I’ve been meaning to try this for almost a year now. Mary had bought me these cedar planks for grilling fish and such, but as she doesn’t really like fish I’ve held off using them.
Until this evening.
I happened to have this two-pound slab of salmon and decided it was time to go ahead and do this. I’ll tell you what, this is about the easiest grilled fish there is. The fish ends up tender, flaky, moist and flavorful … just right to make for someone like Mary who’s never really liked fish even though she’s grown up right here in a fishing community.
The planks come with instructions, which I promptly read through. There are basic concepts about the plank that are simple. I only modified the seasoning for the fish but it seems the rest is rather straightforward …
Soak the plank in cold water for about 90 minutes. Preheat the closed grill to a temp of 350 degrees F. On my gas grill this was rather close to the lowest-possible setting on all four burners. Don’t go hot just to get it done! You want it to cook slow. Place the oiled-and-seasoned fish skin-side down on the wet plank, put it on the grill and close the lid.
Get some water and place it on standby. If that plank dries out and catches fire, you’ll be ready.
Let the fish cook. Really, don’t open the lid for at least 15 minutes. Start checking the flakiness of the fish at that point. You’ll get a feel for how much longer it will take after a while, so keep an eye on both the fish and the temperature of the closed grill.
Once the fish is able to flake apart easily across the entire filet, use a couple metal spatulas to remove the board and the fish together from the grill. Don’t you dare remove it with your hands … you’ll burn off your fingerprints! Metal … spatulas … get some …
This fish was brushed with olive oil (another part of the basic concepts), then seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, granulated garlic, fresh chopped parsley and dill weed. That’s all … nothing else. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with your own combination.
I served this salmon with a pile of cooked brown and wild rices. I’m sure some grilled asparagus with some salt and pepper would have gone well with it as well. Too bad I didn’t have any asparagus or I’d have done just that.