Planked Steak and Scallops

This dish makes good use of plank cooking to not only flavor the food, but to create a simple yet mildly-dramatic “one pot” meal on the grill. Don’t skimp on the chipotle or cayenne. The chilies help to balance the robust woodsiness of the cedar, and provide an unexpected kick without overwhelming the meat.

Bacon-wrapped Tenderloins with Smokey Compound Butter (stolen largely from Pinch My Salt)

For the Steaks:

2 beef tenderloin steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick or better
2 slices bacon
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Tightly wrap one slice of bacon around each steak, securing with with a toothpick. Season both sides with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

For the Compound Butter:

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature, divided in half
1 tablespoon Smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Melt half of the butter and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the spices and mix until until well-combined. Let cool until mostly solid. Add the remaining butter and whisk to combine. Spoon mixture onto a large ramekin, cover with a sheet of waxed paper, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chili Lime Scallops

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 lb sea scallops

Whisk lime juice, oil, garlic, chili powder, salt, and cayenne together in small bowl. Add scallops and toss to cover with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate, basting once with marinade, for about 30 minutes.


1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Please the spears on a plate and drizzle with a little oil and vinegar. Turn to coat then sprinkle with salt.

The Cook

The goal is to put everything on the grill at the right time so that it’s all done at once. It’s important to work quickly, so have your mis en place, some warmed plates stacked nearby, and an oven set on low as a backup in case you need to stash a dish that finishes early.

Use a food-grade plank that’s been soaked in water for at least an hour. Set your grill up for direct cooking at high heat (about 500°F).

When the grill is up to temperature, put the plank on by itself for about 5 minutes, or until you see the first wisps of smoke coming from the board. Flip the plank over and set it beside the grill with the warm side up.

Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side. Put the plank back on the grill with the warm side up and move the steaks and the scallops to the plank. Close the lid and cook until the steaks and scallops are right around 120°F internal, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the asparagus to the grill. Leave the lid open and grill for about 5 minutes, turning frequently, until the spears begin to brown and caramelize.

Ideally, the asparagus should be done at the same time the steaks have reached 135°F internal (medium-rare) and the scallops are opaque and have just started to flake a bit. Remove everything to warm plates, top the steaks with a pat of the compound butter, and serve.

2 thoughts on “Planked Steak and Scallops”

  1. FANTASTIC process and presentation. I really wish I read this last night. I have 4 fillets marinating in a sweet / sour marinade which I’m sure will be good but yours puts it to shame. I would never have put plank grilling with fillets but you have it nicely worked out.

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