Monday, August 20, 2012

Review : Plank Cooking with The Butlers Pantry

When Maria from The Butlers Pantry asked me if I wanted to try out their new BBQ plank cooking plank, I took one look at the grey, rain-sodden skies outside and thought why not...  Their Executive Chef Niall Hill has developed a new method of summertime cooking on the BBQ using a wooden plank.  The method is simple - soak one of the Butlers Pantry untreated Himalayan Cedar or Oak planks for at least 8 hours, put it on your BBQ, add the food, shut the lid and... out comes a fantastic meal.

I collected my pack on a Saturday, got home and unpacked the contents.  There was enough to feed a very hungry army including artisan French bread, pate, beetroot ketchup, salads, marinated chicken, vac packed salmon fillets and the plank itself.

As I was late getting home, I didn't have time to soak the plank for Saturday dinner (and it was lashing out of the heavens) so I soaked it on Sunday morning, weighed down in my spotlessly clean washing up bowl by assorted cups, until teatime.  In the meantime, the bread and pate took a hammering.  Both were utterly delicious - a perfect light lunch for us.

On Sunday evening, after an 8 hour soaking in the sink, my plank was ready for cooking.  I fired up my gas BBQ, placed the plank on the grid, sprinkled it with seasalt and put the lid down until it started to crackle.  Then I placed my two unseasoned salmon fillets on the plank and cooked them for about 8-10 minutes. I deliberately didn't season the fish because I wanted to see how they would taste.  The answer is that they were exquisite.  The hot smoking process that the plank brings to the BBQ turned the salmon a deep shade of coral and left it very juicy and tender.

I served the salmon with some Butlers Pantry Broccoli, Tomato & Feta salad and some crushed new potatoes with a pesto dressing.  It was a spectacularly simple dinner, but filled with flavour.

The Oak and Himalayan Cedar planks are available in all The Butlers Pantry shops and cost €3.95 each.  Many thanks to Maria from The Butlers Pantry for supplying me with the food pack and letting me try Plank Cooking.


  1. Wow! This looks very interesting. I heard about them before but never seen thwm for sale. Can you reuse them once they've been used? And can they be used on charcoal? Thank you

  2. Hi Peggy, I think they're single use only and they can be used on gas or charcoal.

  3. sounds like a great idea. Note to self - take in Butler's Pantry on next trip to the city.

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