How to use a grilling wrap

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 5, 2022

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For simplicity’s sake, think of these grilling wraps like Nori paper you use to roll sushi. Grilling wraps are easy to use, and there is no unique technique involved.

The wraps are thin and pliable, making them easy to work with. Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert in folding, the twine will make it easy for you to make the rolls compact.

How to use a grilling wrap

Here’s how to use them in 5 simple steps:

  1. Soak the grilling wraps for several minutes, preferably 5-7. The sheets need to be completely submerged in water. (The reason for soaking your wraps is that you need the wood to be damp to avoid flare-ups or the paper potentially catching fire on the grill.)
  2. Season your food and place it on the wrap and roll up with grain (or parallel to the grain). Fold over the sides of the sheet until they overlap. (You can use any seasoning and marinade for your food, the flavor of the wraps will still infuse your food.)
  3. Use the twine that is included to tie the wrap tightly. Only use natural string, never tie any plastic to your wrap, or it will melt and destroy the food.
  4. Place your wrap on the preheated grill, oven, or stovetop pan.
  5. Be careful not to leave the wraps unattended. The cooking time varies based on the food inside the wood. If you are cooking chicken or pork, it will take longer than seafood and veggies.

Pro tip: if you want to make sure your food doesn’t stick to the grill wrap, add a little bit of olive oil on the inside of the sheet. Also, don’t be afraid to play with the layout of your ingredients until they fit properly onto the sheet. Never overstuff them, or you will end up with pieces falling out, and the wrap won’t look as appetizing.

Prepping the Grill / Oven / Stovetop

Preheat your grill until you reach medium to low heat, or between 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place your wraps and grill your food for at least 5 minutes on each side, depending on what you’re grilling. Shrimp, vegetables like asparagus, and white fish cook quickly.

Chicken, pork, and other meats should be cooked longer on each side.

If you are using an oven, preheat your oven, and once it reaches a medium temperature, place the wraps on the middle rack.

Let them cook until they are a burnt brownish color, and the meat or veggies seem fully cooked. You don’t need to flip or turn the wraps while cooking.

If you are using a stovetop, preheat your grill pan until hot. Place the wraps and drizzle with a bit of oil or marinade for even more flavor.

If you are cooking salmon, place it seam down and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip wraps using tongs and cook both sides until golden brown.

Are they reusable? What about cedar wraps?

The grilling wraps are NOT reusable. They are intended for single use. After you’ve used a wrap, it will be scorched, burned, and possibly ripped.

Throw it out and use a new one each time you’re cooking.

Even cedar wraps are single-use. Don’t confuse cedar grilling wraps with grilling planks.

Planks can be reused in some circumstances because they are made of thicker cedarwood, but these wraps are so thin, they won’t last for more than one smoke/cook.

Since the wraps are pliable, they’ll take on the rolled shape so you clearly won’t be able to reuse them and fold them one more time.

These cedar wraps are inexpensive, so always buy some new ones.

Experiment with grilling wraps

Did you know you can experiment with your wraps by soaking them in different liquids, not just water?

You can add all kinds of different flavors to your foods by combining the woody smokiness with alcohol and juice.

Juice: soak your grilling wraps in orange, lemon, or lime juice when you’re cooking salmon or other fish to get that intense citrus flavor.

Citrus, especially lemon, is well-known as the best pairing for all kinds of fish dishes.

Tequila: alcohol, like tequila, is an excellent option for soaking your wraps in. This works best with shrimp, lobster, and crab.

It gives the meat a delicious acidic sweetness. Pair with some salsa for an even more authentic Mexican flavor. Try this specialty when cooking for adults!

Wine: soak your sheets in white wine if you are cooking a white fish. It will add a subtle flavor. Use red wine for bold-flavored fish like salmon or bass to get a more intense aroma.

You can buy wine-infused cedar planks, but it’s easy to get that yummy flavor by infusing your wraps with the wine that best pairs with the food inside.

These days, people are always looking for convenience – and these paper-like wood sheets are the easy way to get the most flavor with almost zero hassle.

They are so easy to use people of all ages, and all experience levels are using them.

Many grilling professionals have realized that grilling wraps are an exciting new innovation in the BBQ community.

The smokiness and earthy woody goodness are no longer for the outdoor smoker only!

Also read: these are the best grilling wraps you can buy

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.