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Sweet and Smoky Cedar Planked Salmon

Serves 4


    Sweet and Smoky Cedar Planked Salmon

    There’s always a BBQ favourite in the menu, and cedar-planked it is. Almost anything grilled on a plank offers exemplary smokiness and added depth. This combination of sweet, hot, and savoury coupled with juice is the perfect flavouring for salmon. In fact, it’s an amazing marinade on most anything—try it with chicken or vegetables grilled on wood.


    Sweet and Smoky Cedar Planked Salmon


    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) orange juice
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) minced chipotle in adobo sauce
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
    • 1 navel orange, thinly sliced
    • 1 lb (450 g) salmon fillet, skin on and pin bones removed
    • Cilantro, for garnish


    Per serving:

    • calories311
    • protein30g
    • fat10g
      • saturated fat2g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates25g
      • sugars21g
      • fibre1g
    • sodium597mg



    On rimmed baking sheet, place cedar plank and cover with water. Weigh plank down with heavy glass bowl or saucepan on top to keep it submerged. Soak for a minimum of 1 hour, preferably longer, to ensure wood is thoroughly wet. While wood is soaking, marinate salmon.

    In small bowl, combine maple syrup, orange juice,  grapeseed oil, minced chipotle, and Dijon. Stir together to blend. Place salmon on large baking sheet and rub marinade over flesh to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate.

    When wood has adequately soaked, preheat barbecue grill to medium high or about 400 F (200 C). Place marinated salmon, skin side down, on wood and, with rubber spatula, scrape any remaining marinade from bowl and spread overtop salmon. Place orange slices in single layer on top of salmon. Set plank with salmon directly on heated grill and close grill lid. Barbecue planked salmon for 15 minutes or until plank begins to smoke. Keep spritz bottle with water handy just in case the plank begins to flame. You only want it to smoke.

    Lower heat on one side of grill and slide plank to indirect heated side of grill. Continue barbecuing planked salmon with lid closed for 20 more minutes. Salmon is done when it’s beautifully bronzed and flakes easily with a fork. Cut salmon into serving-sized portions and, using thin spatula, remove to serving plates, leaving skin behind on plank.

    Delicious served with assorted grilled vegetables such as summer squash, avocado, artichokes, eggplant, and new potatoes.


    • Another tasty fish beautifully suited to this cooking method is sustainable Icelandic cod. It’s firm fleshed and has a rich, oily structure, perfect for being smoked. As a heartier fish, it will require longer grilling.
    • There are so many delightful variations when grilling salmon on wood. Substitute cedar with alder wood, if you wish. And for an added dimension, soak any wood you’re using in beer, apple juice, or an inexpensive white wine.

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    This recipe is part of the 7 Healthy Recipes for the Ultimate Father's Day BBQ collection.



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