This easy salmon recipe is so easy to make and can be cooked either on the grill on in the oven. The rub for the salmon is made simply from brown sugar and cracked black pepper. As the salmon cooks it’s infused with a smoky flavor from the cedar plank and the sugar caramelizes over the salmon for a sweet and tangy entrée. The recipe can easily be made in the oven as well if you don’t have a grill following the instructions below. Serve with roasted vegetables and a simple arugula or kale salad for a delicious summer meal.
It’s important to soak the cedar plank before cooking the salmon on the grill. You need to soak it long enough otherwise it will catch on fire, and then things just get messy. The goal is to have a nice smoky flavor and finish to the sweet, peppery salmon, not to eat charred wood.
Cedar planks for cooking can be found online here or at Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table. Do not use a piece of cedar plank found at a hardware store for cooking, it may be treated and can add unwanted chemicals to the food. Soak the cedar plank in a bowl of sink filled with water for 2 to 4 hours.
Prep the cedar plank if needed. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat to prepare for indirect grilling.
Mix the sugar and pepper. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and pepper.
Place the salmon skin-side down on the cedar plank, then spread the brown sugar and black pepper mixture all over the salmon.
Place the plank in the center of the hot grill grates, away from the heat. Cook until salmon is thoroughly cooked through and opaque, about 12 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the salmon). The salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork.
To serve, cut the salmon into desired portions or serve the salmon on the cedar plank.
This salmon recipe can easily be made in the oven. Soak the cedar plank and prep the salmon according to the recipe below. Then place the cedar plank on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. You can also forgo the cedar plank entirely if you don’t have one and opt for just baked brown sugar and black pepper salmon. Bake the salmon at 400ºF (200ºC) until just cooked through, about 16 minutes.
While I prefer making this recipe family-style with a large half of salmon, it can also be made individually. Cut the half of salmon into individual filets and add to either 1 large cedar plank or individual smaller cedar planks. As a general rule of thumb, grill or bake salmon for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2″ thickness.
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