Cooking with Cedar

It’s wintertime in Michigan, but you are craving one of the Up-North standbys – Cedar Planked Whitefish.

You could try it in the oven, but there is just something about that Webber Grill that transforms. As with all things special, it is worth the extra trouble, trust us…

Cedar-Planked Whitefish


1 Cedar plank

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, cut in half

1 fillet Whitefish

1 tablespoon paprika

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoon butter, cut into 8 pieces


Prepare the grill for medium heat.

Spread olive oil on plank and squeeze juice of one half lemon over the oil.

Lay whitefish on oiled plank and top with paprika and scallions. Squeeze juice of other half of lemon on top. Place pats of butter along the top of the fish, about 3 inches apart.

Place plank on the grill and cook until fish segments separate, about 20 minutes.

Top with fresh lemon and dill, serve with Cucumber-Dill Sauce.

Cucumber-Dill Sauce Ingredients:

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup olive oil mayonnaise

¼ English cucumber (about ¼ cup, diced)

2 tablespoons bleu cheese dressing

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

pinch of kosher salt

Directions for Cucumber-Dill Sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Since we believe grilling is a year-round sport, here are a few tips to recreate the smell and sounds of summer long before it heats up:

  • Add a bit more charcoal than usual, the colder it is outside the grill, the more heat you’ll need to compensate for the added heat loss
  • It pays to find a place for your grill that is protected in case the wind does pick up.
  • Warm or cold it still gets dark early in the winter. Take a few minutes to prep your food during the week to save time, or use a flashlight or a light that fits on the handle of the grill.
  • Stage your area. Brush the snow or ice off the grill and side shelves. Shovel a wide path to your grill and throw some salt down if necessary. Carrying food and slipping on ice are prohibited.
  • Hopefully you have stored the grill accessories in the house so you don’t have to drill through the snow to find them.
  • Take a minute to tuck your scarf or other accessories into your coat so they won’t dangle over the grill enticing flames to catch you on fire.
  • Snow gloves are not barbecue gloves. Make sure you have on heat-resistant gloves when operating your grill.
  • Use a timer and lift the lid as little as possible. Opening the lid to check on food extends cooking time as the grill loses heat quickly.
  • Make sure you have fresh dry charcoal in reserve.
  • I have more questions and concerns about getting an oil-change than I do about this project.

    ~ Tom H.