Cedar Plank vs. my fence?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by superdave, May 2, 2008.

  1. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    How does the cedar plank they sell to grill on differ from my cedar fence boards? Besides price that is.
  2. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I hope it hasn't been chemically treated...
  3. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think you want to use any wood that was intended to be used out doors because they are going to be chemically treated. However, cabinet grade cedar will work fine. If you buy a full board and cut it down yourself, you will save a bunch of dingo.
  4. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gotta agree with the previous replies. Any wood made for outdor use is most likely treated. I have seen the grillin' planks in every store that sells BB goods and the $$ is outrageous. I have gone to the HD and bought an 8 foot cedar 1x6 that I cut to size of the fillet I was planking. DON'T use fence boards!!!
  5. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not trying to hijack the thread but this brings about a question I've pondered. Why is it acceptable to grill with cedar planks but not ok to use cedar for smoking. Just the long term build up of creosote during the smoking process?
  6. packplantpath

    packplantpath Smoking Fanatic

    Cedar is very strongly flavored. I presume it would get too overpowering very fast. Just using it the normal way makes for a strong flavor.
  7. master_dman

    master_dman Meat Mopper

    This is a stupid question.. but when grilling, or smoking.. what do you use a cedar plank for?
  8. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not a stupid question at all. The best use for a plank is for fish. The cedar is soaked, so the heat actually steams the meat. The edges smolder which generates a little smoke flavor.
  9. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ya lay the goodie on it to kinda shield it from the heat, supposed to add flavor and if not mistaken a bit of moisture as I've seen it done. Never done it myself, seen it used alot for fish. The times I've seen it they soak the cedar first.
  10. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    I have always been told it was because cedar just produces a bitter smoke.
  11. master_dman

    master_dman Meat Mopper

    So it's used mainly for smoking... say... Salmon?

    Not so much for grilling.. if you grilled Salmon with a cedar plank.. I imagine it wouldn't last very long before it became charred and burns thru?
  12. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    HD says that their fence boards aren't treated. Shingles are but not the fence boards.
  13. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You don't need to reinvent the wheel here folks, I worked in the woods and numerous saw mills for years as a kid in Oregon. We cut plenty of cedar fence boards, bolts and shakes and nobody ever "treated" them with anything because it's completely unnecessary. That's exactly why roofs, fences, and planters are made with cedar to start with, it is naturally resistant to rot and insects. Cedar chests are used to store clothes because bugs cant stand the stuff. A cedar post stuck in the raw dirt will last five tines longer than one cut from oak fir or pine. There is nothing wrong with using a cedar fence board to hold a salmon over a fire. I have seen hundreds of salmon lashed to cedar boards leaning over the fire pit at Indian Pow-Wows. The Indians didn't use any special boards either, they just buy them at the lumber yard like everyone else. 1 X 6 X 6 foot fence boards with a notched end, that point makes them easier to stick in the ground. If you want to try the Indian method of smoke cooking a salmon on a plank, there is no need to get fancy about it.
  14. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not trying to be argumentative here Jim, but this is an important topic. I agree that Cedar is a natural repellant against cridders, many manufacturers treat shingles with chemicals for things like fire resistance. While probably not for fencing material, as the thread was started with, I wouldn't take any chances on anything but cedar sold for cooking planks, or cabinet grade material.
  15. packplantpath

    packplantpath Smoking Fanatic

    It does burn through fairly quick. I get maybe 4 to 5 cooks off one plank when used on a grill. Unless I don't pay attention and it catches fire, then all bets are off.
  16. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Oops! you got me there Geek!
    As far as roofing materials go I'm told the "modern" shingles are indeed treated with a fire retardant. But not so with fencing materials. How else can they sell that stuff for a buck or two a fent? If I was just going to lean a board over the smoke at a 10º angle I wouldn't hesitate to use a cheap fence board, it works for the Indians after all. Each to his own but I'm also so cheap I'd hate to use a clear planed 1 x 6 cabinet quality $12 piece of wood for something like that, it would cost as much as the fish!
  17. chargrilled

    chargrilled Meat Mopper

    i gotta be honest here, i am so confused (which is easy to do) I have a bunch of salmon from eariler this week I was planning on smokin this weekend. Some are saying your not suppose to smoke with cedar just grill. Some are saying not on the grill just the smoker. So what are we talkin here.

    I was also under the impression that you grill with them as you want the underbelly of the wood to char for the smoke??? Of course after you soak the planks.
  18. rc1800

    rc1800 Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

  19. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    there was a conversation about using cedar planks for smoking awhile back..........i think i even asked the question...........and someone mentioned that cedar is only used for grilling.........not much benifit in smoking with it...........i got a couple of planks CHEAP, last year, at the end of the summer season.........but havn'et used em, since i was told it doesn't make sense in uisnig em in smoking, only grilling
  20. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Ya know Steve I think its really just as simple as this, the Indians used planks to lash the fish to so they could shove them in the ground around the pit and position the fish close to the fire and smoke. It takes a few hours to cook a salmon this way. They used cedar simply because it splits into planks easily, not for any kind of special flavor. And that's all there is too it. All this white mans "specialized cedar plank" stuff for cooking salmon is just white-eye people trying to do something cool.

    More over its white-eye people selling something for too much money to other white-eyes just to make a profit of something that sounds exotic. The cedar doesn't add anything to the flavor of the fish at all. You could do the same thing with a metal road side reflector. Its the fire that cooks and flavors the fish, not what it's tied to.

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