Can You Cook on Cedar Wood? Unlock Grilling Secrets

Can You Cook on Cedar Wood

Yes, you can cook on cedar wood, especially for grilling fish and seafood, to infuse them with a delicate smoky flavor. Cedar planks are commonly used for grilling salmon, trout, and other types of fish to enhance their taste and aroma.

Cedar wood adds a unique smokiness to the food while also imparting a pleasant aroma, making it a popular choice for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. When grilling on cedar planks, the wood also helps to keep the fish moist and tender, resulting in a flavorful and succulent dish.

However, it’s important to ensure that the cedar wood used for cooking is untreated and specifically intended for culinary purposes to avoid any potential health risks.

The Allure Of Cedar In Cooking

When it comes to cooking, there are many options available to enhance flavors and experiment with different techniques. One such option that has gained popularity in recent years is cooking on cedar wood. Not only does cedar wood provide a unique flavor profile, but it also has a rich history in culinary traditions. In this blog post, we will explore the allure of cedar in cooking, including its unique flavor profile and historical use in culinary traditions.

Cedar’s Unique Flavor Profile

One of the main reasons why cedar wood is so appealing in cooking is its unique flavor profile. When food is cooked on cedar wood, it absorbs the natural aromas and oils present in the wood, resulting in a distinct and delightful flavor. The flavor can be described as a combination of smoky, earthy, and slightly sweet, which adds depth and complexity to a variety of dishes.

Historical Use In Culinary Traditions

Cedar wood has a long history of use in culinary traditions around the world. Native American tribes, such as the Pacific Northwest tribes, have been using cedar planks for cooking fish and other foods for centuries. The cedar planks not only impart a unique flavor to the food but also serve as a natural cooking surface that helps to retain moisture and prevent the food from sticking.

In addition to Native American traditions, cedar wood has also been used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. In these regions, cedar wood is commonly used for grilling meats, imparting a subtle and aromatic flavor to the dishes. The use of cedar wood in these culinary traditions highlights its versatility and ability to enhance a wide range of flavors.

Overall, the allure of cedar in cooking lies in its unique flavor profile and historical significance in culinary traditions. Whether you are grilling seafood, meats, or even vegetables, cooking on cedar wood can elevate your dishes to a whole new level. So why not give it a try and experience the enticing flavors that cedar wood has to offer?

Can You Cook on Cedar Wood

Choosing The Right Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is a popular choice for grilling and smoking, but it’s important to choose the right type of cedar. While it’s safe to cook on cedar planks specifically designed for cooking, using untreated cedar lumber from a hardware store can pose health risks due to the chemicals used in the wood.

Characteristics Of Cooking-grade Cedar

When it comes to cooking on cedar wood, it’s important to choose the right type of cedar. Cooking-grade cedar is usually found in specialty stores and is specifically labeled for cooking purposes. Characteristics of cooking-grade cedar include:

  • Thick planks: Cooking-grade cedar is typically thicker than hardware store cedar, which allows it to withstand the heat of cooking without burning or warping.
  • No additives: Cooking-grade cedar should be free of any additives or chemicals, which could be harmful if ingested.
  • Uniform thickness: Cooking-grade cedar planks should be uniform in thickness to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.
  • Freshness: Cooking-grade cedar should be fresh and not dried out or brittle.

Risks Of Hardware Store Cedar

While it may be tempting to purchase cedar from a hardware store for cooking purposes, it’s important to understand the risks. Hardware store cedar is often treated with chemicals, such as pesticides or preservatives, which could be harmful if ingested. In addition, hardware store cedar is typically thinner than cooking-grade cedar, which means it may not hold up as well to the heat of cooking.

If you’re unsure about the type of cedar you’re using, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and purchase cooking-grade cedar from a reputable source. This will ensure that your food is safe to eat and that you’ll get the best results possible when cooking on cedar wood.

Prepping Cedar For Grilling

To prepare cedar for grilling, soak the wood plank in water for at least an hour to prevent it from burning on the grill. This process helps infuse a subtle cedar flavor into the food, creating a unique and aromatic cooking experience.

Once the plank is soaked, it can be used to cook a variety of foods, such as salmon, chicken, or vegetables, providing a delightful cedar-infused taste to the dishes.

Soaking The Planks: Why And How

Soaking cedar planks before grilling is crucial as it prevents them from catching fire on the grill. Soaking the planks also infuses the food with a delightful smoky flavor, enhancing the overall taste.

To soak the planks effectively, immerse them completely in water for at least 1-2 hours before grilling. Ensure they are fully submerged to enable them to absorb enough moisture to create steam and release aromatic flavors during the cooking process.

Avoiding Common Preparation Mistakes

When prepping cedar for grilling, it’s important to avoid common mistakes to ensure a successful and flavorful cooking experience. Some common preparation mistakes to avoid include:

  • Not soaking the planks for an adequate amount of time
  • Failure to fully submerge the planks in water
  • Using planks that are too thin or dry, which can lead to burning
  • Reusing planks that have been previously used and charred

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that the cedar planks are well-prepared for grilling, resulting in delicious and perfectly cooked dishes.

Cedar Plank Cooking Techniques

Cooking on cedar planks is a popular technique that imparts a delicious, smoky flavor to food. While it is safe to use cedar planks specifically designed for cooking, lumber-grade cedar from hardware stores should be avoided due to chemical preservatives.

Wild-caught seafood is a great choice for cedar plank cooking, but it is also possible to cook other meats such as steak or prime rib with delicious results.

Cedar plank cooking is a popular method of cooking fish, meat, and vegetables. The natural flavor of the cedar enhances the taste of the food and gives it a smoky flavor. In this article, we will discuss the Cedar Plank Cooking Techniques that will help you cook delicious food on a cedar plank.

Grill Set-Up for Cedar Plank Cooking

Before you start cooking on a cedar plank, it is essential to set up your grill correctly. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least an hour before cooking to prevent it from catching fire.

2. Preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature of around 375°F.

3. Place the cedar plank on the grill grates and let it heat up for a couple of minutes.

4. Once the plank starts to smoke, you can place your food on it.

Determining Cooking Times and Temperatures

Cooking times and temperatures depend on the type of food you are cooking. Here are some general guidelines:

1. Fish: Cook for 12-15 minutes per inch of thickness at a temperature of 350°F.

2. Meat: Cook for 20-25 minutes per pound at a temperature of 350°F.

3. Vegetables: Cook for 10-15 minutes at a temperature of 350°F.

It is essential to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food to ensure it is cooked correctly.

Adding Sauces and Glazes

You can add sauces and glazes to your food during the last few minutes of cooking. This will enhance the flavor of the food and give it a beautiful glaze. Here are some tips:

1. Brush the sauce or glaze onto the food using a basting brush.

2. Let the sauce or glaze cook for a few minutes until it caramelizes.

3. Remove the food from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.


In conclusion, cooking on a cedar plank is a great way to add flavor to your food. By following these Cedar Plank Cooking Techniques, you can cook delicious food that your family and friends will love. Remember to soak the plank, set up your grill correctly, determine cooking times and temperatures, and add sauces and glazes for a perfect meal. Enjoy!

What To Cook On Cedar Planks

Cedar planks are a popular choice for cooking because they impart a unique smoky flavor to food. While cedar wood is safe to cook on, it’s important to use specially prepared planks and avoid using regular untreated cedar lumber, which may contain chemical preservatives.

From grilling seafood to roasting prime rib, there are plenty of delicious options for cooking on cedar planks.

Cedar planks are not only a popular choice for grilling and smoking, but they also add a unique and delicious flavor to your dishes. Whether you’re cooking seafood, meats, or vegetables, using cedar planks can elevate your culinary experience. In this article, we’ll explore some mouthwatering options for cooking on cedar planks.

Seafood And Cedar: A Classic Combination

When it comes to cooking seafood, cedar planks are a match made in culinary heaven. The natural oils in cedar infuse the fish with a delicate smoky flavor, enhancing its taste and texture. Here are some seafood options that work exceptionally well with cedar planks:

  • Salmon: One of the most popular choices for cedar plank cooking, salmon becomes tender and flaky while absorbing the aromatic cedar essence.
  • Tilapia: This mild white fish pairs beautifully with cedar, creating a delightful combination of flavors.
  • Shrimp: Cedar planks can bring out the sweetness of shrimp, resulting in a succulent and aromatic dish.

Exploring Meats And Vegetables On Cedar

Cedar planks are not limited to seafood; they can also enhance the flavors of various meats and vegetables. Here are some options to consider:

  • Chicken: Grilling chicken on cedar planks can infuse it with a smoky and earthy taste, adding a unique twist to a classic dish.
  • Pork: Cedar planks can bring out the rich flavors of pork, making it tender and juicy.
  • Vegetables: Grilling vegetables on cedar planks can give them a smoky flavor and a slightly charred texture, elevating their taste and appeal.

No matter what you choose to cook on cedar planks, there are a few basic steps to follow:

  1. Soak the cedar planks in water for at least 1-2 hours before grilling to prevent them from catching fire.
  2. Preheat your grill or oven to the recommended temperature.
  3. Place the ingredients on the wet cedar planks and cook as directed in your recipe.

Remember, using high-quality cedar planks specifically designed for cooking is essential to ensure both safety and flavor. Avoid using lumber-grade planks from hardware stores, as they may contain chemical preservatives.

In conclusion, cedar planks offer a versatile and flavorful cooking method for a wide range of dishes. From seafood to meats and vegetables, you can explore a world of culinary possibilities with cedar plank cooking. So why not give it a try and elevate your next meal to a whole new level of deliciousness?

Enhancing Flavors With Cedar

Adding Sauces And Glazes

Infuse your dish with bold flavors by brushing on homemade sauces or glazes.

Pairing Spices With Cedar’s Smokiness

Complement cedar’s smoky essence with spices like paprika, cumin, or chili powder.

Safety Concerns With Cedar Cooking

Cooking on cedar wood can pose safety concerns. Cedar is a softwood and can leave behind unburned carbon, making it unsuitable for food smoking. It is recommended to use specially prepared cedar planks for cooking fish rather than regular, untreated cedar lumber from hardware stores, which may contain chemical preservatives.

Toxicity And Safe Practices

Using cedar for cooking poses potential safety risks due to its resinous nature. Cedar is a softwood, leaving unburned carbon residues when used for cooking. Avoid using cedar for food smoking to prevent harmful effects.

Understanding Resinous Wood Risks

Cedar, being a coniferous wood, is resinous and unsuitable for food smoking. To ensure safety, do not cook on cedar planks from hardware stores, as they may contain chemical preservatives. Opt for specially prepared cedar planks for cooking fish.

In summary, cedar wood should not be used for cooking as it can lead to unpleasant flavors and health risks. Choose safer alternatives to ensure a healthy cooking experience.

Creative Cedar Cooking Beyond The Grill

Discover the art of cooking on cedar wood beyond traditional grilling methods. Cedar offers a unique flavor profile and enhances the taste of various dishes. Let’s explore innovative ways to utilize cedar in your culinary adventures.

Cedar In The Oven: Techniques And Tips

Transform your oven cooking by incorporating cedar wood for a distinct aroma and flavor. Follow these tips for a successful cedar-infused culinary experience:

  • Preheat the oven and soak the cedar plank to prevent it from burning.
  • Place the seasoned food on the cedar plank and cook as directed in your recipe.
  • Monitor the cooking process to ensure the cedar imparts its unique essence to the dish.

Serving And Presentation On Cedar Planks

Elevate your dish presentation by serving and presenting your culinary creations on cedar planks. Impress your guests with a touch of rustic elegance using these serving tips:

  1. Arrange the cooked food on the cedar plank for a visually appealing presentation.
  2. Garnish the dish with fresh herbs and colorful spices to enhance the visual appeal.
  3. Pair the cedar-plank served dish with complementary sides for a well-rounded culinary experience.

Troubleshooting Common Cedar Cooking Issues

Cooking on cedar wood can add a unique flavor to your food, but it’s important to be aware of potential issues. Cedar is a softwood and can leave behind unburned carbon, so it’s not recommended for food smoking. Additionally, be cautious of using lumber grade planks from hardware stores, as they may contain chemical preservatives.

Avoiding Overpowering Smokiness

If the smokiness is too intense, try soaking the cedar plank for a longer period before cooking. This can help reduce the strength of the smoke flavor.

Dealing With Flare-ups And Charring

To prevent flare-ups, ensure the cedar plank is properly soaked in water. Also, monitor the grill closely to avoid charring the food.

If charring occurs, move the food to a cooler part of the grill and reduce the heat to prevent further burning.

By following these tips, you can troubleshoot common cedar cooking issues and achieve delicious results.

Sustainable Cedar Cooking

Cooking on cedar wood is not recommended as it is a softwood that can leave behind unburned carbon and resin. This wood should not be used for food smoking, as it can create unpleasant flavors and potential health risks. It’s best to avoid using cedar wood for cooking.

Eco-friendly Cedar Sourcing

Cedar is not only a flavorful wood for cooking, but it is also a sustainable choice. When it comes to eco-friendly cedar sourcing, it is important to select wood that is harvested responsibly. This means choosing cedar that comes from well-managed forests or sustainable plantations. By selecting cedar from these sources, you can ensure that your cooking experience is not only delicious but also environmentally conscious.

Reuse And Recycling Of Cedar Planks

One of the great advantages of cooking on cedar planks is their ability to be reused. After you have finished cooking your meal, simply clean the plank with warm water and mild soap. This will remove any residue or food particles. Once the plank is clean, allow it to air dry completely before storing it for future use. By reusing cedar planks, you can reduce waste and make the most out of your cooking experience.

In addition to reusing cedar planks, it is also possible to recycle them. If your cedar plank has reached the end of its life or has become damaged, you can repurpose it for other projects. For example, you can use the plank as a base for a decorative centerpiece or as a serving tray for appetizers. Get creative and find new ways to use your cedar planks even after their cooking days are over.

Overall, sustainable cedar cooking is not only delicious but also environmentally friendly. By selecting responsibly sourced cedar and reusing or recycling cedar planks, you can enjoy the flavors of cedar while minimizing your impact on the environment. So go ahead, fire up the grill or preheat the oven, and let the natural flavors of cedar enhance your cooking experience.

Can You Cook on Cedar Wood

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Cook On Cedar Wood?

Cooking on cedar wood is not safe as it is resinous and leaves unburned carbon, resulting in unpleasant flavors. It’s best to avoid using softwoods for cooking due to their fast burn and sap content. Avoid using regular, untreated cedar lumber for BBQ as it may contain chemical preservatives.

Can You Cook Meat Over Cedar Wood?

Yes, you can cook meat over cedar wood, but it’s best for seafood due to its delicate flavor.

How Do You Cook On Cedar Wood?

To cook on cedar wood, follow these steps:

1. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least one hour to prevent it from burning.

2. Preheat your grill or oven to the desired temperature.

3. Place your food, such as seafood or meat, on the wet cedar plank.

4. Cook the food on the preheated grill or in the oven as directed in your recipe.

5. Enjoy the unique flavor that cedar wood imparts to your dish.

Can You Cook On Cedar From The Hardware Store?

Yes, you can cook on cedar from the hardware store, but it is not recommended. Cedar from the hardware store may contain chemical preservatives that are not safe for cooking. It is better to use cedar planks that are specifically prepared for cooking fish.


Cooking on cedar wood planks adds a delicate smoky flavor to food. While it’s ideal for fish, caution is advised with softwoods due to fast burning and potential resinous residue. Always use specially prepared cedar planks and avoid lumber grade planks from hardware stores.

Happy grilling!

Md. Meraj

This is Meraj. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Home Improvement Way is a blog where I share Home Improvement Way tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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