Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Rainy Days and Radios: Spicy Cedar Planked Salmon for Dummies

FullSizeRender (23)The cold rain tapped across the window pane as I sipped hot tea from an old, blue-enameled cup, whilst the fingers of my other hand tenderly worked the analog dial of my old time short wave radio.  It’s been hurricane season as you know, and I was hoping to find some hams out there discoursing on the weather. I know with the inter connected world of the internet,  and a few swift keystrokes, I can find out the weather any where in the world much easier than listening to the radio, but I don’t care. I just like the poetry of a good analog radio. The challenge of trying to wring out a signal from across the country, with what by today’s standards is inferior equipment.  Like BBQ, I was more into the journey here than anything. The process. The poetry of good things on cold, wet nights. So I was dredging the side-bands if you will, looking for amateur radio operators talking about the weather. But mostly I guess, I was enjoying just being here, listening to the radio and the rain. And thinking off and on about BBQ. And no, my name is not Jim Reitz. He apparently was the previous owner of the radio before I got a hold of it.

Turns out the last BBQ here at the Pond Side Pit was in the rain. There’s been a lot of that lately, which is of no matter to a patron of the pit. We will grill in sheer tropical force monsoons if need be. Lo, it would be a dark day indeed the moment we actually cook on a stove.  Anyways, my wife gets in the mood for fish these days, which is new to me. She’s never been particularly fond of the finned foods. But they tell us when you’re raising a newborn to eat more fish, as it is supposed to help your child grow nice and smart. Well, being a proponent of smart children, I did what any proud and new Papa would do, and went out into the wilds and procured a fish for my family. OK,  I really went down to the local grocer and plucked a salmon from the ice, but the other way sounds better don’t you reckon?

What You’ll Need

  • Mustard
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Miners Mix Wholly Chipotle

We slathered the salmon first in mustard, then packed on some brown sugar, a little salt, a little pepper, and for our secret ingredient,  a dash or two of this blend from our friends at Miners Mix. Wholly Chipotle.  It is considered one of their hot rubs, so if you’re not a pepper head, just use it sparingly. A little of this stuff goes quite a ways indeed, but adds that sought after kick of heat that some of us occasionally crave.  Anyways, after seasoning this fillet up, we brought it out to the pit where the cedar plank was oiled and pre-heated.

The Art of the Plank


If you’ve never had occasion to try planking on your grill yet, you’re definitely missing something out of your life. It’s about as easy as grilling gets, people. Simply put the plank over direct heat. Remember to soak it for an hour or so beforehand. Lightly oil it if you wish, an pre-heat it like you would a frying pan. Then lay your intended protein gently on top. All you gotta do from here is just get out of the way and let the plank do it’s magic. And it will. This form of cooking is so effective you need not even flip the meat. The plank acts as a heat shield which in turn protects your plunder, whilst at the same time creating an even heat environment, not to mention releasing oils and smoke into your food, giving it a flavor reminiscent of the finest restaurants. It’s just good, people. Trust us!

Planks come in many flavors and thickness, from 1/4 inch cedar, to 1/2 inch maple. Thicker ones last longer of course, but tend to run a little more expensive. You can find them in most any big box store these days. Or you can be lazy and grab some off Amazon I suppose. The best planks we ever tested at PotP were Superior Planks, grown and harvested up north of here, on a small island in lake superior. Check out our write up of that here . Anyways, a really fun and tasty way to grill if you haven’t tried it yet. You can cook anything on them too, from burgers to steaks to vegetables. But the best thing to plank, in our opinion, is fish. Ever have your fish fall apart on the grill grate? Problem solved with the good and ever abiding virtues of the plank. Gotta try this people!


There you go. Spicy cedar planked salmon from the pit. Sided with a lovely bouquet of vegetables for to please the lady folk. And a baked potato smothered in butter. Man! Good eating! And maybe even someday a smart baby, if you’re into that kind of thing. Amen.




7 responses

  1. Amen!
    I’ve yet to try planks PotP, but now that you’ve encouraged me, I will, soon.
    Coming from a baby who was brought up on fish, why yes, we are rather intelligent IMHO 😉
    … oh, and you gotta try Miners Mix Salmon Marinade, delish!!
    We’ll use that with the plank 💡
    A hui hou, until we meet!

    October 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    • Shoot! I forgot all about the miners mix salmon marinade. I had some of that in stock to try too. Thanks for reminding me, Auntiedoni! Next salmon, I’ll certainly give that stuff a go too.

      Glad to hear you’re smart!

      October 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm

  2. Pingback: Rainy Days and Radios: Spicy Cedar Planked Salmon for Dummies | My Meals are on Wheels

  3. While I can’t condone the use of brown sugar and mustard on salmon – as I am a bit of a purist being Alaskan by birth and a Pacific Northwesterner for the last 30 years (salt, pepper, and maybe some Old Bay for fun) – this was a lovely post. Thank you for the description of searching the airwaves for others hams. Well done, sir. And, yes, planking is pretty great.

    October 13, 2017 at 8:34 am

    • I forgot you were born in Alaska. That’s pretty cool. I’ve only been there once, but my what a land. That place is up my alley, so to speak, more than maybe any other state in the country. Had occasion to stroll through the fishing village of Ketchikan, and I saw more salmon there, both dead and alive, than I thought ever could exist in one place. Can’t wait to go back again one day…

      Thanks Todd. Good to see you old boy!

      October 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

  4. I have to try planking. Just so happens I will be wandering around a brothers sawmill and he has a bunch of maple to saw as well as a planer so we don’t eat slivers…Thanks

    October 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    • Now that sounds like a brilliant idea! If you’re blessed with a saw mill in your life, the art of planking is at hand. You’ll enjoy it, Gary. It’s much fun and fool proof to boot!

      October 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm

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