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.
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.
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.