Wood Plank Grilling December 11 2013, 0 Comments

Why wood plank grilling?

When using both gas and charcoal grills, there are many special techniques that can be used when cooking various foods to give unique flavor. Using wood planks for grilling offer a simple way to cook while giving a wonderful smoky flavor. Depending on the type of wood that is used and the way that it is prepared, the taste can be different for the type of food being cooked. The wood plank gives that same effect as if you were cooking on a pan as far as a stable cooking surface, while having the ability to produce the smoke, giving more flavor. It can be used when cooking everything from fish to chicken or other meat that requires a longer cooking time. Those that need direct cooking quickly such as steak would not do well on a wood plank. When purchasing the wood grill planks the wood should be untreated and free of chemicals and it should be sized correctly for the size of necessary cooking surface depending on the food.

Types of Wood

Various types of wood can be used depending on the desired flavor. 

  • milder woods such as cedar or alder are great for fish
  • a medium wood such as maple, apple, or pecan give chicken nice flavors
  • heavier woods such as hickory, mesquite or oak are good for beef or gamier meats

Wood Plank Grilling Techniques

  • The wood grill planks should be soaked in water for at least one hour prior to cooking so that the wood does not catch fire and gives a slow cooking time to produce the smoky flavor
  • Soaking them in apple juice or wine can also be used to change the aroma of the smoke
  • Start your grill with flame on one side
  • Place your wood plank on the cool side and allow to sit for several minutes on each side to help with intensifying the smoke
  • When plank cooking, use the indirect heat and keep the lid closed
  • Do not flip your food, as the indirect heat and plank will allow it to cook evenly
Grilling on wood planks is a great technique when wanting to impart a nice, smoky aroma into your food and a fun alternative to your traditional grilling experience. Happy grilling!