Plank Grilled Salmon (with Easy BBQ Sauce)

Plank grilled salmon brushed with easy bbq sauce is moist and delicious every time! Use cedar planks to cook salmon on the grill, and brush it with a dressed up sriracha barbecue sauce. The recipe is quick and easy and ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s perfect for dinner parties served with some of our favorite sides.

plate with bbq brushed grilled salmon and pasta salad.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard bbq party or an alfresco dinner party, serving salmon cooked on the grill is a main dish everyone loves.

Cook salmon filets on cedar planks and brush it with my semi-homemade barbecue sauce. It starts with a bottled bbq sauce and gets dressed up by adding sriracha, lemon juice, and garlic. The flavor is balanced by the added ingredients, creating a sweet and spicy compliment to the fish.

plate on table with salmon and pasta salad.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Plank grilling makes such a difference in flavor and texture compared to cooking in the oven. The fish turns out so tender and moist.
  • Cooking on the grill is convenient for outdoor parties.
  • The sauce complements the salmon without overpowering it.
  • Cooking on cedar planks makes cleanup a breeze.

So grab these cedar planks and use my recipe for bbq brushed salmon. Most planks can fit 2 to 3 filets on them.

If you love salmon you’ll also like these smoked salmon appetizer bites, or get fancy with this oven-cooked salmon with red pepper coulis sauce

PARTY TIP: Host a dinner party for 4 or 6 and serve the salmon on the planks straight from the grill.

two cooked salmon covered in bbq sauce on cedar planks.

One of the things I like about entertaining with this recipe is that you can take the planks straight from the grill to the dining table. Serve the salmon right from the cedar plank for a beautiful rustic presentation.  

Can You Re-Use the Cedar Planks?

Yes you can! We’ve used ours up to 3-4 times. After that they do begin to degrade and you just can’t clean them anymore. See everything you need to know about cleaning and reusing cedar planks for grilling.


Salmon. Use salmon filets with or without the skin. Frozen is fine and you can thaw it over night in the fridge or in cold water for about 45 minutes.

Bottled BBQ Sauce. Use a simple classic flavor so it combines well with the other added ingredients. You can, however, use a smoky variety. Don’t use anything too sweet.

Sriracha. This adds a little bit of heat with extra depth of flavor. You can also use it to make Sriracha bloody marys! A good substitute would be bottled chili sauce. Tabasco can also be used but you only need a few drops to match the heat level.

Garlic. You can use 1 large or 2 small cloves, crushed. If you don’t have it you can substitute with 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.

Lemon Juice. Squeeze a lemon for fresh juice. It’s always better than the bottled stuff.

Garnish. Serve the entrée for a dinner party and garnish it with sliced lemons, chopped parsley, diced green onions or chives.

cedar plank soaking in water in glass dish.

How to Make It

  1. Soak planks in water for at least an hour or according to package directions. Some planks say to soak overnight. Place a small bowl on the plank to keep it submerged in the water.
  2. Preheat the grill and then add the cedar planks onto the grates to heat up.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place on preheated planks, with skin side down.
  5. Cook it for five minutes and then brush on the bbq sauce. Continue cooking until the inside temperature is 125 degrees F; about 10 to 15 minutes or when you can flake them with a fork.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Try to reheat slowly or at a low temperature to avoid over cooking it.

two raw salmon on cedar plank.
bbq sauce ingredients in small bowl.

PARTY TIP: It’s easy to increase the number of servings when entertaining. Just double the sauce ingredients to cover additional filets.

hand brushing sauce on salmon on planks on grill.

PARTY TIP: Try this sauce recipe on chicken too!

Best Tips for Buying Salmon

You can easily find frozen salmon at any grocery store or warehouse store like Sams or Costco. But for the best flavor and nutrition you may want to keep a few things in mind.

  • When you buy “Atlantic Salmon” in the US it is farm raised. Wild Atlantic salmon is now on the endangered list.
  • Buy Pacific salmon if you want wild caught. Wild Pacific salmon will have less toxins or additives than farm raised.
  • Salmon contains good fats for a healthy diet. Wild caught has a higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids than farm raised.
  • Salmon is full of nutrients and two servings of wild caught per week can be part of a healthy lifestyle. If you buy farm raised it’s recommended to stick with 2 times per month.

PRO TIP: Farmed salmon has more fat (13.4%) than wild salmon (5.5%). For that reason you should cook wild caught to an internal temperature of 120 degrees F instead of 125, to retain moisture.

While wild salmon is a little more expensive for obvious reasons, it’s also an overall healthier choice. However buying fresh vs. frozen doesn’t really matter because the fish is flash-frozen when caught.

flaked salmon on cream colored plate.

What to Serve with Grilled Salmon

Salmon is so versatile and goes great with a variety of side dishes. We love it with brussels sprouts or one of the recipes below for a summer cookout

Give this plank grilled salmon a try the next time you’re grilling outdoors. It’s a great cooking method that works without the bbq sauce too!

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cooked salmon with bbq sauce recipe on cedar plank.

Plank Grilled Salmon (easy bbq sauce)

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This barbecue grilled Salmon on cedar plank recipe is so moist and delicious! It's perfect for summer entertaining or weeknight dinners with the family. The semi-homemade bbq sauce is sweet and smoky with a little zing.


  • Cedar planks
  • 4 to 6 salmon fillets, about 5-6 ounces each


  • 1/2 cup Classic flavored bbq sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


  1. Combine sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Prepare grilling planks by soaking in water for at least an hour.
  3. Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat or 350 degrees. Place empty planks on hot grill for 5 minutes to heat up. Flip the planks over just before adding the salmon.
  4. Prepare salmon by seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Add salmon on top of planks skin side down, close grill lid, and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. After the 10 minutes, brush bbq sauce all over the salmon and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until fish begins to flake and internal temperature is 125 degrees F.


For more servings, double the sauce ingredients for 8 to 10 salmon fillets.

Try the sauce on chicken too.

Did you make this recipe?

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