What are grilling wraps & why use them

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 5, 2022

Always the latest smoking tips & tricks?

Subscribe to THE ESSENTIAL newsletter for aspiring pitmasters

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Have you heard of grilling wraps? They are a fun and easy way to give smoky and woody flavor to your food.

These wraps are especially handy for those who love that smoky flavor but don’t want to deal with smoking woods.

Perhaps you’re a vegetarian and only grilling a mix of veggies. You probably don’t want the hassle of seasoning wood (what does that even mean, right?), cutting it, and storing it.

What are grilling wraps

Then, these grilling wraps are the best solution. Let’s see what they are, how to use them, and a few of the best options to buy.

They are one time use thin strips of wood to wrap your favorite foods in. They are so easy to use; people love them! They have become the trendy new grill must-have!

These grilling wraps are thin as sheets of paper and come in different wood flavors and are recommended for grilling chicken, seafood, and a large variety of vegetables.

You can use grilling wraps on the grill or in the oven, whatever is more convenient for you!

A brief history of the grilling wrap

Grilling wraps were inspired by two famous cooking methods: en papillote and planking.

The first is the “en papillote” method, which is just a French term for cooking food wrapped in paper.

Fish en papillote is a popular dish in which fish or salmon is placed in parchment paper and cooked in its own steam in the oven.

The second inspiration for these wood sheets is Native American planking or salmon grill planking.

Native American’s smoked and cooked their fish on large planks of cedarwood to give intense flavor.

Grilling wraps are thus a combination of those two methods.

It’s only in the past five years or so that this product really took off and started to sell very well.

Before that, cedar grilling planks were considered the best way to smoke foods like salmon.

And for many people, planking is still the preferred method but, wraps have become popular with people who have vegan, vegetarian, and alternative diets.

Imagine that you are a vegan and want to make food that has that smoky taste you only get from a smoldering grill.

But you have only an oven, and you can’t go outside to grill. By using grilling wraps, you can make your veggies taste like they’ve been smoking out in the offset smoker!

Benefits of Using Grilling Wraps

There are three main reasons people love using grilling wraps: taste, convenience, and cost.

Let’s discuss taste first.

One of the reasons so many people love using grilling wraps is that this method of grilling and cooking does not dry out your food.

If you are grilling seafood like shrimp, for example, it can quickly get dry and chewy. Wrapping shrimp in grilling paper will keep the meat tender, juicy, and moist.

This juiciness adds to the taste and flavor of the delicious meat. The cedar wood or alder have distinct flavors that grillers are familiar with and already love.

Now, you can infuse all your food with that great flavor.

The second benefit of wraps is convenience.

The concept behind grilling wraps is quite simple actually: as the food is steamed in the wraps, it is infused by the wood from the wraps with steam and wood smoke flavor (i.e., cedar).

This is a natural way of adding flavor to food, and it works on grills, ovens, and even on stovetops.

Using the wraps is so easy; you just wrap the food in a sheet, place, and it on your cooking device, and voila, in a few minutes, your food is ready to eat!

The third benefit of wraps is the price. They are a pretty cheap way to infuse your food with aroma.

In general, one sheet of grilling wrap costs about $1.50, but they come in packs of 4 or 8, which is convenient and affordable.

Of course, some brands charge more for their wraps because they claim to have a superior or gourmet product.

Still, even then, grilling wraps are not considered a ‘luxury’ grilling accessory (like some of these top picks) and are widely accessible to the public.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.