Can you use cedar plank on grill?

Are you feeling uninspired by your usual summer grilling routine? Want to add some excitement and flavor to your backyard BBQs? Look no further than cedar plank grilling. For centuries, indigenous people have been using cedar planks to cook their food, and now this method has become a favorite among grill masters everywhere.

The sweet, woodsy aroma of cedar pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of your favorite meats and veggies. But can you really use cedar planks on the grill? Absolutely. Whether you’re using gas or charcoal, cedar planks are a fantastic way to infuse your food with that delicious smoky taste.

In this post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about cedar planks. What exactly are they? How do you use them? And most importantly, what can you cook on them? We’ll also explore the benefits of using cedar planks and offer up some tips for buying and grilling the perfect ones.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the world of grilling, this post will give you all the information you need to get started with cedar plank grilling. So get ready to impress your friends and family with your newfound skills – it’s time to take your grilling game up a notch.


What is Cedar Plank?

If you’re looking for a new way to elevate your grilling game, look no further than cedar planking. This technique involves using thin slices of wood cut from cedar trees that are soaked in water before being placed on a grill. The result is a unique smoky flavor that is difficult to achieve with other cooking methods.

Cedar planking has been used for centuries by indigenous people, particularly in the Pacific Northwest where it was used to cook salmon and other fish. Today, cedar planking has become a popular technique for grilling all kinds of food, from meat to fish to vegetables.

When choosing cedar planks, it’s important to select ones that are untreated and free of any chemicals or preservatives. You can find cedar planks at most grocery stores or online retailers in varying sizes and thicknesses, from small individual planks to larger ones that can fit an entire fillet of fish or rack of ribs.

To use cedar planks, soak them in water for at least an hour before placing them on the grill. This will prevent them from catching fire and burning. Preheating the plank on the grill for a few minutes before adding your food can create a nice char and release some of the cedar flavor.

It’s important to note that while cedar planks are safe to use on the grill, they should not be reused. After one use, the plank will have absorbed all of the flavors and oils from the food and will be unsafe to use again.

Benefits of Using Cedar Plank on Grill

Can you use cedar plank on grill-2

If you’re looking to add some extra flavor and moisture to your grilled food, using cedar plank on the grill is a must-try. As an expert on this topic, I can tell you that there are many benefits to incorporating cedar plank into your grilling routine.

Firstly, the smoky flavor that cedar plank imparts on your food is hard to replicate with other methods. The natural oils in the wood give your food a subtle sweetness that will have your taste buds singing with delight. The versatility of cedar plank means you can experiment with different types of meat, fish, and vegetables to see how the flavors change.

In addition to flavor, using cedar plank on the grill helps keep your food moist by acting as a barrier between the direct heat of the grill and your food. This is crucial for lean meats like chicken and fish which are easily dried out and become tough on the grill. The result? Tender, juicy cuts of meat that are sure to impress.

Cedar plank also provides an extra layer of protection for delicate foods such as fish fillets or vegetables, which can be tricky to cook on the grill without sticking or falling apart. The wood acts as a buffer between your food and the hot grill grates, so you can grill these items with confidence.

Finally, using cedar plank on the grill adds an attractive rustic touch to your presentation, making it a great way to impress your guests at any BBQ or dinner party. The charred edges of the plank give your food a visually stunning appearance that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Can you use cedar plank on grill-3

How to Prepare Cedar Plank for Grilling

Grilling on cedar planks is a great way to add a unique and delicious flavor to your food. However, before you can start cooking, it’s crucial to properly prepare the cedar plank. Here are five steps to help you prepare your cedar plank for grilling:

Choose the Right Cedar Plank

Selecting the right cedar plank is the first step in preparing it for grilling. Make sure to choose an untreated plank that is free from any chemicals or additives. Additionally, avoid planks that are too thick, as they may take longer to heat up and cook your food unevenly.

Soak the Plank

Soaking the cedar plank in water for at least 1-2 hours before grilling is essential. This prevents it from catching fire while on the grill and adds moisture to the wood, which enhances the flavor of the food. You can even add some flavorings like lemon juice, beer, or wine to the water for an extra kick of flavor.

Season the Plank (Optional)

Can you use cedar plank on grill-4

While seasoning the cedar plank is optional, it can add extra flavor to your food. You can sprinkle salt, pepper, or any other herbs or spices you like onto the plank before grilling.

Oil or Spray the Surface

Before placing any food on the cedar plank, lightly oil or spray the surface of the plank with cooking spray. This helps prevent sticking and makes cleanup easier.

Grill Away.

Once your cedar plank is soaked, seasoned (if desired), and oiled, it’s time to grill. Place it on the grill grates and let it heat up for a few minutes until it starts to smoke. Once you see smoke, place your food on top of the plank and let it cook until it’s done. Keep an eye on your food as it cooks since cedar planks can get very hot and may require some adjusting throughout the cooking process.

Safety Considerations When Using Cedar Plank on Grill

Grilling with cedar plank adds a unique flavor to your food, but it’s important to prioritize safety when using this method. As an expert in cedar plank grilling, I have researched and compiled some safety considerations to help you enjoy this cooking technique without compromising your well-being.

Firstly, always use food-grade cedar planks that have not been treated with any chemicals or additives. Treated planks can release harmful toxins when exposed to high temperatures on the grill, posing a health risk. You can easily find untreated cedar planks at your local grocery or hardware store.

Secondly, soaking the cedar plank in water for at least one hour is crucial before placing it on the grill. This will prevent the wood from catching fire and ensure that the food cooks evenly. To elevate the flavor, consider adding herbs or wine to the soaking water.

Additionally, closely monitor the grill while cooking with cedar planks as flare-ups can occur if the wood becomes too hot or if there are drippings from the food. Keep a spray bottle of water nearby to extinguish any flames quickly and prevent any potential hazards.

Lastly, when removing the cedar plank from the grill, use heat-resistant gloves or tongs to avoid serious burns. The plank will be extremely hot, and it’s essential to handle it with care.

Types of Food Suitable for Grilling with Cedar Plank

Grilling with cedar plank is a popular cooking method that imparts a smoky and fragrant flavor to a variety of foods. If you’re wondering what types of food work best with this technique, we’ve got you covered. Here are five sub-sections detailing the types of food that are suitable for grilling with cedar plank:


Salmon is one of the most popular types of seafood to grill on cedar plank. The natural sweetness of the fish pairs perfectly with the smoky flavor of the wood. Other fatty fish like trout, halibut, and sea bass also work well with this cooking method.


Chicken can be grilled on cedar plank to create a unique and flavorful dish. Soak the plank in water for at least an hour before grilling and choose bone-in chicken pieces that are around 1-inch thick for best results. The wood helps to infuse the meat with a smoky flavor while keeping it juicy.


Pork chops or tenderloin can also be seasoned with your favorite dry rub or marinade and grilled on cedar plank. Soak the plank in water beforehand to prevent flare-ups and enjoy the delicious smoky flavor that the wood imparts to the meat.


Cedar plank grilling is not just for meat and fish – vegetables can benefit from this cooking method too. Slicing up zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers and arranging them on a soaked cedar plank before grilling adds a subtle smokiness to your veggies.


Although not as common as other meats, beef can also be grilled on cedar plank for a unique flavor experience. Cuts such as ribeye or flank steak work particularly well with this cooking method.

Tips for Getting the Best Results When Grilling with Cedar Plank

Grilling with cedar plank is an excellent way to elevate the flavors of your food. However, there are a few tips that can help you get the best results every time.

Soak the Cedar Plank

Before grilling, soak your cedar plank in water for at least an hour. This will prevent it from catching fire and ensure that it infuses your food with the delicious smoky flavor that cedar plank grilling is known for.

Preheat Your Grill

Preheating your grill is essential for even cooking and preventing hot spots that could burn your food. Once the cedar plank is heated up and begins to smoke and char slightly, it is ready for cooking.

Season Your Food Well

Seasoning your food well before placing it on the cedar plank is crucial for enhancing its flavors. You can use herbs, spices, or even a marinade to add an extra burst of flavor to your grilled dishes.

Keep a Spray Bottle of Water Nearby

While grilling with cedar planks, it’s essential to have a spray bottle of water nearby. This will allow you to quickly extinguish any flames that may occur due to dripping oils or fats from the food.

Don’t Overcook Your Food

Overcooking your food can cause it to dry out and lose its flavor. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the food using a meat thermometer and remove it from the grill when it reaches the desired temperature.

Cleaning and Reusing Cedar Plank on Grill

There’s nothing quite like grilling on a cedar plank to add extra flavor to your favorite foods. But what do you do with the plank once you’re finished cooking? Toss it in the trash? Don’t be so hasty. With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can reuse your cedar plank multiple times, saving money and reducing waste.

To clean your cedar plank, first soak it in warm water for at least an hour. This will help loosen any remaining food particles, making them easier to remove. Grab a stiff brush or scouring pad and gently scrub away any debris. Avoid using soap or detergent, as this can leave a residue that affects the flavor of future foods cooked on the plank.

Once your cedar plank is clean, rinse it thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely before storing it. Find a cool, dry place away from sunlight or other heat sources for storage. If you’re storing it long-term, consider wrapping it in plastic wrap to protect it from dust and moisture.

Before reusing your cedar plank, inspect it carefully for any signs of damage or wear. A cracked or split plank should not be used, as it could break apart during cooking and cause a potential fire hazard.

To extend the life of your cedar plank, try flipping it over during cooking so that both sides are used evenly. This will prevent one side from becoming overly charred or burnt, giving you more use out of your plank.

jiiRLgyPDT8″ >


In conclusion, cedar plank grilling is a time-honored technique that adds a unique smoky flavor and rustic charm to your summer cookouts. From indigenous people to modern-day grill masters, this method has stood the test of time for good reason.

To ensure the best results, it’s crucial to choose untreated cedar planks and soak them in water before grilling. Preheating the plank on the grill can create a delicious char and release even more of that signature cedar aroma.

Beyond the mouthwatering flavor, using cedar planks on the grill also offers practical benefits. The moisture from the plank keeps your food juicy and tender while providing an extra layer of protection for delicate items like fish fillets or veggies.

When grilling with cedar planks, remember to season your food well, keep a spray bottle of water handy, and avoid overcooking. And don’t forget about sustainability – cleaning and reusing your cedar plank is not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective.

Scroll to Top