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Planking - Do I need to have the porcelin grate or is std Stainless one fine?

lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
edited June 2012 in Seafood

I want to try my first planked seafood this weekend, and the egg site advises using the porceline  (ceramic?) coated grate to plank on.  I just have the standard stainless one that came with the egg.  I can't imagine it makes a difference but thought I'd ask before I screw something up.

Thanks,    Lemonade Nate

Is it done yet? Is it done yet?

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    No difference
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,289
    Just soak the hell out of those planks so they dont catch fire.



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    Perfect.   Thanks!
    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • I've been planking all week on the stainless grill.  Didn't know there was a potential problem.  (there wasn't one).  Also, no need to soak the planks.  I figured that out the last couple of times when I was in a hurry and didn't have time to soak.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i think the problem is that the write up probably says something like  "place the plank on your porcelain grid", and someone over analyzes the thing, thinking "holy crap, i have an SS grill.  will i kill my family?"

    logic is a spare commodity these days
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    My last two salmon cooks have been with planks soaked for hours, yet they still catch fire (as we know from the "don't soak wood chunks/chips" posts soaking doesn't do much to penetrate the wood).

    I actually got better flavor from these two cooks than all the others before this.  Cooked at 375-400 direct, planks put on with the salmon already on them. Back of the planks were burnt to a crisp, and were actually on fire when I took them off.

    Before this I had always used indirect with the planks, which sort of defeated the purpose.  It was a totally new experience doing them direct.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    they should only catch fire if the dome is open...

    idea behind soaking is to only DELAY smoking,.  if they were to smoke the whole time, the cedar smoke would be way too strong. you soak, and anout ten minutes into the cook you start to pick up smoke.

    it's a bastardized version of the way fish wash cooked or dried/smoked on an open camp fire.  stretched and pinned to cedar boards to dry, inevitably they'd start to smoke.  and someone discovered that the taste wasn't a;together bad afterall.

    if you do them direct as you mention, you get no smoke, which is kinda pointless.


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    Stike- I cook with it closed for the 15 min, then check internal temp and close again.  There is the outside chance they they actually caught when I opened the dome, but I definitely cooked with dome closed. I'm a big proponent of keeping it closed and not really looking much during a cook.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    When did you see flames?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    i think the problem is that the write up probably says something like  "place the plank on your porcelain grid", and someone over analyzes the thing, thinking "holy crap, i have an SS grill.  will i kill my family?"

    logic is a spare commodity these days
    More like, I paid a lot for this awesome fish..not so worried about killing the family.  (that would leave me in charge of egging.   jk!)

    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    they should only catch fire if the dome is open...

    idea behind soaking is to only DELAY smoking,.  if they were to smoke the whole time, the cedar smoke would be way too strong. you soak, and anout ten minutes into the cook you start to pick up smoke.

    it's a bastardized version of the way fish wash cooked or dried/smoked on an open camp fire.  stretched and pinned to cedar boards to dry, inevitably they'd start to smoke.  and someone discovered that the taste wasn't a;together bad afterall.

    if you do them direct as you mention, you get no smoke, which is kinda pointless.


    I first started (in general) soaking my chunks out of habit.  Then I stopped soaking per notes on this forum.  I have noticed, that unsoaked chunks smoke a lot at first  (and during grill warm up) and stop rather soon. I went back to soaking chunks, and found that I get a lot more even smoke with soaked chunks.   Therefore, until otherwise eggucated, I'll soak the plank 

    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    If I'm not Cen-Tex hammered, my conclusion is soak planks, indirect cook, lid closed, soak chunks.  Which should mean slightly longer cooking time,  good smoke but not too much, and I can re-use the planks..

    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 546
    edited June 2012
    I soak the planks

    Throw them on the egg after the egg is warmed up and give them the slightest of slightest burn marks

    I take them oh and coat both sides in olive oil

    Throw the salmon on them and throw them back on the egg for direct cook

    Since I started this method, my planks don't catch fire and are reusable
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    Interesting...coat the plank in evoo.   Does that make the plank side of the fish not cook as well?  I'd prefer not having to flip the fish unless needed

    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 546
    edited June 2012
    Nope, doesn't affect the cook. I set it on and close the dome til I'm done. Picked up the tip from an executive chef at a mini eggfest
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    direct or indirect
    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • XLBalcoXLBalco Posts: 546
    I might cook some Sunday and will post pics. I have some alder planks I have been waiting to use.
  • lemonadelemonade Posts: 63
    ditto
    Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    If I'm not Cen-Tex hammered, my conclusion is soak planks, indirect cook, lid closed, soak chunks.  Which should mean slightly longer cooking time,  good smoke but not too much, and I can re-use the planks..

    The planks are cheap, just try doing a cook direct with just soaking the planks.  I was also reusing my planks about 3 times before discarding.  Then I did it direct.  The wood was burned, but the fish was amazing.  Maybe I just got some really good salmon, better than I'd had before, but two cooks back to back letting the planks literally burn gave me the best salmon I've ever had.  

    Indirect with planks is pointless, yet I did the probably 5 times. If you want smoke, there has to be wood burning.  The planks are what gives the smoke.  I get that some people add wood chunks like they are smoking a brisket, but the whole point of planks is to let them smoke.  If you cook indirect on some cedar or alder planks then use hickory or cherry,etc on the fire, you aren't even tasting the cedar or alder because they aren't burning, you are just tasting the wood on the coals.
  • WarrGoWarrGo Posts: 3
    I am confused about the term direct vs indirect refering to planking.  Are we talking about useing the plate setter?  Isn't using a plank kind of indirect anyway?  I have been following the directions on the plank package and it is great.
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    Sorry for the confusion, you are correct.  When I referred to direct/indirect I was actually talking about the platesetter.  Technically I guess planks make it indirect anyways.


  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 225
    I am new here but confused about wanting cedar smoke. Is it not a softwood and resinous? I thought only hardwood smoke was desired. If so, one might assume we want the smoke from hardwood wood chips or chunks on the lump. Right? I'm going to try this out tomorrow.

    By the way, I am from Alaska, and have eaten my fair share of salmon. We have oven cooked salmon on a cedar plank lots of time. The cedar flavor comes from the hot wood in contact with the salmon, not from smoking cedar. I agree, direct heat would get the cedar nice and hot.

    I'll let you know how my indirect salmon works out. www.plankcooking.com made the plank we use in the oven. They do make disposable one-use BBQ planks also.
    LBGE
  • I just did a whole filet of salmon this weekend on a cedar plank on the SS grates....no problems.  If you are having a problem with the cedar planks burning, I would think that 1) your temperature is too high, and 2) you are opening the BGE too much causing oxygen flare ups.  I cooked my salmon at 200 degrees for 6 hours with no flareups, burns or loss of tenderness/flavor.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited July 2012
    @lemonade:

    soaking chips and chunks to keep them from burning isn't required, because they don't burst into flame (in an air tight egg) anyway.  the lots of 'smoke' you see from soaked chips/chunks is mostly steam, not smoke.  so no need to soak, unless you like the visual white (white=water) 'smoke'

    so why soak a plank?  well, to delay smoking.  maybe not wioth a maple plank, but cedar is resinous, and too much cedar smoke can be a bad thing.

    it isn't a contradiction to say "no need to soak chips/chunks" and ten minutes later advocate soaking cedar planks.

    always look to the reason for doing something.  what does soaking achieve?  with lo and slow, soaking doesn't accomplish anything.  but in a plank situation, where the thing can start smoking too early (meaning: for the whole time the meat is in the grill), that may not be a good thing with cedar.

    @doc... the cedar flavors the fish from smoke.  don't need a lot.  the wood can't flavor the meat by mere contact.  for one, there's skin.  for another, how would the TOP of the fish pick up the cedar flavor?  it wouldn't, not by contact.

    the idea is to limit the smoke. a little, not a lot.  because you are right, too much and it'll taste like eating a pine tree. 

    the tradition comes from using wood as a cooking vessel.  on an open fire, you'd better soak the wood or the thing will burst into flame.  with the fish on a plank at a bit of a distance, the smoke is minimized.  smoke was originally a by product.  now it's the point.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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