Impress Your Guests with Cedar Planked Salmon on the Grill

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Senior Member
Oct 6, 2007
Cooking meals aboard a boat is a pleasure, and can create some fond memories.* Cooking on board does not need to be canned tuna and finger foods.* Let me show you how to cook a gourmet fish meal that will impress your guests on board your boat.* Planked grilled fish fillets aboard our trawler, the Patricia Ann; it is the talk of the town these days.

Planked grilled fish fillets or merely cooking on a wood plank is a great experience; if you like the flavor and smell of smoked meats, this method is for you.* This method is great as it provides you real smoke for flavor. This is particularly good if you are*grilling*salmon fillets, which are my favorite.**I like to call this method planked grilled fish.* Salmon and Mahi baked on cedar are my favorites.* You can get the recipes for each of the fish fillets at our recipe page at my website.

So how do you go about it?* To start you will need to locate some clean cedar wood planks, Lowes and Home Depot have it in their building materials sections.* And then you will have to cut it into the correct sizes to use.* But you can also buy*them prepacked to use at most large grocery stores or you can order online.

I use cedar, but many other woods like hickory and cherry are also available.* Using a smooth, untreated section of wood about one half inch thick and long and wide enough to support the fish fillets sections soak the lumber in freah water for a few hours prior to use.* I like to use a piece about 6 x 6 for the two of us.* While most any hardwood can be used, make sure no chemicals have been on the lumber.

When prepared, get your gas grill going.* I use a Magma Catalina model gas grill on my*trawler so Ill describe that process. To keep your fish fillets from sticking to the board, spray the wood with olive oil. You do no flipping or turning when plank fish cooking.* The fish is cooked indirectly from the bottom up.* Flavor the fish fillets as you like, again check out my recipe page.

We all know that wood burns.* We are now going to position the wood plank with the fish fillets on the lowest grill and set the control to high.* If the board catches fire while you are cooking, not to worry, that is the way we want the plank with fish to cook.* Give it a squirt with water to help extinguish the fire. But let it catch fire a little around the edges; the scorching of the scorched plank is what produces the smoke that flavors the fish.

I always allow about fifty percent more food planning time as opposed to regular grilling when I am cooking on a plank.* During the grilling time you can baste the fish fillets with flavourings if desired.

When the fish is done I remove the fish from the seared board with a spatula or you can just slide the fish off onto a plate with a fork.* Be sure to turn off the grill and let the used plank sit until later to allow it to cool prior to disposal.

Plank grilling is truly is a fantastic way to cook fish fillets.* The smoke adds to the flavours and aromas of any recipe so feel free to try various ideas.

Thanks for the recipe. May try it although right coast salmon may not be as tasty as left coast ones.

Have done salmon over charcoal with balsam fir boughs thrown on the coals (wetted down to smoke as well). Very tasty.

-- Edited by dwhatty on Tuesday 3rd of November 2009 05:59:01 AM
I have seen this done where they build a big bonfire and plank the salmon, then they stake them around the fire. I have not had better tasting salmon. Thanks for the memory jog, I am going to try this.

What a great idea marinetrader. Will give it a go!
Planked halibut is great too!
I've done this my self many times - its a great way to get some smoke flavor on a gas grill. One word of caution when buying from Lowes or Home Depot - some of their stuff is treated wood (with preservatives) and not suitable for food. I still think its a better idea to cut yu own planks than paying inflated bucks at the grocery store, Just check out what you're getting.

Alder also makes a great smoke combination with salmon, which I get from my local hardwood store.
I'm with RED on this one. We used alder in Alaska for cooking Salmon for a shore lunch.
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