Cedar plank salmon is one of those recipes that looks and sounds impressive but is actually so easy to make at home! The salmon is cooked on a sake-soaked cedar plank over an open fire, which gives it a wonderful smoky flavor. Pair that with a blackberry-chipotle glaze that gives it a sweet and spicy taste, and you have a fantastic cedar plank salmon recipe for those warm summer nights!
Update: This recipe for cedar plank salmon was originally published in July 2016. I made updates to the post below to include more information about how to make a perfectly moist, glazed salmon on the grill.
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About this cedar plank salmon recipe
Hi friends! Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather. We have been enjoying using the grill at night, and we have been making some yummy recipes! Everything from grilled chicken with corn salsa to grilled peach salad with burrata. We tried this grilled corn and topped it off with avocado sriracha butter– the fam is already begging me to make it again!
For tonight’s outdoor grill recipe, I thought it would be fun to show you how I like to cook salmon. This recipe is one of our favorites because it’s easy to make and always turns out perfectly moist and flaky. It’s all thanks to the cedar plank!
No more having to scrape the grill because the salmon skin is stuck or having to eat dry salmon for dinner. This recipe is fool-proof and will give you the best salmon you’ve ever had!
The Asian-inspired blackberry-chipotle glaze is savory, sweet, a tad smoky, slightly spicy, superbly sticky, and fantastically fruity with nuances of ginger and garlic. When generously slathered on luscious, rich salmon and grilled on a cedar plank, this dish becomes an umami flavor bomb!
But not only is this dish glorious in the taste department, but it is also a cinch to throw together. Simply simmer and reduce the glaze, place a side of salmon on a soaked cedar plank, liberally smear the glaze on top, and grill.
Viola – Stellar summer salmon dinner served!
Why this glazed cedar plank salmon works
This recipe is:
- A great healthy dinner. Packed with protein and heart-healthy omega-three fatty acids, this recipe is a delicious way to get your daily dose of salmon.
- Perfect for summer. This cedar plank salmon recipe is best enjoyed in the summer when you can fire up the grill and enjoy the warm weather. Pair it with some delicious side dishes!
- An easy recipe to make. The blackberry chipotle glaze can be made ahead of time, and the salmon only needs to be grilled for about 25 minutes.
- Versatile. Keep it simple, or choose another marinade or glaze. It’s up to you!
- Great for meal prep. Make a whole cedar plank salmon and then portion it out for a leisurely, healthy lunch or dinner throughout the week.
What is cedar plank salmon?
When talking about cedar plank salmon, it refers to how the filet of salmon is cooked.
Cedar plank is a type of wood used in grilling or smoking. When cedar plank is soaked in water and then heated, it provides a fantastic, smokey flavor to the fish.
The cedar also helps to keep the salmon moist by creating a barrier between the direct heat and the fish.
Ingredients for cedar plank salmon on the grill
This grilled salmon recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prep and cook. It is healthy and delicious!
Here’s what you will need to make BBQ salmon:
- Cedar Plank: Buy a large piece of cedar plank wood. You can find cedar planks at most grocery stores in the grilling section. My plank was 7’’x16″.
- Sake: Sake is a Japanese rice wine with a light and smooth flavor. You can find this near the other Asian ingredients at your local grocery store or Asian market.
- Substitution: Swap out the sake for some orange juice or water!
- Salmon: For this recipe, choose whole, skin-on, wild-caught salmon (about 2 pounds). Double-check that the pin bones have been removed. If you buy fresh fish from the seafood counter, you can ask them to remove it before wrapping.
Here’s what you will need to make the blackberry chipotle glaze:
- Blackberry Preserves: Using this blackberry jam as the base for the glaze gives the salmon a gorgeous deep purple color with flecks of black. It pairs nicely with the chili and soy sauce.
- Chipotle Chili In Adobo: All you need is one chili minced up. It provides a fantastic smoky flavor with just the right amount of heat.
- Substitution: If you don’t want that much spiciness, use ½ a chipotle pepper instead of a whole one, or leave this ingredient out.
- Soy Sauce: Use a low-sodium soy sauce, so the glaze isn’t too salty.
- Substitution: Want to keep this gluten-free? Use low-sodium tamari sauce instead!
- Garlic and Ginger: These two ingredients are essential in Asian cuisine. They provide a fantastic depth of flavor that compliments the sweetness of the blackberry preserves.
- Hoisin Sauce: This sticky sauce is made with fermented soybeans, sugar, and garlic. It’s used frequently in Asian cuisine and provides a fantastic savory flavor.
- Substitution: Use gluten-free hoisin sauce if you want to make this spicy glaze gluten-free.
- Lemon Juice: The acidity from the lemon juice helps balance out the glaze’s sweetness. It adds a nice layer of flavor to the salmon. Use fresh lemons if you can!
- Salt and Pepper: Classic seasoning combo.
These are all optional, but I always add these garnishes to the top of my grilled salmon!
- Fresh Blackberries
- Lemon Slices
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
Blackberry chipotle, not your thing? That’s okay! Instead, use these different sauces, marinades, and glazes on top of the cedar plank salmon!
- Salsa Verde. This refreshing green salsa is made with tomatillos, cilantro, jalapenos, and lime juice. It’s chunky and light with a hint of spice.
- Honey Sriracha Glaze. This sticky, sweet, and slightly spicy glaze is made with honey, sriracha sauce, rice mirin, and garlic. Do you want to know the secret ingredient? It’s pineapple juice!
- Basil Butter. Here is a simple yet flavorful salty butter made with just basil, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. It’s the perfect topping for a piece of grilled salmon.
- Cuban Mojo. This citrusy marinade is made with orange, lime, garlic, cumin, and oregano. It’s a delicious blend of sweet and savory!
Serving ideas for cedar plank salmon grill recipe
When serving this delicious salmon dish, consider making one of these side dishes to enjoy with the fish:
- Asparagus. This is a classic veggie to serve alongside fish filets! But this is not a simple veggie dish. Instead, these asparagus spears are wrapped in salty prosciutto, roasted until crispy, and then topped with a creamy lemon garlic aioli.
- Tomatoes. These roasted cherry tomatoes are the perfect summer side dish! They’re sweet, juicy, and slightly charred. The lemon vinaigrette takes them over the top!
- Cucumber Salad. This easy cucumber salad is a refreshing and light side dish. It’s made with thinly sliced cucumbers, red onions, fresh herbs, and a homemade Asian dressing. Ready to eat in 10 minutes.
- Mashed Potatoes. Okay, these are not your ordinary mashed potatoes! This recipe is made with purple potatoes, leeks, AND parsnips. Talk about a flavor explosion in your mouth!
- Taco Bowl. Make your dinner all in one bowl. Instead of serving this filling bowl with white fish, cook some cedar plank salmon. The fish’s smoky, slightly charred flavor pairs perfectly with the fresh veggies and all the toppings in this taco bowl.
- Fish Tacos. While your bbq salmon is cooking, mix a batch of creamy jalapeno coleslaw. Using your homemade flour tortillas as a base, add some grilled salmon, coleslaw, and a dollop of remoulade sauce to have the best fish tacos for dinner!
FAQ: BBQ cedar plank salmon
Do I have to soak the cedar plank with sake?
No, you don’t have to soak the cedar plank in sake, but it does give the salmon a wonderful flavor.
I soaked mine in sake to give it a crisp Asian flavor, but I’ve used orange juice before, which will add an essence of citrus. You can also use water if you are watching your budget.
Make sure you soak it in some non-flammable liquid for at least one hour!
Can I use a different type of wood for this grilled salmon recipe?
Yes, you can use a different type of wood for this grilled salmon recipe. Some other options include:
No matter what size plank you use, you must soak it for at least 1 hour before grilling.
Do I have to use skin-on salmon?
No, you don’t have to use skin-on salmon. However, the skin does help to keep the salmon from sticking to the cedar plank and adds a bit of flavor!
If you choose to use skinless salmon, make sure to brush the cedar plank with oil so that the salmon doesn’t stick.
What type of grill do I need for this recipe?
You will need an outdoor grill to make this salmon dinner. I found that a gas grill, a pellet grill, or a charcoal grill give it the best flavor!
I did a little research and found the best brands to look for when buying a grill:
- Big Green Egg
How do I add the blackberry chipotle glaze to the salmon?
When the salmon comes off the grill, you can caramelize the glaze by running it under the broiler for a minute or two.
To do so:
- Transfer the salmon, still on the plank, directly to the oven.
- Place a sheet pan on the rack below to catch any drippings.
- Broil for a minute or so, overseeing it to prevent burning.
Storing and freezing cedar plank salmon
Follow these simple tips to properly store, freeze, and reheat this glazed salmon recipe.
How long can I store grilled salmon?
Cooked salmon can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Keep it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil.
Can I freeze cooked salmon?
Yes, you can freeze grilled salmon! Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil and then place it in a freezer-safe bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to four months.
There are two ways to freeze this recipe:
- Freeze it whole with the salmon grilled and glazed in advance.
- Or, you can freeze the blackberry chipotle glaze separately from the salmon and add the glaze once it has been reheated.
When you’re ready to eat it, thaw the salmon in the fridge overnight and then reheat it in the oven at 400° F until it’s cooked through.
What is the best way to reheat grilled salmon?
The best way to reheat grilled salmon is in the oven at 400° F until it’s cooked. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but be careful not to overcook it!
If you’re reheating frozen salmon, thaw it in the fridge overnight, and then follow the instructions above.
Whether you’re looking for a new and delicious way to prepare salmon or need some inspiration for your next outdoor grill party, this cedar plank salmon recipe is sure to please! The blackberry chipotle glaze gives the fish a sweet and smoky flavor that everyone will love. Soak the cedar plank in advance, mix up the glaze, and enjoy an easy grilled meal that’s fit for a king (or queen)!
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More salmon recipes!
If you love this cedar plank salmon recipe, try one of these salmon recipes next!
- How To Cure Salmon (Gravlax)
- Salmon Fried Rice
- Easy Salmon Dip
- Lemon Salmon
- Salmon Tostada
- Baked Salmon with Brussel Sprouts
How to make cedar plank salmon 👇
Blackberry-Chipotle Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon
- 1 large Cedar Plank
- Sake (can substitute Orange Juice or Water), for soaking
- 1 (about 2 pound) Whole Skin-on Salmon Filet , pin bones removed*
- 1/3 Cup + 1 TBS Blackberry Preserves
- 1 Chipotle Chili in Adobo - minced
- 1 TBS Ginger – grated
- 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 1 TBS Hoisin
- 1 TBS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Pepper
- Serving Options:
- Fresh Blackberries
- Lemon – slices or wedges
- Chives – sliced
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- At least 1 hour before grilling: Soak the cedar plank in sake.
- In a small sauce pan: Add preserves, chipotle chili, ginger, garlic, hoisin, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine well. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.
- Heat charcoal or gas grill to 425 degrees F.
- Place the entire piece of salmon, skin side down, on top on cedar plank and make sure it is completely on the plank and not hanging off. Generously brush the preserve mixture on top of the salmon. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place the cedar plank on the grill grates and cover grill. Grill for 12-15 minutes, or until desired doneness (salmon is done when it is pink in the center).
- Use a large spatula to transfer the salmon still on the plank to a clean surface to rest for 3-5 minutes. After resting transfer salmon to a cutting board.
- Cut into desired portions, serve immediately and enjoy!
*Glaze can be made 2 days in advance
*You can marinate the salmon, brushed with preserves for 30 minutes if desired.
*Optional: To caramelize glaze, adjust oven racks to highest and middle positions. Place a large sheet pan on middle rack to catch drippings. Pre-heat oven to highest broil setting. When finished cooking salmon on the grill, place salmon still on plank directly in the oven on the top rack. Broil 1-2 minutes, watching salmon carefully to prevent burning.