Cedar Planked Steelhead Trout

My father in law came back from an extraordinarily successful Salmon fishing trip last weekend. I say “extraordinarily” because the success was definitely beyond one would define as “ordinary” for a salmon fishing trip…nobody caught any salmon. However, he did catch three amazing trout (and won the “biggest fish caught” contest in doing so). He brought his bounty home, and we were fortunate enough that he gave us some of his haul. As an added bonus, he gave me a live demonstration on how to skin fish. This is a skill I’ve been trying to hone, and his lesson definitely accelerated my learning!

Anyway, with all of this trout to cook, it just felt like the right time to finally use the cedar planks I bought about 10 years ago (yeah, I never lived up to the ambition I had on the day I purchased them). In the end, the cedar added an incredible smoky flavour to the fish, which was nicely countered by the freshness and acidity of the lemon.

We served our trout with a Grilled Veggie Pillow (red potatoes, green beans, and onions), so we had no clean-up. However, this entree would also go well with starches like Parmesan Polenta, “Sneaky” Mashed Potatoes, and long grain wild rice and/or vegetables like Grilled Zucchini, Broiled Tomatoes, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, or Roasted Asparagus.

Time: 25 Minutes (Plus Cedar Plank Soaking Time)


  • Steelhead Trout Fillet…We used a skinless one (You can also use other types of trout or salmon…just adjust cook time accordingly to compensate for flesh thickness differences)
  • Lemon
  • Scallion Onions
  • Cedar Plank


  • Soak your cedar plank for between 1-24 hours in a rectangular baking dish. The longer, the better, as the more permeated the wood gets, the more flavour comes through into the fish. Since wood floats (and as Monty Python taught me, it can also be used to build bridges), you’ll want to weigh your plank down with something heavy. We used a ceramic pitcher.
  • When you’re ready to cook, heat your grill to medium, and turn your attention back to your prep.
  • Pat your plank dry, and rub olive oil on the top side (this will add flavour and prevent sticking…multitasking!)
  • Rinse and pat your trout fillet dry, and cut it into your desired sized portions. Place them atop your plank.
  • Slice your lemon and scallion onions, and then place them atop your fish (scallions first, then lemon slices on top)
  • Turn your grill heat to low, and place your cedar plank atop the grates. Close the lid, and cook for about 15 minutes. Try not to open the grill during this time, as it will let heat and smoke escape.
  • Open your grill cover, and test for doneness. If your fish flakes easily with a fork (and/or reads a minimum of 145 degrees F on a digital thermometer), you’re ready. If not, rotate your plank, and cook until you hit that temperature.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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