The Best Kept Secret In Grilling ...

The Best Kept Secret In Grilling ...

Who doesn’t love a moist, tender meal bursting with flavor? It’s the measure of meal quality that every cook aspires to plate, and we’re going to let you in on the secret. It’s so simple and foolproof any backyard cook can do it. 

We’re not talking about spritzing, wrapping or frequent temperature probes, although each one has merit in keeping meals moist. We’re talking about PLANKING – the method of cooking food on pre-soaked wood planks.  It’s nothing short of amazing! It infuses food with a delicious flavor characteristic of the type of wood being used. Best of all, it works equally well on any grill, charcoal or gas.  

It’s been said that plank cooking (planking) started with the Native Americans of the Northwest who put salmon on cedar planks and placed them over an open fire. The plank held the fish together and kept it from drying out while it smoldered and flavored the fish with smoke.  

Today, planking is the easiest way for any cook to elevate their grill game. Part 2 of this post will tell how, but for now, let’s discuss why. In short, because it’s a grilling game changer. Wood planks add a new and exciting dimension to grilling.  Short of seasoning, it’s the easiest way to cook a meal that’s moist, tender and packed with flavor. 

Beef, poultry, pork, and seafood never tasted better than when it’s cooked on wood planks. And all the credit will go to you when you serve it up to family and friends. Got your eye on a new $2000 pit this year but having a hard time convincing your spouse? Start serving meals cooked on wood and soon you will have no problem shooting the lock off their wallet and getting that dream cooker.

Here are a few benefits you can look forward to when you make the move to grilling on wood planks.

Just Like Fat, Everything Tastes Better With Wood

Conventional methods of smoking (wood as a fuel or using a smoking box) are like rocket science compared to the ease, speed, and simplicity of cooking with grilling planks. Planking infuses every meal with subtle smoky goodness.  Want to change the flavor profile? Try a new wood plank. Hickory, cedar, and alder are among the most popular and each has a unique smoke profile to enhance your meal. Try adding apple cider, red wine vinegar or other fruit juices to the soaking water for even more diversity.  More on “how to” in Part 2.

Moist And Tender, Nearly Guaranteed

For white meats like pork and chicken, the difference between delicious and disaster could be only a matter of minutes, if not seconds. That’s how long it takes to go from “done” to “dry” or overcooked. Wood grilling planks shield food from direct heat and flair-ups and extend the window of time for calling it “done.” I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I’ve almost had my grilling privileges revoked because I overcook meals. Indirect cooking on grilling planks is my savior. Every meal is nearly guaranteed to be moist and tender when it’s grilled on wood planks.

Keeps Food Whole, and Grills Clean

Delicate foods like fish and chicken can get absolutely shredded when cooked on direct heat. Wood grilling planks hold it all together. No flaking or sticking to grill grates, and because you don’t flip foods when cooking on wood planks, nothing breaks off or gets lost between the grill grates. The same is true for veggies, especially onions and asparagus which always find their way down to my flavorizer bars. Here’s the biggest benefit of all – virtually NO GRILL CLEANING REQUIRED. Simply remove the food and the wood plank and close the grill. You will have to scrape and rinse the planks (assuming you’ll be reusing them), but that’s nothing compared to cleaning between dirty grill grates.

Elevates Your Grill Game To Iron Chef

Let’s face it, nothing beats the satisfaction we get from cooking and eating a really tasty meal, especially when it’s grilled. Grilling on wood planks takes it to an entirely different level, especially when it’s paired with quality protein (the food) and good seasoning. There’s just something about the flavor of smoke that completely changes the profile of your cook, even for something as simple and routine as a burger.

Give it a shot. Anything that can be grilled can be planked so you have lots of meal options and room for experimentation, trial, and error. Look for Part 2 of this blog on Planking. It covers the “what” and “how” to grill with wood planks.

If you can’t wait and need to get planking right away, visit the GrillSafe™ online store and check out the Hickory Grilling Planks.  They’re quality planks that impart an awesome smoky flavor on foods. Get the 2 or 3 pack.  It’s also worth noting that with every purchase of a GrillSafe™ Premium Hickory Scraper you’ll receive a FREE GRILLING PLANK (cedar, alder or cherry) if you use the code: “FREEGIFT” at checkout.  Remember, no code no free grilling plank. 

Visit GrillSafe™ at


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