by Craig Weatherby
There’s a lot on the line—namely, the satisfaction of friends and family—when you fire up the grill for an Independence Day feast. And that rule applies to any grill-centered gathering.
The last thing you need is worry about charring or drying the grilled fish at the center of your July 4th feast.
Our Cedar Grilling Planks offer the perfect solution. Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest pioneered the art of roasting fish and game on wood planks, which preserves moisture and imparts wonderfully subtle wood notes to grilled food.
To introduce you to the pleasures of this time-tested technique, we’re making a special “Worry-Free Grilling” offer.
"Worry-Free Grilling"... with Free Planks
- Receive a Free 3-Pack of our pristine Cedar Grilling Planks with any purchase of $100.00 or more.
- Add goods worth $100.00 or more to your shopping cart, and enter the code SUMMER in the “gift code” box, before you click the Checkout tab.
- The Cedar Planks will appear in your cart when you reach the Finalize Order page.
- Offer ends Saturday, June 30th.… act now to keep your July 4th fish moist and flavorful!
NOTE: To ensure delivery before July 4th, orders for our flash-frozen fish must be received by Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time.
The Vital Choice Plank-Grilling Primer
It’s easy—and less anxiety-provoking—to grill with planks than without. Just follow these simple steps.
- Soak the planks first, or they will burn on the grill. Immerse them in clean water for at least two hours, or overnight. If you have less than two hours for soaking, immerse the planks in hot water to speed absorption.
- Place the planks in a clean baking dish or kitchen sink, add enough water to cover, and weight the planks down with a heavy object to keep them completely submerged.
- If you have time to soak the planks for several hours, you can add white wine, beer, apple cider, fruit juice or fresh herbs to the water to impart added flavor to your cooked fish or shellfish.
- Dry the soaked planks well using a clean dish towel, and then brush or spray the top surface lightly with olive or macadamia nut oil. You can also choose to rub herbs, garlic or flavored oil onto the planks.
- Place the fish or shellfish on the prepared plank, skin-side down for skin-on fillets. As desired, rub seasonings on the top of the fish, but go easy lest you overpower the flavor imparted by the plank. (Vital Choice Salmon Marinade mix works well for this purpose.) Fruit slices or vegetables sprinkled around the fish will help retain moisture and enhance the flavor as well.
- Place plank with the fish or shellfish on the preheated medium-hot grill (i.e., between 350 F and 450 F.) Close the lid. At this temperature, the grilling plank should give off light to medium smoke within a few minutes. You don't need to turn the fish over, but resist the urge to peek too often. Keeping the lid closed retains the smoke and heat and will help infuse the fish with the woody aroma of the planks.
- Check the fish for doneness every 5 minutes. Keep a spray bottle of water close at hand in the event you experience a flare-up when you raise the lid. It's undesirable for the plank to flame excessively, but smoldering is what gives the fish that unique smoky flavor.
- Check the fish frequently after 8 minutes. To check for doneness, slide a sharp knife tip into the center of the thickest part of a cooking seafood portion, checking for color. Seafood continues to cook after it’s removed from the heat, so take it off the grill just as soon as it is opaque throughout, or just a bit shy of opaque in the very center.
- When the fish is done, bring the plank to the table… the sizzling, smoking seafood makes quite an impression! Don't forget to use heat-safe gloves and to protect the surface of the table by placing the plank on a heat-resistant surface such as a plate, wood cutting board, or large trivet.