How to Make Mesquite Salmon

Mesquite salmon
Claire Benoist

Ever had mesquite or cedar salmon? If not, you’re missing out. You can add a ton of flavor and smokiness by cooking salmon (or other proteinson a slab of wood or “plank.” Just pick one up at the grocery store, soak it in water (you don’t want it—or your entire backyard—going up in flames), then throw it on the grill with your meat on top.

Grill planks are easy to find (check out stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table and sometimes even Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, or Kmart) and available in different types of wood (cedar is most common), which can alter the flavor of your food.

The basic gist is this: Place your plank on the grill at around medium heat (unless your grill doesn’t have variable settings, in which case place it away from direct heat), and cover the grill. Rub half a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil over two 4 oz skinless salmon fillets, then season with salt and pepper. You’ll know your plank is ready for cooking when it’s smoking as you open the grill. The plank may crackle or warp—if this occurs, flip it over and allow it to reset. Place salmon fillets on the plank, not touching each other, and grill for roughly 4-5 minutes per side.

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