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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 smoked 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, first 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.

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. You can also serve it with rice and Red Quinoa Salad and Roasted Carrots or Crusted Goat Cheese Salad.

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!

Ways 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.

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). 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.

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.

More delicious grill plank recipes to try

How to make maple cedar plank salmon

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 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
cooked glazed salmon on plank f
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4.74 from 26 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 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 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

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon pure Maple Syrup
  • 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)

Instructions

  • SOAK THE PLANK: Soak a plank in 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.
  • HEAT THE GRILL TO HIGH.
  • 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). 
  • GRILL PLANKED SALMON: Pat plank dry. Spray with oil. Place salmon on plank, skin side down. Brush salmon with 1/3 of glaze. Place plank on grill, close the lid and grill for 3 minutes for thinner plank (a little longer if using a thicker plank) until plank starts charring and smoking.
    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 the lid. The other burner(s) should still be left on high with the temperature of the BBQ at about 425F-450F.
    Cook for another 7 minutes or until salmon just begins to turn opaque. Instant read thermometer will be at 130-135F (temp will rise while resting). Salmon should be a warm pink in the middle. 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 plank. Transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired and some good sea salt. 

Notes

  1. Marinate the salmon (optional): To boost the flavor even more, marinate the salmon for 15 minutes by placing HALF of 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. 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.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Canadian Maple Cedar Plank Salmon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 469 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 130mg43%
Sodium 566mg25%
Potassium 995mg28%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 422IU8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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This recipe was originally published in June 2017 and has now been updated with new pictures.

4 Comments

  1. 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”!

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