The Marvels Of Maple: Try Maple Wood For This Season's Best Dishes

Food & Cooking Blog

Give this season's favorite dishes a fresh twist with the all-natural flavor of maple wood. While cooking with wood is nothing new, maple often gets overlooked in favor of hickory and cedar. Cooking on maple wood brings a subtle, sweet taste – and this sweetness combines with the natural smoke flavor for a complex and delicious dish.

Maple is marvelous! Try it in this season's favorite fare for a modern twist.

Maple-Planked Fish

There is something impressive about serving a plank of fish and veggies, which makes plank cooking an excellent entertaining idea. Skip the cedar plank and buy an untreated maple plank at your area hardware store for something different and tasty that pairs perfectly with salmon, white fish, and tofu. Some other things to know when cooking with a plank are:

- Keep temperatures under 425 degrees when planking in your oven.

- When grilling with a plank, soak the plank in liquid for a couple hours prior to use. Use beer, wine, juice, or water to add moisture to the wood and prevent burning, while also adding another layer of flavor to whatever you are cooking.

- Consider toasting your plank prior to cooking for a stronger smoky flavor and to prevent your plank from warping during use.

- Try seasoning the plank by toasting it on a preheated grill rack for a couple minutes on each side. Next, lightly oil the side that you will be cooking on.

- You do not need to turn food that is being cooked, baked, or grilled on a plank.

In the oven, your plank will last indefinitely; when using it for grilling, you should get two or three uses before you will need to replace it.

Grilling Over Maple Wood

Another new twist on your burgers, steaks, and chicken is to use maple when grilling over wood; remember to use seasoned, dry hardwood that is never treated. Don't grill over roaring flames, but rather wait for a glowing heat source that will gently cook your meat, typically about 45 minutes after you light your kindling. Don't forget to keep a fire extinguisher nearby any time that you grill over an open flame, for safety.

Maple-Smoked Meats

Since maple wood adds sweetness, it is a natural choice for ham or chicken. Soak your chips for about a half hour before placing in the smoker and wait another ten minutes before adding your meat for optimal smoke. Try soaking the chips in your favorite beer for distinctive smoked ribs!

Don't own a smoker but want the rich flavor of maple wood? Try filling a foil pan with maple chips, cover with foil, poke holes in the top, and place in the oven or on the grill for maple-infused foods, from veggies to veal.

Give maple wood a try this summer and bring something different to your family's favorite dishes. Visit specialty food stores and sites for tools and supplies that will bring panache and personality to everything you prepare.


30 July 2018

Teaching Your Kids To Cook

After I had kids, I realized that there were some serious issues with the way we were eating. We started enjoying healthier meals, but I still wanted to make the process fun and interesting for our children. To make things better, I started cooking with my kids instead of for my kids. It was really cool to watch their faces light up as we made pizza or learned more about how ice cream was really made. I decided to start a little website that centered around teaching kids to cook, because they can help in the kitchen too. I hope you enjoy these articles!