Grilling Sockeye Salmon on a Cedar Plank is a very simple process that, if done correctly, can achieve some very tasty results.
Why Sockeye and Cedar?
How does Sockeye differ from other species of Salmon, and why is it so popular? Like the technique of cooking on a Cedar plank, Sockeye Salmon is native to the Northwest Pacific coast, and these two items have been successfully paired for hundreds of years.
Sockeye Salmon is particularly abundant in the state of Alaska. Most Alaskan Sockeye hails from the Copper River region. The nature of this species has never been conducive with the practice of Aquaculture or fish farming and so all available Sockeye Salmon is guaranteed to be wild-caught.
The fact that it is wild, low in fat and has an appetizing deep red color makes Sockeye one of the most popular species of salmon. Sockeye Salmon season is May through September so that is the time to get it while it’s fresh, although frozen Sockeye is fantastic and available year-round.
How to grill Sockeye Salmon on a Cedar plank
1. Soak the Cedar plank in hot water for at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat the grill or oven to between 400°F and 450°F.
3. Remove any pin bones from the fish.
4. Season the salmon however you like, and place it on the plank skin side down.
5. Set the plank on the grill or in the oven and close the lid or door.
6. Cook to an internal temperature of at least 125°F. There is no need to turn it over.
This cooking process yields a fresh wood flavor that is created by moisture leaving the plank during cooking. These characteristic flavors are pulled from the wood and infused directly into the fish.
Some of our favorite recipes for Sockeye Salmon are Copper River Sockeye Salmon with Herb Compound Butter with Grilled Vegetables, Cedar Planked Gochujang Salmon Lettuce Wraps, and Cedar Planked Teriyaki Salmon.
Matt worked his first kitchen job in the country of Malta at the age of 15. He has worked as a restaurant Chef in Arizona, Maine, Spain, the UK, Oregon and finally North Idaho. Now the Executive Chef at Wildwood Grilling, he thoroughly enjoys his day job.