Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fire and Flavor grilling planks add hint of flavor to meats

The folks at Fire and Flavor recently sent me some grilling planks to try out. I had never used grilling planks before, but was intrigued after twice having grilled salmon in restaurants recently that was served on cedar planks. We do much of our summer cooking on our grill and I was excited to give it a try. So, earlier this week I pulled out some salmon to cook that night and I got out the grilling planks to soak, knowing they had to sit in water for a few hours before being used on the grill.

I was surprised when I took a closer look. I realized that what I had wasn't cedar planks at all, but red oak planks and the package says that they offer "traditional aged flavor for beef, pork or chicken." I didn't even realize that red oak plans were in their catalog. So, I switched gears and got out some top sirloin steaks and started planning a meal around that. I was thrilled to see the photo on the front of the package of some wonderful looking steaks. In my little bit of searching on the web that I'd done on grilling planks, I'd found mainly cedar ones that were recommended for fish or chicken. I was glad to see this one that was suited for steaks.


The instructions call for soaking the planks for 1 to 24 hours. We had about 8 or 9 hours before we'd be cooking them and I figured the longer they soak, the better, so in water they went with a coffee mug on top to keep the planks from floating to the top. Later that evening, we had this:



Hubby sprinkled on some new Weber steak seasoning I'd picked up. And I sliced some cremini mushrooms and put them in a foil packet with some grape tomatoes, butter and Italian seasoning. It was a perfect accompaniment and the color of the tomatoes made for a nice presentation.



The inside cover of the label included four great recipes. One was for an Arugula and Tomato Salad. I didn't have arugula on hand, but had some mixed greens. I picked some fresh spinach from the garden to add in and it made for a beautiful, refreshing side dish.


The rest of the meal included my homemade salsa with tortilla chips, grilled mixed veggies and potatoes that I sliced and microwaved for a few minutes and  finished on the grill (then topped with chives and cheese,) some grilled sweet corn on the cob and Hawaiian rolls.



The planks gave a hint of woody flavor that was just right. My husband did find that they cooked a little faster than he'd anticipated, so if you like yours rare, keep a close eye on it. I'd definitely use the planks again. Actually, my husband was concerned about re-using them, but the package notes that "if not overly charred, planks may be re-used up to 3 times. Scrub with hot water, allow to dry, then store in a clean, dry place."


I'm still hoping to try out some salmon on cedar planks sometime this summer. When I do, I'll share some notes, and of course, some pictures.

In the package with my sample grilling planks was some fry seasoning. I can't wait to give them a try! The company also sells grilling papers, brine mixes, roasting boards, lump charcoal, rub and salts and more. Their products are available in over 10,000 retails stores in all 50 states and Canada as well as online at www.fireandflavor.com. Founder, Gena Knox, also has two cookbooks, Gourmet Made Simple and Southern My Way.


*I did receive complimentary products for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own..

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