Plank Roasted Salmon - The Frazzled Pan - Cooking for Real Blog at - 97735

The Frazzled Pan - Cooking for Real

Plank Roasted Salmon 
May 26, 2009 8:53 am 
Updated: Jun. 1, 2009 10:36 am
I wasn’t in the market for it.  I was actually at the store to buy a steak.  But there it was….ruby red, fresh, beautiful, and only available about one month a year; Copper River Salmon. 
I love Copper River Salmon!  The Copper River is long and cold, flowing through almost 300 miles of Alaska.  The water is clear and the current is strong, with lots of rocks and rapids.  The sockeye who swim the length are healthy, hardy, and have a relatively high fat content.  These qualities give the fish a rich, clean, and robust flavor.  Copper River salmon also contain a high level of those healthy Omea-3 oils that we are hearing so much about lately.
So, I had my fish and there was no doubt how I would cook it.  My favorite way to cook almost any seafood is on the barbeque, on a wood plank. Seafood cooked on a plank stays moist and tender and is gently infused with smoky wood flavor. Cedar planks are available in the barbecue section of some grocery stores, hardware stores, or warehouse stores. 
 Here’s my method for plank roasted salmon:
Place your cedar plank in a shallow baking dish and cover with water.  Soak the plank for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
To feed 4, you’ll need about a 1 ½ pound salmon fillet. Remove the pin bones from the salmon by running  your fingers down the length of the fillet.  You’ll feel little “nubs”, the pin bones,  just under the center fat line of the fish.   Use a stainless steel tweezer to remove the bones. Grab the end with the tweezer and pull, with - not against, the grain of the fish.  The pin bones should pull right out.
Set your barbeque for indirect heat and preheat to medium-high or about 400 degrees. Use a very sharp knife to cut the fish into 4 even steaks. Leave the skin on and arrange the steaks on the soaked plank. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Place the plank on the indirect side of the hot grill and close the lid.  Cook the fish until it is cooked to your liking, about 20 to 25 minutes.  An internal temperature of about 135 degrees is just about right. At this temperature, the fish is cooked through and just flakes easily.  (I live in the Seattle area and we tend to like our salmon a little bit on the rare side, so I cook mine to 125 degrees.) Remove the plank from the grill and slide a spatula between the fish and the skin to serve.
My Copper River salmon was delicious!  The fish was slightly smoky with a faint cedar flavor. I served it with cherry tomato salsa on top and a garlicky fresh oregano aioli sauce.  Some grilled asparagus and lemon rice were the perfect sides. 
Of course, if Copper River is not available in your area, you can plank roast any type of salmon. The smoky flavor of the charred plank perfectly complements the fish - and lots of other preparations too! Try planked halibut, chicken, or even vegetables.  Almost anything cooked this way will be delicious – I promise.
May 26, 2009 11:12 am
Is it a special plank you buy for BBQing or can you just a plank of particular woods??
May 26, 2009 11:23 am
Hi Trishie, Look for a special plank for grilling. I've bought them at Costco, Cost Plus, and Safeway! Most of the planks say that they can only be used once, but we've found that, if they are only charred on the bottom, they can be used again. We just clean them off really well and let them dry out before using again.
May 26, 2009 11:23 am
...forgot to add, we usually get 3 uses from 1 plank.
May 26, 2009 11:34 am
Most generally it is cedar plank. It's untreated and just delicious. This is one of the tradional West Coast Indian tribes way of cooking salmon. Cedar is abundant here, but I'm sure other woods can be used also, just make sure that it isn't treated in anyway. I have gone to the lumber yards and bought cedar fence boards and cut to size also. You can cook a lot of salmon for not much money invested in a fence board.
May 26, 2009 11:38 am
Avon, I love the idea of using untreated fence boards!Thanks a bunch:)!
May 26, 2009 5:55 pm
Do you have any tips for those of us with only a charcoal grill to work with? Thanks!
May 26, 2009 7:20 pm
you could still do it on the charcoal grill. It shouldn't affect the taste at all. The idea is to soak the plank in plenty of water to create the smoke. That's what infuses the salmon.
May 26, 2009 7:33 pm
hi alyssa! You can grill "indirect" with charcoal too! Once your coals are ready to grill on, use a long tongs to move them to each side of the kettle, leaving a void in the middle. You can then put your plank on the grate over the void and have a less intense "indirect" heat. I've done it this way and it works great!! Good luck!
May 28, 2009 10:47 am
Oh blancdeblanc! Your posts always make me so hungry and now I know what I'm making for dinner this weekend. Thanks to all your tips I feel like I can do this thing!
May 28, 2009 11:22 am
Foodelicious, you're so sweet... I'm sure your weekend dinner will be delicious!
May 28, 2009 12:17 pm
i really wish i liked salmon. i always think i can fool my taste buds, but when it really comes down to it, the taste buds win. :o(
May 29, 2009 7:32 am
tahoegirl..... i too wish i liked salmon...or any other fish....blancdeblanc...can we use this method of cooking with other foods???? it sounds easy, fun and delicious!!
May 29, 2009 7:44 am
tahoegirl and tkiki, try this one, it looks great!
May 30, 2009 1:27 pm
Next time try this Pearl St. Plank's amazing on Plank Roasted Salmon! Smoky and sweet w/maple sugar and...not sure what else but it is reallllly good!
May 31, 2009 6:34 am
thanks blancdeblanc!! i cant wait to try the maple-lankgrilled stuffed pork chops, they sound delicious..... i love your blogs!!!
Jun. 1, 2009 6:11 am
Wow, that salmon sounds great!!! I don't know if I can find Copper River Salmon in Wisconsin, but I'll find something like it to try it on the plank.
Jun. 1, 2009 8:45 am
This is the only way I cook salmon. I do a maple/orange juice glaze on mine. The flavour combination is divine.
Jun. 1, 2009 10:36 am
yum! Do you just cook down maple syrup and orange juice?
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Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I recently returned to work full time and -- life's gotten pretty hectic. I have 2 really busy (and really hungry) teenage girls, a very active husband and an old yellow lab who really misses having me around the house. I love to cook and feel that sitting down to a meal with the family is really important. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or, frankly, the energy, to put a lot of work into meals every night. I'm determined to figure out how to get a delicious and healthy family dinner on the table with a minimum of fuss. As I figure it out, I'll post on my blog.
My favorite things to cook
I went to culinary school, taught cooking classes and read cookbooks for entertainment. Do we eat a gourmet meal every night? No way. Weeknight meals are quick and easy and, usually, nutritious. Weekends are when I have fun with my food. My weekend favorites: anything Greek, anything Italian, breads, soups and braises. I like trying new foods and techniques and love to have dinner parties.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Dolmathes (Greek rolled grape leaves) for birthdays, gnocci for Christmas Eve, pitzelle cookies with my Italian pitzelle iron, jack-o-lantern cake for Halloween and avgolemono soup for whoever is in need of comfort.
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