Cooking salmon on wood planks dates back to the native people of the Pacific Northwest, who cooked salmon over open fires on planks of cedar and alder. As the wood plank smolders over the fire, it imparts a woody, smoky flavor to the fish, plus gives it a platform to cook on without breaking apart; there is no need to flip it.
Before grilling the salmon, I gave it a quick and easy dry brine of 50/50 kosher salt and brown sugar. The brine “cures” and seasons the salmon perfectly and really intensifies the salmon flavor. After a 1 to 2 hour brine, simply rinse the salmon under cold water and pat dry. It’s ready to go at this point. However, I let it sit uncovered in the fridge for another couple hours to develop a pellicle – a sticky coating on the surface of the fish which will help any smoke coming from the plank to flavor the fish. This whole process – the brining and developing a pellicle – are totally optional, but you’re gonna be missing out.
While cooking, the salmon is glazed with an easy glaze of maple syrup, bourbon, and a touch of English mustard. The result is a wonderfully aromatic, slightly smoky, sweet, moist and flavorful piece of salmon. So easy and so delicious!
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