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Plank cooking the phenomenon and art of plank cooking

Plank Cooking — The Phenomenon And Art Of Plank Cooking

A brief history of plank cooking
Cedar plank cooking was originally used by Pacific Northwest Indians over a hundred years ago. The Indians prepared and smoked their fish on a moist cedar plank and found that the taste of their fish was greatly improved.
In modern times, contemporary chefs have been systematically trying out new and ingenious ways of using cedar planks for almost every meat that you can possibly concieve, with excellent results.
With plank cooking, there really are no limitations as to what you can cook, virtually any meat or vegetable can be prepared, even entire courses of food can be cooked in one go!
The beauty of cooking with planks is that when they are smoldering over a flame, they impart a fragrant smoke that permeates the food whilst ensuring that moisture and succulence are retained with the steam that is produced from the cooking plank.
Using cedar planks in cooking has become something of a modern phenomenon, picking up a good quality cooking plank and using it effectively in a modern kitchen, or over a fire while camping, is remarkably easy once you have the basics down.
Cedar plank cooking tips
First of all, it is important to rinse a cedar plank for at least 1 hour prior to cooking. The longer you leave it the better. If you are cooking for an extended period of time, soak the plank for a minimum of four hours, up to a whole day. This will help to ensure that the plank doesn’t dry out before your food is cooked.
Cedar plank cooking tips
Some people like to soak their cooking planks in beer, wine, or various fruit-based ciders to add an additional layor of flavor to the food through the steam during cooking.
Before you start cooking on a cedar plank, take the time to brush some olive oil onto the smooth side of the plank as this helps to reduce the chance of food sticking to the wood, much in the same way that we brush the grill of a barbecue to prevent meat from doing the same thing.
Now that the cedar plank is prepared, you can start placing your chosen fish, poultry, red meats or vegetables  over a medium to high temperature on a covered grill.
Cedar planks are truly versatile as they can be used on any barbecue, be it gas, charcoal, or in the oven.
Tips for using cooking planks on the grill
Once you have positioned the plank on a barbecue grill, shut the lid and cook the food for somewhere between 20-40 minutes. At this stage, check the grill often, and keep a water spray handy to douse any licks of flames that rise from the edges of the plank. If you have positioned your plank correctly, you shouldn’t have to worry about any flames.

Tips for using cooking planks on the grill

If the planks flare up often, turn down the temperature slightly, or raise it above the charcoal a little, and spray a little water on the edges of the cooking plank.
It depends purely on the type of barbecue grill that you are using, just use common sense and adjust the temperature or the position of the plank accordingly so that your food does not get overcooked.
Tips for using cooking planks on in the oven
If you are using your cooking plank in the oven, place the plank in a baking tray, remembering to soak it first for an hour or two before use. You can use an additional additive of your choice, such as cherry cider to enhance the flavor.
During cooking, keep an eye on the level of the liquid fairly often (avoiding opening the oven door when possible) to make sure that at least half an inch of water is present in the bottom of the baking tray.
If you are cooking meat, juices will be released from poultry, beef and so on. You can take this opportunity to baste the meat with the juices that seep down onto the plank, saving you the trouble of having to prepare a sauce to keep the meat succulent and full of flavor.
How to present your food properly on your cedar cooking plank
One of the greatest things about cooking with a cedar cooking plank is that when food is prepared on one and served to the table, they can look amazingly good, and are perfect for special occasions when presentation is everything.
Before serving food on your cooking plank to the table, place it on a heat-resistant platter, and then serve. Your guests will be impressed by your food that is smoldering and emanating steam and a wonderful aroma, and it is quite possibly once of the most visually appealing ways to serve food.
On top of that, your dining area will smell fantastic as well!

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