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Aug 23, 2007 12:48 PM

Cedar planks

My husband and I went on a mission to try a cedar plank on our gas grill -- it seemed like such a good idea. We finally tracked one down, soaked it for a couple of hours and I cooked some salmon on one plank and made him a pork chip on another that I then put directly on the grill so it would brown. And it was GROSS. It tasted like cedar -- like Poconos souvenirs, summer cottages and chests to store clothes. Did I do something wrong or is this one of those aquired tastes, like black coffee, that I can just pass by?

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  1. What did you soak your cedar plank in? Soaking it in wine gives your food a good flavor & cuts the cedar-y taste a bit. More tips at this website may be helpful:

    1. I cooked with a soaked cedar plank a month or so ago with great results. Did you marinate your salmon beforehand?

      My husband doesn't really like the taste of salmon, but wants to eat more since it's so good for us.

      I made some kind of soy/maple syrup marinade I found online somewhere. Marinated the fish for an hour or so and then cooked on the plank. It DID have a cedar flavoring, but mixed with the sweet and pungent marinade, it was delicious. It may me that just you don't like cedar and food mixed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oakjoan

        I have made a similar marinade with cedar plank salmon - I think it's the one on the packaging. Quite good.

      2. Huh. I did a cedar-plank fillet of salmon the other day and it was pretty darn good - a smoky taste, almost like hot-smoked salmon but not as strong, no especially distinct "cedary-ness" that I could discern. I think the grill has to be hot enough to actually scorch or even burn the bottom of the plank, so you get a smoke rather than raw cedar flavor.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bat Guano

          Actually the plank DID burn, which made for a really smoky, cedar-y taste that overwhelmed the food in our opinions. Oakjoan may be right, we just may not like cedar and food mixed, something I never would have even thought. After all, I LOVE other wood flavors in my food -- we made some oak-smoked burgers the next day that were to die for. I suppose it's just a live-and-learn thing. I'll just stick the leftover planks in the closet and leave it at that, I suppose.

          1. re: Fuser

            Did you you put the salmon directly on the cedar? The recipe I used said to put it on a bed of scallions. The scallions weren't really edible when the salmon was done but maybe it was just there to insulate the salmon from the cedar. Also, there are different types of cedar. Did you use cedar planks for cooking or cedar planks for lining your closet? The cedar used for discouraging moths is "aromatic cedar" so it's even more cedar-y.

            We used a cedar shingle and I didn't even soak it. It burned a lot so we ended up with hot smoked salmon. It was very good but next time I will soak the shingle!

        2. I always wondered about cedar planks and the flavor they impart--have you tried alder or maple wood, or is this your first "planking"?

          1. Our tried and true cedar plank salmon recipe:
            WE don't buy the planks - too expensive. We buy an 8' section of untreated cedar and hubby cuts according to what I need. Put plank in a clean tub or sink or SS bowl (depends on size). Soak in a mixture of water/white wine 50/50; put an inverted plate on it to keep it submersed for about 2-4 hrs. We lay down a bed of very thinly sliced paper thin lemons; put on grill for a few minutes to heat; lay down the salmon (salt and pepper OR blackening spices OR lemon pepper OR the KEG steak spice OR mustard and black pepper); it should be smoking while cooking with the lid down. If it catches on fire (sometimes), then we remove it from the plank and lay it on the grill to finish. Mine catches on fire when my salmon is really thick and I haven't soaked the plank too long. Having it on indirect heat works better. I don't find it has ever tasted like an old cottage.