Cedar Planked Salmon is far and away one of the most amazing ways to make grill or smoke salmon.
It's becoming extremely popular and for good reason. However, this isn’t a method of cooking reserved for fine dining.
It's cheap and will actually make grilling fish easier – no sticking to the grill or falling through the grates.
And, you can reuse the planks 3-4 times before you have to buy new ones.
Buying Grilling Planks
You can buy planks in the grilling section of most major grocers, home improvement centers and online from barbecue suppliers.
Another option recently available are paper-thin sheets of wood called Grilling Papers.
Don’t try using planks from lumber yards as they’ll most likely be treated. The traditional wood is cedar, but you can use any
type of woods used for smoking (Oak, Hickory, Maple, Alder, Apple, Cherry, etc). Try starting with a good Cedar plank.
Cooking on a Cedar Plank
The planks must soak in warm to hot water for an hour. This will help preserve the plank and keep it from burning. This also will impart moisture and flavor.
Prepare your fish or other type of dish – oh yes, you can cook much more than fish on a plank. For starters, meatloaf (one of the videos does a full walk-through),
pork loin, lasagna, burgers, pizza, and cheese. All in good time… For now, prepare your fish and warm up your grill/smokers. Here is a great recipe for Cedar Planked Salmon from the guy who literally wrote the book on BBQ (Steve Raichlen).
There are some that prefer to "season" the planks by warming them on the grill for two minutes with the smooth side (food side) down before placing the food on.
This prevents warping and will kick-start the flavoring.
Also, if you keep a water spray bottle handy you can be prepared for any plank flare-ups. You can also lightly spray the outer edges of the planks as you check on it.