About Us

Joined by our passion for meat, beer, cards and meat, we created a compitition bbq team to partake in just that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BBQ Tools - Cedar Planks

BBQ Tools - Cedar Planks

Cedar wood grilling planks have been around for a while and most of you have seen them before - but do you know how easy they are to use and how well they work?!?

The purpose of the Cedar Planks is to provide an indirect cooking area for more delicate foods while adding some flavors. These planks can be used in any smoker, charcoal grill or gas grill but take the following precautions - on any cooker, make sure the grate temp does NOT exceed 300F:

Smoker - no real precautions - you're already cooking indirect so just soak the planks.

Charcoal Grill - try and move the coals to one side of the kettle and place the planks on the opposite side. Keep a spray bottle of water handy just in case the plank catches on fire.

Gas Grill - ONLY use on the indirect side - turn the burner on one side only and use the planks on the other side. Make sure the flame does NOT touch the planks. Keep a spray bottle of water handy just in case the plank catches on fire. You may also want to place a sheet pan between the burner and the planks to ensure no flames touch the planks.

Prep the planks - soak the planks in a container that covers at least half of the plank - remember - they float! Soak the planks for at least 1/2 hour and up to 3 hours. You can add salt, balsamic vinegar, apple cider, or whatever you can think of that will add flavor to the food as it evaporates during the cook.

The first time you use the planks, you will have to cure them - soak them and then cook them on the grate for 2 minutes per side and flip at least 2 times so each side gets "heat treated" twice. This will reduce warpage in the future.

Soak the planks for 1/2 hour to 3 hours. I used a bucket with some apple cider, sea salt, and season salt. I soaked them for 3 hours, flipping them over every 1/2 hour to ensure the entire plank was soaked.

The first time you use the planks you have to "heat treat" them. Place them on the grate after you soak them - make sure you flip them every 2 minutes and make sure each side gets the treatment at least twice. This will ensure the planks don't warp.

Cooking on the planks - these planks are great to cook fish, shell fish, vegetables, or any other delicate food item that will fall through the cooking grate or tends to fall apart. I cooked some salmon here.

You can see the salmon cooking - the planks slowly loose their moisture and the cider and seasoning that I soaked the planks in slowly steamed out of the planks and into the food. This is a great way to infuse some additional flavors. I don't recommend cooking anything on the planks that takes longer than 30 minutes because the planks will completely dry out and then you have a fire hazard. Watch the pit / cooker the entire time these planks are on the fire!

This is an inexpensive way to add another dimension - and some fun - to your cook. What a great way to experiment AND cook some foods that are typically tough to cook on the grate!

No comments: