There are only three steps to cedar plank cooking… Soak, Smoke and Savor. For this entry lets just discuss step one, “soaking.”
I’m very often asked … How long do you soak the plank? The correct answer to this question is 30 minutes up to 2 hours. You really do not want to soak the plank longer than two hours. Western Red Cedar is softwood that contains essential oils. During the soaking process the wood will absorb as much water as it can possibly hold, much like a sponge. Once the plank becomes fully absorbed the essential oils of the wood will start to leach out and turn the soaking water to a golden brown color. If you see the water start to discolor then the plank is fully soaked. Soaking the plank longer will only force more of the essential oils out of the wood, minimizing your planking experience.
Always use fresh clean tap or bottled water when soaking the plank
Ensure your soaking vessel or sink is clean and free of any contaminants before soaking
If the plank floats place a fruit can or jar on top of the plank to weight it down