Learn how to cook cedar plank salmon in the oven with our step-by-step guide. Add a smoky flavor to your salmon and impress your guests with this delicious dish.
Salmon is a delicious and nutritious fish that can be cooked in a variety of ways. One of the most popular methods is to cook it on a cedar plank in the oven. The cedar plank adds a smoky flavor to the salmon, making it even more delicious. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to cook cedar plank salmon in the oven.
Choosing the Right Cedar Plank
The first step in cooking cedar plank salmon in the oven is to choose the right cedar plank. There are different types of cedar planks available in the market, and choosing the right one can make a big difference in the taste of your salmon.
Types of Cedar Planks Available
There are two main types of cedar planks available: Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Western Red Cedar is the most commonly used cedar plank for cooking salmon. It has a mild, sweet flavor and a beautiful reddish-brown color. Alaskan Yellow Cedar, on the other hand, has a more intense flavor and is best suited for stronger flavored fish like halibut or swordfish.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cedar Plank
When choosing a cedar plank, there are a few factors to consider. First, make sure that the cedar plank is food-grade and untreated. Cedar planks that are not food-grade may contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested. Second, consider the size of the cedar plank. The cedar plank should be large enough to accommodate your salmon fillet. Finally, choose a cedar plank that is at least 1 inch thick. Thinner cedar planks may burn or warp during cooking.
Tips for Selecting the Right Cedar Plank for Salmon
Here are a few tips for selecting the right cedar plank for salmon:
- Choose a cedar plank that is larger than your salmon fillet.
- Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 1 hour before cooking. This will prevent the cedar plank from catching fire during cooking.
- Look for cedar planks that have a good smell. Cedar planks with a strong, sweet smell are usually of better quality.
- Consider the thickness of the cedar plank. Thicker cedar planks are more durable and will last longer.
Preparing the Cedar Plank
Once you have chosen the right cedar plank, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Preparing the cedar plank is an essential step in cooking cedar plank salmon in the oven, as it ensures that the plank is clean and ready to impart flavor to the salmon.
Soaking the Cedar Plank
The first step in preparing the cedar plank is to soak it in water for at least an hour before cooking. Soaking the cedar plank will prevent it from catching fire during cooking and will also help to infuse the salmon with the plank’s smoky flavor. To soak the cedar plank, simply place it in a large container of water and weigh it down with something heavy to keep it submerged.
Adding Flavorings to the Cedar Plank
To enhance the flavor of your cedar plank salmon, you can add flavorings to the cedar plank before cooking. Some popular flavorings include herbs, spices, and citrus fruits. To add flavorings to the cedar plank, simply place them on the plank before adding the salmon.
Cleaning the Cedar Plank
After cooking, it’s important to clean the cedar plank properly to ensure that it’s ready to use again. To clean the cedar plank, simply rinse it with hot water and use a scrub brush to remove any remaining food particles. Avoid using soap or detergent, as this can leave a residue that can affect the flavor of future dishes cooked on the plank.
Preparing the Salmon
Now that the cedar plank is ready, it’s time to prepare the salmon. Preparing the salmon is a crucial step in cooking cedar plank salmon in the oven, as it ensures that the salmon is seasoned and cooked to perfection.
Selecting the Right Salmon
When selecting salmon for cooking on a cedar plank, it’s important to choose high-quality, fresh salmon. Look for salmon that is bright and firm, with no signs of discoloration or a fishy odor. Wild-caught salmon is generally considered to be of higher quality than farmed salmon.
Seasoning the Salmon
To enhance the flavor of your cedar plank salmon, you can season it with a variety of herbs, spices, and other seasonings. Some popular choices include salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, and dill. To season the salmon, simply sprinkle the desired seasonings over the top of the fillet.
Preparing the Salmon for Cooking on the Cedar Plank
To prepare the salmon for cooking on the cedar plank, simply place it on the plank skin-side down. Make sure that the salmon fillet fits snugly on the cedar plank and that there is enough space around the edges for air to circulate. Once the salmon is on the cedar plank, it’s ready to be cooked in the oven.
Cooking the Cedar Plank Salmon in the Oven
Now that you have chosen the right cedar plank and prepared your salmon, it’s time to cook it in the oven. Follow these steps to cook the perfect cedar plank salmon:
Preheating the Oven
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place your cedar plank on a baking sheet. This will prevent any drippings from the salmon from spilling onto your oven and causing a mess.
Placing the Cedar Plank in the Oven
Once the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with the cedar plank in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the cedar plank to heat up and release its natural flavors.
Cooking the Salmon on the Cedar Plank
After the cedar plank has heated up, remove it from the oven and place your salmon fillet on top of the cedar plank. Be sure to leave some space between the salmon fillet and the edges of the cedar plank to prevent it from burning.
Place the baking sheet back into the oven and cook the salmon for 12-15 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet.
Checking the Salmon for Doneness
To check if the salmon is done, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fillet. If the salmon flakes easily, it is done. If it still feels firm, cook it for a few more minutes and check again.
Serving and Enjoying the Cedar Plank Salmon
Once your cedar plank salmon is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy it. Follow these tips to get the most out of your cedar plank salmon:
Removing the Cedar Plank from the Oven
Using oven mitts or a pair of tongs, carefully remove the baking sheet with the cedar plank and salmon from the oven. Place it on a heat-resistant surface to cool.
Serving the Salmon on the Cedar Plank
To serve the salmon, use a spatula to carefully remove it from the cedar plank and place it on a serving platter. You can also leave the salmon on the cedar plank for a rustic presentation. Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges for added flavor and presentation.
Tips for Serving and Enjoying Cedar Plank Salmon
- Serve the cedar plank salmon with your favorite side dishes such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.
- Pair the cedar plank salmon with a glass of white wine or a light beer for a perfect meal.
- Store any leftover cedar plank salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.
In conclusion, cooking cedar plank salmon in the oven is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this nutritious fish. By following these steps and tips, you can create a flavorful and impressive dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. At Buckingham Smokehouse, we pride ourselves on using traditional smoking methods to create high-quality smoked salmon and other smoked meats and cheeses. Try our smoked salmon today and experience the rich, bold flavors that only Buckingham Smokehouse can deliver.