The Pleasures of Wood Plank Grilling  

Cook everything from tuna to tenderloin on a wood plank for extra-smoky flavor.

The Pleasures of Planking
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
The Pleasures of Planking
Summer Vegetable Kabobs

Grilled Recipes

Your complete recipe guide to grilling, barbecues, and outdoor entertaining.

Plank cooking is so simple it's almost foolproof. Planks suited for grilling are widely available, conveniently packaged, and sized to fit a standard grill. Food cooked on a plank stays moist and tender because of the damp smoke that wafts from the wood plank.

Planked with Flavor

Alder: perfect for mild foods and a is good match for seafood–especially salmon.
Cedar: most aromatic wood that adds a deep but gentle flavor. Works well for spicy dishes as well as pork.
Hickory: offers an intense smoky flavor that pairs well with beef and chicken.
Oak: has a moderate flavor that blends well with a variety of meats, poultry, and fish.
Birch, Pine, and Poplar: avoid these as they impart a bitter flavor.

Planking Pointers

• Soak planks before using to help keep the meat moist. A soaked plank produces maximum smoke and is less likely to burn. Submerge it in water for at least an hour.
• Use the soaked plank right away since the wood will start to dry out quickly.
• After placing the plank on the grill, immediately cover the grill so that smoke quickly surrounds the food.
• Food that touches the wood takes on more flavor, so arrange it on the wood plank in a single layer.
• Use oven mitts to remove the plank and place it on a heatproof serving platter. The edges of the plank may be charred and smoldering.


May, 2008
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