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Grilled Salmon on a Cedar or Alder wood plank

Placing a fresh salmon on a BBQ is the easiest way to fix salmon.  Using a plank provides some subtle flavors to the fish that is the traditional, Alaska Native way. You can purchase cedar planks from “fine food” stores—but it is a lot cheaper and easier to pick up scrap cedar or alder from a lumberyard.  

First – you need to soak the plank in water – and I prefer if it is soaked in salt water—so put a half cup of salt in a gallon of water and soak the plank at least 1-2 hours.  Longer is better – so if you are going to make this tomorrow—put the plank in the water NOW.   You can either use fresh fish you just caught-- but if you bought it, then the fish would do well in a marinade.  While you are marinating the salmon you can place your plank in some saltwater.

You can have the planks ready to go almost anytime.If you use a cedar or alder plank that is not soaked it will catch on fire- so you will have burned salmon.  I like to have the cedar or alder planks soaking in a salt-water solution until they don’t float (it takes at least an hour). 

For this recipe you will need:

Salmon Fillets - about one inch thick.  Take the pin bones out (use a hemostat or tweezers, or a needle nose pliers for this)

For the Salmon Marinade:

8 ounces of orange juice

2 T soy sauce

1 T Dijon mustard

1 T fresh ginger (use a microplane – a fine grating device)


Mix the orange juice, soy sauce, mustard, and ginger together and place in a casserole dish, or a zip lock bag and add the salmon fillets.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour.

Other Ingredients

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Brown Sugar


Use a hot gas grill, or charcoal grill (I like The Big Green Egg) and make certain it is to 350 to 450 degrees.

Take the salmon out of the marinade and pat them dry. Place  the salmon on the wet plank and brush on the extra virgin olive on the salmon. SKIN SIDE AGAINST THE PLANK


Close the grill. When the salmon is done, the skin will easily separate from the flesh of the fish. It should take about ten minutes.


Remember- salmon is oily so it needs a balance. Most people use lemon- some use any one of a number of citrus salsas.  My mom used to make a wild berry sauce.

The plank will provide some smoke for the fish—or it may even catch on fire (this is why you soak it – so it smolders and doesn’t burn).  Keep a spritzer with water in case you get a flare up.    

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