I’ve been working on a project over the past couple of weeks that involved a bunch of little projects and I finally got them all done this weekend. Baking planks are available and can be used over and over again in a pre-heated oven for indoor grilling The planks also come in varying thickness and length. Treated or creosote wood has chemical preservatives that are harmful and alter the wood flavor and aroma. In order to preserve the distinct plank wood aroma, avoid mixing different flavor planks in the same container. If you are plank grilling for the first time, soak twice as many planks as you will need. Your food items will be placed on the plank, so, quickly determine how many planks you will need and soak double the number. Use some weight to keep the planks fully submerged in the water or flavor liquid.
The idea of soaking is to add moisture to the wood to slow down the burning of the plank on the grill. These seasoning steps bring out the best of the wood aroma and prevent the wood from warping. The aromatic flavor infused into food is natural wood oils that sip out and smoke as the plank is heated. If there is still unburned wood and the plank is not too charred, make a judgment call and re-use it. When ready to re-use the plank, clean in soapy water, rinse well, then soak it for planking. These planks can also be colored, painted or left without a finishing treatment.
Remember, too, that the aromatic wood flavor and smoke from the plank will not be as intense as the previous time. To stay green, save used up planks, label the wood flavor and use it as flavor wood chips for your next grilling session or as firewood. You can get planks from a specialty food or grilling and barbecue store, hardware store, in a lumber or wood yard.
Solid sawn wood used for scaffold planks should follow the grading rules of a recognized lumber grading association or an independent lumber inspection agency, and be identified by that agency or association’s grade stamp (see examples below). Planks with splits (cracks that go clear through the wood) more than a few inches in length should not remain in service, as they may no longer maintain the necessary load-bearing capacity. Wood then expands, called crowning, likely causing some post-installation problems.
Planks with checks (cracks that are on the surface only and do not go clear through the wood) should be watched, as the checks may develop into splits over time. You already have the recipe for wooden planks when you spawn, just craft them directly and don’t try and discover them. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank’s natural flavors. Although there’s some debate on the origins of planking, it’s been documented that Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest pinned their salmon to large wood boards, then slow cooked them—planking.