Add a woodsy aroma to your food through cedar plank cooking! Go through this guide and learn how to level up your favorite dishes with cedar planks.
Cedar Plank Cooking In 5 Easy Steps
Do you want your food to have a rustic, smoky aroma? Then you should try cedar plank cooking! Preparing food on untreated cedar boards allows the food to pick up the scent and flavor of the cedar, giving your food a unique twist. Imagine the lovely aroma of cedar seeping into your baked salmon or grilled chicken. Wouldn't it be heavenly? Learn more about Cedar plank cooking in this guide!
1. Choosing the Plank
Choose a cedar plank best suited to what you're planning to cook. Make sure it is large or thick enough to hold the amount of food. Note that it must be able to fit on the grill or inside the oven as well.
Be extra cautious when you buy cedar planks from lumberyards or hardware stores. They might be treated with chemicals already and you don't want your food to be infused with something harmful. But don't worry, cedar planks for cooking are available at many stores and they are easy to find online. If you want, you can also make your own grilling planks from scratch.
2. Preparing the Plank
Before you use a cedar plank, make sure you submerge it with water for at least one hour like what 2 Fat Nerds did when they cooked their salmon. You need to soak it even longer, three hours or even overnight if you're using the plank for baking. This protects the plank from over-charring and catching fire. Use pots, glasses, and other heavier objects to pin down the plank, ensuring it's completely covered with water.
You can add apple cider, wine, or sake to the water to give your food an extra kick of aroma or flavor. Before you start cooking, don't forget to rub a bit of oil on the plank. This prevents food from sticking to the wood.
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3. Grilling with a Cedar Plank
Set the plank on a preheated gas or charcoal grill. Choose a medium-heat setting to prevent the cedar plank from charring too quickly. If you're using a charcoal grill, you can build a two-zone indirect fire. You can do this by piling the coal (already hot) on one side of the grill and placing the cedar plank on the other side. It's not exactly a fast way to cook your meal. However, it gives the food more time to soak in the cedar's aroma.
Of course, you can also use the plank directly over the fire to add a smokier aroma to your food. But make sure the plank is thoroughly soaked in water.
Always have a squirt bottle with water nearby in case the cedar plank catches fire. You can also use this to add more moisture to the food while it's being grilled.
4. Using Cedar Planks in the Oven
Cedar planks can also be used to bake food in an oven. Just make sure the planks are soaked in water for at least an hour like what the Greedy Monster did when they baked their salmon. But to be safe, soak them for three hours, especially if the food takes a long time to bake. Don't forget to place the planks in a baking pan or dish to catch the drippings.
5. Storing and Reusing the Cedar Planks
You can reuse the planks if they are not yet charred through. Just wash them with running water but don't use soap. Otherwise, the food you're going to cook next will taste like soap. Use sandpaper to make the planks extra clean. To keep mold and bacteria from building up on the planks, be sure they're completely dry before storage.
Learn how to grill salmon with cedar plank cooking in this video by Weber Grills:
Cedar plank cooking gives your culinary experience extra oomph; so, be sure to try this soon! You can always use other grilling planks made from oak, hickory, or maple, among others. But start with cedar first before you explore. Trust us, you won't regret it!
How did your cedar plank cooking experience go? Write a comment below to let us know how it went!
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