The Mistake You Want To Avoid When Grilling With A Cedar Plank

Wood planks can really up your grilling game, and if you are new to this technique it can really intensify your food's flavor with a woody smokiness that equals all kinds of deliciousness. The method is just what it sounds like — a piece of wood that goes on your grill, and then your meats and vegetables are placed on top of it. Beyond the flavor, it also can help keep your meats moist, keep tender filets from falling apart, and these wooden boards can makes for an easier clean-up on your grill. And who doesn't love that? (via Art of Manliness)

There are all types of grill planks that you can use, ranging from hickory to maple to alder. The type of plank you should choose really depends on what you are cooking. One of the more popular planks is the cedar board. It is most commonly used with seafood, because as the oil and moisture in the board heats up, the meat will suck up those flavors, enhancing the flavor of your fish (via Fix). If you are a newbie to the grill planking phenomenon, however, but have it on your bucket list to try the next time you fire up the grill, there is one step you need to take to avoid a common mistake. What is it?

Make certain the plank has been soaked

Proper planking can mean the difference between a perfectly grilled piece of meat and a hot charred mess. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that wood burns, and if you place a wood plank on a gas or charcoal grill, it is going to do just that. Per The Daily Meal, in order to avoid burning your plank and your meat, you want to soak your plank in water for at least 15 minutes prior to placing it on the grill. They also suggest using a weight to keep the plank completely submerged so that it is truly water logged when you are ready to place it on the grill.

Taste of Home cautions that you still need to remain vigilant as you grill your food, because fiery flare ups can still occur. They suggest simply keeping a water bottle at close hand to douse those pesky flames if they happen. You also want to make certain that you use a separate plank for different foods — salmon gets its own board, as does chicken, and so forth.

And while we are all about recycling and taking care of the environment, before you consider reusing a cedar plank, check out how burned it really is after you've grilled. It may be better to start fresh with new boards the next time you practicing your planking skills.