Some backyard “Pit-masters” are intimidated when it comes to grilling fish. Most are afraid of the fish falling apart or just not turning out with good flavor. I have found that the best answer to holding your fish together and adding great flavor is to plank cooking. I am sure you have all seen the cedar planks in the seafood section of your local market. I have used this method for the last several years while grilling fish and have had great success. I have grilled halibut, grouper, and of course salmon. The wife and I really like salmon and we were lucky enough to have a good friend going on a fishing trip to Alaska and he brought us back a very nice wild caught Alaskan salmon. I couldn’t resist the urge to plank grill it on the new Char-Griler Akorn. I have plank grilled several times on my Weber kettle and it has turned out great but the way the Char-Griller Akorn seals and keeps the smoke in is the way to go. This is a very simple recipe and you won’t be disappointed.
2 portions of Salmon
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
1 cedar plank
I start by taking the salmon portion and placing it on plastic plate that will fit the fish. I remove any skin and bones from the fish. The last thing a guest would want to bite into is a fish bone. This can be done easily by using a pair of needle nose pliers.
Once you have taken the skin off and de-boned the salmon it is time to season. I take the dijon mustard and baste the salmon on both sides. I then sprinkle a liberal amount of Old Bay seasoning on both sides.
I like to take and use my vacu-sealing machine and place the plate and all in a bag and vacuum seal it shut. Once it is vacuum sealed I let it sit for 2 hours till overnight prior to grilling. This will pull the mustard and Old Bay deep into the salmon.
At least one hour prior grilling I take the cedar plank and put it into a large glass pan and fill with water. I use a bowl to weight down the plank to keep it submerged. By soaking the plank it will prevent it from burning during the grilling process. While the plank is soaking I prepare the grill with direct heat and have the Char-Griller Akorn dialed into 300 degrees.
I let the salmon grill over direct heat with dome closed for about 20 minutes. I then gently flip the salmon using a spatula. This lets the salmon become crusty on both sides. I let the salmon cook for another 5 minutes. We like our salmon grilled medium which keeps it moist. If you grill it more than that it can become dried out very similar to steak. Planking is a very good way to add flavor and makes it easy to grill fish. I recommend this way of grilling to all backyard “Pit-masters”. If you wife is like mine she gets tired of the same BBQ dishes and this is a good way to mix it up a little. Enjoy!