I thought planking was a short lived - Gen Y fad, featuring people of questionable intellect laying around horizontally on random objects, yeah….. it was as naff as it sounds.
This kind of planking however, will make you look like a fucking legend, not a 20 something twat.
The smoking platform here is a nice plank of cedar, generally available from BBQ shops or online. The fresh cedar aroma is just stunning, you can imagine the flavours it will impart once it starts smouldering. They can be pricey, but you'll be able to use each plank a few times.
Your typical plank will be about 10cm x 35cm, and about 10mm in depth.
WHAT TO DO
Soak your plank, submerge in water in a roasting tray and use a glass of water as a weight to keep it down, you'll need to do this 1-2 hours in advance.
I chose an amazing, huge salmon fillet from our local fishmonger. it was so big, we cut it into quarters, and used half (2 quarters) for this cook.
Fire up your coals, and set up your smoker or girl for direct heat, in my case, I break down the ProQ to its lower level, and set the grill directly over the coals.
Get your fish out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Get the plank out of the water, lightly spray down with some olive oil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and lay the salmon skin side down. If you can, please keep the skin on, there's so much flavour in that layer, it would be a shame to lose it.
Dust the top of the salmon generously with your favourite fish rub.
By no means is Salmon the only fish you can cook this way, any other robust fleshed fish would be terrific like this.
I like to now put some chopped fresh dill on top of the fillet, and spread out lemon slices across the fish.
Now it's time to place your plank over hot coals, if you have a lid for your grill, put it on, it should be around the 350F mark. Sit back and relax, and wait for the cedary, smokey goodness to start funneling its way out of your BBQ.
The time it takes to cook your fish will ultimately depend on the size of your fish and the heat of your fire, but it's easy to test, once the skin flakes easily when you stick a fork in it, it's done!! In this case, with this monster fish, it took nearly an hour.
Keep a spritz bottle handy in case your plank catches fire, you can put it out easy without disrupting the cooking process.
We always make a bit more than we need and use the leftovers in a Kedgeree, but that's for another time!!!