Nature’s Feast: Cedar Planked salmon

Recipes for the modern hunter/gatherer




This simple method of cooking any kind of salmon or steelhead originated with the Native Americans that lived in the Northwest. The smoky cedar aroma enhances the flavor of the fish, and the indirect heat means the meat is not dripping all its juices into the fire. What you end up with is a very moist and tasty end product.


• One whole fillet from a medium sized salmon or steelhead

• One cedar plank about 3/8 inch thick, (available at most grocery stores that sell fish)

• Olive oil

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

• 2 pressed garlic cloves

• 1 /2 teaspoon dill, (optional)

• Lemon slices

• Lemon juice


• 2 tablespoons salt, (sea salt is best, but not necessary)

• One tablespoon brown sugar

• 4 cups water


Soak the cedar plank in cold water for at least 1/2 hour. Mix water, salt, and brown sugar, and soak the fillet in the brine for 1/2 hour as well.

Remove the fillet, rinse and pat dry. Remove the plank from the water, and rub the top surface with olive oil. Melt the butter, and add the crushed garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Place the fillet skin side down on the plank, and spread the melted butter over it. Sprinkle dill over the fish, (optional). Space lemon slices along the top of the fillet. Place the plank directly over hot coals in a covered BBQ. Let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and serve pieces directly from the plank along with lemon slices.

Note: Chinook salmon has more fats and oils, and will take a little longer to cook than coho salmon or steelhead. Sockeye salmon are smaller than the others and will have fillets that are thinner. They will only take about 10 minutes.