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Bob Hart’s Cedar Planked Salmon BBQ Recipe

Food-writer, broadcaster and founder of the Australian Barbecue Academy, Bob Hart, shares his Cedar Planked Salmon recipe with us.


  • fresh salmon fillet
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, seasoning to taste
  • cedar planks
  • melted butter (optional)



Start by buying some cedar planks or, if you know somebody in the timber game, some untreated cedar shingles, or similar. Look at proper planks in a barbecue shop and find shingles of similar proportions, and you will save yourself a fortune. But for now…


Soak a plank, which will hold a couple of fillets (so soak one per two people) in water for an hour or two. You will have to weigh it down to do this. The idea is to get it very wet so that it will not catch fire, but will give off aromatic cedar steam and smoke.


Take portion sized salmon pieces and check them for size on the slab, trimming them as necessary. Then carefully skin, oil and season them well and position on the plank, probably crossways. Then place the plank over direct heat on any barbecue.There is no need for any additional wood smoke as the cedar will do the job in the time it takes for the salmon to cook – 15-20 minutes, depending on the heat of your barbecue. But it will cook, all being well, before the cedar dries out and burst into flames. Trust me!

The salmon will be delicate with just a hit of smoked cedar flavour, which, I find, overrides any of those slightly unpleasant aquaculture tastes our salmon develops from time to time.

It should be moist enough to eat without a sauce, but a little melted butter will not go astray.

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