Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grilling With Cedar Planks

So now the grill is up and running I through I would try an old favorite this week, grilling with cedar planks. If you have never had planked fish (or chicken), you may want to give it a try. Cooking meat on a plank is rewarding because it gives the meat a smoky flavor and the fish is cooked indirectly as the bottom of the filet is cooked by the smoldering wood plank and the top is cooked by indirect heat caused by the grill cover being closed.

Some things to keep in mind when using a plank are as follows:

1. Cooking time will double that of cooking straight on the grill grate. Fish will take you about twenty minutes.

2. Purchase planks designated for cooking. Avoid wood that is chemically treated.

3. The plank needs to be immersed in water for at least an hour prior to cooking to avoid flare ups and burn up of wood.

4. Avoid quick grill items such as steaks, burgers, and chops when plank cooking. These items need to be in contact with direct flame and they will receive no benefit from a wood plank since they cook so fast.

5. Discard plank after a few uses. Some planks may last only one time.

6. Clean plank with hot water.

I recommend grilling with cedar planks or a good fruit wood for planking your next catch of the day. The slower cooking time involved with planking will create some terrific flavors of the wood to be passed on to the meat.

Here is a picture of my Tuesday evening dinner of planked mahi mahi. I seasoned the filets with salt, pepper, and garlic and brushed fish and plank with a little olive oil. The fish was topped with a little yogurt dill sauce and served with a baked potato. Add a pilsner of choice and you are in business.

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