My husband and I just moved into our first apartment together, and we are so excited to start grilling out on the balcony! We were wondering if the grilling planks we bought are reusable, or if we need to buy new ones for each use. The answer is yes, these are reusable but there are a few things you should keep in mind to extend the life of your plank. These grilling planks are a helpful tool to infuse your food with additional flavor.
So in this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of reusing grilling planks and tell you how to clean and reuse these planks. Read on to learn more!
Can You Reuse Grilling Planks and How Can You Clean Them?
According to our experts, you can reuse your grilling plank if it is properly cleaned and seasoned. Most grilling planks are made of cedar, which is a naturally durable and rot-resistant wood. This means that with proper care, your cedar grilling plank can last for years and be reused many times over.
However, it’s important to clean your board after use to prevent the buildup of contaminants and bacteria. Follow the steps below for good cleaning of your planks.
1. Start by scraping off any food residue with a blunt knife or spatula.
2. Then, wash the plank with hot, soapy water. Make sure both sides of the plank are thoroughly cleaned. Rinse the plank well and store it after completely drying.
3. If your plank is looking a little worse for wear, you can sand it down with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any charred bits and restore the smooth surface. You need to sand the wood in the direction of the grain.
4. It can also be disinfected by soaking it in a vinegar solution. Once it’s clean, make sure before storage, let it completely dry.
5. After it’s been cleaned, your grilling plank needs to be stored properly to prevent mold and mildew from developing.
6. Plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil is the best way to protect the plank. Store the wrapped board in a dry, cool place until you’re ready to use it again.
How Long Do Grilling Planks Last?
If you take care of your grilling plank and wipe it after every use, it can last for years before needing to be replaced.
Several factors, however, play a role in the lifespan of planks, including
1. How often do you use the plank,
2. What type of wood it is made from, and
3. How do you store it?
Cedar and hickory planks can be used several times, while mesquite and other hardwoods should only be used once. You’ll know it’s time to replace your plank when it starts to crack or splinter.
In general, cedar and hickory are the best woods for grilling planks because they provide a nice flavor without being too overwhelming.
Mesquite is another popular option, but it’s a harder wood that can make food taste bitter if it’s not used correctly. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and go with hickory or cedar.
Pros of Reusing Grilling Planks
Some of the advantages of reusing these wooden planks are listed below:
1. Grilling planks can be reused multiple times, providing a cost-effective way to enjoy your favorite grilled foods.
2. Reusing grilling planks helps to reduce waste and clutter in your kitchen.
3. Additionally, some people believe that grilled planks that have been reused add more flavor to food.
4. Using grilling planks a second time can save you money.
Cons of Reusable Grilling Planks
Despite the benefits of reusing these planks, there are certain cons associated with them. Some of them are as follows:
1. If not properly cleaned, reused grilling planks can harbor bacteria and other contaminants that can be transferred to food which can be a safety concern.
2. Planks that have been used before can also be a source of unwanted flavors if they are not properly seasoned or stored.
3. Grilling with reused planks can be more time-consuming than using disposable ones.
4. It is important to inspect used grilling planks carefully for cracks or other damage before using them. Discard any planks that are damaged or showing signs of wear.
5. They can also cause your food to stick to the grill.
Should You Reuse Grilling Planks?
Now we have discussed the pros and cons related to it, you may be wondering if it’s worth it to reuse them. A few factors should be considered before making a decision.
For one, you can save money in the long run by making use of grilling planks again. If you take care of your plank and clean it after each use, there’s no reason why you can’t reuse it multiple times.
Another thing to consider is the flavor of your food. After a few uses, your grilling plank will start to impart its flavor to whatever you’re cooking. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences.
Some people love the added flavor of seasoned grilling planks provide, while others prefer their food to have a more neutral taste.
However, it’s up to you whether your grilling planks should be reused or not. If you’re on a budget or you like the flavor that comes from using a well-seasoned plank, then reusing your grilling plank is a great option.
You can, however, buy a new plank every time if you don’t want to worry about either of these things.
Tips For Getting The Most From The Reuse Of Grilling Planks
Some of the tips are listed below
1. Season your plank before each use
Before you start cooking, brush the plank evenly with olive oil or another type of cooking oil. Keeping the plank moist will prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle. It will also add an extra layer of flavor to your food.
Preheat your gas grill for 10-15 minutes on high before turning it down to your preferred cooking temperature. This will help to char the plank and give it more flavor.
2. Soak the plank in water for 30 minutes before cooking
Soaking the plank in water helps to prevent it from burning up during cooking. It also keeps the plank from drying out and becoming too fragile to reuse. Soak the plank for at least 30 minutes before cooking, and you’ll be good to go.
3. Store the plank in a cool, dry place after use
Once you’re done cooking, it’s important to store your wooden plank somewhere dry and cool. This could be the fridge, pantry, or even outside if it’s not too hot or humid out. Storing the plank in a cold environment will help it last longer and prevent it from warping or breaking.
4. Clean thoroughly
When grilling with reused planks, be sure to clean them thoroughly before each use. Scrub your grilling plank with a stiff brush and hot water to remove any food particles. Ensure the plank is well rinsed and dried before storing.
Grilling planks are a great way to impart smoky, woodsy flavors into your food. They’re also reusable- just be sure to clean them properly so that they don’t get moldy and gross.
All you need to do is clean them off after each use and make sure they are completely dry before storing them.
If you want to give your grilling plank an extra cleaning boost, you can soak it in a mixture of water and white vinegar for about 30 minutes. Just be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterward before using it again.
We hope you have learned how to reuse grill planks from this article. Have you tried reusing a grilling plank before? Share your experience in the comments below!
Grilling planks can be used multiple times, however, they will eventually need to be replaced. To prolong the life of your grilling plank, we recommend using a food-safe oil or beeswax to coat the plank after each use. This will help protect the plank from excessive moisture and heat damage.
It’s possible, but we don’t recommend it. The planks are designed for one-to-two time use and may not withstand the high temperatures of the oven.
My name is David Lapp and I’m the Founder and Senior Editor of Grilling Forever. I started the website to share my passion for grilling and barbecue. I am also a holder of a BS degree in Nutrition and Food Studies. Learn More!