News and Tribune


July 11, 2014

BBQ MY WAY: Try grilled salmon on cedar plans

If I had to pick a meat that is most frequently prepared at our house, it would have to be salmon. There are so many ways to serve it.

You can sear/blacken it over high heat in a skillet to create a great texture, you can smoke it with hickory and serve with crackers and dill sauce, you can bake it and grill it. With the leftovers from today’s recipe we made salmon cakes. Wow, I’m starting to sound like Bubba talking about shrimp with Forrest Gump.

Anyway, today’s method of preparing salmon is really fun, easy and delicious. The end result is very moist with a hint of smokiness, and it can be used on both gas and charcoal grills with identical results, as it’s the cedar plank that provides the flavor. Run to a local hardware store, grill center or large grocery store and pick up a couple cedar planks in the BBQ section. You’ll spend $10 at the most, and they are reusable.

Liz fixed an awesome garlic and dill paste to put on the salmon before grilling. You can view the video we made at Let’s get started.

Garlic – Dill Paste

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh chopped dill or 4 Tbs dry

 3 to 4 cloves chopped garlic

 3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp coarse black pepper

We grilled between 2 1⁄2 to 3 pounds of salmon filets (skin on) cut into serving sizes. Smear the paste on the flesh side of each salmon filet. You could use skinless as well. Take the cedar planks and submerge them in water with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Place a weight on top of them so they stay submerged. They will need to stay submerged for three hours or so. You can even add a little beer, wine, fruit juice or flavored liquors for extra flavor.

Once the planks are soaked, start your grill and heat it up. You want medium high to high heat. Place the steaks on the planks and place the soaked planks on the grill directly over the heat source. Close the lid on the grill (vents 50 percent open in the case of charcoal), and that’s it. The salmon steams/smokes. It’s really good. Now remember, if you didn’t soak your planks long enough, you will have a fire on your hands.

After 20 minutes, check on the salmon. If you aren’t sure when it is done, use a meat thermometer. Pull it off the grill once the temperature hits 125 to 130 degrees or so. The mistake most people make is to overcook it.

Give this cedar plank method a try. You will love it.

— Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. You can contact Dave with your BBQ and grilling questions by emailing him at or

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