Author: Taste of Home
We recently had some Grilling Planks returned by a customer and it made me think that maybe this article from Taste of Home would have been helpful prior to the sale. Below are Step by Step instructions (with pictures!) on how to prep and use a grilling plank. Hopefully this will be helpful. Grill on!
Step 1: Prepare the planks
Before we begin, examine the planks to make sure they’re splinter-free. See a few pointy sticklers? Don’t panic. Give the wood a quick brush with sandpaper until smooth.
Now it’s tub time for your planks. Soak the boards in water for at least one hour. The best way to soak your planks is to submerge the wood in a baking dish or rimmed sheet pan. Use a heavy can to keep them from floating. Flip occasionally to make sure they’re evenly soaked.
Test Kitchen tip: If you have the time, let the planks soak for 3-4 hours. They’ll last even longer on the grill. For more flavor, try adding wine or apple juice to the water.
Meanwhile, combine butter, ginger, herbs, honey, lemon peel, salt and pepper in a small bowl. This is what we’ll use to coat the trout.
Step 2: Fire it up
Let’s get grilling. You’ll want to prepare one side of the grill for direct heat and the other side for indirect. If you’re working with charcoal, use a chimney starter to corral your hot coals on one side of the grill. Direct heat means the zone above the coals.
Place your pre-soaked planks on the grill over direct medium heat. (For charcoal, you’ll know it’s reached medium heat if you can comfortably hold your hand 5 inches away from the grill for 5-7 seconds.)
Cover and let the plank heat for 3 minutes. Some light smoke should begin to emerge from the wood. You’ll know it’s ready when the plank begins to blacken
Test Kitchen tip: Slightly charring the planks gives the dish a deeper flavor. Prefer your wood less toasty? Skip this step and begin cooking over indirect heat.
Step 3: Plank grill the fish
Using a pair of long-armed tongs, carefully flip the planks over so the blackened side faces upward. Move the planks to indirect heat.
Spread the ginger-herb spread over the flesh side of the fillets. Then place the fish on the planks, skin side down. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Test Kitchen tip: Resist the urge to flip the fish after you’ve set it on the plank. Close the lid, sit back, and let it cook.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Your tender, smoky fish is ready for its debut. Transfer the planks to a pretty platter and serve. Your guests will be impressed by the plating-but they’ll love the flavor even more. One bite and you’ll want to plank grill all year round.
Test Kitchen tip: When finished, let the planks cool completely. Scrub clean under cold water, scraping off any remaining residue. If you run into a stubborn spot, use sandpaper to remove. Do not use soap. (If you do, your fish could taste sudsy the next time you grill!)
Even More Ways to Love Plank Grilling
Don’t limit yourself to trout. Most sturdy fish are great for plank grilling. Try salmon, bluefish, swordfish or wild striped bass. Looking for more? You can also grill chicken, pork, scallops and veggies on the plank, too.