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Cedar-Planked Salmon with Barbecue Spice Rub

Yield 8 servings (serving size: 1 piece)
An assertive barbecue spice blend gives this cedar-planked salmon a robust taste that works well on its own, and then in tacos the next night. Reserve half of the fish for Grilled Salmon Tacos with Chipotle Sauce.


  • 1 (15 x 6 1/2 x 3/8–inch) cedar grilling plank
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (3-pound) center-cut salmon fillet, skinned

Nutrition Information

  • calories 233
  • caloriesfromfat 41 %
  • fat 10.6 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • monofat 4.6 g
  • polyfat 2.5 g
  • protein 31.1 g
  • carbohydrate 1.4 g
  • fiber 0.4 g
  • cholesterol 80 mg
  • iron 0.8 mg
  • sodium 420 mg
  • calcium 22 mg

How to Make It

  1. Immerse and soak plank in water 1 hour; drain.

    How to Grill on a Wooden Plank
    How to Grill on a Wooden Plank
  2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

  3. Combine salt and next 7 ingredients (through cinnamon); rub salt mixture over fish.

  4. Place plank on grill rack; grill 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Carefully turn plank over; place fish on charred side of plank. Cover and grill 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Cut fish crosswise into 8 (4 1/2-ounce) pieces.

  5. Wine note: For this dish, you'll want a juicy red that is moderate in alcohol and tannin, like Wild Horse Pinot Noir 2006 ($24) from California's central coast. The cherry fruit is refreshing, while the cigar box quality echoes the cedar plank flavor. To save some leftover wine for the second meal of Grilled Salmon Tacos, simply recork and refrigerate the bottle overnight. —Jeffery Lindenmuth

Cook's Notes

Look for cedar planks in gourmet markets or large supermarkets.  Alternatively, purchase untreated cedar shingles from lumberyards or hardware stores, and have them cut to the specified size.