How to Properly Cook Using Plank Wood

Planking is a technique of grilling that is becoming more and more popular. The interesting aspect about this is that planking has been around for centuries and is in fact a Native American tradition. Most amateur grillers who would like to plank cook their food simply don’t know how, so they’re almost forced to either buy pre-planked foods or suffer the trial and error process. Not to worry, that’s what The Knowledge Center is for; we will show you how to properly cook or grill your foods using the planking method.

Believe it or not, planking is actually relatively simple and easy. First you will need to choose your hardwood plank, and then soak it in water for at least one hour prior to cooking. Then simply place your food on the plank, and place the plank on the grill and begin to cook. In order to properly cook using the plank process, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Hardwood planks that have been soaked for at least an hour in water
  • Any gas or charcoal grill with a lid.
  • Oven mitts
  • 2 long handled spatulas that are wide enough to move the plank onto and off of the grill.
  • Tongs for rotating the planks while they’re hot.
  • You will need a thermometer so you can always know the internal temperature of your grill.
  • A meat thermometer as to ascertain the internal temperature of the food you’re cooking.
  • IMPORTANT! A fire extinguisher if everything goes wrong!
  • You will need a baking sheet for carrying the plank to and from the grill.
  • Lastly and probably most importantly (if you’re using the direct heat planking method), you will need a cast iron griddle to keep the planks from catching fire.

 Obtaining hardwood grilling planks is extremely easy. We carry nearly all types of grilling planks and can inform you as to which type goes best with which cooking method. We always have the highest quality grilling planks in-store and a variety that is unrivaled. If you have been searching for top notch hardwood grilling planks in Khobar, Dhahran, Riyadh, Jeddah, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, or Oman, Backyard Middle East has the most extensive variety of grilling planks along with the knowledge necessary to help you get started.

There are several methods of planking and everyone has their own opinion on which one works best. Now that we have explained the necessary equipment needed for planking, let’s get to cooking. Listed here are several different methods for planking or plank grilling:

  • Indirect heat planking: We have covered in previous articles how to use indirect heat, here’s another recap. Indirect grilling/cooking requires that the fire/heat is on only one side of the grill itself and absolutely no heat or fire on the other. When it comes to indirect heat planking, you should position the planked food on the side of the grill where there is no fire. By using this method the cooking process will be longer, but the food will gain more flavor.
  • Dual heat planking: Dual heat planking is essentially a step up in heat from indirect heat planking. With dual heat planking you will need a high temperature fire on one side of the grill and a lower temperature fire on the other side of the grill. Here again, you should place the plank on the lower temperature side of the grill. This is a quicker method and allows for an alternative to high heat planking that could end up with less than desired results.
  • Grill planking: This method is used to infuse grill marks on the food you are cooking, simply for aesthetics. Simply place the food you are going to plank directly onto the grill until your food has adequate grilling marks. Then, simply remove the food from the grill and place it on the plank (the plank should be on the side of the grill with the least amount of fire or heat).
  • Plank roasting (high heat method): This method is used more in the case of cooking fruits, vegetables and/or shellfish (lobster, shrimp, etc.) quickly. For this method you should place the grilling planks directly over a hot flame/fire and make sure to have a spray bottle of water nearby to control flare ups.
  • Smoke planking: This method is exactly what it sounds like. Planking with a hint of smoke and is best used on foods that you would like to infuse with a smoky flavor. You can achieve the smoking process through putting soaked chips directly on the flame itself, or by using a smoker box, either way works fine. Once the damp wood begins to give off smoke, feel free to begin planking.

The different types of wood used for planking adhere to our chart for smoking with different types of wood:

If you ever have any questions about how to get started with plank grilling, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We will ensure that you are as well informed as possible and walk away confident in attempting any new grilling endeavor you’re setting out to try. Always remember, if you ever need follow up information, you can simply visit our Knowledge Center, or call us at +966 13 845 6798.