Bourbon & Honey Glazed Planked Salmon! Harmonic convergence must be setting in, because for once in my life I have planned two dinners for two consecutive nights. This never happens. Tonight’s dinner was especially fun because it involved not only a trip to the grocer, but a trip to The Home Depot! Normally I am just excited to buy food, but when you include a trip to the hardware store too, I travel with the aid of Angel’s wings (After all, they are quiet AND energy efficient!).
I love to plank things (on the grill). However, I do not believe in buying prepackaged cedar planks for $9. In 12 inch sections, this breaks down to about $4.5 a liner foot. To make my money go further, I buy an 8 foot section of UNTREATED cedar plank for $12. This breaks down to about…hold on, let me get the calculator…$1.50 a linear foot. Quite a deal. Now I say “untreated” because the last thing you want to do is accidentally pick up some pressure treated lumber and throw some fish on it. Outside of the strange green smoke your grill will put off, come morning you may discover you’ve grown a third arm. Not good. Also, I can cut my planks to fit my grill. In my case I make them 18 inches long which allows me to place them either on the 22 or 26 inch kettles and perpendicular on the Summit.
I buy my cedar from the “hobby” wood area. Although a piece of cedar fencing may be untreated, I feel more comfortable buying a 3/4 inch piece of cedar destined for inside use. I also like the thickness of my plank compared to the fencing because I can really crank the heat up on the grill and not fear this.
Tonight’s salmon was wild sockeye. I make it a point to only buy wild salmon. One look at the deep red color of wild salmon versus the light pink of farm raised is all it takes. Buy the wild.
Planked salmon is incredibly easy to make. First, soak your plank in water. With my thick plank (OK, not to delve into toilet humor, but I was just proofing this post and that last unintentional sentence really made me laugh out loud…anyway), I let it soak for an hour. Pre-heat the grill to direct medium high.
Ready your glaze. It seems to be a booze and grill weekend. Friday it was gin, tonight it’s bourbon. Take one ounce of bourbon and mix it with 1/3 cup of honey. Get a little more gin if you plan on sipping any on the way to the kitchen.
With your plank soaked and your grill heated, place your salmon filet on the plank skin side down. Brush a generous portion of glaze across the salmon and then place the planked salmon on the grill, over the flames.
Your total cook time will be around 20 minutes depending on the thickness of your plank and the size of your salmon. Feel free to brush on more glaze about halfway through the cook. The salmon is done when it flakes and before the board catches fire (seriously).
As a side, I used a mixture of 1 cup sour cream, 1/3 chopped fresh dill, 1/2 cup goat cheese, and 1 minced garlic glove. It is a nice fresh sauce which nicely balances the sweet and sassiness of the salmon.
That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow, Thai…