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Old 07-06-2005, 01:33 PM   #11
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Probably so, just watch it closely for the temp.
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:07 PM   #12
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Planking on a gas grill

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Originally Posted by htc
Rainee, can I follow your instructions if I use my weber gas grill? Thx!
I always do planking on a Weber gas grill. It's perfect. Don't think want to try this in the oven because the wood sometimes catches fire around the edges.
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:46 PM   #13
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Well ya just talked me into it. I went to Wal-Mart after work and plunked down a little over 6 bucks for two planks of cedar. I then went home and fired up the Weber charcoal grill. The whitefish was already thawed. I followed the directions to soak the wood but sped up the process by using hot water (heat accellerates most physical reactions and caused the wood to absorb water more quickly). I dried the side that the fish was going to occupy and sprayed with cooking oil. Placed the fish on the grill, left all vents fully open and cooked for about ten minutes total. While the fish was cooking, I steamed some yellow crook-neck squash.

Now I love fish, especially fresh water fish. There is a certain flavor common to fresh water fish, strongest I think in 8 to 10 inch speckled trout (out of Lake Superior please). But I have to say that cedar planked whitefish has given me a whole 'nuther dimension in which to enjoy fish. The stuf was just incredible. There was a ballance of that fresh water fish flavor (mild in whitefish), coupled with a touch of salt, and the sweetness of the cedar. And it wasn't the cedar smoke. It was the flavor of the wood.

There are many foods that smell one way and taste another. But the cedar tasted exactly as it smelled, and that was great. I am thoroughly impressed with the technique. Thanks for this thread. It gave me yet another food love in my life.

And now, I have an idea, but not the food to test it. I submit for discussion and experimentation the idea of inserting large, water-soaked slivers of cedar into a bonless pork roast, like lardoons, and roasting, or better yet barbecuing, with a savory, slightly salty rub, maybe even just S&P. Anybody up for it? I think the flavors would complement very well. I just don't have a pork roast, and I think my wife would look at me very strangely were I to try it. She's just not the experimenting type.

Let me know what you think about the idea.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 07-08-2005, 09:02 AM   #14
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Goodweed of the North,
I need to comment that your screen name reminds me of a Viking name, very cool.

I will try your suggestion. Just so I am clear. Your idea is to take a cedar plank and cut it into chicken bone size slivers and run it through a pork roast. What are you thinking, maybe 3 or 4 of them evenly distributed thngthwise throught he roast? For the sake of the experiment, what about seasoning? Should we keep it simple, salt and pepper?

I also have a question about fish. My wife rarely eats fish but planking may be a means of us eating more fish. When you cook fish on a plank how do you season and prepare it. Do you use salt and pepper and lemon or just lemon. Does it matter if the skin is still on? Something simple to get me started.

Bryan
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:58 AM   #15
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OK...this might be a really dumb question ...if I go to the local lumber yard (no Home Depots or Lowes around here) and buy a piece of cedar, do I know that it hasn't been treated with something? How do you know you're getting a "pure" piece of cedar? (no cedar trees around here either )
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:42 AM   #16
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Buying Cedar from Lumberyards

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OK...this might be a really dumb question ...if I go to the local lumber yard (no Home Depots or Lowes around here) and buy a piece of cedar, do I know that it hasn't been treated with something? How do you know you're getting a "pure" piece of cedar? (no cedar trees around here either )
Unfortunately you can't be positive about buying untreated cedar because most of the help in these stores are not aware of the wood being treated at all. They say they have no idea or they're guessing. Builders' grade lumber is always treated because they have to kill the pests and the larvae that nestle in the wood. This is toxic. I always buy planks from a bbq store or at Lowes or Home Depot type stores in their bbq supply department or almost anywhere that carries bbq equipment- look in your Yellow Pages - so that I know I'm buying untreated wood packaged for grilling purposes.
GOODWEED and OTHERS: Try grilling flatfish such as walleye, trout, pickerel etc. on Alder planks. A different flavor than cedar but sooooo very good.
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:57 AM   #17
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Callie, if there isn't a bbq store around where you live or no planks that specifically say for grilling, I would play it safe and order them on the internet. Or mail order from a reputable place.

Maybe Rainee has a company she works with that she likes...
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:04 PM   #18
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I have of late been hearing from some locals around here that a form of alder, we call them tag alders, is an incredible smoking wood. I imagine that if I were to cut a few of these "nuisance" trees, and split them, I could lay the meat on the wood. The only ceomercially available food grade planks available around here are cedar. But I find lots of sugar maple branches, and sometimes saplings laying here and there after a good wind storm. I could split those as well, and again use them for flavor infusion. Looks like I'm going to be experimenting again.

As for the sliver insertion, yes, that is exactly what I meant. First, I would use only salt & pepper, so that you know what flavor is added by the cedar. And then, you can go from there and add fruit flavors, or other seasonings.

For the question about the fish, I used whitefish fillets, skin-side against the wood. The skin of fish usually has the strongest fishy flavor, except for any fat that is. But make sure to cut away any visible fat. The fat tastes bad and is home to most of the toxins absorbed by a fish (methyl mercury, dioxin, pcb's, etc.) I didn't use lemon as I feel it would have been too strong a flavor and might have hidden the sweet cedar flavor. I did spray the wood with cooking oil, after soaking.

The wood serves two purposes. First, it protects the fish from the intense heat of the charcoal, thereby cooking it in a more gently environment. Second, it gives up some of its flavor to the food cooked upon it. Less importantly, it smokes a little, which again enhances the fish flavor.

Hope this helps.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:50 PM   #19
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thanks, htc and DQ! I'll do some looking around locally first...then on to my friend, the internet! When ya live "out in the sticks," you do lots of online ordering! What did we do before all the www.'s???!!!
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:55 PM   #20
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Other woods for grilling

Other good woods for grilling are indeed the maple as Goodweed mentioned and applewood. These are great for chicken and pork as well as fish. If you can cut your own you're in luck. A lot cheaper and you know it's not treated. Go for it. DO NOT USE PINE. Pinewood produces a sap that is not only horrible tasting but will burn the plank to bits. And it's not considered safe because of the resin it emits.
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