Cedar Planked Whole Trout

We took this popular lake fish and made it into a truly impressive dish. Barbecued on a bourbon-soaked cedar plank and stuffed with fresh herbs, lemon and onions, this recipe is perfect for any special occasion, such as Father’s Day.

Yield: Serves 4

Oven Planked Whole Trout


  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup bourbon*
  • 1 untreated cedar plank (about 6 x 18 inches)
  • 2 whole trout, cleaned and descaled (about 1 1/2 lb(0.75 kg) each
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, sliced
  • 1 piece lemon grass stalk (5 inch), halved lengthwise*
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced*
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion*
  • 6 fresh basil leaves*
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced*
  • 4 lime leaves or 2 tsp grated lime peel*
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley*
  • 1 tbsp canola oil


  1. Combine water and bourbon in a large deep roasting pan. Immerse cedar plank in water mixture. Place a heavy object on plank to keep it submerged. Allow plank to soak for at least 8 hours.
  2. Spread trout open, skin side down, on a cutting board. Sprinkle each cavity with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  3. Place butter, lemon grass, lemon, onion, basil, garlic, lime leaves and parsley down the centre of trout, dividing equally. Roll up trout to enclose filling. Tie rolls with butcher’s twine. Brush both sides of trout with oil. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and remaining 1/2 tsp pepper, dividing equally.
  4. Remove plank from water mixture; discard water mixture.
  5. Place trout on plank.
  6. Place plank with trout on warming rack on natural gas barbecue. With lid down, cook trout over medium-high heat until trout flake easily with a fork, about 30 – 35 minutes.
  7. Cut off and discard butcher’s twine.
  8. Serve trout directly from plank.
Nutritional analysis per serving:


683 calories, 44.2g fat, 67 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fibre, 1491 mg sodium 

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis. 

Tip: Lime leaves are dark green and uniquely shaped. A single leaf looks like two leaves attached together. They can be found fresh, frozen or dried. Look for them in the produce section of large grocery stores or in Asian grocery stores.