Air Fryer Cedar Plank Salmon — If you have been looking for an easy for cooking salmon in your air fryer and wondering if you can use a cedar plank in the air fryer, you have come to the right place! Today, we will give you one of the best salmon recipes with a cedar plank!
What Is A Cedar Plank?
A cedar plank is a piece of untreated cedar wood primarily used for cooking, particularly for grilling or roasting.
When food, especially fish like salmon, is placed on the plank and exposed to heat, it gradually releases a smoky, woody aroma that infuses the food, giving it a unique, flavorful taste. The use of cedar planks for cooking has indigenous roots, especially among Native American cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
Why Do You Cook Salmon On A Wooden Plank?
Cooking salmon on a cedar plank is a technique that imparts a subtle smoky, woodsy flavor to the fish, enhancing its natural taste.
The cedar plank also provides a barrier, preventing the salmon from sticking to the grill grates and promoting even cooking without direct exposure to flames.
Additionally, the moisture from the plank creates a steamy environment inside the grill or oven, keeping the salmon moist and tender. Combining the aromatic cedar and the smoky grill produces a unique and flavorful dining experience. The smoke flavors can not be beaned.
Can You Air Fry Cedar Plank Salmon?
While this is typically cooked on a charcoal grill or gas grill, you may be able to cook salmon on a soaked cedar plank.
BUT! First and foremost, consult your air fryer’s user manual to confirm that it’s safe to use a cedar plank in your specific model. I have often used a wooden plank in my air fryer with no problems.
Suppose you are looking for some other great and easy seafood dishes made in the air fryer. In that case, these are some of my favorites: Air Fryer Mussels, of course, and my favorite Air Fryer Copycat Legal Seafood Crab Cakes.
Ingredients Needed For Air Freyr Cedar Plank Salmon
Air Fryer Cedar Plank Salmon is the perfect marriage of modern cooking techniques with an ancient culinary tradition. This dish elegantly blends the aromatic essence of cedar with the delicate flavors of salmon, creating a dining experience that is both nostalgic and innovative. Let’s delve into the ingredients that make this dish so special:
Remember the step-by-step directions and full ingredient amounts are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Salmon Fillets: The star of the show. Opt for fresh, high-quality salmon fillets. They’re packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and their buttery texture is elevated when infused with the cedar’s essence.
- Cedar Plank: The unsung hero. This plank provides a stable surface for the salmon to cook on and imparts a gentle, smoky flavor, transforming the fish into a gourmet delight.
- Olive Oil: A drizzle helps keep the salmon moist and tender while aiding in the caramelization of its surface, enhancing its natural flavors.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper: The basic seasonings highlight the salmon’s inherent taste. They act as flavor enhancers, making each bite savory and delicious.
- Lemon Zest: Adds a hint of citrusy brightness, contrasting beautifully with the rich flavors of the salmon and the smokiness of the cedar.
- Fresh Herbs (like dill or parsley, optional): These can elevate the flavor profile, adding an extra layer of freshness and complexity to the dish.
How To Cook Salmon On Cedar Plank In Air Fryer
Cooking salmon on a cedar plank in an air fryer imparts a delicate, smoky flavor to the fish, making it a delicious and unique dish. Here’s how you can prepare it:
Soak the cedar plank in water for at least an hour before cooking. This prevents it from catching fire in the air fryer and allows it to steam, which infuses the fish with that distinctive cedar aroma. Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F (190°C) for 3-5 minutes.
Seasoning the Salmon:
While the cedar plank is soaking, pat your salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil over each fillet, ensuring it’s evenly coated.
Season both sides with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. If you’re using fresh herbs, sprinkle them over the top of the salmon now.
Placing Salmon on the Cedar Plank: Lay the seasoned salmon fillets skin side down on the soaked plank.
Cooking Salmon With Wooden Planks in the Air Fryer:
Carefully place the cedar plank with the salmon into the basket of your air fryer.
Set the cook time for 10-12 minutes or until the salmon easily flakes with a fork. The cooking time might vary based on the thickness of the fish.
Once cooked, carefully remove the cedar plank from the air fryer. Using a spatula, lift the salmon fillets off the plank, leaving the skin behind.
Garnish with additional herbs, lemon wedges, or lemon slices, and serve immediately if desired.
Note: All air fryers are different, so that the cooking time might need a little adjustment based on your specific model. Always check the internal temperature of the salmon with a meat thermometer, which should be at least 145°F (63°C) at the thickest part of the salmon.
Enjoy your cedar plank salmon with the added convenience of the air fryer!
Pro Tips For Cooking Salmon On Plank In Air Fryer
Achieving the perfect cedar plank salmon in an air fryer requires some finesse. Here are some professional tips to ensure success:
- Soak the Plank: Always soak your cedar plank for at least an hour before cooking. This ensures that the plank doesn’t catch fire and provides adequate moisture for steaming, which imparts more flavor to the salmon.
- Check Your Air Fryer Size: Ensure your cedar plank fits in your air fryer basket. You may need to trim or buy a plank designed for your fryer’s size.
- Quality Matters: Opt for wild-caught salmon when possible. It tends to be leaner, more flavorful and contains fewer contaminants.
- Skin-On Fillets: Use skin-on salmon fillets. The skin is a barrier between the wood and the flesh, preventing the fish from sticking to the plank.
- Preheat the Air Fryer: Just like a regular oven, preheating your air fryer ensures even cooking from the start.
- Monitor the Temperature: Salmon is best when cooked to medium, with a slightly translucent center. Use an instant read thermometer to check and aim for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
- Add Some Aromatics: Enhance the cedar flavor by adding slices of lemon, sprigs of dill, or crushed garlic on top of the salmon before cooking.
- Avoid Overcrowding: If you’re cooking multiple pieces, ensure space between each fillet so air can circulate properly.
- Check for Doneness: Since the thickness of salmon fillets can vary, always check the thickest part of the fillet for doneness.
- Season Just Before Cooking: To prevent drawing out too much moisture, season the salmon just before you’re ready to cook.
- Serve Immediately: Cedar plank salmon is best enjoyed after being cooked. The flavors are at their peak, and the texture is just right.
- Reusing Cedar Planks: While some people reuse cedar planks, it’s best to use a new one each time for optimal flavor. If you reuse it, clean it thoroughly and check for any signs of wear or char.
Using these pro tips, you can quickly perfect your cedar plank salmon technique in the air fryer!
Do I really need to soak the cedar plank?
Yes, soaking the cedar plank is crucial. It prevents the wood from catching fire, and the moisture from the soaked plank adds a gentle steam, enhancing the salmon’s flavor.
Can I reuse my cedar plank?
Reusing a cedar plank is possible if it’s not overly charred. However, you’ll get the best flavor from a fresh plank. If reusing, ensure it’s cleaned thoroughly after the initial use.
Where can I buy cedar planks?
Most grocery stores, especially those with extensive seafood sections, will carry cedar planks. You can also find them at specialty kitchen stores, hardware store, or online. Aldi sells a kit.
Can I use other types of wood planks?
Yes, other woods like alder, hickory, or maple can be used, but cedar remains the favorite for salmon due to its unique aromatic flavor.
Why is my salmon sticking to the cedar plank?
Using skin-on fillets usually prevents sticking. If your skinless fillet sticks, the plank may be wet enough or the salmon has moved around too much during cooking.
How will I know when my salmon is done?
The salmon should flake easily with a fork, and its internal temperature should read 145°F (63°C). Remember, it will continue to cook slightly once removed from heat.
Does cedar plank salmon taste very smoky?
While the cedar plank does impart a smoky, woody flavor to the salmon, it’s not overpowering. The taste is more aromatic and subtle.
Is cedar plank grilling a traditional method?
Yes, the Pacific Northwest Indigenous peoples have cooked salmon on aromatic wood planks for centuries. The smoky flavor can not be beat.
Can I add other seasonings or marinades to my cedar plank salmon?
Absolutely! While the cedar provides a lovely flavor, you can enhance your salmon with various marinades, herbs, and seasonings according to your preference. Some great options are salmon seasoning, dry rub, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cajun seasoning, and lemon pepper seasoning.
Is there a difference in cooking time if my salmon fillet is thicker?
Yes, thicker fillets might require a few extra minutes. Always check the internal temperature to ensure it’s done.
How to store leftover cedar plank salmon: Let the salmon cool to room temperature before adding it to an airtight container. The leftover salmon will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Cedar Plank Salmon
- 2 salmon fillets, about 6 oz each
- 1 cedar plank, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried rosemary, or fresh, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preparation: Soak your cedar plank in water for at least an hour. This prevents it from burning during the cooking process.
- Seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the salmon fillets, ensuring they are well coated.
- Setting up the Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the soaked cedar plank in the air fryer for about 3 minutes to preheat it.
- Cooking the Salmon: Once the plank is preheated, place the seasoned salmon fillets, skin side down, on the cedar plank. Slide the plank into the air fryer.
- Air Fry: Cook the salmon at 375°F (190°C) for about 12-15 minutes or until the salmon easily flakes with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
- Serving: Carefully remove the cedar plank from the air fryer. Use a spatula to transfer the salmon from the plank onto plates. Serve with lemon wedges and your choice of side dishes.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Cedar Plank, Check with user guide 1st, before attempting recipe.
Storage Notes for Air Fryer Cedar Plank Salmon
- Cooling: Allow the cedar plank salmon to cool to room temperature before attempting to store it. This will ensure that no excess moisture builds up, which can affect the texture and taste of the salmon.
- Refrigeration: Once cooled, transfer the salmon to an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: If you want to extend the shelf life, you can freeze the cedar plank salmon. Place it in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label with the date and consume within 2 months for best quality.
- Reheating: To maintain the original texture and flavor, it’s recommended to reheat the salmon in the air fryer at 300°F for a few minutes until it’s heated through. Avoid microwaving as it may overcook the salmon and make it dry.
- Note: If you used a real cedar plank during the cooking process, discard it after use or thoroughly clean it if it’s designed for multiple uses. Do not reuse disposable cedar planks.