Tool: Outdoor Gourmet Cedar Grilling Planks
Using cedar smoke to flavor food is hardly a new technique. Native tribes of the Pacific Northwest hung their fresh-caught salmon over open fires fastened to hand-split pieces of Western Red Cedar and stoked their smokehouse fires with wet cedar.
Cedar grilling planks are used to grill fish, red meat, pork, poultry, vegetables, fruit, and even dessert items. The process of cooking on planks infuses food with a delectable flavor while moistening and protecting from direct heat. The result is a perfectly cooked entrée or side dish infused with the aromatic scent of Western Red Cedar.
Here's how it works: First, soak your cedar grilling plank in water. An hour or two prior to grilling will work just fine, but a longer soak time permits the plank to absorb more moisture. This allows for more cedar-infused water vapor to be released during the grilling process.
Then get your grill up to medium heat (350-400 degrees).Place the wet plank on the pre-heated grill and heat plank for another 5 minutes before adding the food. This allows the plank to begin to smolder and smoke.
Next, place you food on plank and close grill lid and let cook for recommended time. No flipping, turning, or tweeking is needed.
Grilling planks are also an excellent option to hold, serve, and display delicate meats and fish, which may otherwise be overcooked or fall apart when placed directly on the grill. "Planking" is also an extremely healthy method of preparing food because no additional oil or butter is needed in the cooking process. But grilling planks aren't just for the grill. They can be used in the oven or microwave to get the savory flavor of cedar.