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BBQ Scholar

Planked salmon with mustard and dill sauce

Raichlen on Ribs
by Steven Raichlen
(Workman Publishing, 2006)

Method: grilling on a plank
Serves: 4

For the salmon:

  • 1 salmon fillet, preferably wild, with or without skin (about 1-1/2 pounds, ideally cut from the end closest to the head)
  • About 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann’s)
  • 1/3 cup Meaux (grainy French) mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

You’ll also need:

  • 1 cedar plank, about 6 by 12 inches, soaked for 2 hours in water to cover (a rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan works well), then drained.

(NOTE: Cedar planks are available at cookware shops. If purchased from a lumberyard or hardware store, make sure they are untreated.)


1. Run your fingers over the salmon fillet, feeling for bones. Using needle-nose pliers or tweezers, pull out any you find. Rinse the salmon under cold water, then blot dry with paper towels. If using salmon with skin, generously brush the skin with olive oil. If using skinless salmon, brush one side of the fish with olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the salmon on the plank, skin side down, if it has one; oiled side down, if not.

2. Make the glaze: Place the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, and lemon zest in a nonreactive mixing bowl and whisk
to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high.

4. When ready to cook, spread the glaze mixture evenly over the top and sides of the salmon. Place the salmon on its plank in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the salmon until cooked through and the glaze is a deep golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read meat thermometer through the side of the salmon: The internal temperature should be about 135 degrees F. Another test is to insert a slender metal skewer in the side of the fillet for 20 seconds; it should come out very hot to the touch. Transfer the plank and fish to a heatproof platter and slice the fish crosswise into serving portions. Serve the salmon right off the plank.