Outdoor cooking is a passion for many. With cooking on the grill, you have tons of great recipes to choose from and there are different methods and techniques that can be used to enhance the flavor of the foods that you put on the grill. A method that is really popular as of late is cedar plank cooking. When it comes to cooking fish, it can be great for adding flavor and aroma and best of all, this method does not take a whole lot of time to master.
For those of you who want to give this method a try, here are a few secrets that can help you with cedar plank salmon.
Soaking the Planks
If you are looking to cook on cedar planks, the first thing that you need to do is pre-soak the planks. Before you cook, the planks will need to be soaked for anywhere from two to six hours prior to their use.
Now, the most common choice that grillers use for soaking their cedar planks is to just submerge the boards in tap water. That can be a fine way to make some cedar plank salmon, but there are other options that can help to make for a richer and more layered flavoring.
If you have the extra funds and you want to produce a meal with a more nuanced flavor, then you could try soaking the boards in something like wine, beer or cider. Additionally, you can add spices or flavoring to the soaking agent to bring out different smells and tastes.
Preparing the Salmon
One of the great things about cooking on a cedar plank is that the salmon will not require a whole lot of additional flavoring to get it ready. To prepare the salmon for its planking, you need to wash it and make sure that it is dry before it goes on the plank.
In addition to making sure that the fish is clean, you also want to make a decision about the different spices and sauces that you may want to treat the salmon with as you cook. If you soak the plank in something other than water, you will want to look for spices and sauces that play well with the wine or cider that you soaked the plank in.
Getting the Planks Ready
If you are going to cook cedar plank salmon, there is more to getting the planks ready than just soaking them. Of course, soaking them is a fundamental of this cooking method, but you will also want to take some additional steps to get the boards ready.
When you are preparing the planks to go on the grill, you want to start by drying the exterior. In addition to this, you also want to treat the cooking surface of the plank with oil. Most people will use vegetable oil to treat the cooking surface, but you can also use olive oil or some flavored oils that can be found at stores that sell grills and grilling supplies.
In addition to this, you can add some flavor to the planking experience by rubbing the surface with spices.
Planking the Fish
If you are cooking on a cedar plank, there is more to putting the salmon on the grill than just placing it there. Once you have the plank ready and on the grill, you want to start by placing the salmon on the plank with the skin side down. Then you can add the spices and sauces of the particular recipe that you are using. After that, you can close the lid and let the salmon cook for about 15-20 minutes.
You want to cook the fish as much as possible with the lid closed, but you will need to check the salmon periodically. To be safe, you want to check the progress every five minutes to guard against any flames or flare-ups. Further, you do not want to turn the fish over. It should be able to cook completely from its initial position on the plank.
Presoak Before you Soak
As mentioned above, the soaking of the planks is one of the most important factors in making cedar plank salmon. Submerging the planks in the liquid of your choosing will work just fine, but there is one step that can help to make for a more effective soak and this will be especially beneficial if you are soaking the planks in something like wine or cider.
Before placing the planks in the liquid that you have chosen to soak them in, you should do a presoak in warm water. Exposing the wood to some warm water will open the pores in the wood and make it more receptive to the product that you intend for the longer soaking. Before you put the planks in the wine or cider, soak them in warm water for about 20-minutes. This will make for a more effective soak and a better cooking experience.