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wooden plank "curl"?

bostonjoshbostonjosh Posts: 49
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I have grilled with maple planks a couple times, and both times they curled a bit (center about half-inch higher than edges).

I think i did everything right... 2hrs (at least) soaking, 350-400F... curling happened after just about 5mins. Not a huge problem, but it sortof screwed up the presentation and made things a bit harder to manipulate.

Anyone else see this?
These were "Fire and Ice" brand maple planks, 3/8" x 6" x 15".

Good news is that my brazilian style shrimp and scallop dish was still very very good.


  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I have never grilled w/ maple planks but I have built a lot of stuff with it. It sounds like it was still somewhat green. Soaking planks for grilling in no way penetrates the entire wood, especially a hardwood like maple, so I guarantee you that is not the problem [I'm sure you are going to get some feedback saying you soaked it to long]. Maple is very stable and properly dried will not warp, curl or twist. :)
  • LoisLaneLoisLane Posts: 94
    This is interesting timing on this question. There were reqcipe requests for salmon recently & I posted a plank recipe that states to soak, the get the plank smoking a tad & then flip it over b4 adding the meat.

    Here was someone's comments afterwards:

    So could it really be the warming it up & then flipping it that help prevents warping / bowing ? I was under the impression you got it smoking to release some flavor of the wood before flipping it and putting the meat on that warmed up / smoky side. ??
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    Lois, First of all, there is no need to soak a plank for four hrs. One hour is plenty. Some planks i have seen are very thin, these may curl when wet and heated, especially cedar, which is a very soft wood and will absorb water quickly. Bostonjosh is asking about maple, which is an exttremely hard wood, it is not going to absorb an appreciable aount of moisture if you soak it all day. You asked me about using Home Depot construction cedar. This lumber is usually a little shy of being 3/4" thick. It is not going to curl. You are correct about flipping the plank to get a little more smoke flavor, there is no other reason to do it.
    Hope this helps :)
  • bostonjoshbostonjosh Posts: 49
    Thanks... I was wondering about that (plank instructions do say to flip... far be it from me to follow instructions...) I didn't flip b/c I didn't say anyone (until now) who did this. So that's what I'll try next time!
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,920
    whenever you heat one side of a wet board, it will curl. when you heat the other side, it will start to curl the other way. if you time it right, it should be flat when you're done. if it's not, call it "rustic". :)
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
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