the chopped capers; set aside.
  3. Place the remaining marinade into a dish large enough to fit the salmon. Place salmon into the marinade, massage and flip to ensure all sides are coated; place flesh down to finish. Cover and place into the fridge to allow flavours to meld; 1–3 hours.

To Cook

  1. Remove dish from fridge about 30 minutes before grilling to allow salmon to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350–450°F). Maintain a temperature between 400–450°F range.
  3. Place the soaked cedar plank(s) onto the grill and close the lid; 5 to 10 minutes or until the plank(s) begins to smoke and gets slightly charred.
  4. Flip the plank(s) over and place the room-temperature salmon, skin side down, onto the charred side of the plank. Lay lemon slices and additional fresh dill over the salmon.
  5. Close the lid and grill until salmon is just cooked through and flakes easily when the thickest part is tested with a fork; 15 to 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the salmon should be between 125–135°F. The salmon will continue to cook when it comes off the grill.
  6. At the 10-minute mark, quickly open the lid and place the lemon halves, cut side down, onto the grill to char.
  7. When salmon is done, use tongs and/or large, sturdy heatproof spatulas to carefully remove the plank(s) from the grill and place them onto a heatproof work surface or rimmed baking sheet. Remove the charred lemon halves from the grill. Let salmon rest for about 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Spoon the reserved lemon-dill caper sauce over the salmon. Serve the salmon on the plank(s) with the charred lemon halves. Or portion and place onto individual plates.

Chef's Tips

  • In addition to salmon, trout and pickerel (walleye) also grill well on cedar planks.
  • Use cedar planks that are at least ½-inch thick to prevent charring and to allow for reuse.
  • * Let your salmon reach room temperature before grilling for even cooking.
  • To check the temperature of your salmon, insert the probe into the thickest part.
  • Serve the salmon alongside a bed of rice, salad, or warm bread.
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Health Benefits of Salmon

  • Bone & Teeth Health: Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D, which plays a pivotal role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth while enhancing calcium and phosphorus absorption.
  • Brain & Neurological Development: As a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, Salmon may support the physical development of the brain, eyes, and nerves, especially in children under two.
  • Energy & Cell Health: As an excellent source of B12 vitamins and selenium, and a good source of phosphorous, salmon may aid in energy metabolism and red blood cell formation, and offer antioxidant protection against oxidative stress.