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Plank Cooking
Frequently Asked Questions

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After Curt had cut the board into 8 planks, we found a plastic container large enough to put them in and covered them with water.

We weighed them down with a large garden brick.

See the photos on the right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you’ve got the planks, then what? Here are answers to some of your “burning” questions.

Why Soak?

Besides preventing the plank from catching fire, soaking gives you the smoke you’re after. If you’ve ever built a campfire in the rain then you know firsthand that wet wood smolders and dry wood ignites.

How Long?

A good six hours in water ensures well saturated wood that is safe to cook on. Overnight is ideal, but any longer isn’t necessary: The wood can take on only so much water, plus it could start turning moldy.

At the very least, the planks should soak for one hour, but that’s the bare minimum amount of time. Any shorter and the plank is susceptible to catching fire—aside from the fact that it won’t create the smoke (and flavor) that you’re looking for.

In What?

Soak the planks in something that completely holds them plus enough water to keep them submerged — a large baking pan works well. Nothing fancy is necessary. The wood can create a film around the edge of the pan that’s hard to scrub off.

They Float?

Since the planks float, they’ll need to be weighted down with large cans, bricks, or stones (for health purposes, put the bricks and stones in a resealable plastic bag). When soaking a stack of planks, make sure water flows between each board: Flip the planks so both sides are wet before you weight them down.

Are They Reusable?

Yes. If you soak planks but don’t cook on them, you can use them later. Just air dry them thoroughly and soak again when needed.

If foods require more than 20 minutes of cooking, don’t expect to use planks more than once. But if you’re making a much quicker recipe like Brie, you may be able to get two uses out of a plank.

Soaking the cedar planks in a large plastic tub.

Place the planks in a shallow baking pan or plastic tub and cover with water. Weight the planks down with something heavy — bricks or a large bowl work fine.

Weighing down the cedar planks with a large garden brick.


Plank Cooking Table of Contents

Picking a Plank
Plank FAQs
The Brine
Cooking on Wood
Plank-Cooked Chicken
Plank-Cooked Brie

From Cuisine Magazine

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