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Question re: Salmon on Cedar Planks

RauchbierRauchbier Posts: 24
edited 3:29AM in EggHead Forum
On Friday I cooked my first cedar planked salmon on my XL BGE and found the cedar to be quite overwhelming and unlike the results I had previously obtained on my gas grill -- it was almost as if we we were eating the piece of cedar itself (though a quite succulent piece at that!). I had soaked the cedar in warm water for about 90 minutes prior to placing it and the salmon on the BGE. Thus, the question... Is this typical of other's experiences or would this be more likely attributed to the specific cedar planks that I used? I could no longer find the previously purchased brand and the replacements were about twice as thick and did smell more aromatic then the previous ones.

Any feedback is most appreciated. Thanks!

Purcellville, VA


  • Rauchbier,

    Great Handle, You may want to take a ride down to Durham,NC for a Hogwash Smoked beer.
    Here's their website

    Your soak, I think, should be almost a full day.

    The temp and length of time for cook should be 300* to 350* F and 10 minutes.

    Did the plank get scorched, if so a heat barrier under it may also help reduce the cedar taste.
    Wilson, NC
    Large BGE - WiFi Stoker - Thermapen - 250 Cookbooks

  • SheepDogSheepDog Posts: 176
    Jim I have had this experience both times I've used cedar planks. Probably won't risk a nice piece of Salmon like that again.
  • RauchbierRauchbier Posts: 24
    Thanks for the reply! The plank was lightly scorched -- much less so than when I had used the gas grill. Thus I was surprised that I did not get the subtle flavor that I had with the gas.

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 13,000
    First, a disclaimer... I have yet to try a cedar plank cook.

    Just a thought though; there are many varieties of cedar. Did you by chance use the aromatic cedar typically used for cedar closets/chests to repel moths? I would think that would be a bit much. :)

    EDIT: Apparently, you want Western Red Cedar. Untreated of course. That's what these guys sell anyway...

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    I've never liked the cedar flavor, but planking is one of my favorite cooking methods. Give alder planks a try, they impart a very gentle flavor.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • SheepDogSheepDog Posts: 176
    Looks great ThirdEye... will give it a try for sure!
  • Morro Bay RichMorro Bay Rich Posts: 2,227
    Be sure NOT to follow the directions on some of the planks. They call for charring one side, flipping them over and cooking the salmon on the charred side. We did this ONCE. If you want to find out what cedar REALLY tastes like there is not better method..
  • RauchbierRauchbier Posts: 24
    That looks delicious! Beautifully photographed, too!
  • I think the best way to plank salmon in the egg is nothing like the normal instructions state.

    I suggest putting the plank in on a raised grid about 15 minutes before you are putting the salmon on to let some of the bad smoke blow off. Then put the salmon on the plank and you should find the cedar taste is less pronounced and sweeter.

  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I started cooking on cedar planks years ago in my gasser days, here is how I do it.

    I use the trim lumber western red cedar that is available at most lumberyards and big box stores.
    An 8ft 1x6 yields 8-12"planks. This material is not treated in any way.

    A two hour soak is plenty, but weight it down so the plank is submerged.

    I cook indirect raised grid over my platesetter.
    375-400, usually takes 35-40 min.

    I use either the DP raging River recipe [shown below] or a mixture of one part spicey brown mustard to two parts dark brown suger mixed into a paste and smeared on the fish.
    If I am real lazy I just use a little cajun seasoning.

    I don't flip
    Planked Salmon P2210015 by Capt Frank1, on Flickr
    Cook to about 135 internal, it don't get much better than this and I have never had an overwhelming cedar taste :)
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