Grilled Salmon (on a cedar plank)

Grilling fish on wood is not new — but it was new to me. After doing it, I can say without crossing my fingers behind my back that it’s my favorite way to eat grilled fish. Why? It’s smoky and full of flavor. You don’t risk the fish sticking to the grill because it’s on a plank. I cooked the salmon medium-well and didn’t complain it was dry–I was surprised by juicy it was!

Cooking note: The cook time of your fish will vary highly based on the temperature of your grill, whether it’s gas/charcoal, and the thickness of your fish. The times I provide are based on a medium charcoal heat with salmon filets about 3/4 inch thick.


GRILLED SALMON (on a cedar plank)

serves 2


  • 2, cedar planks for grilling (most grocery stores sell these right by the fish)
  • 2, 6-7oz salmon filets
  • 1 lemon (half sliced; half in wedges)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dill (dried or fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • black pepper


1. Soak the cedar planks in water for at least 2 hours. If you don’t do this, your planks will catch fire. After about 90 minutes, start the grill (if using charcoal). Mix the rub (combine the paprika, dill, salt, cayenne, and pepper in a small bowl).

2. Remove any pin bones from the fish. Rub liberally with the spice rub (no need to put rub on the skin side). Let marinate 20-30 minutes.

3. When the grill is ready, put the cedar planks on for two minutes, or until the underside is slightly charred. Flip the cedar planks and put the fish on skin side down. Lay some lemon slices on top of the fish. Put the cover on the grill and cook 8-12 minutes, until the fish is cooked to your liking. I grilled mine for nearly 10 minutes, and it was medium-well (but still juicy!)



4. Remove the fish and let it rest for just 3-4 minutes. Serve.



PS: It’s spring and fiddleferns are available for a short time; if you see these in the store and are curious, here’s how to cook them!



You’ll need: 

  • 1lb fiddleferns
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced


1. Wash the fiddleferns in cold water, several times, until the water is completely (or mostly) clean when you rinse.

2. Steam the fiddleferns for 7-8 minutes, or until tender.

3. Heat a couple glugs of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the fiddleferns and toss to coat, another 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with lots of pepper and a little salt.



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