Frequently Asked Questions

plank

Planks

Can you re-use a TrueFire Gourmet plank?

TrueFire Cedar planks are recommended for one time use only. However for those of you who would like to stretch their pennies a bit further you can re-use the plank a second time. It is very important that the plank be “cured” (that means soaked) for a second use. We recommend that after using the plank for the first time that you clean the plank using hot water (no soap) – removing all food particles and juices from the plank. The plank should then be placed in the oven or back on the grill at 350 degrees for a period of 10-12 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present on the plank. 

How long do you soak the planks?

There is no magic time for soaking the planks however we recommend that the plank be soaked for a period on 30 minutes to 2 hours for the optimal cooking experience. TrueFire’s Western Red Cedar Planks act like a sponge and will soak up only as much water as they can absorb. Do not soak your planks overnight – if you have done this in the past you may have noticed the gold color of the water. This gold color is created from the essential oils of the cedar plank leaching out into the water. The essential oil in the plank is key to they great woodsy flavor you get when planking – if it all leaches out your cedar flavor will be minimized.

What temperature works best?

TrueFire recommends a medium temperature on the grill or in the oven. We have found that a temperature range between 350 degrees F – 365 degrees F works best. When you exceed this range the oils in the plank will start to smoke, much like olive oil in under too hot of a temperature – this can lead to an unpleasant cooking experience, especially if you are utilizing the oven.

What if I am using a charcoal grill?

Cedar planks work great on gas or charcoal grills so use them on both. For charcoal we recommend that once your coals are ready for cooking that they be moved to one side of the grill and the plank be placed on the other. This indirect cooking method is a wonderful way to cook with cedar planks.

Can these planks be used in the oven?

All grilling planks can be used in the oven with a temperature range between 350 – 365 degrees F. As stated above if the temperature approaches 400-degrees F the oils will start to smoke causing an unpleasant cooking experience. We also recommend that a baking sheet with sides be place below the plank to catch any juices that may drip. Another oven tip is to actually place the plank in the baking sheet with a small amount of water, juice or wine. The plank will absorb what ever you put in the pan transferring some of the flavor through the form of steam into you food.

Do you have to flip the food?

The great thing about using planks is that there is never a need to flip your food and the clean up is always easy. Simply place your seasoned food on the plank, place it on the grill and cook until it reaches your desired doneness. Try to limit the number of times you open the grill – we don’t want any of the great cedar flavor to escape the grill.

Do you have to pre-heat the plank before using?

The answer to this question is “NO”. Preheating a plank actually produces a negative affect on your cooking experience and makes wasted time of the period spent soaking the plank. You want the plank to be full of moisture when you place it on your grill. Then as the plank gets hot all of the moisture starts to escape the plank in the form of steam – this steam carries the essential oils of the cedar plank, which create the great flavor as they penetrate the food.

Can you soak the plank in something other that water?

You can soak the plank in water, wine, juice or any other beverage of your choice with the exception of straight liquors or alcohol that is potentially flammable. If you would like to use liquors please dilute them with water.

Is a plank good for other foods than seafood?

Planks are great for beef, pork, poultry, cheese, vegetables and even fruits. Check our recipe section for more great ideas on cooking foods other than fish and seafood.

How do you dispose of plank after use?

It is important that the plank be completely safe. The best way to ensure this is to run the used plank under your facet. Completely soak the plank to ensure all hot spots are diminished. The plank may then be disposed of safely in a trash receptacle, or burned in a fireplace. 

Do you have to burn the plank to get the cedar flavor?

While many of the wood-cooking enthusiasts who cook over open BBQ pits or with smokers know that to get smoke flavor the wood most burn which in turn creates smoke. With Cedar Plank cooking it is almost the opposite – once we soak the plank in water it is ready to be used – when the plank starts to heat up the absorbed moisture starts to leach out of the plank in the form of steam carrying the essential oils of the cedar plank. As the steam penetrates the meat it leaves behind some of the oils that give your food that great cedar planked flavor.

Why does the water turn brown when I soak the planks?

Western Red Cedar is a soft wood so when you soak the plank it will act just like a sponge and start absorbing as much of the water as it can – once the planks reaches its maximum moisture content the essential oils of the wood will start to leach out of the plank. So when you see the water start to turn a golden brown you know it is ready to be used.

How do I prevent the plank from catching fire?

We always recommend cooking with indirect heat when ever possible to eliminate any potential flare ups. Follow the directions on the pack and always have a spray bottle close by.

How long does it take to cook food when using a cedar plank?

Cooking with a cedar plank will not dramatically increase your cook times. However there are certain cases where too many planks are put on a grill at one time and it hinders air flow through the grill. Be certain to have plenty f room around the plank so the air flows is not restricted.

I lost my instructions on how to use the plank – what do I do?

TrueFire brands the instructions for use directly on the planks so do not worry if you have lost the original packaging. Also refer to our website for additional for useful and help hints.

Is it safe to eat food cooked on a cedar plank?

Native Americans started cooking with Cedar planks centuries ago and plank-cooked meals are now served in some of the world’s finest restaurants. There has been mush research and testing done on using cedar planks as a way to season food and it is been granted GRAS Approval (Generally Regarded as Safe).

Why can't I use lumber purchased from a home improvement store?

Most home improvement chains spray lumber with mold retardant, which is toxic. 

wrap

Wraps

Do I need to soak the wrap before using?

Yes, you do have to soak wraps just like planks. Think of a wrap as a very thin plank. Once soaked wraps are extremely flexible and can be wrapped around food easily. Wraps do not require extended soaking times like a plank – simply dip the wrap into a pan of water or run it under the facet. That is it – just a few seconds and the wraps are ready to use.

Can I soak the wrap in something other than water such as wine or juice?

Wraps can be soaked with water, juice, wine or perhaps your favorite marinade.

How do you secure the wrap after you fill it with food?

All TrueFire wraps come with enough butchers twine for each wrap in the package or you can be creative and tie with a green onion or perhaps just secure with a tooth pick. Soak your toothpicks too, or they can burn up. 

Why does my wrap keep cracking in half?

A wrap with only crack in its dry state – always be certain to get the wrap moist before using.

Can I reuse a wrap?

Wraps are designed for single use only.

What temperature should I cook with when using wraps?

The optimal temperature for wraps is between 350–365 degrees using indirect heat. Never cook with wraps over direct flame or heat source.

How come I don’t taste as much cedar flavor when using a wrap as a plank?

Wraps produce a more delicate cedar flavor than the planks and will not transfer as much flavor as a plank.

Roasters

Do I soak the Roaster in water like I do the planks?

Roasting planks would on the same general principles as the grilling planks. Soak the Roaster for 1-2 hours until completely saturated. Place your food on the roaster season it and put it in the oven or on the grill over indirect heat. Do not exceed 365 degrees when using the roasting plank in the oven. If the cooking temperature nears 400 degrees the oils in the roasting plank will begin smoke because of excessive heat – much like olive oil in too hot of a pan.

How long with the roaster last?

With proper care your roasting planks will provide years of great cooking experiences.

Why are there bolts in the roaster?

Cedar is a soft wood so as you cook with the roasting plank you may discover cracks throughout the plank from the moisture and heat – not to worry if your roasting plank develop a crack simply tighten up the nut on the bolt and it will pull your roasting plank back together.

I have heard it is best to oil the roaster – is that true?

No need to oil the roasting plank – by doing so you will trap the essential cedar oils from leaching out of the plank.

What temperature should I use when cooking with the roaster?

Keep the temperature between 350-365 when using the roasting plank to avoid any unnecessary smoking.

How do I cure the roaster for the next use?

We recommend that after each use of the roasting plank that you clean the plank using hot water (no soap) – removing all food particles and juices from then plank. The roasting plank should then be placed in the oven or back on the grill at 350 for a period of 10-12 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present on the plank. 

Is a Drip Pan recommended for use with the roasting plank?

The TrueFire Roasting plank has a recessed area to trap any juices that may be present. However the recess may not be sufficient for certain food type so we always recommend a baking sheet with sides be placed on a rack below the plank to catch any excess juice.