Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon

This rich, mildly smoky Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon is glazed with maple syrup, balsamic, grainy mustard, butter & garlic. Easy and mouthwatering!

The salmon is exquisitely moist and tender with a mild wood smoky flavor. The glaze is so rich and scrumptious that I increased the amount in the recipe to allow for extra to soak into a side like rice or quinoa.

ceder planked salmon on bed of quinoa and spinach with grilled peppers f

I got hooked on cedar plank grilling, the first time with our Cedar Plank Flattened Chicken and Cedar Plank Whole Chicken recipes and now with planked salmon. 

I got the inspiration for the glaze from a recipe by Jo Cooks. The glaze takes a few minutes to make and the salmon just 10 minutes to grill.

You do have to soak your plank in water first, but if you buy the thin planks (1/4 inch) like I do, then the soaking only takes 10 minutes.

So… pure maple syrup and salmon…how Canadian is this dish, eh? You won’t wait long for the groans and raves – it’s absolutely delish!

How to Serve Cedar Plank Salmon

  • Full side of salmon: I often serve a full side of salmon for company right on the plank for a gorgeous presentation.
  • Individual salmon fillets: For the most part, I use several single salmon fillets and serve it as as a main dish hot, cold or at room temperature.
  • Appetizer: I love to serve plank salmon as an appetizer (big hit!). I either place it on a cutting board (skin removed) with a serving utensil and let my guests cut off small pieces. Or, I cut it into small pieces and serve it on cucumber rounds.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Although I LOVE and highly recommend the sauce/glaze in this recipe, you can of course, use others, even store bought ones.
  • If you don’t have a plank and grill, you can bake the salmon in a conventional oven on a baking sheet at 425F/218C for 10-13 minutes (depending on thickness). Brush on half the glaze before baking and half after.
  • Try a bit of lemon zest as a garnish for some tang.

Tips for Grilling With a Cedar Plank

  • The thinner planks (1/4 inch) only take 10 minutes to soak (instead of 30 minutes for 1/2 inch planks) and you can toss them out after one use so no clean up.  They cost approximately $1.50-$1.80 each and you can get them anywhere that sells BBQs (Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Costco, Walmart, etc – even some grocery stores). They also only need about 3 minutes on the direct heat to begin smoking.
  • You can add apple juice or white wine to the water for soaking to add a bit more flavor.
  • There is no need to turn the food.
  • Keep the BBQ lid closed as much as possible to keep in the smoke.
  • Keep a spray bottle or water handy in case the planks catch fire.
  • The experts say you can wash the thicker 1/2-3/4 inch planks with water  (not soap) and reuse them if they are not too charred. After a couple of uses, though, the smokey flavors diminish.

How to make this cedar plank salmon recipe

Ingredients: one large or individual salmon fillets, Dijon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, butter, garlic, grainy mustard, salt, cornstarch
plank soaking in water in a tray 1
Soak plank for 20-30 minutes (or 6 0 minutes if plank is thicker)
glaze for salmon in measuring cup
Microwave glaze ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup for 1 minute.
raw salmon on plank with glaze
Place salmon on plank that has been patted dry and sprayed with oil. Add 1/3 of glaze on top. Place on hot grill.
partially grilled salmon on plank on grill
Grill salmon for 5 minutes on high until plank starts charring. Then reduce heat to lowest setting (or turn burner under salmon off). Keep other burners on. 
planked salmon on grill with glaze
Add more glaze and cook until salmon is done (10-14 minutes in total, depending on thickness).
whole cooked salmon fillet on plank
cooked glazed salmon on plank p1

Grill salmon on cedar plank along with other vegetables if you like. 

Maple balsamic planked salmon cut in pieces on cutting board
Cut cedar-plank salmon into smaller portions and serve.

What to serve with salmon

I like to serve the salmon right on the plank or on a bed of quinoa with fresh baby spinach and grilled peppers that I cook alongside the salmon.

Other great sides and salads to compliment the salmon are:

Make Ahead

  • Make the glaze a day or two ahead. Or, make full recipe a couple of hours ahead and served it at room temperature. It’s even delicious cold.

More delicious grill plank recipes to try

Or check out our summer Sunday dinner ideas. And if you have a smoker, try our how to smoke a brisket (step by step) recipe.

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4.81 from 42 votes

Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon

This rich, mildly smoky Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon is glazed with maple syrup, balsamic, grainy mustard, butter & garlic.  Easy and mouthwatering!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2


  • untreated cedar plank


  • 2 salmon fillets with skin on one side – 3/4 to 1 pound (about 1-1.5 inch thick)
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
  • sea salt for finishing


  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon pure Maple Syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoon grainy or old fashioned mustard
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (this will help glaze adhere to salmon)


  • SOAK THE PLANK: Soak a plank in cold water for 10 minutes for a 1/4 inch plank (or 30-60 minutes for 1/2 inch plank). I use a thin plank and just toss it out when I'm done. Cedar planks are great for salmon as they provide a gentle smoky taste.
  • MAKE THE GLAZE: Place all glaze ingredients in a microwaveable bowl or measuring cup. Stir. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Glaze will be slightly thickened. Let cool for 5 minutes if using part as a marinade (Note 1).  Alternatively, place ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer on medium heat for a few minutes until thickened.
  • GRILL PLANKED SALMON: Note 2. Pat plank dry. Spray with oil. Place salmon on top of plank, skin side down. Brush salmon with 1/3 of glaze. Place plank on grate of barbecue, close cover and grill for 3 minutes for thinner plank (a little longer if using a thicker plank) until plank starts charring and smoking. Have a glass of water on hand in case of flare ups.
    Brush 1/3 more glaze on top of salmon. Turn off burner/heat under the salmon (salmon should now be on indirect heat) and close lid. The other burner(s) should still be left on high or med-high heat with the temperature of the BBQ at about 425F-450F/218-232C.
    Cook for another 7 minutes or until salmon just begins to turn opaque. Instant thermometer will show an internal core temperature of 130-135F/54.4-57C (temp will rise while resting). Salmon should be a warm pink in the thickest part. Drizzle with remaining glaze. Rest salmon for 5 minutes loosely covered with a foil.
  • SERVE: Slide a spatula between the skin and the salmon. The salmon will lift right off leaving the skin on the charred wood plank. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired and some good sea salt and/or lemon zest. 


Recipe Notes

  1. Marinate the salmon filet (optional): To boost the flavor even more, marinate the salmon for 15 minutes by placing HALF of the maple-balsamic marinade (glaze) and the salmon in a ziploc bag. Make sure flesh part of salmon is coated. I usually skip the marinating as the sauce is so flavorful and the mild smoke on the salmon has enough flavor. 
  2. To bake salmon instead: If you don’t have a plank and grill, you can bake the salmon in a conventional oven on a baking sheet at 425F/218C for 10-13 minutes (depending on thickness). Brush on half the glaze before baking and half after. You won’t get a smoke flavor without the plank of course, but the fish will still be delicious.
  3. Make Ahead: The glaze can be made a day or two ahead. Or, the full recipe can be made a couple of hours ahead and served at room temperature. It’s even delicious cold.


Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 995mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 422IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This recipe was originally published in June 2017 and has now been updated with new pictures.

4.81 from 42 votes (35 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Just made this for the first time for a family of four including two teenagers – my 18 year old son says “you have to make salmon like this every time!” Was fantastic with great instructions! We used both maple syrup and brown sugar and a bit of balsamic glaze along with the balsamic vinegar and included only about half the mustard (Dijon). Was like candy! This recipe is going into our favourites!

  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe – the glaze is so good !! I served it with leftover pulao from an Indian restaurant and a green salad and it was superb.

  3. 4 stars
    As I haven’t cooked the salmon yet, I only gave 4 stars, the marinade is done, the fish waiting to be at room temperature, it certainly looks delish, I’m serving with orange cream potatoes, sumac pumpkin and snow peas. Unfortunately here in Australia the size of the salmon is quite small, well maybe not so small but not as thick as I know it can be. My first taste was in Whistler, absolutely divine. Re the plank, have not heard of that method, so tonight it is being cooked in the oven and being watched very carefully so I don’t overlook it!

  4. The ONLY thing I added was a pinch of habenero chili powder – I just like a little twang with my sweets ! Candy absolute Candy !!!!!

      1. 5 stars
        I am looking forward to trying this recipe and I am looking for a healthy side. I saw you suggested
        “bed of quinoa with fresh baby spinach and grilled peppers”
        Do you happen to have a recipe for this. Grilled peppers I know. Is the quinoa served warm or like a salad?
        Thanks for your help!

        1. 5 stars
          I’m from Maine, my wife is from Washington State. We have an ongoing battle about which salmon is better; Pacific or Atlantic?
          With this recipe it doesn’t matter if it’s chum salmon.
          100% amazing!
          Pre-basting I sprinkled it with lemon zest and pepper.

          1. Awww, that’s so nice to hear Joseph. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. We really appreciate it, especially when someone enjoys a recipe so much!

  5. I have made this several times! Absolutely delicious! The flavors are deep and inviting! My husband’s first request when I say “grilled salmon for dinner”. Made as written, no substitutions as not needed! Thank you from “gilling in the northeast”!

    1. Thanks so much Kate! What a lovely comment. I love when readers are happy with a recipe. The salmon is one of my favourites. 😊