Grilling food has come light years from the time when your dad or uncle hauled out that little charcoal grill to cook some hamburgers and hotdogs at the family get-together. Grilling has become much more sophisticated and is often used to prepare entire delicious meals.
The bane of grilling, of course, has been the risk of burning the food. It can only take a few minutes to turn that salmon steak or pork chop into a charred husk. Fortunately, grilling planks basically remove that hazard entirely as well as delivering the most delicious grilled food imaginable. Although many woods can be used, cedar grilling planks are usually judged to be simply the best.
What Are Grilling Planks?
Grilling planks are actually an old/new idea that is catching on wherever people grill. Planks are actually an invention of the Northwest Indians, who found that cooking fish on a cedar plank not only prevented the flesh from breaking apart, but also imparted a special, intriguing flavor to it.
When you decide to take your grilling to the next level, you’ll find that everyone will enjoy the meal all the more when it’s been prepared on a cedar grilling plank.
- Food stays moister and more flavorful, with a wonderful, smoky overtone.
- You won’t have to worry about food burned to inedibility.
- Fish and other delicate meats will remain intact.
- In addition to fish, planking is perfect for beef, lamb, pork, and chicken. Vegetables taste perfect when you plank them.
Using Your Cedar Grilling Plank
You will have to make a few preparations to get your plank ready for grilling. Quality cedar grilling planks will generally need no special attention before you use them, they should have been sanded properly. Besides attention to the surface of the plank, it should also be of the proper thickness – grilling planks that are too thin will burn up and those that are too thick won’t cook food properly.
- Cedar grilling planks must be soaked in water for 30 minutes, at a minimum (although several hours are best), before they are placed on the grill – this keeps them from incinerating.
- Use olive or sunflower oil on the side of the plank that will hold the fish or meat.
- After placing the plank on the grill, don’t worry if your plank starts to smoke a little; this will add to the flavor. If it starts to actively burn, then spray water on the problem area.
- Many cedar grilling planks can be used more than one time as long as they have not burned through. Wash them off with water only; detergent would be absorbed into the wood and ruin the flavor of the next dish cooked on them.
If you’ve been disappointed in any way with grilling food, why not give cedar grilling planks a try? You’ll undoubtedly find that you are now able to cook like a gourmet chef – the only problem may be that friends and relatives are always asking for an invitation to dinner.