How to Use a Grilling Plank

A grilling  plank  is a piece of wood used to grill food on. They are most commonly used for fish, but some meats can be cooked on them as well.

Grilling  planks  are made from a variety of woods, and impart unique aromas and flavors to the food. A number of different woods are used to make grilling  planks . The most common is cedar, but you can use alder, oak, apple, cherry, hickory, and many others.

You can find grilling  planks  at grilling and cooking specialty shops, or you can make your own. When making your own, be sure the wood you purchase is untreated. Some wood at the lumber store are treated with chemicals that would be unsafe to cook on. Cut the lumber to be 1/2-1″ thick and 12×8″ wide.

Using Grilling  Planks 

Soak the grilling  plank  in water. Place something heavy on the  planks  to hold them under the water. The  planks  are soaked so they will not catch fire when on the grill. We only want the  plank  to smolder, not to burn. The smoldering creates the smoke that adds the aromas and flavors to the food.

– Softwoods such as cedar need to be soaked around 2-4 hours.

– Hardwoods such as maple and oak need to be soaked up to 24 hours.

For an even more unique flavor and aroma, try soaking the  planks  in wines, juices, or beer.

Heat the  Plank 

Place the  plank  on the grill over direct heat. Toast both sides of the grilling  plank  if it is the first use of that  plank . Between 5-10 minutes of toasting should be sufficient. You will hear the  plank  start to crackle.

Place the Food on the  Plank 

Lightly brush the  plank  with a bit of olive or canola oil, this will help prevent any sticking. Place the food on the grilling  plank  and close the lid. The grill will start smoking. Keep a spray bottle of water close by to spray the  plank  if it should catch fire. You want the  plank  to smolder, not to catch fire.

There is no need to flip the food that is on the grilling  plank  because it is cooking indirectly.

Removing the Food

Remove the food and the  plank  together and set on a heat resistant surface. You can serve the food straight off the  plank  for a nice visual appeal or remove and place on plates.

 Planks  can be Reused

You can use grilling  planks  several times. Once they start cracking or are too charred they need to be replaced. Clean your grilling  planks  with warm, soapy water after each use and thoroughly dry them.

Grilling  planks  are a wonderful way to add the smoky flavors and aromas to your food. You can grill a variety of items on grilling  planks  from your popular fish to meats and poultry. There are so many different types of wood to experiment with, and with the ease of use, you’ll want to try them all.