The following is a guest post from my husband Bob.
Since Mother’s Day this year happened to land on Megan’s birthday, it is a special day at our house. That means the boys and I have to treat her extra special and do everything for her, including writing her blog post for her.
On Father’s Day last year I got a new grill, which is very nice, but it is no Big Green Egg. While I enjoy that the grill starts in less than 30 seconds, I do miss the flavor and the smoke of a charcoal grill. I have been meaning for a while to try out my grill with a cedar plank and decided the time is right now.
Using a plank infuses all of the flavor from the wood into the meat during the cooking process. I chose to do a simple recipe for my first time to make sure the flavor of the wood is not hidden by the marinade. Just salt, pepper, olive oil and a good cut of salmon. I also soaked the plank in wine for a couple of hours instead of plain water to add a little extra flavor.
I have heard that you can get cedar at your local hardware store for pretty cheap, however, I was not that brave for my first attempt. I stuck with the more expensive food grade plank I got at Sur La Table. The instructions claim it can be used 2-3 times before it is too charred to use anymore. They also had maple and mahogany and a few other types of wood to choose from.
Setup is pretty simple. First you’ll want to soak your plank for 1-2 hours in water or wine. Heat your grill to 375°F and toss the plank on for 3 minutes or so with the cover on. Be sure to keep a spray bottle full of water handy to squelch any flames, as you want it to smolder slowly. Flip the plank over and place your meat, skin side down, on the lightly charred side of the plank. The salmon should steam for about 12 – 15 minutes, depending on the size or your fish, until it is uniformly pink on the inside.
The salmon was delicious; I think it was the best fish I have had in years. I did manage to destroy the plank, so be careful and watch for flare ups. It was worth it though, even the asparagus turned out a little better! Our baby Max ate all of his portion and screamed for more! I’d be glad to hear what dishes you tried out on your planks. Happy planking!