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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This came with my typical woodcraft email flyer, and I found it a very interesting idea.

Great idea for leftover scraps too small for other projects.
Use your leftover wood scraps to create grilling planks.

Long before aluminum pans and electric ovens, people used an open fire and a slab of wood. Pacific Northwest Indians roasted salmon on planks hewn from native cedar and alder trees. As it sizzled and charred over the flame, the wood infused the fish with a subtle smoky flavor. The plank was both a cooking vessel and a serving dish.

Whether you’re cooking with charcoal or on a gas grill, aromatic wood planks provide an easy way to imbue your favorite seafood, meats and poultry with subtle fire-smoked flavor. Grilling planks can be used for cooking fish, poultry, meats and vegetables and can be cut any size to suit your needs. Some more common sizes are 5-1/2" x 6" x 5/16" or 7" x 15" x 3/8".

Grilling planks are reusable and indirect cooking will prolong their use. Soaking after the first use is optional. Clean each plank after every use with water and antibacterial soap. When planks become charred and brittle, break apart and use them as smoking chips.

What kinds of woods are safe and make good grilling planks?

Western Red cedar is one of the most popular species for cooking planks, but planks can also be hewn from other woods, particularly Alder, Cherry, Maple, Oak, and Hickory. Each species has its own unique flavor. Cedar has a spicy, peppery quality that goes very well with sweet marinades and sauces, such as those with teriyaki or maple syrup. Alder has a cleaner flavor that’s smoky, but not peppery, with hints of vanilla. It goes well with sauces that contain bacon or tomatoes.

Great gift idea for Father's Day

So before you come up short for that last minute gift idea, use your leftover woods and a little imagination to make great gifts. Planks can be cut into any shape you choose; a fish for the catch of the day, a chili pepper for the vegetarian. How about a plain oval or rectangular plank with a round over edge treatment? Planks are easy to personalize. Make a plank to suit your style, with handles or without, a groove for juice retention, or a small hole for the au juice cup or sauces.

An assortment of various species and sizes of planks, a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce, and a set of grilling utensils make a great anniversary present, a gift for a house warming party or the newlyweds, a birthday present or Father’s Day gift for the “man who cooks with fire”.
Does anyone here do this or have tried this? Actually putting the food on the board and cooking it in the BBQ? I'd always thought a good portion of the heat for cooking came from the transfer of heat through the ceramic grill, and thus I can't imaging the wood transferring enough heat to accomplish cooking much.

I'd love to try this, I have a bunch of perfect sized cutoffs from when we putting down our pressure-treated decking.... (I'm KIDDING, SO KIDDING, DO NOT TRY THAT AT HOME!!).

I did find a perfect size piece of ash last night, though, as this article came to mind. Other than the woods listed, is there any way to know which boards might be unsafe to try this with?
 

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do a search of my user name......I had a topic like this a while back. but short answer is yes. I don't use cut offs for plank cooking, but I use it for BBQ smoking. I lucked out and a buddy of mine was milling a hickory tree and gave me all the cut offs and planer shavings, which equaled to more that I could use in a summer.
Like the article said be careful of what you use some wood is great for cooking with and other should be reserved for just plain burning
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found the thread, good info! I don't have a smoker, though, and the posts didn't seem to talk about actually cooking directly on the board.

I've been too chicken to try adding wood to my gas grill though. I guess just soaking some small sticks/shavings in water and putting them on the cooking rack with the food might be a good thing to try!

Sounds like I'll stick just to woods mentioned, which is already way more types of wood than I have, and then I know I'll be safe.

I have lots of hickory sapwood...I wonder if it will still impart flavor...
 

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I found the thread, good info! I don't have a smoker, though, and the posts didn't seem to talk about actually cooking directly on the board.

I've been too chicken to try adding wood to my gas grill though. I guess just soaking some small sticks/shavings in water and putting them on the cooking rack with the food might be a good thing to try!

Sounds like I'll stick just to woods mentioned, which is already way more types of wood than I have, and then I know I'll be safe.

I have lots of hickory sapwood...I wonder if it will still impart flavor...
Beelzerob,

I cook fish on wood often. What I do is submerge and soak a cedar plank (1/2") for about an hour. I then place it directly on the grate set of high if I am using a gas, if I am using a charcoal I have a direct grilling area and indirect area and place the plank over the direct area and lower the grate. I then go prep the fish. I mostly use whole trout, salmon works great too. When I see small hints of smoke from the plank I place the well lubricated fish on the plank and cook until done. I use sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, olive oil and round lemon slices. I am not sure about hickory and "planking". However, I do smoke with hickory and oak every weekend. Hope this helped, enjoy!

Hays
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That was great info, thanks! Very clear and direct. That's how I need my directions to feel confident enough to try. :) We don't do fish very often, but I'll try this next time we do.

Is it possible to "smoke" with some wood on a standard gas grill? I'd guess most food doesn't stay on the grill long enough to make a difference, but chicken or pork usually takes me a while. Do I just put soaked pieces of wood on the grill directly?
 

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wrap some wood chips in aluminum foil and poke some holes in the foil and throw it on the grill and you will get some smoke flavor. some suggest you soak the chips first others say don't soak them. I have never tried either so I can't say how it works.
check out smokingmeatforums.com they have a lot of good info.
 

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Beel, I've done the cedar and alder planking {living here in the Pacific NW it's sort of a right of passage ;-) }. I use a lower heat than the others mentioned and let it cook longer but yes it works great. I also used to smoke in my gas grill. I had a cast iron "smoker box" that you put wood chips in and then just placed it on the lower grill. Great way to get that charcoal/wood smoke flavor from a gas grill. You can also just use a heavy foil pan.
 

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Went to dinner at some friend's house last year. She fancies herself as a gourmet, and I'll have to admit, she is pretty good. On this occasion, she made a big deal out of her special "grilling planks" for the salmon. She bought them out of an up-scale epicure catalog for something like $19.95. When I saw them, I had to keep everyone from seeing me roll my eyes. They were just two roughsawn pieces of cedar maybe 5" x 10" x 1/2" with a logo burned into them. When I suggested that they might be just ordinary cedar, she just sniffed in kind of a patronizing way, and insisted that for $20, they had to be some exotic and rare species that just looked superficially like cedar. I let it drop.
 

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That's funny.

Her planks were "special" but the salmon probably came out of a pond.

There's a sucker born every minute.
 

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I got my smoker box for my gas grill at Lowes. Use it all the time. I've given several cedar planks to buddies at work for their grilling. Just ERC. Been wanting to try it myself but haven't yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I see several on the Lowes website, so I'll have to drop by and see what's actually in the store, but I can't wait to give this a try. Finally a use for all that lumber downstairs!! :laughing:
 
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