This cedar plank salmon is grilled with the most wonderful smoky sweet flavor! Pair with sesame asparagus on the side for the best meal ever.

This cedar plank salmon is easily our new favorite dinner!

smoky cedar plank salmon with sesame asparagus 

This might just be the best salmon recipe I’ve ever made. And, well, I cook salmon quite a bit in this house. But this one… there are barely words!

Don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll find at least 500 of them. At least. 

fresh salmon on cedar planks

We’re grilling the salmon on cedar planks which is something I love to do.

You can find the cedar planks pretty easily these days – I know that my local grocery store carries them, as do a few other stores around us. You can totally order them on amazon too though, which is what I often do. I like to get a six pack so I have them on hand. This is such an easy and delicious meal that you won’t regret having a few on hand when you want something simple!

soaking the cedar planks

The only caveat to the cedar planks is that you want to soak them for a bit before grilling, so that can take some time. Especially if you haven’t prepared for it. I soak them for about 30 to 60 minutes and find that it works well. You definitely HAVE to soak it so the plank does not catch on fire on the grill. I’ve heard of some people soaking them overnight, but I find that 30 to 60 minutes does the trick.

It works every time! 

grilled sesame asparagus

For the salmon, I love to brush it with a layer of dijon mustard (such a mustard freak, I could eat it off a spoon) and then combine it with my favorite bbq-ish smoky spice mix. If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you’ve probably seen me use this combo for over a decade. I like to mix smoked paprika, garlic powder and brown sugar for a smoky/sweet combo. And of course, add in some salt and pepper. 

This is easily my favorite spice mix and I find it works on an array of meats and seafood. Can’t be beat! 

smoky cedar plank salmon

So we have the tangy mustard, the smoky sweet spices and then the cedar plank. TALK ABOUT FLAVOR.

Seriously, you cannot go wrong here. There is so much delicious flavor that works together. The salmon comes out flakey and buttery and wonderful. The spices on top kind of melt into the salmon and create somewhat of a soft crust. The flavor is wild! 

I top it off with some fresh chives and serve this salmon a million ways. It’s great as the main dish or on a salad. It’s great to prep ahead of time because it tastes so good. I love it warm or cold. I will say, when it’s warm right off the grill? It practically melts in your mouth.


grilled sesame asparagus

One of my favorite things to serve it with is this grilled sesame asparagus. It’s no secret how much I love grilled asparagus. It might be my favorite grilled vegetable. 

A bit of toasted sesame oil, salt, pepper and garlic go a long way here. Once you grill those spears until charred and toasty, sprinkle them with sesame seeds. They barely make it to my plate! I love this side dish so so much that I can’t ever get enough. It’s one we make often and one that everyone loves. 

smoky cedar plank salmon

It also pairs so nicely with the salmon! It’s quick and simple. You can toss it on the grill while the salmon cooks. Any leftovers are fantastic (on their own, chopped in a salad, thrown in an omelet!) and it’s a great side for almost anything. 

smoky cedar plank salmon with sesame asparagus

And hello! The perfect meal does exist. 

smoky cedar plank salmon with sesame asparagus

Smoky Sweet Cedar Plank Salmon

Smoky Sweet Cedar Plank Salmon with Sesame Asparagus

This cedar plank salmon is grilled with the most wonderful smoky sweet flavor! Pair with sesame asparagus on the side for the best meal ever.
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  • Soak the cedar planks in water for at least 30 to 60 minutes. You can soak longer if you wish. Soak until you place the salmon on top.
  • Preheat your grill to the highest setting.
  • Pat the salmon filets completely dry with a paper towel. If needed, cut the pieces so they will all fit on the cedar planks. Brush the top of the filets with mustard. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the spices on top of the mustard, covering the salmon all over. Place the salmon on the cedar planks if you haven’t already.
  • Toss the asparagus with the toasted sesame oil, a big sprinkle of salt and pepper and the garlic powder.
  • Turn the heat on the grill down to medium-high. Place the cedar planks on the grill. You want to grill the salmon with the top closed anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes, until it’s opaque and flakes with a fork.
  • If you have room on the grill, throw the asparagus on too when the salmon has 6 to 8 minutes left. You can use a grill basket or grill pan if it’s easier, but with asparagus I usually toss the spears right on! Grill with the top closed for 6 to 8 minutes, tossing once or twice during cook time, until charred. If you have SUPER skinny asparagus spears, you may want to cut the grill time down to 3 to 5 minutes. It just depends on the spear size!
  • Carefully remove the cedar planks with tongs and place them on a baking sheet to transfer inside. Place the asparagus on a plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Sprinkle the salmon with chives.
  • Serve the salmon and asparagus immediately!

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smoky cedar plank salmon with sesame asparagus

Best meal ever.