Are Grilling Planks Safe? (Owner Tips)

If you’re new to grilling, you might be wondering whether it’s safe to use a plank. A plank is a long piece of wood that has been cut into the shape of a rectangle or square. 

You’ll often see them being used for fish and seafood recipes on TV shows or cooking blogs, but they can also be used for vegetables and other meats.

But are grilling planks safe? In this article we’ll answer all your questions about if you should use them or not and how long they last before getting thrown out!

Grilling on wood planks is a unique and flavorful way to cook meat, fish, and vegetables.
Soak grilling planks in water for at least 30 minutes before using them on the grill to prevent them from catching fire.
Cedar is the most common type of wood used for grilling planks, but other hardwoods like oak, hickory, and maple can also be used.
Grilling planks can be reused if they are still in good condition and haven’t charred too much.
Grilling on planks imparts a smoky, wood-fired flavor to food and can help to keep it moist and tender.

What Is A Grilling Plank?

If you’re a fan of grilling, you’ve probably seen them in the store and wondered why they were so expensive. In this post, we’ll explain what they are and how to use them safely.

A wood plank is simply a piece of thin wooden material that has been cut into a rectangular shape and often treated with some kind of seasoning mixture or preservative to prevent it from cracking or rotting before use. 

You can find these on the shelves at most grocery stores, but they can be quite pricey so what exactly do they do?

How to Prepare Wood Planks for Grilling | Easy Grilling Tips | Cooking Outdoors

There are many benefits that grilling planks imparts to food.

There are many benefits that grilling planks imparts to food.

  • A plank imparts a smoky flavor to food, which adds depth and complexity when cooking over an open flame.
  • They make for easy cleanup since you can just throw them away when done.
  • Planks can be used to cook almost anything! They come in all different shapes, sizes, and densities so you can use them in lots of different ways depending on your needs!

“Grilling and broiling are two different methods of cooking, but it’s easy to confuse the two. If you’re unsure about the differences, our article on grilling vs broiling can help clear things up and make your next BBQ a success!”

How Do You Use A Grilling Plank?

If you’re looking for a new way to grill, take a look at plank grilling. A plank is basically a thick piece of wood that can be used on the grill to cook foods. 

Because they are made out of all-natural products, planks provide a great alternative to gas or charcoal grills when cooking outdoors and they’re also better for the environment than electric ones. Plus, by using them in place of aluminum foil or parchment paper (which are both harmful), you can reduce your exposure to chemicals that may be found in these materials.

How Long Does A Grilling Plank Last?

Planks can last for 1-2 uses before they need to be discarded. Some people reuse their planks, but others say it’s not worth it. 

The main reason is that each plank has a very distinct flavor, so you might end up with an unpleasant combination of flavors when grilling different types of fish on the same plank. 

It’s also important to store your planks properly they should be kept in a dry place, out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources like ovens or microwaves.

“Grill mats can be a useful tool when cooking, but it’s important to make sure they’re safe to use. Our article on are grill mats safe to cook on provides valuable information on the pros and cons of using grill mats and how to use them safely.”

What Are The Different Types Of Grilling Planks?

There are several different types of grilling planks on the market today. The most common are:

Wood Planks—Made with real wood, these planks come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including flat pieces or others that are curved. Many of them can even be cut to size if you need a specific size for your grill or smoker.

Bamboo Planks—Made from bamboo, these grilling planks have the advantage over other types because they don’t require seasoning like some woods do, although they do still need to be soaked prior to use (check instructions). 

They also tend not to burn as easily as other woods might because bamboo has natural water-resistant properties which prevent it from catching fire easily when exposed directly to high temperatures such as those found within an open flame.

Why Use A Grill Pan Instead Of Plank?

For those who prefer a more affordable option, there is the grill pan. While these can be used for the same types of meats as a plank and have similar benefits, they also have their own pros and cons that you should take into account before using them.

Grilling planks are not dishwasher safe and can be difficult to clean if you don’t soak them properly before hand. On the other hand, you can easily wash your grill pan with soap and water or toss it in the dishwasher without worrying about ruining its nonstick surface. If you’re looking for convenience, this could be an important factor in your decision making process.

“Keeping your patio clean and well-maintained is important for both aesthetics and safety. If you’re looking for alternative ways to clean your patio without using a pressure cleaner, our article on how to clean pavers without a pressure cleaner provides effective and easy-to-follow tips.”

Is It Safe To Use Raw Fish On A Grill Plate?

It is safe to use raw fish on a grill plate. If you are looking for a way to cook sashimi style salmon or tuna, simply place the fish in the center of your plank, brush some olive oil over the surface and add salt and pepper before grilling. 

Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time so that even if your meat starts off frozen solid, it will reach room temperature by the time you need it.

Raw whitefish like trout, catfish or cod fillets can also be marinated in soy sauce or teriyaki sauce before grilling. You should soak your wood planks for at least 30 minutes in water prior to using them so that they don’t catch fire when placed over direct heat from your grill.

Do You Need To Trim Your Meat Before Grilling On A Plank?

You can trim your meat before grilling on a plank. It’s not necessary, but it will help the meat cook more evenly. Trimming is not recommended for chicken, turkey, or pork because it makes them dry and tough when cooked on their own.

Is It Safe To Reuse Grilling Planks?

You can reuse your grilling plank as many times as you like. The only thing that will happen if you don’t clean or store it properly is that it will start to smell like food. If the stick smells like something other than wood, throw it away and buy a new one! 

But if it just smells like wood, then go ahead and put it back in the bag until the next time you want to use it (or until the next time someone asks what that funny-looking thing hanging from your ceiling is).

“Renovating a brick patio can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge, it can be done with ease. Our article on how to lay pavers over brick provides step-by-step instructions on how to transform your brick patio into a beautiful paver patio.”

Is It Okay To Put My Grilling Plank In The Dishwasher?

Don’t reach for your dishwasher when it comes time to clean up after grilling. You should never put a grilling plank in the dishwasher, even if you have a top-loading machine (which can be more prone to rust than other types). 

This is because high heat and harsh chemicals will cause metal parts on the plank to rust, ruining its longevity and reducing its effectiveness as an all-natural surface for cooking meat.

Additionally, don’t use a plank on any type of grill pan or stovetop grill—you’ll need one made specifically for each type of cooking surface. That said, you may be able to use a generic plank that’s been cut down into pieces; just be sure that it fits snugly over your cooking surface before using it!

How Long Can I Store My Grilling Plank?

How long you can store your grilling plank depends on how it is stored. If you store your grilling plank in the refrigerator, it should last for up to three days. If you freeze them, however, then they will last for about six months.

“If you’re looking to create a beautiful and durable porch for your home, pavers are a great option. Our article on how to make a porch out of pavers provides tips and advice on how to create a stunning porch that will last for years to come.”

Should I Toss The Wood After I Use It?

If you do reuse your planks, it is important to keep the following in mind:

It’s best if each plank is a single use item. The wood will become brittle over time and can break apart easily when reused, which could be dangerous for you and your food.

If you’re going to reuse a plank, make sure that you’re using it on low heat so as not to burn or char the wood too much. Using too high of heat will also cause damage to the wood and possibly create toxic fumes in your grill.


In conclusion, grilling planks are a great way to cook your food on the grill. Not only do they impart unique flavors and aromas, but they also help keep the meat moist and tender. 

The best thing about using a grilling plank is that it can be reused many times over before needing to be replaced so there’s no need to worry about disposing of them after use!

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about grilling on wood planks, here are some helpful resources:

BBQ Champs: This article provides an overview of grilling on wood planks, including the benefits and drawbacks of this cooking method.

Martha Stewart: Martha Stewart explains how to use different types of wood planks for grilling, as well as how to prepare the planks and cook various types of meat and fish.

Insider: This guide from Insider provides step-by-step instructions on how to grill salmon on a cedar plank, along with tips and tricks for perfect results.


What are grilling planks?

Grilling planks are wooden planks, typically made from cedar or other hardwoods, that are used as a cooking surface for grilling meat, fish, and vegetables.

How do you prepare grilling planks?

Before using grilling planks, it’s important to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from catching fire on the grill. Some recipes may also call for marinating the plank in a flavored liquid before grilling.

What types of wood are best for grilling planks?

Cedar is the most common type of wood used for grilling planks, but other hardwoods like oak, hickory, and maple can also be used. It’s important to choose untreated, food-grade wood planks for grilling.

Can grilling planks be reused?

It depends on the condition of the plank after use. If it’s still in good condition and hasn’t charred too much, it can be reused for one or two more grilling sessions. However, if the plank has become too charred or burned, it should be disposed of.

What are the benefits of grilling on planks?

Grilling on planks can impart a smoky, wood-fired flavor to the food being cooked, as well as help to keep the food moist and tender. It also provides a unique and visually appealing way to present food at a barbecue or dinner party.