Cedar Plank Salmon

Cedar Plank Salmon – salmon grilled on cedar planks, topped with dijon mustard with a sweet and smoky brown sugar topping!

Cedar Plank Salmon

This is the summertime version of this baked blackened salmon recipe!

It’s grilled instead of baked. There’s a cedar plank on the bottom instead of lemons. And I ditch the panko topping. The cedar plank adds so much flavor you don’t even miss the panko.

Fun fact: This was the first recipe my husband and I made on a beach vacation for our whole family.

Photos from when we made it on vacation:

This cedar plank salmon recipe is a crowd pleaser

The cedar planks make it look so impressive. The flavor is out of this world. And even people who say they don’t like salmon, love this recipe.

The best part is it’s secretly so easy.

Even my husband (who can’t cook) can make this!

What are cedar planks?

A cedar plank is a thin, flat piece of wood. It’s usually made from cedar wood. You cook meat on it to get a smoky flavor without a smoker.

You can cook all kinds of meats on a cedar plank. But salmon is best suited for cedar planks because it cooks quickly and doesn’t need a char to taste good.

Where to get cedar planks?

You can order cedar planks on Amazon. Or get them at your local grocery store. They are usually in the kitchen supplies aisle or in the grilling aisle near the charcoal.

How to use a cedar plank?

Before using a cedar plank, make sure to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes (some recommend overnight) to prevent it from catching on fire.

Once soaked, you place the food directly onto the cedar plank. Then the plank then goes onto a preheated grill over indirect heat. Which means you turn the section of the grill off where you place the cedar planks. But leave the other parts on. This helps prevent the cedar plank from burning.

You want to keep the grill cover closed as much as possible since it’s not over direct heat. This creates an oven type of environment where the salmon cooks from the heat coming over the sides. Keeping the lid closed also helps infuse as much smoky flavor into the salmon as possible.

Can you reuse cedar planks?

I throw the cedar planks away after one use. The cedar planks get charred on the grill. So using them again after charred would risk catching on fire.

Plus the fish cooks on them. And you can’t use soap to clean them.

Cedar Plank Salmon

How to prep these ahead of time?

You don’t want to assemble ahead of time because the cedar planks should still be wet when you put them on the grill.

But you can prep the seasoning rub ahead of time. Then assemble right before grilling.

What if I don’t have a grill?

You can bake the salmon on cedar planks. Baking the salmon on cedar planks doesn’t release as much smoky flavor as when they are grilled. But it’s still really good.

To bake: prepare the salmon on the cedar planks with the same instructions in this recipe. Then bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

What to serve with cedar plank salmon?

Cedar Plank Salmon

A show stopping summer dinner!
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Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4



For the salmon:

  • 2 cedar planks
  • 4 (6 oz) pieces Atlantic salmon, skinless
  • 4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

For the brown sugar topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Put the cedar plank on a baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with water. Put a mug on top of the cedar plank to make sure the cedar plank is submerged. Soak for 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Preheat the grill to 350-400 degrees.
  • In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar topping ingredients.
  • Drain the water from the cedar planks on the baking sheet.
  • Place 2 salmon pieces on each cedar plank.
  • Spread or brush the top of the salmon with dijon mustard.
  • Then top with the brown sugar mixture.
  • Turn off one burner on the grill and put the cedar plank on the no burner area so it's over indirect heat.
  • Close the grill and cook for 15-18 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked through (you can cut the salmon in half to make sure it's not opaque). You want to keep the grill closed as much as possible so the heat stays in and it gets cooked.
  • Remove from the grill and serve.


Serving: 1 piece of salmon | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g
If you make this recipe I'd love to hear in the comments!
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