Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Maple Chipotle Glaze

4.80 from 10 votes
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Cedar Plank Salmon prepared simply with a sweet and spicy chipotle dry rub, cooked on the grill over a cedar plank giving it that smoked influence, and finished with a sweet maple syrup glaze. Sweet, spicy, and absolutely incredible. This recipe is what landed us our cookbook deal, and is the exact recipe that graces the cover of our critically acclaimed book!

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Maple Chipotle Glaze resting on a cedar plank
Cedar Plank Salmon has amazing flavor and makes for amazing presentation as a filet.

There are only a very small handful of recipes that are available both in our cookbook, and also free online. This is one of them, and I couldn’t be more excited since this is one of my favorite recipes of all time!

We love playing around with different flavors when it comes to grilled salmon. It doesn’t take much time to grill, so cooking it on a cedar plank can help you get some of that great smoky flavor when you cook it hot and fast. It only takes 20 minutes, and the steps are easy.

  1. Soak the cedar plank
  2. Fire up the grill, with two-zone grilling
  3. Season salmon (with our salmon seasoning)
  4. Grill and glaze

Buying Salmon

This recipe is best with an entire filet of salmon. In terms of the type we tend to buy wild caught Coho or King salmon for the thickness. If you find smaller, thinner, salmon then adjust the cooking time down (as thinner cuts will cook quicker).

Know that farm raised salmon will have a little more fat content. We prefer wild.

An entire salmon filet is perfect for cedar plank salmon.

Tips for Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon

  • When buying salmon be sure to ask the fish monger to remove the pin bones (the small bones along the filet).
  • Plan a third of a pound of salmon per person.
  • If you want to serve individual salmon steaks versus the filet, cut the filet up PRIOR to cooking. This avoids tearing the salmon when it’s cooked.
seasoned salmon steaks cut up before grilling
If you want individual steaks, cut the filet up PRIOR to grilling.


Source a food safe cedar or alder plank board. They should be untreated and made for grilling.

It is very important to properly prepare your cedar plank before you grill. Obviously, wood + fire = more fire. The last thing you want is your cedar plank AND salmon filet to go up in a blaze of glory.

Soak your cedar plank, fully submerged in water, for at least 30 minutes! Ideally 60. No short cuts here, keep it in for the full 30 minutes or you’re gonna have a fire on your hands, and not the good kind of fire if you know what I mean! And contrary to some opinions, adding other flavors, like soaking in wine or other beverages, won’t impart any additional flavor. Water is all you need.

Now, pat your soaked cedar plank dry to absorb the excess moisture, and you are ready to season your Cedar Plank Salmon! You can go into more detail in our article on how to grill with cedar planks.

Chipotle Dry Rub

Salmon has amazing flavor naturally, especially when you add the flavor of a cedar plank. However, we want to add a few more layers of flavor for this recipe. The best way to do that is by adding a Chipotle Salmon Rub before you grill.

The ingredients for our Chipotle Salmon Rub include:

  • brown sugar
  • chili powder
  • chipotle powder
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper

This combination gives it a sweet and smoky flavor with a little heat at the end.

*Note: you may not use all of the dry rub on your salmon depending on the exact size of your fish. Just save the rest in a small jar and use for future recipes. This rub is also great on pork and chicken.

How to Grill Cedar Plank Salmon

  1. Pre-Heat Grill: Prepare grill for indirect cooking.
  2. Season Salmon: Coat your fish with olive oil and liberally season it with the salmon dry rub, then place it on the the cedar plank.
  3. Grill Salmon ON the Cedar Plank: Place the Cedar Plank Salmon over direct heat. Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes, monitoring it for flames, until the internal temperature of the salmon reached 125 degrees, using a digital thermometer.
  4. Move Cedar Plank: After the salmon has reached 125 degrees move to the indirect side leaving grill uncovered, and then coat with the maple syrup, and let sit for about 1-2 minute to caramelize, or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 130 degrees.
  5. Remove from heat and rest for roughly 5 minutes. The carry-over heat will continue to cook the salmon to 135 degrees (medium rare) over that time and the maple syrup will firm up slightly.

Time to serve and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Reuse a Cedar Plank?

No, once you have used the cedar plank it is not reusable. Between raw fish and the primary flavor being consumed from the fire, it should be disposed of. If you have a smaller cut, consider sawing the plank in half (before cooking) so you can make it last.

Do I Need to Brine the Salmon?

You can brine if you wish, but this recipe does not require it and it actually tastes much better without a brine highlighting the salmon flavors.

When is Salmon Done?

Salmon is like steak. If you trust where it came from (i.e. you purchased quality salmon) you can safely cook it rare/medium rare/well done. We like our salmon cooked to medium rare, or 135 degrees Fahrenheit, to maintain a juicy and super tender salmon. The USDA recommends all salmon to be cooked to 145 degrees F.

Wine Pairing for Cedar Plank Salmon

I have two go-to pairings for this dish – a semi-sweet Riesling and new world style Pinot Noir.

Salmon, in general, tends to have delicate flavors and textures, but this one, coated in that sweet, spicy, and savory rub and maple glaze, offers the opportunity to pair it with something a little bolder. If you go for a medium-bodied fruity Pinot Noir from California, for example, you’ll find a nice match up in bold fruit balancing out the flavors in the rub, yet smooth enough to pair with that tender delicate meat under the rub.

A Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Salmon on a cutting board with a glass of wine

Alternatively, we love Riesling with this. If you find the dry rub to be on the spicy side (this will depend on the strength of the chipotle powder you have), the Riesling will provide a refreshing and sweet contrast to the heat. It will also balance well with the sweetness in the dry rub and maple. It’s a pretty versatile wine that works great with the flavors in this dish. Just look for one on the slightly sweet side (you don’t want a bone dry Riesling for this, and nothing on the sticky sweet side).

More Salmon Recipes for the Grill or Smoker

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

This recipe was originally published in March of 2018 and updated with new process photos, and details in the recipe and similar recipe recommendations.

cookbook cover

Now on 2nd edition

Fire + Wine Cookbook

“This book is a one-stop guide for anyone truly interested in elevating their BBQ experience into a culinary work of art.”
5 out of 5 Stars
San Francisco Book Review

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glazed cedar plank salmon
4.80 from 10 votes

Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe with Maple Chipotle Glaze

Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Salmon is an easy way to grill salmon and add smoky flavor with a cedar plank. Finish with a maple glaze for the best cedar plank salmon recipe.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Soak Plank: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • Untreated Cedar Plank


  • 1 ½ pounds whole wild-caught salmon filet,, (Pin bones removed)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle dry rub, (may have to adjust based on exact size of salmon)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ grilled lemon

Chipotle Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • Soak the Cedar Plank: fully submerged in water, for 30 minutes (up to 60 minutes). Pat dry after removing from water. 
  • Make the Dry Rub: combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Prepare Grill for Indirect Cooking: targeting 450 degrees in the cooking chamber.
  • Prepare Salmon: coat salmon with olive oil, and then sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the dry rub over the salmon liberally (you may have some dry rub leftover).
  • Grill Salmon: Place seasoned salmon on the cedar plank, and place on direct heat for up to 15 minutes or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees. While the salmon is cooking, place the lemon half over direct heat and cook 4-5 minutes, until char marks appear.
  • Finish over Indirect Heat: Transfer the salmon and cedar plank to indirect heat, and glaze with the maple syrup using a brush, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Remove from the grill. Carry over cooking will continue cooking the salmon to 135 degrees.
  • Let rest for five minutes and then slice and serve. If using the grilled lemon, squeeze some of the grilled lemon over the top when serving.



* Depending on the size of your salmon, you may have some leftover dry rub. Make sure to liberally coat the salmon though. Don’t be shy! 
Don’t reuse the cedar plank.
  • When buying salmon be sure to ask the fish monger to remove the pin bones (the small bones along the filet).
  • Plan a third of a pound of salmon per person.
  • If you want to serve individual salmon steaks versus the filet, cut the filet up PRIOR to cooking. This avoids tearing the salmon when it’s cooked.


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 626mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Soak Plank: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ, Barbecue, seafood
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 226
Keyword: cedar plank grilled salmon, Cedar Plank Salmon, cedar plank salmon recipe, Grilled Salmon
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Yes! great question and we will update the article with more details. Two options –
      1> Cook salmon in the oven on the soaked cedar plank at 400 degrees F. It won’t burn up without a direct fire. It may smoke slightly so be sure you have good ventilation.
      2> You can use cedar wraps. They are thinner versions of the cedar plank meant to be wrapped around the salmon. Technically for this recipe we don’t recommend it because it prevents browning on the salmon which is a big part of this flavor. But for other recipes it’s an option. On amazon just check out cedar wraps.

  1. Hello, how much of each ingredient do I use to make the rub for the Chipotle salmon? Thank you.

    1. Julie, For a gas grill, I would have two burners lit to medium to start. Depending on your BTUs, that may be too low. Place the cedar plank right over the lit burners. If you don’t see some slight smoke in 2 minutes, turn them up to medium high. The good news is that you can easily turn down the burner if the cedar plank combusts or looks to be burning too much. But it will smoke and you will see some char to it. Likely that will be around 375 – 400 degrees ambient cooking temperature. But the best guide will be the two burners themselves and at least medium.