The Best Grilling Planks and Where to Find Them
Things to Consider When Choosing a Grilling Plank Company
How and Where the Wood Was Sourced - In the Pacific Northwest, where Wildwood Grilling is headquartered, we are surrounded by trees on all sides. This abundance could make it easy to ignore the source of the wood, but instead we make it our responsibility to source wood that is sustainably harvested. This means that the wood we sell you was not sourced from a clear cut and other precautions were taken to ensure we are being stewards of the forests. So before you buy a grilling plank you should be asking yourself: Was the wood harvested in a sustainable way? Are the companies involved good stewards of our forests?
The Quality of Wood - Most people know that they want uniformed planks without many knots, holes, splinters, etc. But the wood quality goes much deeper than that. Is the wood used to produce the planks contaminated with herbicides, pesticides or other foreign matters? Has the wood ever sat in storage sheds where it could be exposed to pests, molds or anything else of that nature? Has any of the wood been treated with chemicals, dyes or any other harmful materials? These things are very important to know, because you may be cooking and serving food to your loved ones on these planks. If there are any harmful chemicals in a grilling plank, you can bet that they will be transferred into your food. Wildwood's Food Safety certification means we provide you with a product that is free of foreign matter and certified food safe to ensure you and your family only get the best quality.
Delicious Flavor - There are some plank companies on the market that offer pre-soaked planks in liquids such as juice and wine. Our executive chef had done exhaustive testing to determine what we have said all along - the best flavor comes from untreated, natural wood.
Which Size Grilling Plank Should You Purchase?
This will depend on what foods you plan to plank, as there are many different sizes on the market. Determine what you will be grilling as well as how big the portions will be. Try to pick out a plank size that is barely bigger than your food portions. For the best result you should be covering the surface with as much food as you can.
Of course this isn't always possible, so you can always get creative on making the planks work on your grill. If you purchase smaller sized planks and end up with larger portions or a full fillet of salmon, you can always place two planks side by side to achieve enough wood surface area. If you end up with a large plank with only a small piece of chicken, place asparagus or a different side next to the chicken. Don't let the size of your planks limit what you do with them!
Choosing a Wood Flavor
One of the many exciting things about grilling planks is that they are very versatile. When people hear "grilling planks", many are quick to think "Cedar Planked Salmon". As much as we love cedar planked salmon, we also love to find fun and unique foods to pair with different grilling planks. Here are a few broad guidelines for pairing, but the sky is really the limit:
Cedar - salmon, other fish, seafood, chicken, vegetables and more.
Cherry - fruits, chicken, poultry and vegetables.
Alder - white-fish, seafood and vegetables.
Maple - pork, pizza, pineapple.
Hickory - beef, lamb, wild game and fruits.
Red Oak - wild game, beef, pork, lamb and fish.
Be sure to check out our Grilling Plank Page for the best planks on the market at even better prices.