How Plank Cooking Began
The Pacific Northwest is noted as creating the beginnings of the technique of roasting fish and game on wood planks. Explorers happened across the aroma and flavors of the cooking process and used it themselves as well as passing the method along to others on their travels.
Native Americans perfected the art of roasting fish and game on wood planks. Early accounts praise the aroma and flavors imparted by this cookery. The early cooks used wood plank cooking over open flames to capture the essence of wood as a seasoning in fish and other meats. Theyslow roasted their freshly caught fish and meats on wood planks above fire pits. This method of cooking infused the natural oils and moisture found in the woods into the foods producing a delicious unique flavor. This unusual method of cooking has been discovered and used around the globe to bring truly exceptional flavor to not only fish but also meats, poultry, vegetables, cheese, fruits and even pizza!
For years, restaurants have kept the tradition alive by serving salmon cooked on planks. But more recently, as pre-cut boards have become widely available, chefs and home cooks around the country have been experimenting with cooking on planks. There are two methods of plank cooking; grilling (roasting) and oven (baking). Both methods offer the delicious flavor. Backyard and community gatherings have become so trendy in recent years, that grill planks have become one of the most popular methods of outdoor cooking.