Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Spicy Brown Sugar Rub
This plank grilled salmon is my most requested dish anytime we have friends over for dinner. It is so good and tastes better than anything you can get at a restaurant!
Once the weather warms up, I grill all the time. The dish I make most often on my grill is cedar plank grilled salmon. I absolutely love to plank grill and it is much simpler than you might think.
Today’s recipe is our ‘go-to’ dish when the planks come out for grilling. Cedar plank grilled salmon is easily the most popular dish for plank grilling and many restaurants have it on their menus. The salmon comes out moist, tender, with a light smoky flavour.
There are many different seasonings that can go on the salmon from spice rubs, herbs, glazes and more. This brown sugar rub has a blend of spices that work perfectly with the taste of the salmon.
Other Plank Grilled Recipes!
While salmon is the most common for plank grilling, there are many other possibilities. Here are a few recipes that are also great for plank grilling.
- Plank Grilled Rocky Road Brownies
- Plank Grilled Brie with Blueberry and Jalapeño Salsa
- Cedar Plank Grilled Trout
Salmon can be purchased either as a full fillet or already sliced into individual portions. I typically purchase a whole salmon fillet that is around 2 pounds (or a little larger) in size. This fillet can then be sliced into 6 equal sized portions.
Planks can be found at most stores that sell grilling supplies and are also often stocked at larger supermarkets. While cedar is the most common kind of wood used for plank grilling, there are many other kinds as well. You can use planks of maple, hickory, alder and others.
Make Sure to Soak the Cedar Planks!
It is very important to ensure that the wood is well soaked so that it smoulders and smokes, instead of catching fire, while on the grill.
Place the planks in a dish and fill with enough water to submerge. The planks will float, so I like to weigh them down with a couple bowls filled with water, as you can see in the picture above. I like to soak the planks for about 2 hours prior to grilling.
Temperature of the Grill?
Rub the top and sides of the salmon with the brown sugar rub before placing the fish, skin side down, on the plank. Remove the plank from the water just before it is ready to go on the grill. It is amazing how quick they can dry out when outside on a hot summer day.
The temperature of the grill should be at a medium heat, somewhere around 350-400F. Once you place the planks of salmon on the grill, make sure to close the lid. Keep that lid closed as much as possible because this will help cook the fish more evenly.
How Long to Cook Salmon on the Grill?
The salmon takes around 15 minutes to cook. As the fish cooks, the colour of the salmon will change to a lighter pink and will be a little more firm to the touch when pressed down.
A digital thermometer is the best way to check the doneness of the fish. Stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the fish and once the internal temperature reaches 135F, the salmon is done.
Make it a Meal!
Here are some other summer dishes that go great with cedar plank grilled salmon.
Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Brown Sugar Rub
- 1 salmon fillet , about 2 pounds
- 6 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- cedar planks
- Soak cedar planks for at least 2 hours.
- Cut the salmon fillet into 6 equal sized portions. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel.
- Mix the brown sugar and spices together in a bowl.
- Rub the top and sides of the salmon generously with the brown sugar rub and place the salmon, skin side down, on the wet cedar planks.
- Preheat the grill to medium so that the temperature is around 350F-400F.
- Place the planks, with the salmon on them, on the grill and close the lid.
- Cook the salmon for about 15 minutes. The time may vary depending on the thickness of the salmon. The internal temperature should be 135F.