How to Cook Fish on Cedar Planks


Cooking fish on a cedar plank gives the fish a subtle smoky flavor without adding fat or calories. Grilling with a cedar plank is faster and easier than most smoking techniques, and planks can be reused several times. Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest developed the technique of cedar plank cooking, and today cedar planks are used by restaurants and home chefs alike. Most cedar planks are intended for grilling, but you can also bake fish in the oven. If you choose to bake your fish, look for a plank specifically intended for the oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Cedar planks
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings
  • Fish
  • Grill or oven
  • Lemon wedges or fresh parsley (optional)
  • Soak your cedar planks in water for at least one hour before cooking. For the best results, soak the planks for at least six hours and up to one day. Salt your water for extra flavor.

  • Remove the skin and bones from your fish. Lightly rub the fish with olive oil and seasonings. Potlatch seasoning, available online or at cooking stores, is a traditional seasoning for cedar plank fish. Other popular choices include creole seasonings, mustard or garlic.

  • Rub one side of your cedar plank with olive oil and place the fish on the oiled side. Preheat your grill or oven to a medium-high heat. If you're baking your fish, check the plank's packaging for the correct oven temperature.

  • Place the plank directly on your grill and close the grill cover. Keep the grill cover closed while the fish cooks so the smoke and steam from the plank stay contained. If you are baking your fish, place the plank in a roasting pan and add ¼ inch water to the bottom of the pan. Place the roasting pan in your preheated oven.

  • Allow the fish to grill or roast for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on the type of fish and the thickness of the filet. Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Smaller pieces of fish will cook quickly, while larger filets will need more time.

  • Remove the cedar plank from the grill or oven and serve fish immediately. You can either transfer your fish from the plank to a serving tray, or you can serve directly from the plank. Garnish with a lemon wedge or fresh parsley.

Tips & Warnings

  • For extra flavor, soak the plank in apple cider or wine instead of water. If you choose to bake your fish you can also add cider or wine to the roasting pan in place of water.

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