Summer Grilling

Become a grill master this summer season and learn how to grill with wood planks.

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Grilling with Wood Planks

Plank Grilling

Grilling with wood planks is a method of cooking in which food is placed on a wooden plank with exposure to indirect heat. It adds a delicious kick of flavor to whatever you are grilling. From deep smoky flavors to fruity and fragrant tastes, wooden planks can turn your meal from average to show-stopping. Become a grill master with these unique and extremely flavorful grilling techniques that will impress all your barbecue guests this summer season.

Depending on what you’re grilling, there is a perfect wooden plank for it. From meats to vegetables to fruits, there is a plank “flavor” for each one. Read through this step-by-step guide to help you through the plank grilling process.

  1. Flavor of the plank is important. Depending on what you’re cooking, try types of wood like cedar, cherry, hickory, maple, red oak, and alder. The wood must be untreated.
  2. Soak the plank in water for at least 30 minutes before putting it on the grill. The plank needs to be fully submerged – put a heavy pot on top it to keep it under the water.
  3. Oil the plank. This keeps your meat or veggies from getting stuck to the plank.
  4. Spray the plank with a spray bottle of water if there are any flare-ups or if the plank starts to burn.
  5. Cooking will take longer on the plank than if it was on direct heat. If you have a gas grill, only turn half of the burners on. If you have a charcoal grill, only place the charcoal on one side of the grill.
  6. Reuse the plank up to three times and then crumble it into pieces and use as smoking wood chunks.
  7. Clean the plank with water – do not use soap – and store in a dry, clean place if you want to reuse it.

Known for it’s classic pairing with salmon, cedar also pairs well with vegetables, soft cheeses with a rind, pork chops, and tofu. It has a unique spicy, yet fragrant smoke flavor that finds a place in your stomach as well as your heart.

Slightly on the sweeter end, Cherry wood planks pair well with chicken, turkey, peaches, and vegetables. Cherry offers a sweet fruity flavor that keeps on kicking.

This wood is popular in smoking for its strong and bold flavors. Hickory pairs especially well with beef, lamb, bacon, and wild game.

With a subtle and balanced flavor, Maple pairs especially well with pork. Wrap whatever you’re grilling in bacon and prosciutto and use a Maple plank for delicious and sweet smoke flavor. Pizza, pineapple, and veggies are also great pairings for Maple planks.

Red Oak
With a medium strength flavor, Red Oak is the most versatile of the grilling woods. It goes well with beef, pork, lamb, wild game, or fish.

This wood has a delicate earthy flavor, making it the perfect paring for white fish like halibut, seafood in general, vegetables, and fruit.

Grilled Salmon with Heirloom Tomatoes

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Pesto-Grilled Cedar Planked Alaskan Wild Salmon

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Use Giant Eagle curbside pickup or delivery today and grab fresh meat for grilling season.