Most summer nights, dinner at my house comes off the grill. And one of my favorite things to grill is two whole fillets of salmon on cedar planks. Here’s why: The planks char lightly, creating cedar smoke that delicately perfumes the fish, and the salmon doesn’t stick to the grill grates because it’s on the planks. Plus, my go-to spice rub for salmon— a simple mixture of salt, cracked black pepper, lemon zest, fresh thyme, and a bit of sugar—pairs really well with the cedar-smoke flavor.
The first plank-grilled salmon fillet—served with an almost-instant creamy horseradish-chive sauce—is my idea of an easy Sunday night dinner. And the second fillet will be just as tasty on Monday or Tuesday. The trick is to use it in dishes that gently reheat the fish so it doesn’t overcook.
In a hearty salmon and curry kedgeree (an aromatic British rice dish), meaty chunks of the fish retain their texture thanks to a quick toss in a hot pan. Tender panko-crusted salmon cakes are panfried until just warmed through, topped with a savory miso-ginger dressing, and turned into delicious sandwiches. You can also serve the leftover salmon cold, atop a colorful Mediterranean-inspired salad of the season’s best produce. Whatever you choose, dinner for the next few nights is done.
Secrets to cedar-planked salmon
Grilling salmon fillets on cedar planks is simple and yields deliciously smoky, juicy fish. Here’s how to do it.
Rub it For a big flavor boost, rub the salmon fillets with a mix of spices. Here, we use lemon zest, fresh thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Grill it Grill the fillets over indirect heat until the internal temperature reaches 135°F on an instant-read thermometer.
(or store it) Let one fillet rest for a few minutes and then serve it straight from the plank. When the second fillet is cool, remove it from the plank, wrap it well, and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Read the Test Kitchen post Grilling with Wood Planks for more tips.