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    Alaska Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

    Published June 19, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how to make a delicious Alaska salmon recipe that is grilled on a cedar plank for the ultimate quick smoky flavor.  It’s so easy!

    There is only one way to buy and eat salmon, and that is wild-caught Alaska Salmon.  There are a few different species of wild-caught Alaska salmon and those are Coho, Keta, King, Pink, and Sockeye salmon.  All of these species of salmon are absolutely delicious, but I have to admit that I am a king salmon fan.

    cooked salmon on a cedar plank wit herbs and ctirus


    Alaska king salmon tends to be a little fattier to me and a little milder in flavor.  While I like strong salmon flavor, I’m a chef so I also like fish that are as marbled as possible.  When selecting your fresh wild-caught Alaska salmon, it’s important to note that the flesh of the fish should be firm, have a rich red flesh and have a slightly sweet scent to it.

    When it comes to grilling a cedar plank salmon there are a few things to consider.

    1. Make sure your cedar planks are large enough that a large piece of fish can cook on it.
    2. Submerge the cedar planks in water for 30 minutes before grilling
    3. Do not reuse the cedar plank after you have cooked on it.

    Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

    step by step cedar plank salmon images

    1. Once you’ve selected your wild-caught Alaska salmon place it on a plate or cutting board skin side down.  It’s important to leave the skin on because it will provide more moisture and flavor into the salmon while it is grilling on the cedar plank.

    2. Make your citrus salmon crust topping by mixing together some sugar, sea salt, cracked pepper and the zest of an orange, lemon, and lime.  Generously coat the top of the salmon with the sugar citrus mixture and evenly spread it out to cover the red flesh of the fish.  Let the salmon chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    3. While the salmon is marinating, submerge the cedar planks into a casserole dish filled halfway with water.  I like to place a heavy soufflé dish over the top of the planks to ensure they are submerged.  The reason you submerge the cedar planks in water is so that they do not dry out while grilling and catch fire.

    4. Pre-heat your grill to high heat, which is anywhere between 450 and 550°.  Place the plank onto the grill grate and then slide the salmon right over top. If you leave the 2-pound piece of the salmon whole then you will most likely need 2 cedar planks.

    5. Close the grill and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the salmon is browned on top and cooked throughout.

    For Cooking in the Oven: Follow Steps 1 through 3 and then preheat your oven to 450°.  Place the water-soaked cedar planks onto a sheet tray and place the salmon on top of the cedar planks before putting everything into the oven.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and cooked throughout.

    cedar plank salmon with garnishes on a cutting board

    Serving a Cedar Plank Salmon

    Once your salmon is done cooking remove it along with the cedar planks from the grill.  I like to serve the cedar plank salmon right on the cedar planks.  The planks cool quickly so no need to worry about them burning anyone.  I usually serve the cedar plank salmon on a cutting board or a cookie sheet tray and present it family-style for everyone to take their desired portion.

    Feel free to garnish with some fresh herbs, I like a combination of chives and mint because they go so well with the sugar and citrus.  You can also use herbs such as basil, thyme or oregano.

    Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

    How to Store: The best way to store this salmon is in a plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  It can also be stored in a plastic container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

    More Seafood Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi


    Alaska Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

    5 from 6 votes
    Learn how to make a delicious Alaska salmon recipe that is grilled on a cedar plank for the ultimate quick smoky flavor. It’s so easy!
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 35 minutes
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour


    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • zest of 1 each orange, lemon, lime
    • 2 pound fillet of Wild-Caught Alaska Salmon
    • 2 cedar planks
    • optional garnishes: 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh mint and chives


    • Preheat the grill to high heat, 450° to 550°.
    • In a small bowl mix together the sugar, salt, pepper, and zest until combined. Generously spread the mixture over top of the salmon flesh. Move it around to ensure it is covered.
    • Place on a plate and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    • Next, submerge the cedar planks in a pan filled with water and let sit for 30 minutes.
    • Remove the cedar planks and place them next to each other touching directly onto the preheat grill grates and then slide the salmon onto the planks.
    • Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.
    • Serve with optional garnishes.


    Calories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 45gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 1263mgPotassium: 1111mgFiber: 1gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 90IUCalcium: 27mgIron: 1.8mg
    Course: Main
    Cuisine: American, southern