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Old 07-29-2007, 12:02 PM   #1
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Cooking on a cedar plank

I just tried cooking on a cedar plank last night and was sure it would be great, but I had a bit of a problem. To explain the situation, I have a gas grill with four burners. So I preheated the grill with all burners. I then turned off the center two burners and left the outer ones on high. I placed the wood plank that had been soaking for several hours, with the pork loin on it, onto the center of the grill, where there was no direct heat. The problem I had was that the pork took over an hour to cook. And even then, I had to finish in the oven because my propane tank ran out of gas. The thermometer on my grill lid said at least 400-500 F the whole time. Why did it take so long? I realize pork probably takes longer than salmon, but recipes for cedar plank salmon say it takes only about 20-30 minutes.

What did I do wrong? Is it possible to oversoak the plank? It was soaking for probably 2 1/2 hours. Are you supposed dry it off (with a towel or something) so it isn't wet to the touch before placing it on the grill? I really didn't think cedar plank grilling would be difficult but my first try came out not-so-fantastic and I don't know what to do differently next time to make matters improve.

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Old 07-29-2007, 12:11 PM   #2
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hmmm .. never heard of cooking a pork loin on a cedar plank ..
but anywho .. how big was the pork loin .. they dont usully tke long to
cook .. but i usully have fairly small ones .. 20 - 30 mins tops ..
and the way you are cooking is indirect .. not sure that is really neccasary for
a pork loin .. and have you checked your thermometer on the grill ..they can be decieving ..
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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A pork loin is much larger and thicker than a piece of salmon and the pork is a denser meat. The cooking process was slowed by the soaked plank. That's OK because if you didn't have the plank soaked, it would have burned.

If you just roasted a pork loin without the plank at 400 F it would have taken a little less time.
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:09 PM   #4
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i maybe thinking tenderloin here ... thats where the 20 mins came from ..
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:47 PM   #5
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I tried the plank method a couple of weeks ago with less than stellar results, too. I soaked, and prepared a charcoal grill as you did, with the heat off to one side. They recommend this so the plank doesn't catch fire. I was planning on monkfish, cut into 4 oz pieces.

I had the same problem as you did. The plank never really got hot enough, even after giving it a minute on each side over direct heat to heat it. I seemed that the fish was never going to cook, so eventually, I took it off the plank and finished it directly over the coals.

I still have 3 planks left, so I'm sure I'll try again. I liken it to cooking with a new pan, or new heat source for the first time. It probably just takes getting used to.

I do think a pork loin may be too big for the plank.
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Old 07-29-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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Well here is where I got the idea (except I didn't bother with the pineapple salsa, just did the pork)

Welcome to Weber.com

And while they say to do it over direct medium, I did indirect high, since the instructions on the plank said not to use head directly under the plank or else it would get too hot and dry out and maybe catch fire. I'll try again, with salmon or a different type of meat and maybe try heating the plank before putting food on it.

Actually, after re-reading that recipe, I see that they say it will take about an hour over direct medium. My roast was only 2 lb. versus the recipe's 3 lb., but I did indirect heat instead. I guess you guys were right the pork is just too big. I'll do salmon next time.
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Old 07-29-2007, 03:16 PM   #7
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Perhaps if you followed the directions in the recipe...
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Perhaps if you followed the directions in the recipe...
Yeah, that might've possibly helped...
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:54 PM   #9
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The only reason I did not do direct medium is because I was under the impression you were not supposed to cook with direct heat when using a cedar plank.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:06 PM   #10
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I'm not trying to be nasty here. But much of what you did was different from the recipe.

You soaked the plank for 2 1/2 hours while the recipe calls for 4 to 24 hours.

You cooked over indirect heat while the recipe called for direct heat.

You ran out of gas and had to move to the oven. That had to be heated up and all the while the oven was heating, the roast was cooling.

If you really want to get into cooking on a cedar plank, pick a recipe and follow it. Then decide if and how you want to modify the recipe.

Weber recipes are usually pretty accurate for their grills.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:16 PM   #11
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I have cooked pork loin on cedar plank and think you get better results from flatter foods. Another time we cooked a pork loin on a plank I took and extra pland and cut it into large spikes and ran them through the meat. This gave a really nice flavor throughout. I had posted pictures of this some time ago on this forum but do not know how to tell you how to find them.

Good luck,
Bryan
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I'm not trying to be nasty here. But much of what you did was different from the recipe.

You soaked the plank for 2 1/2 hours while the recipe calls for 4 to 24 hours.

You cooked over indirect heat while the recipe called for direct heat.

You ran out of gas and had to move to the oven. That had to be heated up and all the while the oven was heating, the roast was cooling.

If you really want to get into cooking on a cedar plank, pick a recipe and follow it. Then decide if and how you want to modify the recipe.

Weber recipes are usually pretty accurate for their grills.
I have to completely agree with you on this one bud..

I own a Weber gas grill and cook with cedar planks ALL the time on it.. using DIRECT medium heat... (do salmon).. turns out perfectly.. :)
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #13
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I picked up a set of oak barrel staves for grilling at a local winery, and found the taste of the smoked oak to be great!
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