Author Topic: Smoking with Cedar  (Read 2011 times)

Offline Sniper-T

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Smoking with Cedar
« on: November 05, 2015, 11:44:47 am »
Any one do it?  Bisquits available?  I love cedar planking salmon on the BBQ, wondering if there are some avail for the Bradley??

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 01:11:09 pm »
I do a lot of plank grilling using cedar planks. It imparts a phenomenal flavor to the food, but never tried to apply cedar smoke to food by any other method than planking, so I don't know what the outcome will be using it 3 -  4 hours in a smoker. Cedar is a conifer, and is almost always listed as one of the woods not to smoke food with.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Sniper-T

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 02:27:41 pm »
Which seems like a catch-22, no?  maybe not a solid cedar smoke, but maybe a couple pucks worth mixed in with something else...

Offline tskeeter

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 08:48:20 pm »
Please clarify for me.  When cedar planking salmon, are you burning the plank, or heating a soaked plank to generate cedar scented steam?  My impression is that you are not burning the plank.  So, it would seem to me that you do not want to smoke with cedar.  As a conifer, cedar contains quite a bit  of resin, which should tend to impart a bitter, sooty flavor.

Offline Orion

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 09:29:37 pm »
Idea is to soak the cedar plank for 12-24 hours in water prior to cooking on it. Like you are thinking, the intent is not to burn the plank but allow some of its essence to enter the meat.

You are also correct, cedar does give off nasty substances when burnt and is not recommended for cooking with.
It's going to take a lifetime to smoke all this.

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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 02:22:42 am »
Please clarify for me.  When cedar planking salmon, are you burning the plank, or heating a soaked plank to generate cedar scented steam?  My impression is that you are not burning the plank.  So, it would seem to me that you do not want to smoke with cedar.  As a conifer, cedar contains quite a bit  of resin, which should tend to impart a bitter, sooty flavor.
You are not generating infused steam; if you are following the correct procedure for plank grilling. The soaking part is important to help prevent the planks from igniting into a flame, you want combustion without a flame (smoldering); to produce smoke. Prior to placing any food on the soaked planks you place the soaked planks on the grill to dry them a bit; maybe 3 - 5 minutes; depending on how hot the grill is. This is also referred to as preheating the planks; which gets rid of any excess moisture the planks will have. After preheating the planks on one side you flip them over and then you place the food on the preheated side, before grilling. Believe me you get plenty of smoke. Depending on what you are plank grilling (length of time), the planks get pretty charred. Often you need to have a spray bottle fill of water, to dose any fires if the planks flame up. With fish or vegetables; I may be able to get one or two uses out of each plank, but that also depends on how thick the planks are. Chicken and red meats I may only get one use. At the end of each grilling session, the bottom sides of the planks are very charred up, and if I can use them again I will use a wire brush to remove any loose char.

My thoughts on why you don't get that bitter residue flavor, is because the wood is smoldering at a lower temperature, since it had been soaked and they are still a little damp, and the planks are not resting directly on the hot coals. Also the shorter length of time on the grill as oppose to the longer cooking times the food would be exposed to the smoke in a smoker, could also be a factor. Both will reduce the amount of creosote and residue; that is created and could be deposited on the food.

For members not familiar with plank grilling, I should mention that cedar is not the only wood used for plank grilling. Any of the other woods used for smoking, can be used for planking.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Sniper-T

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2015, 11:37:48 am »
Good reply Hab.  and yes, I have also planked with Pine and Oak as well.  And charred them all!  But this again, begs the question... how is a smouldering plank off the coals any different than a smoldering bisquette on an element?  Both smoke without flame.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 02:39:16 am »
Here are my thoughts, though far from complete. When you say "off the coals", I'm thinking you are talking about the planks being at grill level? The bisquette burner gets around 550°F, a little lower than the grill surface (depending on how much fuel and the distance from the coals). Though the wood is smoldering at approximately the same temperatures; you are cooking/smoking at a much higher temperature, when using a grill versus a Bradley, your food will be cooked/smoked in a much shorter time. The food will be exposed to less smoke. I would guess if there were a Cedar bisquette, you still would have to be careful on how you apply the smoke. With the Bradley, you would only apply a small amount of smoke to your food. If used improperly, the food will be over smoked to the point it could be inedible. That would mean less consumption of cedar bisquette (lower sales), and a lot more over smoking the meat (more complaints). Neither of which Bradley would want from its product. :)

Though it does work very well with plank grilling, because of the oils, resins, and other compounds in cedar, I'm not sure if I would through a chunk of it on coals, when I am cooking a brisket or shoulder; for a long cook/smoke. I've never plank grilled with pine boards. I've used cedar, oak, apple, and alder.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline Sniper-T

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Re: Smoking with Cedar
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 09:23:36 am »
The pine the first time was a mistake, the wife grabbed a chunk off the saw, thinking it was cedar, and then we realized it added a nice flavour, and have repeated it.  Yes, I do mean on the grill (off the coals), but like anything, you can control the amount of smoke.  Straight heat until almost cooked and then smoke for the last 1/2 hour or so.

When I have straight up grilled Salmon, I have also tossed a handful of wet cedar sawdust onto the coals to give a smoke blast to the fish with great success.