You can spend $10 for a couple of cedar planks for grilling salmon. Or, you can buy a bundle of #4 grade untreated undercourse shingles. Cost: about $25 at my local lumber yard which yielded about 65 shingles—enough to grill an equal number of full sides of salmon. When cedar shingling a house, these less-than-perfect undercourse shingles are used as a cheap first layer. Since they’re not exposed directly to the elements, it means they’re not usually treated but ask before buying.
1 # 4 grade untreated undercourse cedar shingle, rinsed thoroughly under running water.
1 whole wild salmon filet (2 to 2 1/4 pounds), skin removed (see photo)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
Heat gas grill igniting all burners on high for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly brush skinned fish bottoms with 1 ½ teaspoons of olive oil and place, skinned side down, on soaked cedar shingle. Mix remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of oil with paprika, salt, pepper, and zest, and rub over salmon top.
Place planked salmon on hot grill rack and set timer for 10 minutes. Staying within eyeshot of the grill to observe any flare-ups (I’ve never seen one, but just in case) cover grill and cook until wood is fragrant and salmon is still a little soft when pressed, about 10 minutes. Re-cover grill, turn off burners, and continue to grill until salmon is lightly firm when pressed, about 5 minutes longer.
Let salmon stand on plank until ready to serve. Salmon can also remain on cedar shingles for serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.