Salmon may be the most versatile fish there is and the most forgiving. It isn’t the healthiest, but that extra fat is why it is so forgiving. It won’t dry out as quickly as most other fish. And while the majority of people who think of plank grilling and salmon think of cedar, it doesn’t have to be cooked on cedar. I prefer my planked salmon on maple, particularly this recipe. For you folks that love cedar plank salmon, by all means, use the cedar. This is just a personal preference for me. If you’ve never seen planks other than cedar, check out Bob’s Smokin’ Hardwood grilling planks. They have Cherry, Alder, Hickory, Maple and Oak along with Cedar.
Let’s start off with maple plank itself. Soak it in water for 60 minutes so it won’t catch on fire on the grill.
Now on to the salmon while the plank soaks.
Maple Planked Salmon Ingredients:
I realize there are no amounts listed. You won’t need them. Trust me. And don’t sweat the mustard if you aren’t a mustard fan. The mustard will act as a glaze that will melt away as the salmon cooks, basting it as it does, but it won’t taste like mustard when it’s finished.
First, get yourself a nice piece of salmon:
Yeah, that’s an outstanding piece of salmon. Make sure to check it for any bones that may be hiding in there and remove them.
Sprinkle a little salt onto the salmon and then spread the dijon over the surface of the filet:
Then sprinkle the brown sugar (about a 1-1.5 tsp per filet):
Then off to the grill. I’m using a gas grill. The big knock on gas grills is that they don’t impart much smoke. With the plank, that’s not a problem!
I set the grill to high and let it get warm for about 20 minutes. I started off by putting the maple plank on the grill to warm it up on the top and get the surface moisture out of the wood so it will smoke a little but it should still be wet enough inside to keep from catching fire:
Then I flipped the maple plank and put the salmon on the wood:
That second piece of fish is some dilled tilapia my wife was craving. There was plenty of room on the plank for both.
On a charcoal grill, prepare a medium high heat fire and place the plank right over the coals.
After about 20 minutes of grilling the planked salmon and tilapia are done. No flipping, no adjusting, no nothing. This may vary based on the heat of your grill and your desired doneness. For me, when the mustard is melted away, it’s done, but I like my salmon pretty rare:
Here is the maple planked salmon where I let it rest for a minute or two, which is just enough to get a plated shot:
My wife’s fish is ready too:
And here is the maple planked salmon sliced. How does that look?
You get some of the smokiness from the maple plank and the sweetness from the sugar and the savory of the mustard that pretty much cooks off, leaving an outstanding combo of sweet, savory and smoky all wrapped around an amazing piece of salmon. And by all means, if you prefer cedar, opt for the cedar when grilling planked salmon.
If you have any questions about the planked salmon above, please feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.
Full disclosure, Bob’s Smokin’ Hardwood compensated GrillinFools.com to be included in this post. They make phenomenal planks, grilling wraps and smoke wood. They are all I use because they are that good. Wondering about the grilling wrap thing? Check out this Double Tequila Shrimp I wrapped in cedar and grilled.
- Dijon mustard
- Brown sugar
- I realize there are no amounts listed. You won’t need them. Trust me.
- Soak the maple plank in cold water for 30-60 minutes
- Sprinkle a little salt onto the salmon and then spread the dijon over the surface of the filet
- Then sprinkle the brown sugar (about a 1-1.5 tsp per filet)
- Prepare the grill for high heat grilling
- Place the plank on the grill for a few minutes to get it to smoke then flip over and place salmon on the plank
- Leave the salmon on the grill for about 20 minutes until the mustard is melted away and the salmon is heated through
- Remove the planked salmon from the heat and allow to rest for a couple minutes