Planked Scallops? Isn’t planking only for salmon? Absolutely not. You can plank like I did here with these Maple Plank pork chops, or these planked chicken tenders, and even planked beef tenderloin. You can also grilled planked squid! And planking doesn’t always have to be with cedar. I planked these scallops on a cherry plank.
This is a tasty (very!), easy recipe I tried for scallops while vacationing on Dauphin Island, Alabama. A trip to Skinner’s Seafood Shop yielded some massive dry-packed scallops. What does dry-packed mean? Dry packed, as opposed to wet packed, indicates scallops that are harvested, packed and shipped on ice sans chemical additives resulting in a somewhat stickier texture, more aromatic, pricier, but a naturally sweeter flavor. Wet packed scallops are soaked in water and sodium tripolyphosphate (yuk!) thus soaking the scallop with excess liquid and additives increasing weight and diminishing natural flavor. Ok, now on to the grilling!
Planked Scallops Ingredients:
1 cherry wood plank
1 lb large scallops (these were 8 per lb or U8)
½ cup white wine – one you would drink… and I did!
juice of 1 small lime
granulated garlic (couple of pinches)
fresh ground pepper to taste
First off, we have to soak the plank so it doesn’t burst into flames on the grill. If you need planks, check out my friends at Bob’s Smokin’ Hardwood. They have the best smoke wood, wraps and planks. And I did say wraps. You gotta check out wrap grilling!
Place the cherry wood plank (or whatever wood flavor you prefer) in the sink and fill with water to cover. A bowl filled with water on top of the plank will keep it submerged and soak the wood for at least an hour:
After the plank has been in the water, prep the scallops. Gently remove the tiny catch muscle from the side of each scallop, it can be tough, although not all scallops will still have this muscle by the time it gets to your home:
Give the tasty morsels a bath in white wine. I pampered these scallops with Rombauer Chardonnay. I pampered myself with it too!
Add the juice of half a small lime-use the whole lime if grilling a full pound. Pucker up!
A few pinches of granulated garlic are added:
Now add coarse ground pepper:
Leave the scallops in the wine, lime juice, garlic and pepper for about 15 minutes.
The grill is fired up to about 300-325 so on goes the soaked cherry wood plank. The cherry plank was heated for 4-5 minutes directly over hot coals then flipped over, ready to receive the scallops. A few chunks of fresh pineapple are tossed onto the grill to add to this Gulf Coast treat.
The doctored scallops are married to the cherry wood plank for soon to be planked scallops:
I realize there are only three scallops on that plank because this was just an afternoon snack. If planking all 8 scallops, stagger them across the cherry wood plank.
Average grilling time will vary by the size of the scallops. Scallops can be tricky to grill properly so I suggest experimenting with your particular grill. It would be best to err on the undercooked scallop. Once overcooked there can be no recovery unless they are added to seafood chowder in a later meal.
Fifteen minutes in, the planked scallops have a golden glow. Yep, they’re getting happy! We’re gonna’ plank ‘em another 5 minutes or so before removing from the grill:
This is what happens when sensuous, sexy scallops meet hot cherry wood. Yesssssss!!
Taste test? The planked scallops have a smoky flavor, although evident, was mild and not overpowering. My taste buds spoke to me the same way they spoke when dining on pan-seared scallops in a gourmet restaurant but with the added bonus of cherry wood smoke flavor. These scallops did not need to be wrapped in bacon, pancetta, or whatever the current fad is. Sometimes the simple flavor profile that allows enjoyment of the scallop itself gets forgotten in today’s food culture. That being said, look for an upcoming post where I’ll enrobe the tasty scallops with something you wouldn’t expect.
The oils and smoke from the wooden plank really take scallops up a notch. Do some straight on the grill and plank some and do a side by side. Trust me on this.
If you have any questions, leave them below or send me an email.
- 1 cherry wood plank
- 1 lb. large scallops (these were 8 per lb. or U8)
- ½ cup white wine - one you would drink… and I did!
- juice of 1 small lime
- granulated garlic (couple of pinches)
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Soak the cherry plank in water for at least an hour
- Remove the catch muscle from the side of each scallop, if present, as they can be tough
- Place the scallops in a bowl and add the wine, lime juice, garlic, and pepper
- Prepare the grill for medium grilling (300-325 degrees)
- Place the plank right over the coals or hot burner for 4-5 minutes and then flip the cherry wood plank over
- Place the scallops on the plank and close the lid
- After about 20 minutes of grilling, the scallops should be ready to come off the grill