Plank grilling infuses food with a delicious smoky flavour. It’s a refreshing change of pace from typical barbeque fare. Your plank should measure about 14 x 7 x 1 inches (35.5 x 18 x 2.5 cm). Be sure to purchase untreated planks to avoid chemical contamination of food. You don’t have to limit yourself to cedar. Try untreated oak, maple, cherry or apple wood planks for different flavours.
Planks for use on the barbeque can be found in many grocery and hardware stores in the summer months. Take the plank out of the package and pre-soak for at least four to six hours (soaking overnight will ensure complete saturation). Using warm water helps to open the pores in the wood, speeding up the saturation process.
The easiest way to pre-soak a plank is to place it in the kitchen sink and place enough weight on it to hold it completely submerged in the water. If you need to soak several planks at once, find a very large, clean pail and insert several planks vertically into pail. Fill with clean water (a lid will be needed to keep the planks submerged).
For a different idea, try adding wine, beer, cider or fresh herbs to the soaking water. This will add another flavour to your grilled turkey!
If you know you won’t often have the time to soak your plank, do several ahead of time and freeze individually in plastic bags. When needed, remove from freezer and plastic bag; then place plank in hot water for 10 minutes to thaw. Since it’s already saturated, it’s ready to go!
Dry the plank off and lightly coat the top surface with olive oil or vegetable oil. If you’d like, try a flavoured, or herbed, oil on the plank.
Pre-heat the grill on high for 10 minutes with the lid closed. Adjust the grill temperatures to medium heat (350-400°F / 180-200°C) and pre-heat the plank by placing it on the grill for 5 minutes.
Always have a spray bottle of water on hand to extinguish any flames.
Cooking on a plank is so incredibly simple and the results are so moist and delicious, you can’t help but have great results! Your guests will be impressed and everyone will enjoy the results of your barbequing prowess!
Remember to always exercise caution when barbequing and respect the fact that you are cooking with fire. Never place a smoldering plank on any flammable surface.
It’s best to make sure the plank is completely extinguished before you discard it. By submerging the plank in a pail of water, you can be sure that it will not smolder and re-ignite in the garbage.
If you are going to use gloves or mitts, be sure that they are designed for barbequing purposes.
Never leave your barbeque unattended.