Cedar Planked Pacific Cod

Cedar Planked Pacific Cod
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time:

  • Total Time:

    1h 30m
  • Servings:



Cod and other white fish are usually too delicate to grill easily, but that's not the case when you grill it on a cedar plank. That's a technique ordinarily used with salmon, but here the cod provides a milder canvas for the bold smoke and seasonings. The hint of smoke your food takes on is one of the hallmarks of grilling and accounts for much of the food's flavor. If you wish, it's easy to up the ante by adding smoke flavor through hardwood chips or by grilling your food directly on a hardwood or cedar plank. The cedar-plank method is especially popular with salmon, but it also lends an exceptional flavor to sustainably harvested Pacific cod.


  • 1 ½ lbs. Pacific cod fillet, in one thick piece
  • 2 medium limes
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground ancho chili
  • 1 tsp. black pepper


  1. Soak the plank ahead of time, as directed by its manufacturer. For thin planks 30-60 minutes is adequate, while longer planks may need 2-6 hours to become fully saturated.
  2. Set up your grill to cook with indirect heat. If you use a charcoal grill, rake all the coals to one side of the kettle once they're coated evenly with white ash. If you use a gas grill, set one side to High and leave the other turned off or very low.
  3. Slice the limes into thin rounds and cut half of the rounds into half-moons. Set these aside, and mix the salt and spices together. Place the cod fillet on a cutting board and slash it lightly at 1" intervals with a very sharp knife. This creates edges where the smoke and seasonings can adhere and make the fish more flavorful.
  4. Place the plank over the hot side of your grill and close the lid. Heat the plank for 5-7 minutes, until it's hot and beginning to smolder. While it heats, rub the seasoning mixture all over the cod fillet.
  5. Flip the plank so the charred side is facing up and cover it with rounds of lime. Slide the plank to the cool side of your grill and arrange the cod fillet over the limes. Close the lid and cook in the indirect heat for about 15-17 minutes, or until the cod is cooked and barely translucent at its thickest point (internal temperature reaches 145° F). Extra-thick pieces might take a little longer.
  6. Remove the plank from your grill with tongs or silicone gloves and rest it on a trivet or other heatproof surface. Slide the fish from its plank to a serving tray using a wide spatula or divide it between 4-8 individual plates. Garnish each portion with half-moon lime slices and serve immediately with your choice of side dishes.


Some manufacturers sell planks that are pre-soaked inside their packaging, needing only to be opened and drained before use. If you're partial to plank-grilled foods, you can soak your own planks overnight and then freeze them for later use. They'll only need 10-15 minutes in warm water to thaw.

Add herbs, lime juice, spices or a splash of rum or tequila to your soaking water to impart additional flavor. Alternatively, rub garlic or spices into the plank after it's soaked but before you grill the cod.

Lift the lid and check your plank halfway through the cooking time to make sure it's still smoldering and hasn't begun to actually burn. Use a spray bottle of water to quell any flare-ups.

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