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Seafood Grilling Made Simple

Grilled SalmonWhen it comes to grilling fish, many people leave it to the experts and don’t try to cook it at home. Here’s a secret that can make any fish fillet in the seafood counter suitable for the grill. Cook it on a plank.

With planks, you don’t need to worry about fish sticking, falling apart or burning. In fact, you don’t even have to turn it.

In the housewares department, FRESH has planks in both cedar and alder. Alder has a more neutral flavor, and cedar will give the meat a smoky edge. These planks are specifically designed for food-safe use. It is not recommended to purchase wood from a hardware store for cooking. That wood may have been chemically treated and not food-safe.

When talking with the staff at the seafood counter, I learned that any type of fish is good for plank grilling. Lighter, flaky fish that is usually not suitable for grilling is perfect because the plank gives it stability, and it doesn’t have to be moved. The most popular choice is salmon.

They also said the most common mistake people make is not soaking the planks in water before using them on the grill. They will quickly burn and usually before the fish is finished cooking.

When grilling with planks, these guidelines will ensure success:

  • Soak the planks in water for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the grill with the planks on the grate.
  • Place the planks on the grill where indirect heat can be applied. If using propane, turn the burners on that side to low.
  • Place fish directly on the planks and close the lid.
  • Baste with your favorite marinade while cooking.
  • Keep a spray bottle filled with water near the grill to put out any flare-ups.
  • If the planks aren’t too charred, they can be rinsed, resoaked and used again.

When I do plank grilling, I like to use salmon or halibut. I also grab a bottle of the Asian marinade that is made in-house at FRESH and available at the seafood counter. Simply marinate the fish for 5 to 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and place on the preheated planks. Baste while cooking and very soon dinner will be ready.

The Asian marinade is also good for marinating and grilling vegetables. Place them in a grill basket next to the planks, and you couldn’t have an easier meal.