Is glue safe for cedar plank on the BBQ?

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I don't know the answer to your question, but... if it were me I'd skip the glue & not take any chances and only use what I know is ok. Options: 1. Tight fitting dowels and secure with nails/brads. 2. Battens and screws on the backside. 3. Drill holes to run wires thru edgewise. 4. Staple the ends, pinch dog style. 5. Sliding dovetails. I'm sure there are plenty of others but these should get you started.
Art
I have some smaller pieces of scrap (aromatic) cedar that I'd like to glue up to make planks large enough for cooking fish on the grill. The way I typically use these planks is to line the bottom of the plank with foil, place the planked fish on the second level over medium heat of a gas grill (@ 350-400 inside the hood) for around 20 min. The plank never chars, but can discolor from the heat on the bottom. The planks are reusable for about 20 trips to the grill or so.
Can thoroughly cured glue contaminate the fish in any way? I was thinking of using polyurethane, just because I have some left over, but otherwise Titebond II.
Glue Chemists encouraged to reply.
Thanks, H
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Thanks WB, those are some good ideas. Regards, H
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When heated, certainly. PU glue being the worst of the lot.
Personally I wouldn't glue it at all, I'd just dowel it. Most glues will lose strength anyway when heated, including PVA and hide.
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I'd avoid the use of any adhesive. Use mechanical fastening methods only. I am thinking that cured adhesives, in a manner similar to plastics, will give up compounds you don't want to ingest when heated.
Also, I believe that the cedar planks you're thinking of for cooking fish or meat are Western Red Cedar, not aromatic.
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I don't think I would want to eat fish the was cooked in a cedar chest. Maybe Western Red but not Eastern (Aromatic).
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Fred wrote:

I'd avoid both, as well as other insect-resistant woods.
They contain a higher concentration of toxins than other woods, that is what makes them insect-resistant. It is not clear that those toxins will migrate into the food, but that does not seem to be too far-fetched .
Maybe Native Americans on the West Coast commonly used western red cedar for cooking but consider also that their life expectancy was less than thirty years. Most of them didn't live long enough to get cancer.
--

FF


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No, aromatic is the way to go. Lot's of restaurants and suppliers will give you the Western, but I suspect it's because they don't know the difference and opt for the cheaper more readily accessible wood.
ANY wood can be used to "plank" cook fish. CEDAR-planked fish is only worthy of the distinction if aromatic is used. It imparts a flavor that is, IMO and others', stunning. Western Cedar might as well be any other bland wood. Eastern's not the only wood that gives off a distinct flavor to fish, but it's my favorite.
de gustibus non disputandum est?
H.
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Having spent over 35 years working as a Chef, with 25 as a certified Executive Chef with stints in East, Southwest, Northwest with Doubletree, Sheraton, and Hilton. I think I know what woods are used for cooking and why. Only a fool would make a statement like "aromatic is the way to go" or "any wood can be used" The reason no one uses it has nothing to do with providers, its because Chefs like good reviews and don't like to kill people.There are reasons we only use certain woods for cutting boards one of which is imparting a bad taste. Just because you are using it and have found a few poor sods to agree with you means nothing. Just the fact you are posting and asking for advise about what effect heat will have on glue and cooking, speaks volumes to your culinary knowledge. Stick to woodworking I can only hope you know more about that.
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snipped-for-privacy@time.com wrote:

You think you do? OK, tell me.

Well, Mr. Executive, it is in fact my opinion that aromatic is the way to go for salmon. I like it better than Western Cedar, Alder, and Apple. That's a fact. That comment was furthermore in response to George, who questioned whether I meant aromatic or the more commonly used Western Cedar. If you want to get in a dander about that, then knock yourself out. If your opinion differs, fine. If you want to call others fools for not sharing your opinion, really, who's the fool?
If your panties are more wadded up because of the latter statement ("any wood can be used"), let me clarify: I meant most American woods, which have historically, anthropologically been used or experimented with as cooking utensils, specifically using the planking method. You are of course free to disagree with that statement of fact, but we would verify it from historians and anthropologists (not Executive Chefs).

Right. Now show me the bad reviews and deaths that resulted from using aromatic cedar, and you'll begin to show that you know what you're talking about. I'll even settle for one (even just one!) scientifically validated study that claims to demonstrate that aromatic cedar is toxic for plank cooking.
<snip irrelevant comment about cutting boards>

Now you've really hurt my feelings. Being an Executive Chef and all....

Well, you've got me dead to rights there. I mean, me not being an Executive Chef and all, I guess I had no business asking a question about it.
Oh, and the fact that you didn't answer the question speaks a tome or two.

Probably good advice (note the spelling there). I'll return the favor and suggest you stay in the kitchen and not try logic.
H
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hylourgos wrote:

Sure, but you may be very unhappy with the flavor if you use black walnut. Several others may well result in acute toxicity.
Poison Ivy is a woody vine, and old vines can be six inches or more in diameter. You COULD cobble up a board out of narrow planks cut from poison ivy (Roy Underhill had a guest who made wooden spoons from poison ivy) and you COULD cook fish on it but I personally discourage you from trying.
--

FF


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OK, guilty as charged for assuming the hyperbole would be recognized. "Virtually any," or "most," how's that?
Underhill's guest, now that's funny: what happened? did Underhill make fun of him or admire his boldness and ask for a bowl of soup?
H
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: I have some smaller pieces of scrap (aromatic) cedar that I'd like to : glue up to make planks large enough for cooking fish on the grill. The : way I typically use these planks is to line the bottom of the plank : with foil, place the planked fish on the second level over medium heat : of a gas grill (@ 350-400? inside the hood) for around 20 min. The : plank never chars, but can discolor from the heat on the bottom. The : planks are reusable for about 20 trips to the grill or so.
: Can thoroughly cured glue contaminate the fish in any way? I was : thinking of using polyurethane, just because I have some left over, but : otherwise Titebond II.
: Glue Chemists encouraged to reply.
Forget the glue. Aromatic cedar is NOT the right stuff to use to emulate Pacific NW salmon planking, For that, you want western red or white cedar, which is a very different thing from eastern aromatic cedar.
I imagine fish cooked on closet-liner cedar would taste pretty awful.
    -- Andy Barss
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"Aromatic cedar is NOT the right stuff to use to emulate Pacific NW salmon planking, For that, you want western red or white cedar, which is a very different thing from eastern aromatic cedar."
Your phrasing is correct, but I'm not trying to emulate Pacific NW planking.
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Having read all the responses to your question I'm surprised that no one from the northwest of North America has replied. That's were the American Indians have been using Alder and Cedar for plank cooking for a long time.. There are sources for food grade Western Red Cedar that is approved by USDA for plank cooking. I have had Salmon on Western Red Cedar and Trout on Alder. I would not use wood I bought down at the lumber yard and I would not use aromatic cedar for cooking or smoking. Its oils are too strong. I have never heard of any one using it for cooking. Western Red Cedar is what's used. As for glue. Why even go there. I don't care what the bottle says. Find another use for your scrap aromatic cedar. Some reading on the subject, I'm sure there is much more. http://www.ozevillage.com.au/oevshoppe/store/index.asp?product_id 52
ED
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Thanks for the link, ED. I was impressed that this mfg. had bothered to have their boards tested by the NFSC (although I have never heard of that agency, the FSIS is probably what they meant).
Northwestern Indians using Wester Red Cedar is well known, nor do I mean to disparage that fine tradition, but aromatic Cedar is what I meant and prefer.
The USDA giving an imprimatur for cedar planks? That strikes me as odd. Nothing comes up from their web site: do you have a source for that?
Out of curiosity, why wouldn't you use Western Cedar from the lumber yard?
You're probably right about the glue, and I probably won't ever use one, but I was curious so asked.
Regards, H
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Why not use fish glue?
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Well darn, that was so obvious, why didn't I think of that? Hide glue (which is just protein, I think) might work fine too, but fish glue for fish plank...why oh why was my first inclination towards the most toxic glue?
Now the only question is whether it will hold up under moderate heat.
Thanks for whacking me upside the head, H
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Hide glue softens with heat. Don't know about fish glue. Wheat paste?
Art

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I think most protein-based glues will soften w/ heat, but perhaps by combining biscuits w/ the glue, the glue will hold things together long enough for the biscuits to expand and set the joint tight. Dowels might work, but biscuits would swell more and perhaps maintain the joint. Just have to experiment with it and see....
Thanks, H
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Could try blood - take some blood (Inuit used to use caribou blood), swish it around in your mouth to get it good and warm and start coagulating. Smear it on the wood. It will give a decent bond. Not likely to be dangerous unless the caribou has a nasty disease.
Mike
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