Cedar Plank-Baked Salmon Recipe

Salmon is one of the most versatile foods; it can be grilled, baked, sautéed, or even served raw. Regardless of the type of salmon, it is a perfect combination of meaty, like a steak, and flaky, like a whitefish. Because of its unique texture and strong flavor profile, cooking salmon on a cedar plank is a great technique for making delicious fish.

Cooking with a cedar plank is more than just throwing a piece of fish on a piece of wood. You'll need to find grilling planks for this recipe, which are readily available at the grocery store, hardware stores, or cooking supply stores. These planks are thin and untreated, making them food-safe, while the wood at lumber yards are treated for outdoor use and contain chemicals.

So why bother seeking out special wooden planks, when baking sheets work perfectly fine? The wood imparts a smokey, earthy flavor into the fish. In this recipe developed by Michelle McGlinn, the smokey cedar flavor is complemented by a woody bourbon and citrusy orange glaze that's baked into flaky salmon. It's a great way to elevate your salmon, even if you don't have a grill.

Gather the ingredients for cedar plank-baked salmon

First, you'll need salmon. Look for pale pink Atlantic salmon, which is best for baking because of its flaky, tender texture. If you are grilling the salmon, you can try Coho or Sockeye, which are firmer varieties that can withstand high heat, but get tough in the oven. For 4 servings, look for a whole side of salmon or 4 wide filets, and get at least 2 large cedar planks.

For the glaze, you'll need bourbon, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. You don't need a fancy bourbon here — just any bourbon you like. Then, you'll just need a few orange slices to top the salmon with.

Prepare the planks and glaze

It's important to soak the planks before using them, so they don't dry out and catch on fire. Place the planks in a sink filled with water, weigh them down with something heavy so they stay submerged, and soak for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. While the planks are soaking, prepare the glaze and preheat the oven to 400 F. 

Whisk the bourbon, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, grated garlic, and olive oil together until combined. Once the alcohol bakes off, that caramel flavor will come through. 

Brush the salmon

Place the soaked cedar planks on baking sheets, and put the salmon on the cedar planks. Just be sure the entire filet is on the plank, or the salmon might flake off or drip onto the baking sheet. Once the salmon is arranged on the planks, generously brush the glaze onto each piece. Once you add the glaze to the salmon, add the orange slices on top.

Bake and serve the salmon

Bake the salmon until flaky and fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through the cook time, you can brush the salmon with more glaze. Serve this hearty, smokey-sweet salmon over mashed potatoes, or with roasted vegetables like asparagus. This meal is easy enough to make on a weeknight, and goes best with roasted side dishes, like fingerling potatoes or Brussels sprouts.

Cedar Plank-Baked Salmon Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
Give your go-to salmon recipe a smoky and earthy twist with this cedar plank-baked salmon recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
salmon plated with mashed potatoes
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 4 filets of salmon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Soak the cedar planks in water for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Once soaked, place them on a sheet pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the bourbon, brown sugar, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil.
  3. Place the salmon filets on cedar planks, ensuring each filet is fully on the plank. Brush the bourbon sauce generously on the tops of each filet. Place the sliced oranges on salmon.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the salmon is flaky. Halfway through the cook time, you can brush the salmon with more glaze. Remove from the oven, and serve.
Calories per Serving 927
Total Fat 60.0 g
Saturated Fat 13.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 217.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 5.3 g
Sodium 525.4 mg
Protein 81.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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