Have you ever tasted the rich, woody flavor of cedar planked salmon? The salmon cooks in its own juices, soaking up the aroma of the wood-it is a taste experience you should not miss. Plank grilling, a process that infuses food with a delicate, smoky tang, has become quite popular in recent years. Despite its current trend status, using cedar planks for grilling is a technique whose provenance we can actually trace back to American Indians in the Pacific Northwest; centuries ago, they staked slabs of wood strapped with game or fish next to their campfires to cook.
It kept the food tender and clean. Later on, European explorers adopted the method adding their own spices and seasonings to the mix. Today planks are favored particularly for grilling fish, e.g. cedar plank salmon; however, the method works well with meats too.
Using cedars planks for grilling is an easy affair – the trick lies in soaking the wood in water beforehand; keep the plank submerged for at least half an hour, two hours maximum. This step is de rigueur, as you risk burning the entire plank and your dinner should you omit the plank bath. You can purchase any type of wood, as each will impart its own uniquely timber flavor. If you use cedar planks for grilling, which pairs exceptionally well with salmon, you’ll encounter an aroma of sweet charred spice. Cherry wood planks convey a smoothly sweet pungent flavor, while woods like alder and hickory are fuller, more pungent.
Plank grilling is a great way to cook Alaskan caught fish. The method is hassle free and keeps the delicate fish from falling apart and burning. Many plank grilling sets are pre-assembled and ready for purchase; however, if you do choose to make your own plank, remember to buy untreated wood. And now you’re ready to use cedar planks for grilling salmon!