Planks Aren’t Just For Walking – Matey

Years ago, the Haida people of the Pacific Northwest developed a cooking technique that rapidly infuses food with a delicious, sweet, smoky flavor.

This ancient method of cooking keeps food moist and tender while providing a fast and easy smoked flavor. All you need is a cedar  plank , a grill and some imagination.

For years, cedar  plank  cooking has been used for salmon and fish of all kinds. It’s only been in recent years that it has become a popular way to grill things like vegetables and meats as well as seafood.

For general  plank  grilling, you should preheat your grill to between 400 and 500 degrees and soak the  plank  in water at least an hour before using – this reduces the risk of the wood catching fire. The food goes directly on top of the  plank  and into the grill.

Here’s a great recipe for salmon that uses a unique spice called Sequim Salmon Spice. A mother of two teenagers in Washington State commented, “My kids wouldn’t eat salmon until I cooked it with Sequim Salmon Spice. Now they can’t get enough of it.” I’ve included a source for that and the sauce the recipe uses following the recipe.

Note: Soak cedar  plank  overnight (be sure  plank  is not treated cedar). While grilling, keep water handy to douse any flare-ups.


16oz Salmon Filet (preferably wild)

Sequim Salmon Spice

Sequim Bay Sauce


Combine Sequim Bay Sauce and a generous amount of Sequim Salmon Spice two to four hours ahead. Put this mixture in a zip lock bag or other closeable container. Add the fish and coat well. Let marinade at least 1 to 2 hours before grilling.

Heat grill for 10 minutes on high. Place soaked  plank  on grill, lower heat (wait approximately 5 minutes) before adding salmon.

Place fish on cedar  plank , skin side down. Cook over a low heat (or move to indirect heat). Close the grill lid, grill until translucent and flaky. Approximate cooking time is 10-12 minutes for a 16 oz filet. Remove from heat. Enjoy a few moments while it rests, then garnish with lemon and fresh dill. Serve hot.

Some of the other uses for cedar  plank  grilling might surprise you…pizza, mashed potatoes, nachos, chicken, steaks, pork chops and even deserts. And if you’re adventurous, try soaking the  plank  in wine or even in pomegranate juice.

Though no one is sure whether or not pirate  planks  were made of cedar, one thing is clear…they never tried cooking with one!

Gail Madison lives in the Pacific Northwest and owns Dungeness Gold at where you can purchase Sequim Salmon Spice and Sequim Bay Sauce. Ask about their Cedar  Plank  Combination Basket. You can reach Gail with any questions directly through her website.