The Cheap Fix That Makes Fishy Salmon Taste Luxurious

Salmon, a culinary standout in the vast world of food, is revered for its exquisite flavor and versatility in various cuisines. This prized fish is a staple for both professional chefs and home cooks, known for its rich, buttery taste and firm, succulent texture. Salmon fits effortlessly into a wide array of recipes, and is popular not only for its taste, but also for its nutritional benefits. According to Healthline, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a kind of fat beneficial for heart health that can help reduce inflammation. However, salmon can sometimes have an overly fishy taste, which may deter some consumers.


This fishy taste is partially due to the fatty acids in salmon, but much of it comes from the gray fat along a cut of salmon. The level of fishiness can vary depending on the salmon's source. Wild-caught salmon typically has a stronger taste compared to farmed varieties. Improper storage or thawing can also lead to an undesirable flavor. While some people enjoy a fishier, gamier taste, others find it off-putting. Luckily, there are numerous tips for how to cook the perfect salmon, and one of the easiest and simplest methods to reduce its fishy taste is to use cedar grilling planks. These planks lend a subtle smokiness to the fish, creating a luxurious flavor without the fishiness.

What are grill planks and how do you use them?

Grilling planks are pre-cut pieces of wood designed for use on a grill. You place your food on the plank, which then infuses the dish with a delightful woodsy, smoky flavor. In addition to adding a delicious taste to your food, grill planks simplify the grilling process. They prevent food from falling through the grill grates, and eliminate the need for post-grilling cleanup. Using grill planks is an effortless method to enhance a variety of meals, and it's particularly effective in elevating the taste of any type of salmon you choose to cook.


To cook salmon using a grill plank, start by soaking the plank in water. The soaking time varies depending on the wood type and its porosity, so follow the manufacturer's instructions on your specific plank package. Typically, planks should be soaked for at least 15 to 30 minutes. After soaking, place them on the grill over medium indirect heat. Lay the seasoned salmon skin-side down on the planks, and cover the grill. Cook the salmon undisturbed until it reaches fork-tender consistency.

More tips for using grilling planks

Enhancing the flavor from wood planks can be achieved by charring them before use. After soaking, place the planks directly over medium heat on the grill and cover them for three minutes. Don't be alarmed if the planks start to smoke — it's a normal part of the process. That being said, this step is best performed on an outdoor grill. After a few minutes, check on the planks for blackening. Once blackened, they are ready to be used, and will impart a more intense smoky flavor to your food. Be aware that, as the planks are wooden, there is a risk of them catching fire. It's advisable to keep a spray bottle of water nearby to extinguish any small flames. Covering as much surface area of the plank with food as you can will also help to prevent the wood from igniting.


Grilling planks are available for purchase from specialty online retailers and Amazon, where a pack of 12 can often be found for under $20. This modest investment could revolutionize your salmon game, making it worthwhile to pick up a few cedar grilling planks for your next meal preparation.