Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon with Lemon Chive Butter

2 reviews

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This grilled cedar plank salmon is subtly smoky from the fire-roasted wood planks with a beautiful hit of citrus and spice from the lemon and chive butter. It is rich without being too heavy and perfect for a leftover salmon salad the next day.

Fork flaking into a grilled salmon filet on a cedar plank with text overlay- Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon.

Cedar Plank Salmon on the Grill

I love quick dinners (and hate clean-up) and nothing can make a fast meal with fewer dishes than cooking on the grill. This cedar plank salmon on the grill is a great way to cook up a tasty dinner with very little cook time and easy cleanup.

We do a lot of simple lean grilled proteins during the week, usually with some variation of roasted veggies. This recipe comes together in 2 minutes and then it’s on the grill until mealtime. I serve the salmon straight from the grill, no pans required, and everyone leaves the table with full tummies. My kids are obsessed with salmon, and they will eat a whole filet as long as I’ve got some sliced lemon for them to squeeze on top. If you’ve been on the hunt for a family-friendly meal, this salmon is sure to do the trick!

Two cedar planks on a metal baking dish.

Cedar Planks for Grilling Salmon

Before we get into the recipe, let’s chat a bit about why this salmon is grilled on a cedar plank. Cooking fish on a cedar plank is a great way to infuse the fish with extra wood flavor without needing a smoker.

As the salmon cooks on the grill, the cedar wood heats up and infuses the fish with an amazing wood flavor. The plank also keep the fish moist while it cooks and it’ll keep the salmon from burning by creating a barrier between the fish and the flame.

If you’re on the hunt for some cedar planks, you can find them here or likely snag some at your local grocery store. I’m usually able to find some pretty easily at Walmart or Target.

Salt and pepper being sprinkled on two salmon filets on cedar planks.

How to Grill Salmon on a Cedar Plank

Here’s how to grill salmon on a cedar plank. It’s just as easy as cooking it straight on the grill with an extra step or two.

  1. Soak. Two hours prior to grilling, soak the cedar planks in water to prevent them from burning on the grill.
  2. Preheat. When you are ready to cook the salmon, preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. Allow the grill to fully preheat while you prep the salmon.
  3. Season. Remove any additional bones from the salmon then season well with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  4. Grill. Remove the cedar planks from the water and shake off extra water. Place the planks on the grill grates and place the seasoned salmon on top. Close the lid on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon reaches a temperature of 145 degrees F and the flesh is opaque and flakes easily.
  5. Add the butter. Combine the butter, chives, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Place a dollop of butter over the salmon right before you remove it from the grill.
  6. Enjoy. Serve the fish with a side of lemon wedges and dig in!

Lemon being zested into a bowl of butter and chives.

How Long to Grill Cedar Plank Salmon

With your grill preheated to 400 degrees F, it will take about 15-20 minutes to fully cook this grilled cedar plank salmon. It may take up to 25 minutes to fully cook this salmon. 

Instead of cooking your meat to the full time specified in this recipe, I recommend going off temperature instead. Salmon is safe to consume at 145 degrees F (according to the USDA). Make sure you have a reliable internal meat thermometer and you cook your salmon until it reaches this temperature.

Two grilled salmon filets on a cedar plank.

More Grilled Salmon Recipes

No matter how you cook it, grilled salmon makes for a delicious main dish. I like to mix things up and rotate through a bunch of favorite grilled salmon recipes to keep things fresh and exciting. If you’re on the hunt for something new, try out these great recipes from Hey Grill Hey.

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

This recipe received a glow-up, and things are probably looking a bit different around here. This post was originally published in September 2015. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

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Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon with Lemon Chive Butter

By: Susie Bulloch
5 from 2 votes
This grilled cedar plank salmon is subtly smoky from the fire roasted wood planks with a beautiful hit of citrus and spice from the lemon and chive butter.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Soaking Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 25 minutes
Servings4 people


  • 2 cedar planks soaked


  • 1 filet wild-caught salmon skin on
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter softened
  • 1 lemon zested then cut into wedges
  • 1 Tablespoon chives minced


  • Soak. At least 2 hours before grilling, soak your cedar planks in water. This will prevent the wood from burning on the grill.
  • Preheat. When ready to cook, start your grill and set the temperature to medium-high heat. You are looking for a grill temperature of around 400 degrees F.
  • Season. Check your salmon for any remaining bones that may have been missed by the butcher and season liberally with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  • Grill. Remove the planks from the water and shake off any excess moisture. Place the planks directly on the grill grates end to end and lay the salmon on top of them. Grill for 15-20 minutes (up to 25 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet) or until the flesh is opaque and flakes with a fork.
  • Make the butter. While the salmon cooks, prepare the lemon and chive butter. In a small bowl, add the lemon zest, chives, and butter and mix with a spoon until well combined. Place small spoonfuls across the top of the salmon just before removing it from the grill.
  • Enjoy. Transfer from the planks to a large cutting board. Serve immediately with the sliced lemon wedges.


Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 389IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Reader Reviews

3 Reviews

  1. Adam says:

    Oh my; what a hit! The salmon was great but the lemon zest and chives butter stole the show. It made the salmon “slammin”! And asparagus amazing!Thanks for the help!

  2. Shirley says:

    Very good! Will definitely use this recipe again.

  3. Ali says:

    This looks absolutely delectable! Totally making this tomorrow!