Technically, anything edible can be cooked on a Cedar plank. Some ingredients produce better results than others, let’s identify some of our favorites:
Salmon is without a doubt the most common and well known item cooked on Cedar planks. Prior to cooking, the Cedar plank should be soaked in warm water for 15 minutes. As the Cedar plank is heated the moisture pulls wood flavor out of the wood and gently cooks the salmon. Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest have been cooking salmon on Western Red Cedar for thousands of years.
Fish and Shellfish
Most fish and shellfish cooked on a plank will produce the same delicious results you’ve come to love with salmon.
Chicken and Pork
White meat also works very well on Cedar planks as it takes on the fresh wood flavors well and the chances of losing natural juices are lessened. This particularly applies to pork and chicken, which can dry out easily.
Vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms work very well on Cedar planks as they really benefit from the gentle cooking process. The aromatic Cedar flavor is a healthy way to season vegetables without adding too many other ingredients.
Fruit like pineapple, apples, and most stone fruits pair very well with the flavor of Cedar.
Steaks take on the flavor of Cedar well, and although the taste is there it is very difficult to get a good sear on the meat – wood just does not get that hot. Don’t rule out beef altogether though! Larger cuts like prime rib can be seared and then roasted on the plank for delicious results.
Lamb is another meat that tends to dry out easily, but cooking it on a Cedar plank will keep the meat juicy and add a delicious smokiness.
Semi soft cheeses with a rind like brie and camembert work beautifully on Cedar planks. Softer cheeses also work with the support of a Cedar grilling wrap.
Harder cheeses work great as a stuffing but can melt too much and lose their shape as a stand-alone ingredient.