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Some questions about planked salmon

The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
edited 6:44AM in EggHead Forum
I was wondering about using cedar planks to cook fish. I've seen some videos on the web where they used them on gas grills and they tell you that the wood might char or flame, etc. What temperature do you use in the Egg when using these planks? [p]Also, does the fish pick up any flavor from contact with the wood, or is the main idea for the plank to smoke some and flavor the fish with smoke?[p]Thanks,

The Naked Whiz


  • ronbeauxronbeaux Posts: 988
    The Naked Whiz,
    You've been a lot of help to me in past posts, but I regret to say that all I've found cooking salmon on a plank, using other means than an egg, is that there is a slight smoke enhancement. Since the egg I have cooked them at 350 with chips thrown in for smoke and they came out much better. I don't like them per say, but my Mother-in-law goes crazy over them. I let them go until a thick white stuff starts oozing and call them done(of course you try to see if they flake) then pull and eat. I leave the skin on and down.[p]Hope a newbe was of help[p]

  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    Hi Whiz,[p]I cook this pretty often and to me it's way more about the presentation than the taste. I cook direct and try to cook just hot enough so the plank is smoldering. This pretty much trashes the plank, but otherwise it doesn't seem to impart any flavor. I cook it for a while, cover the whole thing in store bought Teriyaki glaze and cook it a little longer. I don't care much for the lame o farm raised salmon we typically get, but a lot of people love it.

    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • The Naked Whiz,[p]The native use of Alder, and to a lesser extent Cedar to cook fish, and more specifically Salmon, by the original inhabitants, e.g. the Suquamish (a chief of whom Seattle is named after), Snoqualmie, Swinomish, Tulalip, and Duwamish, the Quilliut, Hoh, Quinalt and many other tribes of the Washington coast and the Lummi, Skagit, Sauk and other tribes of the inland waters, is without question an historic tradition in this area. The practice goes well beyond Washington State, including Oregon and British Columbia to the North even including Alaska natives (no doubt they'll probably tell me they started the custom!).[p]Salmon is traditionally not cooked 'on a plank', but over an open fire of wood, most usually alder. That would argue smoke, not influence from contact. In the picture below, of a traditional salmon fire, it's filleted on cedar frames and cooked in front of an alder fire. I doubt the cedar is burnt to the extent it contributes flavor at all, while the alder is a high contributor to the smoke flavor of the salmon. You'll notice it's far enough away from the fire to be of a relatively moderate temperature, and the resulting salmon is indeed, very smokey in flavor. It is quite good, I might add, obviously always fresh caught.[p]salmon_around_the_fire.jpg[p]I could go on and on (not to challenge the Stump!), but of a family having history and native friendships in the NW for well over 100 years, the local knowledge of the area and the importance of customs dating to the late 1800's is something I take some interest in.[p]What you do with your plank? Have fun. Though not egged, you should try it our way too.[p]ačədádxʷ !
    (a Salishan word that covers all Pacific salmon and some species of trout)[p]all best,
    HolySmokes (name granted by a long passed and very close tribal friend, during what could only be termed an extended period in a native sweat lodge).

  • ronbeauxronbeaux Posts: 988
    Now THAT was better than the History channel!! Cool![p]Thanks

  • billygbillyg Posts: 315
    Hi TNW
    I have just done the final evaulation of planked salmon. I initally bought the boards in a package on sale because I wanted to see the way they suggested to do it. Anyhow I heat the egg to 350 400 degrees dome. Soak the planks for an hour or two. Cover with a little olive oil (salmon side) I marinated the salmon filets in terakyi for a couple of hours. I cut the filets ala Jaque Pepin (e mail me if you want that technique, [email protected]) Preheat the plank on the egg until it is hot. Put the salmon on for about 35 min. If doing reg filets it will take less time.


    P.S. Please re-evaluate Comboy lump again. I have used almost 300 lbs without any problems. It is a great bargin plus bein able to flavor your cook with different woods without the overpowering taste of hickory
  • ronbeaux,
    I do try to be specific, reasonably knowledgable when I do take the time,
    and as correct as possible with the information at hand;
    but that... was an accolade I hadn't expected. [p]Thank you, Sir...
    and ;) HolySmokes[p][p]

  • drbbq,[p]We have bumper stickers up here that say "friends don't let friends eat farmed salmon".[p]Yu-uuuuck!!!!
  • jake42jake42 Posts: 932
    The Naked Whiz,
    I've done a few planked salmons. I usually get the fire between 350 and no more than 400. A lot of people put the fish on the soaked plank and put it on the grill. I have found that soaking the plank, seasoning the plank with your favorite seasonings, then putting the plank on the grill until it starts to smoke. Then I put the seasoned fish on the plank. And yes, when I use cedar planks it does impart a nice cedar flavor to the fish. I don't get the same intensity with alder so I soak it in wine.
    Just my 2 cents.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    The Naked Whiz,
    skin side down, so unless you eat the skin, no taste from contact.[p]i do mine at 350 ish. on a cedar shingle. it's basically an easy way to keep the fish from sticking, and from burning underneath. and the char on the wood gives a nice hint of smoke. gotta be careful with cedar, as it is resiny, and the smoke can be acrid and off-tasting if there's too much. soak the wood.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stike,[p]but don't soak it too long, or else it won't char at all and will just take forever to cook. I wouldn't soak a plank any more than 10-15 minutes...[p]Speaking from experience, I can tell you that an hour is WAY too long. LOL
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Dos Huevos,
    basically the soak is to delay the scorching, since it all has to boil away before it chars, and to put it on dry means it'd char the whole way thru, smelling like a tire fire.[p]delicate line between the taste of adelectably smoked salmon (with a soft wood, no less!) and the taste of junkyard fire.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • JethroJethro Posts: 495
    drbbq,[p]I have never tried the plank. But I agree with you on the teriyaki. I like Kikkoman Teriyaki Glaze, it is thicker than the normal Teriyaki sauces, close to the consistancy of a BBQ sauce.[p]I saw some stuff today that is making me think about mixing it with some citrus - lime or orange, prior to putting it on the salmon next time.[p]Keep em Smokin,

  • jake42jake42 Posts: 932
    <p />The Naked Whiz,
    Here's the finished product of the cook I talked about earlier.

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