Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Product Review and Give-Away for Cedar Grilling Planks

cedar planked salmon

It's almost the 4th of July, and Americans are gearing up for cookouts. According to the National Retail Federation, 62.6% of Americans will host or attend a cookout, barbecue or picnic this year.

Everyone knows that any decent 4th of July cookout will have hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad, and watermelon. But if you want to add some panache to your cookout, then consider buying a cedar grilling plank.

Recently I was asked to do a product review for Fire and Flavor's cedar grilling plank. I was quite pleased with it. According to the company, the plank is made from all natural western red cedar and contains no additional flavorings. It was easy to use: I soaked the plank in water for the recommended 1 hour. (Don't skimp on the time, or the wood could burn too much when grilling.) I placed the salmon on the plank and set it directly on the heated grill racks. It cooked in about 15 minutes.

I really loved the fragrance of the wood while it was cooking. It had a sweet, woodsy aroma that definitely whetted the appetite, as was evidenced by the people near the grill asking, "Mmm... what's that wonderful smell?"

The salmon cooked evenly and maintained its shape perfectly. As for the taste, well, it was lovely. I can't say that it had a particularly woodsy flavor; it was more subtle. When I made beef on the plank, however, I detected a more discernible smoky flavor that was delicious. The meat was succulent and not overly charred as it tends to get when grilling.

cedar planked salmon outside

The plank can be washed in warm, soapy water, air-dried, and reused 1-2 more times, if not overly charred. The plank comes with clear, easy instructions and several great recipes.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this product.

Now for the best part! Fire and Flavor is offering a lucky Food Blogga reader a chance to win a Fire & Flavor "kit," with goodies such as a cookbook, cedar grilling planks, and cedar papers. Click here for details, and leave your comment below by the end of the day, Sunday, June 28, 2009!

Orange and Ginger Glazed Planked Salmon
Makes 2 servings
Print recipe only here.

2 (4-6 oz) salmon filets
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest, plus extra for garnish
salt and several cranks freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish

1. In a small bowl whisk all ingredients from Dijon through black pepper. Using a pastry brush, coat salmon filets with the sauce.

2. Preheat grill to medium low (350-400 degrees F), and set soaked plank on grill rack. Close lid, and heat for 3 minutes. Flip flank over, and place salmon on top.

3. Close lid. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until salmon turns pink and the flesh is opaque in the middle.

4. Remove plank from grill. Sprinkle salmon with sliced scallions and serve immediately.

You might also these grilled dishes:

Grilled Watermelon Slices with a Honey-Lime Syrup