Plank grilling questions....

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Assistant Cook
Jul 1, 2012
Hi folks -first time poster, longtime griller from Colorado. I'm playing with plank grilling lately, and would like to move away from overpriced, $5 planks when my local lumberyard has plenty of excellent untreated wood for much less. However, most of the wood they have is around an inch thick - not the half-inch slabs typically sold as grilling planks.

Is an inch too thick for effective heat transfer, or does it matter all that much?

Also, I've heard from various sources that the plank should be on the regular grille grate and from others that it's acceptable to put the plank right down on the coal bed. (I use charcoal, natch.) Any thoughts on this? Would a thicker plank enable me to grill directly on the coals?
TimBear said:
make sure they are not treated; tell them that you are using them for food applications.

very important.

I got into plank grilling before you could find the pre-made planks in stores
around here. I went to Home Depot, asked the many 3 times to make sure it
wasn't treated, and bought a big long board of cedar. Took it home, cut it up,
worked like a charm, and much cheaper.
:) If your local lumber yard sells western red cedar that is a plus for planking. The next thing is to check for any of those creepy crawlers like bugs, rats, mice and all of those birds that seem to land everywhere. If they exist in the store then you will want to sand or plane down the surfaces of the wood. Cedar being a soft wood absorbs the leave behinds of these critters. Definitely toxic. I plank a lot and enjoy it to the max but I do want to live to tell the tale.

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