Grilling Planks Provide A Smoky Bonus To Barbecuing
If you've not heard the term planking before in connection with grilling you may well be passing up on yet another great opportunity to dazzle family and friends with your grill magic. Planking is said to have begun with native American Indians living in the Pacific Northwest. American indians would place soaked cedar wooden planks around a camp fire and then attach salmon to the boards for slow-roasting.
When food, like vegetables, fruits or meats are placed on a wood plank's surface, the smoking of the heated wood transfers the flavor of that wood to the food. The wood types can vary but each one is generally in the hardwood family.
Soaking a wood plank prior to placing it on a grill rack is required. No planks are placed directly over hot coals or an open flame. For the best results, a grill must be heated to about 400 degrees. Only then is a soaked wood planked added. The plank is then heated for about 3 minutes before any food is placed on top.
Food is not turned during the cooking process when planking because it is not exposed to direct heat as it would be sitting on a grill rack. The principal in planking is smoking with an indirect convection-type heating bonus. The indirect heating works best on gas grills versus charcoal grills.
You can buy cedar planks for grilling at just about any big box retailer, hardware store or online. Temperatures for planking with cedar should be around 350 degrees to keep the cedar plank edges from burning.
Cleaning a reusable cedar is as easy as grilling on it. Simply scrub in hot water with a stout brush. There's no need to use soap since the grill heating will kill any bacteria during the cooking process. You always will want to cook on the same side of a grill plank.
You do not want to season or oil a cedar plank. It prohibits the plank from absorbing the water it needs to produce tasty results. This may prevent adequate absorption of water in the soaking process. This may also cause the plank to burn or wear out prematurely if not allowed to sufficiently soak before grilling.
You could be wondering if you can use any type of wood available as a grilling plank and the answer is it's not recommended. Wood generally available, and not labeled specifically for grill planking, can be treated with chemicals.No one wants to have resins or other toxic substances leach into their food when heated -- it's best to stay with a product labeled for grilling. Shingles purchased from a hardware store may contain any variety of chemicals and aren't very sanitary. Regular wood shingles are not even -- while it adds to their aesthetic on a roof, it would present a poor surface for grilling.
Another tip to remember is that not all cedars (the preferred wood for grilling planks) are the same. Avoid any eastern cedar, inland cedar or white cedar species. Besides being unsanitary, the have a high sap content that would add a bitter, unpleasant taste to your food. If using something other than a pre-packed cedar plank labeled for grilling, red western cedar is the alternative.
|Grilling Planks provide a Smoky Bonus to Barbecuing page created by Rickie Runyon|