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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.

Using Grilling Planks

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.
How to Use a Grilling Plank
Salah Mostafa


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