What is Grilling Paper?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Grilling paper is a relatively new way to add flavor to your barbecued foods. Some people use grilling planks, which are large boards made from different types of aromatic wood that can significantly enhance the taste of food. These are reusable, and resemble cutting boards. Grilling paper tends to work on the same principles, except that it is thinner and lighter, and may be for one time use only. It resembles plywood, and is made from the same types of woods use in grilling planks. Some popular choices are alder, oak, and cedar.

Grilling paper allows outdoor barbecue chefs to cook a wider variety of foods on the grill.
Grilling paper allows outdoor barbecue chefs to cook a wider variety of foods on the grill.

The advantage of using grilling paper, which usually comes in sheets of 6 inch by 6-12 inches (15.24 by 15.24-30.48cm), is that it can be wrapped around food to seal in flavor. Since it is paper and can catch on fire, it does need to be soaked in water prior to being used on the grill. Some people add more flavor by soaking the paper in juice, spirits like whiskey, or vinegar. If you do soak the paper with alcohol, you need to be careful because it can render the paper more flammable.

Grilling paper may not always wrap securely. If you’re having trouble keeping it firmly wrapped around food, you can use a soaked piece of twine to truss it. It really can make for wonderful and different dishes from your barbecue, since it allows for food to be partially cooked by steaming as well as by direct heat grilling.

You’ll find grilling paper typically sold in packages of ten since you can only use it once. Price ranges from about $15-20 US Dollars (USD) for a ten pack, depending upon the size of the paper. You can check barbecue supply stores for grilling paper, but it may be hard to find much variety. Specialty foods stores are also a good place to search for it. When these fail to provide you with enough selection, the Internet is probably the best source, which will offer you lots of variety in wood types.

You can also find many online recipes that utilize this paper, and grilling planks. Foods that never really worked on a barbecue before, like cheese, are accessible. You can try smoked steamed vegetables with cheese sauce, steak smothered in wine soaked mushrooms, or a variety of other creative dishes to tempt the appetites of your family and guests. You can even impart flavor to breads or baked potatoes using grilling paper, which can complement main dishes.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


Where can I find grilling paper? I have never seen it in stores but it sounds like a great way to enhance my grilling. The season is just getting started and I would love to take my BBQ to the next level.


I have never heard of grilling paper before. It makes sense in principle but I am still a little confused about how it works. How do you keep the paper from catching on fire. Even if you soaked it in water wouldn't it just dry out and start flaming?


I absolutely love grilling paper. It is a cheap and easy way to add intense wood flavors to all of your favorite grilled foods. You might be thinking, who want to taste wood when they are biting into a burger, but trust me, the flavor is incredible.

My favorite is cedar grilling paper. I like to use it on more subtle meats like pork and chicken. It infuses the meat with an amazing cedar flavor that is the perfect compliment to the mild white meat.

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