If you have not heard about grilling with cedar planks, yet, you are in for a surprise! This unique way of grilling has been around for years but just recently has become more popular. Grilling fish has never been easier or tastier! There are several tips you need to follow when you are learning how to grill with cedar planks.
The first step you will do when you grill with cedar planks is to be sure that you have soaked your plank long enough. Each plank has to be soaked in water for at least two hours before you use it, but it is often recommended that you soak the plank all night to be sure it is completely saturated. Soaking can be done by putting the plank in your sink and putting something heavy on it to keep it under water or you can use a large roasting pan.
Plan on using warm water to help open the wood pores and begin saturation immediately. You can also experiment a little and try adding different flavors to the water. This will add a distinct new taste to your food when you grill it. You can try putting beer, apple cider, wine or fresh herbs to the water to bring out new flavors to your food.
Another way to soak planks is to put several in a five gallon bucket vertically and put the lid on the bucket. You can even cut a small hole in the lid and fill the bucket with a garden hose so you do not have to lift the bucket once it is full of water. Planks can even be soaked and frozen for future use.
After your plank has soaked for several hours, you will need to dry it off and use vegetable or olive oil to coat the cooking surface of your plank. Again, you can experiment with flavors on your plank, such as sea salt, fresh herbs or garlic. Always be sure to preheat your grill for at least ten minutes before you begin cooking. Another handy tip is to have a spray bottle of water ready to put out any flare ups you may have.
When you are preparing your fish, always wash it with cool water and pat dry. If you like, you can cut up fresh fruits or vegetables to lay the fish on as it grills. These will add yet another delicious flavor to your fish so be ready to try new variations. Always lay the fish with the skin side down and keep the lid closed. It can be really hard not to keep peeking, but try to resist and only briefly open the lid to be sure there are no flare ups. Your plank will smolder and that is just what you want to happen.
Although grilling with a cedar plank began as an easy way to grill fish, any type of meat or appetizer can be grilled by using a plank. Even desserts can be prepared. Be ready to have fun and experiment with whatever sounds good to you. It takes a little practice, but the delicious taste of your food will be well worth the effort. Do not let extra work keep you from grilling with cedar planks!