Treat your family and loved ones to a meal that incorporates the smoky, earthy flavor of nature with planking. Cooking on a wood plank is something commonly seen in outdoor cooking, such as cedar-planked salmon on a barbecue grill, but there are so many other ways to plank, both indoors and out.
Try planking your family's dinner tonight; wood is good!
Get the wood ready. If you are planking in the oven, season your wood plank by toasting it in either in the oven or over the grill first. Next, rub the cooking surface with cooking oil or olive oil lightly before using. For planking over the grill, soak the planks for up to four hours in water, wine, or juice before using.
Re-use your planks. With the right preparation and ample soaking, you should be able to use your planks more than once on the grill and indefinitely in the oven. The shorter grill life may be extended by curbing flare-ups and preventing burning. Keeping a spray-bottle of water near the grill to control the flame can be helpful.
Which wood is best? The best woods to use for planking include cedar, maple, hickory, cherry, and alder. But really any fresh, untreated, and clean plank that you choose will work. Be careful of the condition of the wood that you are using to plank your food, and choose pieces that you are confident have been well taken care of. Make it easy on yourself by visiting a local lumber or hardware store to find exactly what you need.
Take it inside. Planking in the oven is a great way to enhance the flavor of your favorite proteins, and there is no need to turn meat cooking on a wood plank. Your plank will last for years if you wipe the surface after using and re-season with oil. Never plank in an oven hotter than 425 degrees.
Smoke with wood. Smoking your food with wood chips is the way to go; the flavor of the natural wood infuses the meat, creating a deep flavor. Make sure to only use dry wood and never wood that is moist and full of sap. It can take six weeks to a year for wood chips to dry.
Try something a little different tonight; cook your family's meat, fish, or protein on a plank. The depth of flavor achieved with cooking on maple wood is phenomenal, and the clean-up makes this technique a no-brainer. Start looking for the perfect plank for your favorite dish, and enjoy the expanded versatility and flavor profiles that natural wood offer.