Grilling Tip: Buy Cedar Planks at the Hardware Store!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Like grilling your salmon on a cedar plank? Don’t want to spend a lot of money for single-use ones from a specialty food store? If you’ve got a Home Depot nearby, you can get a dozen for a fraction of the cost.

Cedar adds a deep woodsy flavor to salmon, arctic char, even shrimp. I rarely grill out; I live in New York with no outdoor space. But my sister grills almost nightly, and she told me about this brilliant idea. She heads to the hardware store, picks out a 2-inch thick cedar board (usually 8 feet long) and has the store slice it into 8-inch pieces.

The hardware lumber is thicker than the cedar planks made specifically for culinary use, so they take longer to fully char. You can use them more than once.

One important note: You need to soak the wood for a few hours before you put it on the grill. Put them in a baking dish full of water in the afternoon if you want to use them for dinner.

(Image: Flickr member woodleywonderworks, licensed for use under Creative Commons)