Main reason for placing your salmon bites on cedar plank is the beautiful presentation it makes for the dinner table. Secondary reason might be fantastic aroma, which burned cedar spreads around.
Many recipes I have found, praise the luxurious aroma of cedar on fish. To be honest, I have not succeeded in finding that taste. Cooking time is so short, and cedar starts to become burnt only at the end of it. There is just not enough time for cedar taste to stick. Sorry about that. But you should still do this for other reasons!
This recipe is maybe the easiest in the world.
- Slice your salmon into portions, which will fit on the cedar plank. Skin down. You might need to cut from two sides and there will be waste, but don’t worry. We are after perfect food presentation.
- Sprinkle fine salt on salmon
- That’s it
Now get to your grill.
- Heat your charcoal grill up to 355°F (180°C) and direct heat
- Place your cedar plank on top of the heat
- Cook until internal temperature of the salmon is 125°F (52°C). It takes about 20-25min. You absolutely need to use fast reading thermometer on this one. I have Thermapen MK4, but there are others also.
Bring the whole plank onto the dinner table and serve one portion to every guest. Burnt cedar brings fantastic aroma and fish bites look great on it.
SOAKING THE PLANK
If your grill does not allow enough distance from burning charcoals to the bottom of the cedar plank, you might want to soak the plank in clean water for few hours before cooking. This trick will delay burning of the plank and most likely prevent it on catching fire.
I have quite deep ceramic kamado grill and distance from the heat to plank is 10in (25cm). I don’t soak and plank gets beautifully burnt in 20-25min, without bursting on flames. I also have a Weber kettle and the charcoal chamber is quite shallow. For that grill I soak the plank or place it on indirect heat, beside the burning charcoals. However, I think the result is not perfect this way. Good it is, but not perfect.
WHERE TO GET CEDAR PLANKS?
Amazon, buy XL size and cut to half!
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I USE ONE CEDAR PLANK?
Once. They are disposable. They get contaminated.
WHICH CEDAR PLANK TO CHOOSE?
Avoid branded products as there is no added value. Plank is a plank. Buy cheapest, check dimensions. They can be raw and unpolished. Fish will go skin down and skin is left onto the plank when serving.