Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cedar Planked Salmon on the BBQ

There is nothing easier to do with salmon unless, of course, you want to eat it raw.

Cedar Planked Salmon on the BBQ

Prep time: 45 minutes - 4 hours to soak the cedar plank (it depends on the thickness of the cedar plank – the thicker it is, the longer it takes)
Total Cooking time: 20 minutes or so

Serves 2 (just add 1 salmon fillet per person but most planks hold 5 fillets comfortably although I did manage to fit 6 on this plank. More than that will take longer to cook because the fillets will touch each other and the center pieces will take longer for the heat to penetrate)

salmon fillets about 2” wide, skin on
1 lemon slice per fillet, cut in half
¼ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of smoked paprika
Lemon juice – just a spritz

1.Soak the cedar plank according to the instructions on the package. Just in case there aren’t any – thin planks need about 30 minutes or so to soak through and 1” planks will need at least 1 hour, longer is better for the smoke factor.

2. Preheat the grill for 15 minutes or so (I use a gas BBQ, so you’re on your own if you use charcoal). You want the heat at medium high. Place the planks on the grill and keep the temperature medium. Close the cover for another 15 minutes to really "smoke" them.

3. In the meantime prepare the salmon. Place the fillets skin side down on a platter or board ready to transfer to the cedar planks. Sprinkle with salt, pepper & paprika. Squirt a little lemon juice and add the lemon slices on top.

4. When the BBQ is smoking and the smell is awesome, it’s time to place the prepared salmon fillets on the plank skin side down. Cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes or so. The fish will be done when it flakes easily and warm in the center if you pierce it with the tip of a knife. You want it juicy, not dried out.

5. Slide the salmon off the skin and onto a platter or plate. As Jamie Oliver would say – “Easy Peasy!”

I love to serve it with BBQ'd asparagus which cooks in just a few minutes on higher heat – pretty much the time it takes to plate the salmon.

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