Since the salmon cooks slowly, cedar plank salmon is ridiculously tender, incredibly moist and so flavorful. We love this sweet citrus rub. It works beautifully with the woodsy cedar smoke the salmon soaks up from the plank below. Hands-on time for this recipe is pretty low, the extra 2 hours called for in the prep time is for soaking the cedar plank in water.
1 cedar plank that has been soaked in water (6-inches by 4-inches)
1 pound skin-on salmon, cut into four, 4-ounce, fillets
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 to 4 thyme sprigs, optional
1 lemon, halved
Stir brown sugar, lemon zest, salt, smoked paprika in a small bowl.
Rinse salmon with cool water. Pat very dry. Scatter spice rub over the salmon and gently massage into the fish. Swipe the skin-side of the salmon through any spice rub that’s fallen to the cutting board. Set aside 15 minutes to marinate.
Prepare a grill, with heat medium and rack about 4 inches from the fire.
When ready to cook the salmon, place the cedar plank on the grill over direct heat, cover and leave it there until you can smell smoke, about 5 minutes. Turn the plank over, scatter thyme sprigs over plank then place salmon on top of the thyme. Cover the grill and cook until salmon is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. The salmon is done when an instant-read thermometer registers 135 degrees F.
Once the salmon is on the grill, place lemon halves, cut-side-down, onto grill grates and cook until softened and lightly browned around the edges. Serve alongside salmon.