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I want to buy some cedar planks for the first time to try some fun looking recipes. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with simple, disposable planks compared to the more expensive planks that claim to be reusable, e.g (Nature's Cuisine NC001 Large Cedar Oven Roasting Plank). Previous advice I've seen on cedar planks suggest you can only reuse them one or two times but I believe they were talking about the simplest planks, the ones you'd just buy at a hardware store.

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Are you 100% sure that the planks in your hardware store never got treated with chemicals? –  rumtscho Aug 7 '11 at 6:22
    
No, I ended up using simple planks purchased from a cooking store. Next time I buy planks I will look at hardware stores as I've heard other people mention them but obviously you want to be very careful they aren't treated. –  David Terei Nov 28 '11 at 21:47
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The whole idea of using a cedar plank is to char the heck out of the bottom and produce lots of smoke and flavor. My roughly 1/4 inch planks are usually charred pretty well and I simply couldn't see using them a second time. At times, it seems that 1/8 inch or more of the bottom is gone.

If you find a good source for your planks, they should be pretty inexpensive so why push it? I found one of the best sources to be my supermarket right next to the fish counter. $3 - $4 / plank. Seems like a small price to pay when you are grilling a $30 piece of salmon on top of it.

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There are also aromatic oils being released, these are gone pretty quickly once the heat is turned up, so they are one use items only if used as intended –  TFD Aug 3 '11 at 2:48
    
Yeah I was thinking along those lines as well but more for environmental reasons didn't want to be using a plank every time if it made no difference. Thanks for the answer –  David Terei Aug 3 '11 at 22:27
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Planks grow on trees :-) Use as many as you want, the worst thing that can happen is that people start planting more trees, oh how bad that would be! –  TFD Aug 4 '11 at 5:05
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