This Canada Day, I am grilling up the perfect west coast Canadian recipe: Cedar Plank Salmon Burgers!
On the west coast of Canada, we love to eat fresh, wild salmon. While there are many species of salmon available, my favourite has to be sockeye salmon. It’s deep rich orange flesh is so succulent, full of omegas, and is always juicy– there’s nothing else like it!
Buying Salmon Fillets
I picked up my salmon fillets from my favourite seafood store in Victoria, Finest at Sea. They always have a great selection of seafood available and it is always fresh! Not only is their seafood fantastic, I love that they tell you exactly where the seafood was harvested along the coast of B.C.– and even what fishing vessel caught it! Bringing this awareness to the customer is amazing and really makes me appreciate my seafood every time I get it!
While I used sockeye salmon in this recipe, you can use whatever variety of salmon you prefer– pink, spring, coho, you name it! Just make sure that it is fresh and is coming from a reputable source!
Now let’s get into making these Cedar Plank Salmon Burgers!
Soaking the Planks
The first step when making my Cedar Plank Salmon Burgers is to soak your cedar planks. You can find cedar planks at just about any hardware store or specialty cooking store during the summer months.
The soaking time varies depending on the type of cedar (or wood plank) that you buy. Since I used a western cedar plank, I soaked it for 2 hours. Much harder wood planks like maple or cherry need to be soaked for 4-6 hours (or sometimes overnight) to ensure the water penetrates through and so that the wood doesn’t catch on fire on the grill.
When in doubt, check the label for the recommended soaking time– you don’t want to burn the planks entirely when grilling them!
The Smoking Technique
Once the planks are soaked, it’s time to preheat the grill. Add the soaked cedar planks, close the lid, and let the grill heat to 350 degrees F.
To prepare the salmon, place it skin side down on top of a cedar plank and sprinkle the top liberally with salt and olive oil. I used SaltWest’s Organic Sweet Smoky Maple Sea Salt– a perfect compliment to this salmon recipe! Next, place the cedar planks on the grill, close the lid, and let the salmon cook and smoke for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the salmon begin to turn opaque orange and the fat has turned white.
Next, drizzle on 1-2 tablespoons of birch syrup (maple syrup also works too) on top of the fillets and brush it evenly across the top and sides of the salmon. I am using Escuminac’s Yellow Birch Syrup in this recipe! Close the lid again, and let the salmon cook for another 5-10 minutes. The cook time will largely depend on the thickness of the salmon fillet. You will know when it’s done when the salmon is opaque orange, and is firm to the touch.
Remove the cedar planks from the grill and brush another 1-2 tablespoons of birch syrup on top of the salmon to finish it off! Then add it to your burger buns (such as the Deluxe Brioche Burger Buns from Portofino Bakery) with some lettuce, tomato, and add some homemade tartar sauce (recipe linked here)!
I hope that your enjoy this wonderful Canadian recipe, this summer! Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians!
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Recipe: Cedar Plank Salmon Burgers
Salmon is a staple food on the west coast of Canada and there are so many ways to enjoy it. One of my favourite summer salmon recipes is my Cedar Plank Salmon Burgers. They are juicy, smoky and perfect for summertime!
Servings: 6 burgers
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 fillet sockeye salmon (or salmon of your choice)
- 2 tablespoons SaltWest Sweet & Smoky Maple Salt (or smoked salt)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons birch syrup (or maple syrup)
- 2 cedar planks, soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours
For the Mayo/Tartar Sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons capers, finely minced
- 2 small dill pickles, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Burger:
- Fresh tomatoes, sliced
- Lettuce, sliced into large pieces
- 6 pack Portofino Bakery’s Deluxe Brioche Burger Buns
Begin by preparing the salmon. Slice the salmon fillet into large chunks that will fit the size of your burger buns (about 3-4 inches in width and length). Top the salmon with the salt and olive oil. Use your hands to rub it into the salmon, then set aside.
Next make the mayonnaise sauce/tartar sauce. Add the mayonnaise, garlic, capers, picked, parsley, lemon juice, and black pepper to a mixing bowl and stir to fully combine. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the burgers.
Prepare the tomato and lettuce toppings and set aside until you are ready to assemble the burgers.
To cook the salmon, preheat your BBQ to 350 degrees F. Once hot, add the soaked cedar planks to the grill, close the lid and wait for 7-10 minutes until the planks begin to smoke. Once the planks are smoking, add the salmon to the planks in one even layer and so that they are spaced apart by at least 1 inch. Cover the BBQ and let the salmon cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, the salmon should turn an opaque orange. Use a silicone brush to spread the birch syrup on top of each piece of salmon. Cover the salmon again and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. You will know that the salmon is cooked when you can see it turn orange, white juices are flowing out, and it is firm to the touch.
Remove the salmon and cedar planks from the grill and let cool slightly. Turn off the BBQ and with the remaining heat, toast the burger buns until nice char marks form. My favourite burger buns to use are the Deluxe Brioche Burger Buns from Portofino Bakery.
To plate the burger, add some tartar sauce to the top and bottom of the burger bun. Next, add the lettuce and tomato, followed by the salmon. Drizzle some extra birch syrup on if desired. Top with the other burger bun and serve immediately.