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.
- Remove the plank from the grill and place into a container of water.
- Rinse a used plank with soap and water and let it dry. Re-soaking for another use is optional. Store plank in a dry, clean place.
- Reuse grilling planks about two or three times. If there’s wood left, you can use the plank.
- Crumble up charred planks over coals to use as smoking chips.
Starter Plank Salmon Marinate
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
- lemon pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- salt to taste
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat grill for medium heat.
- Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.