How to Grill with a Wood Plank

Planking! Everyone’s doing it. Grilling on a hardwood plank keeps your food away from the direct heat of the grill. The plank serves as a heat shield and helps flavour your food. Many people stick with grilling salmon or other types of fish on a plank, but you can experiment by grilling other meats, vegetables, fruits and even cheese.

  1. Soak It
    Soak the plank in water for at least 30 minutes before putting it on the grill. Make sure the plank is fully submerged by putting a heavy pot on top of it.

  2. Oil It
    If cooking fish with the skin on, spray or brush the skin with cooking oil before adding it to the plank.

  3. Flavour It
    Depending on what you’re grilling, try different types of untreated wood planks — cedar, oak, alder, hickory, maple, cherry and apple.

  4. Keep It Handy
    Use a spray bottle of water to put out any flare-ups or flames on the plank if it starts to burn.

  5. Cook It
    With indirect grilling, like planking, it will take longer for your food to cook because it will not be directly above the heat, but the results are unlike direct grilling. If you have a gas grill, turn half of the burners on. If you have a charcoal grill, place the charcoal on one side of the grill.

  6. Reuse It
    You can reuse a grilling plank two to three times or crumble the charred pieces and use as smoking wood chunks. To reuse it, simply rinse it in water and store it in a clean, dry place. Don’t use soap -- it can alter the flavour of your plank.

TIP: Make sure you place your plank in water after grilling since a heated plank can contain glowing embers that could reignite.