Everyone has heard of cedar-planked salmon, but loimulohi, a traditional Finnish technique, takes the popular grilling method to a whole new level. The smoke and subtle heat of a glowing alder fire, combined with a woodsy honey-juniper glaze, slowly crisps the surface of the salmon, while keeping the fatty interior moist and flavorful.
1 large salmon fillet, skin on
1 tsp., plus 1 Tbsp., kosher salt
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup water
10–12 juniper berries
About 30 minutes before cooking, sprinkle 1 tsp. kosher salt over the flesh side of the salmon. Dissolve 1 Tbsp. kosher salt and the honey in 1 cup of water. Add the juniper berries and steep over low heat to infuse the salted water.
Start a fire of alder or other flavorful hardwood. Put the salmon fillet, skin side down, on a cedar or birch plank. Using the tip of a knife, drill small holes in the plank in several places underneath the edge of the fillet, then secure the salmon to the plank with wooden pegs. (Alternatively, drive non-galvanized nails into the salmon or into the plank around the perimeter of the fillet and tightly lace the salmon in place with non-galvanized wire.)
Prop the plank vertically in place 8–10 inches away from the fire, with the thicker part of the fillet closest to the ground. Cook, brushing the fillet frequently with the juniper-infused water, until the salmon flakes easily. Depending on the intensity of the fire and thickness of the fillets, cook time will vary from 45 minutes to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Grab a fork and eat off the plank—no plates necessary.