Superior Planked Salmon

Bayfield, Wisconsin is one of our favorite places to vacation. When we are there we often take the ferry over for a day trip to Madeline Island.  We love to kayak the lagoon at Big Bay Town Park, tour the island for a bit, and then hang out at Tom’s Burned Down Cafe.

So I was very excited to learn about Superior Planks on Madeline. The grilling planks come from trees that are sustainably-harvested, hauled out by draft horses, run by hand through their bio-diesel saw-mill, and shipped in 100% bio-degradable packaging. These guys are so green they make Kermit jealous.

I ordered up a 3-pack of their maple planks to give them a try. First up – wild Alaskan salmon!

I soaked the plank in water for 2 hours, then set the Big Green Egg up for direct cooking at medium-high heat (about 450°F).

I oiled the skin side of the salmon and seasoned both sides with a just little sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper.

I put the plank on the grill by itself for about 5 minutes, just until I could smell the wood smoke coming off the plank. I put the salmon on the plank, closed the lid, and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. I like salmon when it’s on the  medium rare side, so I took the fillet off when it started to flake, but was still a little translucent red inside – about 130°F internal.

The verdict? While cedar is traditional for salmon, I also liked the sweeter, more subtle taste that the maple brought to the party. It enhanced the flavor of the salmon without masking it.  I think it would be great for a variety of foods, particularly pork. The planks themselves are very nice (and at $4 a plank, they had better be). They’re a good 1/2 inch thick and tightly grained. Twenty minutes on the grill barely charred the back side. I ought to get plenty of use out of these and it’s fun to be able to cook with something from a place we enjoy so much.

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