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Grilling with Cedar Planks

Learn all about grilling with cedar planks with Blain’s Farm & Fleet and Char-Broil.

Whether you’re a beginner or a grill master, you’re probably always looking for something new to try. If you want to complement the flavor of your food, try grilling with cedar planks–and other types of wood. Blain’s Farm & Fleet and Char-Broil are here to help you get started.

Grilling with Cedar Planks
Learn all about grilling with cedar planks–and other wood–with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Choosing the Right Plank

Using wood planks on the grill is pretty much what it sounds like. Instead of cooking food directly on the grill grates, the food is cooked on a plank of wood. To start, you need to pick out a plank that’s the right size and type for the food you’re cooking. The most common wood planks are 13″ x 7″ in a rectangle shape. However, there are also more natural shapes and some planks even come with the bark still attached.

Grilling with wooden planks can help complement flavor, depending on the type of wood and what you’re grilling. Alder and cedar planks have a gentle flavor that goes nicely with fish–salmon is commonly grilled with cedar planks. Oak and hickory work well with beef and gamey meats. Medium woods like pecan, apple and maple all add a subtle flavor to chicken and pork.

Preparing the Plank for Grilling

In order to grill with a plank, you’ll need to soak it in water for at least an hour (preferably longer) before it’s placed on the grill. This helps avoid over-charring and keeps the plank from catching fire. Use a rimmed cooking pan or any other pan where the plank can be weighed down and fully submerged. Use a heavy pot or bottle of wine to keep the wooden plank submerged. If you’re cooking fish with the skin on, brush the skin with cooking oil so it doesn’t stick to the plank.

Grilling with the Plank

When you’re grilling with a plank, always keep a spray bottle of water on hand to put out any flames or flare-ups if the plank starts to burn. Since you’ll be grilling with indirect heat, it’s going to take longer to cook. With a gas grill, you’ll only turn half of the burners on (putting the plank on the opposite side). If you have a charcoal grill, arrange the charcoal on only one side of the grill. If the plank is still in good shape, you can simply rinse it with water and store it in a dry place. Using soap can alter the flavor of the wood plank.

At Blain’s Farm & Fleet we understand that when you live in the Midwest, grilling season doesn’t end. That’s why we carry everything you need to be a year-round grill master: grills, smokers, charcoal, grilling tools and more. For more tips, grill recipes and how-to’s, visit our Grilling & Patio blog.

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