To many, grilling fish on a plank may seem intimidating or a technique used only by food aficionados and professional chefs. Stop there, because you couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, planking is one of the easiest ways to prepare fish, not to mention one of the most flavorful thanks to the natural smokiness of the plank. Here we cover the basics in the art of planking…
Choosing a Plank
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right plank to use – size, flavor, and quality. The size most commonly found in stores is a 13×7 rectangle which tends to be pretty all-purpose. When it comes to flavor, there are several different types of wood planks, but the gentle flavors of cedar and alder are the best match for fish. Make sure wood planks are not chemically treated and purchase them from specialty food stores or a grocery such as Fresh Market or Whole Foods.
Preparing a Plank
A plank must be soaked in water for at least an hour, although some say to soak for several hours or even overnight. This will allow the wood to absorb as much moisture as possible and prevent the plank from catching on fire. A rimmed-sheet pan is perfect for soaking planks – just add enough water to cover completely, then place a pot on top to keep it submerged. It is a good idea to flip the plank halfway through the soaking period.
Grilling with a Plank
Prior to grilling, lightly brush the plank with cooking oil to keep the fish from sticking. Plank cooking is indirect because the food is insulated from the direct heat, however, the board needs to be exposed to direct heat so that it can smolder. There is no need to flip the fish or really do anything else except wait for it to reach the right temperature (an internal temperature of 145 degrees). We told you planking was easy, didn’t we?
Before you cook the fish, you’ve got to catch the fish! For information on our inshore and offshore chartered fishing trips in Venice, LA, please give us a call.