King of the Plank
Salmon is the original partner for the plank. It's a pairing that dates back to the native people of the Pacific Northwest, who grilled salmon over open fires on planks of cedar and alder. Salmon's still the champion. Here are some top-rated planked salmon recipes.
How to Plank Grill
In choosing a plank, pick only untreated cedar, alder, hickory, or maple. Here are a few other tips to ensure plank-grilling success:
- Prepare the plank by soaking it at least one hour in a bucket or cooler filled with water. This adds moisture to the wood and prevents it from burning on the grill.
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt or 1 cup of white wine, apple juice, citrus, or berry juice to the soaking water to accent wood aromas.
- If a plank is being used for the first time, season it by placing it on a preheated grill for 2 minutes, turning once. Lightly toasting the plank on both sides will intensify its smoky flavor and prevent warping. When the plank starts crackling, it's ready for cooking.
- Place marinated or ready-to-cook foods directly on the plank. Keep the grill's lid closed as much as possible to maintain temperatures and maximize smoking. Note: planked food does not have to be turned during grilling.
- Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy so flames can be extinguished if the plank starts to burn.