Putting a piece of wood over an open flame doesn’t sound like a cooking method—it sounds like a great way to start a bonfire. But in practice, cooking food on a wood plank over a grill can yield some especially smoky and delicious results.
Before you put some salmon or steak on your grill plank and get to cooking, you’ll need to prep it. Specifically, you’ll want to soak it in water for about an hour. This will keep the wood from burning. Then all you have to do is put it on the grill, place your food on top of it and start cooking. Not only will you get a delicious smoked flavor this way, the wood should also keep your food moist.
Of course, there are many different grill planks to choose from—and the type of wood you choose can greatly affect the flavor. Options include hickory, cedar, cherry, maple and more. Given that you’ll typically only get one use out of these planks, there’s no reason not to try a bunch of them. Here are four of the best on Amazon.
1. Jonathan Alden Cherry Wood Grilling Planks
For those who want a bit more of a nuanced, sweet flavor, a cherry wood plank like Jonathan Alden’s is just the ticket. The wood gives things a fruitier taste, and it’s designed to cook evenly and easily, with one side being smooth for plating and the other side textured to help easily distribute heat. The set includes eight planks, which is a good amount even if you accidentally burn through them.
2. Primal Grilling Premium Cedar Planks
Primal Grilling’s set of five cedar planks are designed to last. They’re thicker than most other boards out there, so they won’t burn as easily, and you can reuse them a few times before they wear out. Plus, they’re a great pick for first timers, as they come with an instruction booklet as well as a recipe. There’s even a burlap bag for storing them when you’re not busy grilling.
3. Wildwood Grilling Plank Variety Pack
There are many different wood types to choose from, which can make finding the perfect plank difficult. But Wildwood Grilling’s set takes some of the guesswork out for beginners, as it comes with six different planks—one hickory, one cherry, one maple and so on. Included in the package is an e-book with recipes, so you’ll know which board is best for what you’re cooking.
4. Coastal Cuisine Cedar Grilling Planks
If you’re barbecuing for a crowd, grill planks don’t seem like the best option, since you’re limited in terms of cooking space. Coastal Cuisine’s boards fix this problem a bit, as they’re much larger than most others on the market, measuring seven by 16 inches. That way you can fit bigger pieces of salmon or meat on them—a boon when you have guests to cook for. There are eight planks in total in the set, so it should last you a while as well.