Used with the proper technique, plank grilling adds flavor from the wood along with a subtle smokiness to seafood, meat and poultry. As the plank heats and chars in the grill, smoke and aromatics from the wood provide a unique flavor that smoking alone doesn't provide.
To get the most flavor from planking food, the board has to get hot, so
hot that it begins to char and smoke. Since the plank gets so hot, it's
critical to watch it closely, with a spray bottle in hand...just in case
your planked salmon becomes salmon flambe'!
Preheating is critical to successful plank grilling. After soaking the plank in water (at least one hour before each use), place it in your preheated grill, cooking side down. Close the grill and heat the plank for a few minutes. Now the plank is ready to cook. Flip it over, add the food, and start cooking on the plank!
Planks are cut from a variety of different woods. You can find them in cedar, alder, oak, cherry, hickory and maple, each with their unique flavor characteristics.
Some planks are meant for multiple uses, while others are considered disposable, for one use only (although these can be reused too,if not charred too badly). If there's enough solid wood remaining to use the plank again, clean it off with a stiff brush and hot water. Let it dry, then wrap it in paper or plastic to store. Resoak it before its next use.
To Get The Most From Planking...
The food can be left on the planks to serve, too, which makes eating fun! Just be sure there are no live embers on the board. Place the plank on a non-flammable surface (metal baking sheet, etc) to serve.
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