Cedar-Planked Maple-Dijon Glazed Salmon: Ushering In The Fall Season
Well, I suppose it’s come to this now, hasn’t it? Emboldened backyard varmints prepare for a winter without fresh food by blatantly and fearlessly raiding our gardens and porches of anything remotely edible. Trees begin their annual, eye-catching color transformation while gardens begin closing down for the season, and active backyards take on the look of dimly lighted, bare, colorless spaces. We can light bonfires to ward off the evening chill, but there’s not a lot we can do to keep Mother Nature from preparing the outdoors for the upcoming cold weather slumber.
Luckily, the trusty old Weber doesn’t care about the air temperature or the amount of daylight remaining. It’s always at the ready to make my day more enjoyable, and today would be no different. We may be losing those long, lazy summer evenings, but that doesn’t mean that we sacrifice grilling. No-sirree. It does, however, mean the start of the #GrillingInTheDark season, and at times the combination of grilling whilst the moon makes an appearance is inspiring and makes things taste all the better.
As the sun started to set, hardwood coals were fired up in anticipation of a worthy salmon filet that is to be artfully brushed with a maple and dijon glaze and roasted on a toasted cedar plank. Lordy! But first, when the coals are blazing and ready, they can be split and separated on opposite ends of the grill grate.
My cedar plank had been soaking for about six hours. This one was from Better Wood Products, but there are planks available from numerous companies using a wide variety of woods, so get yourself one that calls out to your taste preferences. After wiping off the excess water, I put it directly over the coals to give it a slight char. This isn’t necessary, but I wanted to add just a touch more smoke flavor since since the I left the skin on the salmon. This method works with skinless salmon too, and man oh man, that gentle and sweet aroma of the cedar getting toasty is heavenly. If I wasn’t so hungry this situation could easily transform into an impromptu bonfire on this clear and cool evening.
But…a guy’s gotta eat, so here we go. The salmon is situated on the toasted side of the plank and if preferred, seasoned. I dusted it with salt and pepper, and laid the planked beauty directly in between the two mounds of hot coals. This is the time to brush on the first coat of the maple dijon glaze (recipe below) and put the lid on to let the magic happen. Pretty as a picture, and in fact, here are a couple of pictures.
This filet was just over one and a half pounds and should take about 25 minutes to reach roasted perfection. Plan on about 15 minutes a pound with a grill temperature of 375 or so. About halfway through, I rotated the plank to make sure everything was given equal time over the heat, and while I was in there I put on another coat of glaze. At this point the combined aroma of cedar, hardwood, and maple mustard sent me to my happy place, so please, just give me a moment…
Over the next 10 minutes, I sporadically glazed the salmon until I ran out of glaze. When the fish flakes easily, it’s time to pull it off, run inside, and let it rest for a few minutes before the sampling begins. And I gotta tell ya, the delisciousness of a that first bite shines through. You initially get the sweet tangy flavor of the maple syrup and dijon mustard combo glazed onto the exterior of the moist and creamy smoothness of the salmon, and then the subtle sweetness of the cedar appears to perfectly tie everything together. But then, why wouldn’t this be delicious…
Because Life Is Better Wood-Fired
Maple and Dijon Glazed Salmon
- Wood Grilling Plank (I used cedar)
- 1 piece Salmon (up to 2 lbs)
Maple Dijon Glaze
- 4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard (Can sub Stone Ground)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Roasted Garlic Powder