Board cooking is a traditional Native American cooking method that involves cooking items such as Seafood of the Month Club, meat, vegetables, and fruits on cedar, maple, alder, and oak boards. When fresh game is slowly roasted over an open fire, the natural oils and moisture contained in the wood are absorbed into the food. The result is a healthy meal with an aromatic smoky flavor. In recent years, this cooking method has become increasingly popular with restaurant chefs and home cooks, and today, pre-cut grill boards are widely available online and in many specialty grocery stores.
Slate cooking is a great way to prepare Alaskan seafood, such as nutritious and delicious salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some beginner tips for grilling on an Alaskan seafood table.
- Use a board about 1 inch thick and wide enough to support the fish you are about to grill. The type of wood is not that important (although cedar is a popular choice), but no matter what wood you choose to use, be sure to use untreated or chemically treated planks.
- Soak board in water for at least an hour before grilling. This will help prevent the wood from catching fire. If the wood catches fire when grilling, sprinkle it with water to put out the fire and continue grilling.
- Preheat the soaked board by placing it directly on the grill and closing the lid. After about 2 to 3 minutes, the hob will start to emit a slight smoke. This is perhaps the most important of these Alaska seafood grilling tips, as the flavor comes with the smoke. For this reason, it is important to wait for the smoke to appear before starting to grill. Then flip the board over and cook the fish on the hot side. Keep a bit of smoke at all times, reducing the heat or moving the board away from the embers as necessary.
- Since the purpose of board cooking is to heat the boards, not set them on fire, use a covered barbecue instead of an open grill. Try baking on boards in the kitchen oven to help the boards last longer.
- Note that your food will continue to cook a little longer after the board is removed from the grill, so you can remove the fish early to avoid overcooking.
Many people refuse to eat shellfish because fishing for shellfish can be unsustainable and wreak havoc on the oceans and ecosystems. However, since the Alaska pollock fishery meets the strict environmental standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council, you can ease your mind knowing that resources are not being depleted at an unacceptable rate despite abundant fish populations. Fisheries harvest these types of Alaskan seafood in a sustainable way so that they do not harm or affect the surrounding ecosystems so that future generations can enjoy the same delicious and healthy seafood.