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Woo hoo hoo!! Grilling with Planks!
Old 08-27-2009, 11:32 AM   #1
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Woo hoo hoo!! Grilling with Planks!

I finally tried plank grilling. I've been meaning to try this for quite a while, but you know how that is, sometimes it takes years to get around to it. My husband adores planked salmon.

One of the problems with my beloved Baby Weber gas grill has been lack of indirect cooking options. I rarely did fish on it because I would have to use non-stick foil to keep from getting the burn marks too heavy, and for some reason fitting the foil to the cold grill and poking all those little holes it and then taking it off while waiting for preheat, and then trying to fit it back on just seemed like too much trouble to me.

While browsing in a camping store, I stumbled across a cookbook by Fire & Flavor :: Grilling Papers, Planks and more! and read the back section on plank grilling and ended up buying it. Ordered some of their planks from Amazon - which carries them in "bulk" i.e. 3-packs, and thus well discounted.

Did some salmon on an alder plank. It worked beautifully. Great smells too. So easy!

The planks basically let you steam/smoke/bake the fish on the grill. No marks! NO FLIPPING THE FISH - not having to turn the fish on the grill is such a big deal. Now I can do even the most delicate fillets on the grill without worry.

And I can probably do some other larger cuts of meat that want longer roasting rather than high-temp grilling. Chicken is something I haven't been happy with on the grill because the exterior burns too easily - especially if marinated/basted. Using a plank will solve that problem as well.

And my burning (pun!) question about planks was - are they reusable? The answer is YES! How many times reused depends on how thick the plank is and how charred you get it. More time soaking = less charring. I had hesitated to spend the $$ on a couple of planks because I wasn't sure if it was a one-time use only.

Going to do another today, and plan to take a photo this time so I'll post it.

Audrey
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Thanks for the info. I've noticed some recipes for cooking fish on planks and had been curious. My assumption had been that it imparted a flavor to the fish, but now I see what it's all about. My solution for grilling fish was a basket, which worked great. I have an old three burner propane grill, so I did indirect in the center with the middle burner turned off. there was still the occasional bit of charring on the edges.

But now, with the lazy man's smoker, I am exploring all kinds of new dishes to play with. When I first got it a friend started talking about doing some fish and small game birds, and that's coming soon, probably Salmon steaks. But my next experiment is smoked Prime Rib.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:02 PM   #3
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Yes, there is definitely more to plank grilling than a little smoke flavor and a pretty presentation.

I wish I had a smoker! But in the motorhome I really don't have the room to carry it. I love hot-smoked salmon! We have a dry smoker in storage, but since I don't transport it, I really can only use it when we are in our "home" park.

Audrey
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:08 PM   #4
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I have not grilled salmon on planks, but have learned this trick from a cookbook: salmon on aluminum foil, skin side down. The advantage is that the foil spreads the heat for even cooking, keeps the fish from burning, and sticks to the skin making removal of the latter after grilling a cinch. Curving the foil also helps holding in any basting sauce you fancy to use.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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I have not grilled salmon on planks, but have learned this trick from a cookbook: salmon on aluminum foil, skin side down. The advantage is that the foil spreads the heat for even cooking, keeps the fish from burning, and sticks to the skin making removal of the latter after grilling a cinch. Curving the foil also helps holding in any basting sauce you fancy to use.
Yes, I have done that (on non-stick foil) and it does indeed work very nicely. What I learned is to put the non-skin side down first which sears the top and does give some nice light grill marks, and then turn it over skin side up and Voila! the skin stays on the foil. Scrunch up foil and throw away the mess!

But for some reason for me working with the foil seemed like a hassle because the way I learned it had you poking all these little holes in it. I haven't tried it without the holes.

Also, working with chicken on foil didn't keep the edges from burning. Again, maybe it was all those little holes.....

Audrey
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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I grill with the flesh side up and I never poke holes in the foil, so it holds in the juice. The filet looks more like it is broiled in an oven, i.e. no grill marks. We use the oven very little to avoid heating up the house. Temperature in Phoenix is going to hit 110 or more this weekend. Hope that helps the Texan folks feel better.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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I grill with the flesh side up and I never poke holes in the foil, so it holds in the juice. The filet looks more like it is broiled in an oven, i.e. no grill marks. We use the oven very little to avoid heating up the house. Temperature in Phoenix is going to hit 110 or more this weekend. Hope that helps the Texan folks feel better.
Well I'll definitely have to try it that way some time too when I don't have time to soak some planks. Thanks for the info.

I also prefer not to cook fish in the motorhome kitchen - heat and smell.

At least I am enjoying mid-80s highs here in Townsend TN.

Audrey
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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Great thread. Dinner tonight is cedar planked king salmon on the grill along with bok choy,garlic and broccoli. Along with some nice Sangiovese. Love planked salmon


I just soak the plank for about 2 hrs. Set the grill to about 350 375. Bring the salmon up to 135 and let it sit for 5 minutes usually cooks another 5 degrees. Always comes out perfect.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:57 PM   #9
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Great thread. Dinner tonight is cedar planked king salmon on the grill along with bok choy,garlic and broccoli. Along with some nice Sangiovese. Love planked salmon

I just soak the plank for about 2 hrs. Set the grill to about 350 375. Bring the salmon up to 135 and let it sit for 5 minutes usually cooks another 5 degrees. Always comes out perfect.
Photos, photos! We want photos! Are you putting the bok choy, etc. on the plank too or just cooking on the side?

Yep, I always do my salmon to 135 degrees. Love those temp probes for grilling.

Where do you get your cedar planks?

Audrey
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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...
Where do you get your cedar planks?
Audrey
Pull one shingle off the roof. Put back when done?

PS. Forgot there is no motorhome with a shake roof. Wait, I might have seen a picture of one, but I am sure Audrey's is not like that.
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:22 PM   #11
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Photos, photos! We want photos! Are you putting the bok choy, etc. on the plank too or just cooking on the side?

Yep, I always do my salmon to 135 degrees. Love those temp probes for grilling.

Where do you get your cedar planks?

Audrey
Ok Ill take pictures later No bok choy on the stove. Cedar planks at home depot or any sporting good store. Make sure they aren't treated! The ones you use are for culinary use
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:03 PM   #12
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One of the problems with my beloved Baby Weber gas grill has been lack of indirect cooking options.
Audrey
Would I be correct in assuming you are doing the planked salmon on direct heat? How large/thick is the piece of salmon that you are doing?

When I tried this (in a charcoal Weber/covered) over direct heat w/ a single
piece about 2 lbs/perhaps 1.25" thick), w/o turning, I always seemed to
have trouble cooking it ........because heat was mostly coming from the bottom, to get top part cooked, usually ended up overcooking bottom part.
Usually indirect heat is recommended for cooking bigger pieces but when
I did that, I had trouble igniting the plank . Could have ignited plank
over direct heat and then spread the coals to make the indirect fire but that
was a hassle bc you'd have to handle the hot plank and grill.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:28 PM   #13
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Start and finish yum. You can reuse the plank just depending on how bad you um burn it Seasoned with dill,salt and pepper.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:41 PM   #14
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Already? Lookin' GOOD!

Will make meself some soon.

I won't care if my neighbor's roof leaks some.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:58 PM   #15
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Already? Lookin' GOOD!

Will make meself some soon.

I won't care if my neighbor's roof leaks some.
Yeah I know. DW just said we are eating like her folks. Not even 5 oclock yet. I think I need a nap Oh BTW Audrey this is done on a Weber Q220.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:09 PM   #16
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Yeah, it's really early. We are still deciding what to do for dinner. What white wine did you have?
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:17 PM   #17
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Yeah, it's really early. We are still deciding what to do for dinner. What white wine did you have?
Didnt drink white. Had some Sangiovese it was a red. I don't drink whites or reds depending on food. I drink what tastes good Oh and it was on sale
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:20 PM   #18
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Thought you were sleeping on that wine, whatever the choice. Just got to take a peek at the thread, didn't you?
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:23 PM   #19
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Thought you were sleeping on that wine, whatever the choice. Just got to take a peek at the thread, didn't you?
I never sleep.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:25 PM   #20
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Start and finish yum. You can reuse the plank just depending on how bad you um burn it Seasoned with dill,salt and pepper.
Wow! Looking good! I especially like having both the before and after pics.

I didn't take a photo tonight . I almost didn't get to grill! We had a big rain event move in for several hours and until the last minute it looked like it wouldn't slack up at all. By the time it calmed down to a light drizzle, it was already rather dark and 100% humidity (fog). I put out the awning and got the grilling done, but too late/tired for pics.

I'll post pics the next time.

Audrey
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