Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze
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About This Recipe

Nestled within the vibrant culinary tapestry of Napa Valley, a dish emerges that captures the essence of Northern California's lush landscapes and the region's commitment to freshness and flavor: Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze. This recipe, a delightful blend of locally sourced salmon and the aromatic infusion from cedar, is a testament to the innovative spirit of wine country cuisine.

The creation of this dish was inspired by the natural beauty and bounty of Napa and Sonoma counties, where outdoor grilling is not just a cooking method but a way of life, especially during the balmy summer months. The cedar plank, soaked and then gently charred, imparts a smoky richness to the salmon, which is complemented by the sweet and tangy glaze made from honey and Dijon mustard. This glaze, with its hint of apple cider vinegar and fresh thyme, is a nod to the valley's orchards and herb gardens, marrying the flavors of the land with the fruits of the sea.

When considering wine pairings for Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze, the diverse portfolio of Napa Valley's vineyards offers a plethora of choices. A crisp, oaked Chardonnay, with its hints of vanilla and butter, harmonizes beautifully with the smoky notes of the salmon, while the acidity cuts through the richness of the fish and the sweetness of the glaze. For those who prefer red wine, a light Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, with its subtle earthiness and berry notes, provides a delightful contrast to the dish's smoky and sweet flavors.

Integrating Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze into a menu offers a versatile centerpiece that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving it alongside a quinoa salad with grilled vegetables from the Napa Farmers Market, or a fresh, citrus-infused kale salad, to create a meal that is both balanced and satisfying.

For visitors to Napa Valley, experiencing the local cuisine is a journey through the region's culinary heritage and its contemporary innovations. Restaurants such as The French Laundry and Oxbow Public Market showcase the area's commitment to farm-to-table dining, offering dishes that highlight local ingredients and flavors. For those inspired to try their hand at Napa-style cooking, local cooking classes and wine pairing workshops provide a deeper dive into the techniques and traditions that define wine country cuisine.

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze is more than just a recipe; it's a celebration of Napa Valley's gastronomic excellence, a dish that invites both locals and visitors to savor the flavors of Northern California's wine country. Whether enjoyed on a warm summer evening, paired with a glass of Napa Valley wine, or as part of a festive gathering, this dish embodies the spirit of the region: innovative, flavorful, and deeply connected to the land.

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Cedar Plank

The cedar plank stands as the hero ingredient in our Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze recipe, a culinary tradition deeply rooted in the heart of Napa Valley's outdoor cooking culture. This natural wood not only imparts a subtle smoky flavor that enhances the salmon's natural richness but also serves as a bridge between the dish and the lush landscapes of Northern California. By integrating the cedar plank into the cooking process, we pay homage to the indigenous cooking methods that have celebrated the land's bounty for centuries.

How to Perfectly Grill Salmon on a Cedar Plank

  1. Soak Your Cedar Plank: Begin by soaking your cedar plank in water for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight, to prevent it from catching fire on the grill.
  2. Preheat Your Grill: Heat your grill to a medium-high setting, around 375°F to 400°F, to ensure the plank is ready to impart its smoky essence.
  3. Prepare the Salmon: While the grill heats, season your salmon fillets and apply the honey Dijon glaze generously.
  4. Place the Plank on the Grill: Lay the soaked plank on the grill for about 5 minutes, until it starts to crackle and smoke, signaling it's ready for the salmon.
  5. Grill the Salmon: Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the plank. Close the grill lid to allow the smoke to envelop the salmon, cooking it gently and infusing it with cedar's unique aroma.


  1. Can I reuse a cedar plank? It's not recommended to reuse a cedar plank for cooking, as it absorbs flavors and can become charred, affecting the taste and safety of future dishes.
  2. What if I don't have a grill? You can use an oven to replicate the grilling process. Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the cedar plank with salmon directly on the oven rack. The result will be subtly different but still delicious.
  3. Is cedar plank salmon safe for all diets? Yes, salmon is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, those with specific allergies should ensure the honey and Dijon mustard used in the glaze are suitable for their dietary needs.
  4. How do I store leftovers? Wrap leftover salmon tightly in aluminum foil or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  5. Can I use another type of fish? Absolutely! While salmon is ideal for its fatty texture and flavor, other fish like trout or Arctic char can also benefit from the cedar plank cooking method.

Tips for Success

  1. Monitor the Grill: Keep an eye on your grill to ensure the plank smokes but doesn't catch fire. A spray bottle with water can be handy to douse any flames.
  2. Don't Overcook: Salmon is best enjoyed when it's slightly translucent in the center. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
  3. Let it Rest: Allow the salmon to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the grill. This helps redistribute the juices, making your salmon moist and flavorful.

Embracing these techniques and tips will elevate your Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze, ensuring a delightful culinary experience that captures the essence of Napa Valley's rich culinary tradition.

Recipe Overview

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Dijon Glaze
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 cedar plank (for grilling)
  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced for garnish
  • Fresh dill, for garnish

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 2 hours before grilling to prevent it from burning.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and fresh thyme to create the glaze.
  5. Place the soaked cedar plank on the grill and allow it to heat for about 5 minutes.
  6. Place the salmon fillets on the plank, skin-side down.
  7. Brush the salmon generously with the honey Dijon glaze.
  8. Close the grill lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  9. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh dill before serving.

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Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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