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Hottest grilling trends include 'planking' to impress guests


Last updated 9/5/2013 at Noon

Salmon grilled on a cedar plank is both delicious and attractively presented.

SOUTHERN CALIF. - Americans love their gas grills, but some feel that grilling over gas loses some of the flavor associated with charcoal and smoke. Well, worry no more. There are numerous grilling planks and wood chips available that, when combined with the cooking power of a gas grill, allow backyard chefs to taste the smoky flavor of wood while cooking with the convenience of gas. Tender, smoky ribs, roasts and seafood can be achieved with ease.

Smoking with wood chips

When you smoke a cut of meat, give it plenty of time and smoke so it can absorb the flavor. Start by soaking the wood chips in water for at least half an hour and then drain them. Use a stainless steel or cast iron smoker box placed under the cooking grids so the chips will smolder and smoke. There are several different types of GrillPro wood chips available. Hickory is used most traditionally in the southern barbecue belt, and gives a strong hearty flavor to meats. Try hickory with beef or pork. Mesquite is a great choice for beef, lamb, or even turkey. Fruit Wood, such as apple or cherry, is great for lamb, poultry and fish. Whatever type of wood chips you choose you're sure to get unparalleled taste.

Planking is a great way to impress your guests

Cooking meat or seafood on a wooden plank is sure to get great results and wow your dinner guests! The process is just as simple as smoking. Just soak the plank in water, juice, or beer for an hour and pat it dry. Place the seasoned meat on the plank and then onto a medium-low temperature grill. Cook it to its desired level of doneness, and serve. It's that simple. Grilling plants are available in many wood types - including cedar, maple and alder. Cedar is ideal for salmon, but don't be afraid to try other meats on it. Pork goes great on a maple plank and lamb is ideal for alder.

Experiment with these ideas and you will soon discover that smoking can be good for you and your food!

For more smoking recipes and tips, visit


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