How To Clean Cedar Planks After Grilling?

Are you looking for effective methods on how to clean cedar planks after the smoky grilling? Look no further; we have got you. I know you would want to give a few more lives to the cedar plank by giving it a good cleanup and sanitization after an afternoon of grilling. However, cleaning the cedar plank can be a little tricky.

We shall learn how to clean your cedar plank, the following questions, and related topics.

  • How do you stop cedar planks from burning?
  • How many times can you reuse a cedar plank for grilling?
  • Is cedar plank grilling healthy?

Cooking on a cedar plank adds smoky-sweet flavor to your food and vegetables. Cleaning the cedar can be done by following an easy, simple task. 

  1. Remove the cedar plank from the griller after the cooking is done. Do not remove it immediately after cooking, as it will still be hot. 
  2. Once removed, rinse the cedar plank in either cold or hot water. Hot water will help dissolve the leftover food on the plank. Use a sponge or an abrasive to scrape the leftover food. 
  3. To sanitize the cedar plank, run a bleach wash on your dishwasher to remove bacteria and other organisms. Rinse thoroughly with clean water after scraping. Follow it with a good rinse. 

It is advised not to use soap while cleaning the plank as it will seep into the pores of the plank, which otherwise can affect the taste of the food.

You can also try the Grill Rescue grill cleaner.

How do you stop cedar planks from burning?

Cedar plank, after all, is a wood that can quickly get burned when grilling. Although a cedar plank can be used only a limited number of times, we can still manage to add more life to it by following this simple tip.

To stop the cedar plank from burning while grilling, soak the cedar plank in warm water for at least 30-60 minutes. Ensure that the cedar is completely submerged under the water and not floating when soaking. The soaking allows the cedar plank to last longer and smolder while grilling.

Besides water, if you want to prep the wood for more flavoring, you can use apple cider, cooking wine, etc., whatever suits your food and cooking method.  

Can cedar planks be reused after grilling?

Yes, cedar planks can be reused after grilling. Depending on the condition of the cedar plank, it can be reused. If it is too charred, the cedar plank needs to be replaced by a new one. 

How many times can you reuse a cedar plank for grilling?

As mentioned above, cedar planks can be reused for grilling. Cedar plank can be used anywhere between 2-4 times. However, the reuse is heavily dependent on the condition of the planks after grilling. Food items that require a longer grilling time will create higher amounts of char on the plank, making it reusable only for one time. 

The cooking method as such affects the reusability of the plank. A simple tip to increase the life of the cedar wood is to soak it for a good 30 minutes to one hour before grilling, as it slows the process of burning. 

Is cedar wood good for smoking meat?

Cedarwood is not the best choice for smoking meat. However, food-grade cedar is often used for flavoring and adding distinct characteristics to food. Cedar planks are often used in smoking vegetables and fish items like salmon. 

Is cedar plank grilling healthy?

One should know that there are varieties of cedar planks or wood. And that the difference determines the quality and consumption of the wood. There are types of cedarwood that are safe for consumption and some that are poisonous or not fit for consumption. 

Cedar trees such as Eastern Red Cedar are poisonous cedar that can cause harm when consumed. However, flavoring and cooking cedar trees like the Western Red Cedar are safe and give great character to the food. Make sure to use food-grade cedar planks while cooking or grilling. 

Grilling food on a food-grade cedar plank is healthy for consumption. When food is placed on a cedar plank for cooking, it acts as a barrier from direct char and heat. 

Are cedar planks safe for cooking?

Yes, Cedar planks are safe for cooking. However, some cedar trees are poisonous and should not be used for consumption. One should be careful in differentiating between toxic and safe cedar planks. 

All cedar planks are made from non-poisonous cedar trees that are food-grade level. So, cedar planks are safe for cooking. 

What to cook on a cedar plank?

Cooking on a cedar plank has become a popular food culture in the US. The cedar plank is a booming business with almost $3 million in turnovers in America, according to SeaFoodSource

One of the famous well-known foods cooked on a cedar plank is salmon, an age-old recipe of the Native American tribe. Cedar plank works well with seafood and brings excellent flavor and taste to meats like pork and chicken. Meats like pork and chicken dry out fast; cooking on cedar plank help retain the moisture of the meat.

Other food items that can be cooked on cedar planks are vegetables and fruits. Vegetables such as bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, etc., are great on cedar planks. Fruits like pineapple and apples are usually used for grilling suit well with a cedar plank. 

Besides these food items, you can experiment and cook with basically all kinds of food on a cedar plank. 

What do you do with cedar planks after grilling?

After grilling, please wait for the cedar plank to cool off and wash it with warm water and a scrubber to scrape off food stuck on the plank. This will keep it clean and ready for its subsequent use. 

Read also: how to clean rust from your smoker.


The simple and easy tips for cleaning your cedar plank after grilling will ensure you give extra life to the planks. Using warm water and an abrasive brush will effortlessly get the cleaning done and give it a longer life.