Planking: Oven roasting of meats or seafood placed on thin wooden boards. Not much more than 1/4" thick, as the wood won't heat up to steam temperatures.
Apple does very well for planking. Best when used fresh, before the wood has dried after harvest. If not so fresh, soak in water for a few minutes, then towel dry before putting it in the oven. You want the liquor to steam its way out of the wood in order to impart the flavor to the meat. You'll add a subtle apple flavor to the meat. Works well with lean meat, venison, seafood. Fatty meats get their flavor from the fat. Lean meats need the extra help with flavor, which is how planking came about, plus the fact that bakeware is kind of a recent invention. The moisture in the wood will slow cooking time, so preheat the plank. When the wood dries, it will draw moisture from the meat. The meats need to be thin in order to cook before it is dried out. Fish does well when the skin is left on the fillet. If thicker cuts are used, basting and turning the meats helps greatly. It's OK to serve the meat on the plank.
To clean up a sloppy plank, leave in the oven to dry. Sand it clean, you can get a couple more uses from it. When the plank is on its last legs, turn it into skewers. Mind those splinters. Avoid wood with dead or black knots-makes the food taste like mold.
If you have a campfire instead of an oven, you can still use a plank. You just might want to have a couple of spares at the ready. And a pair of long tongs.
Balance it on the coals and hope it don't fall in.
The Johnson Winery in the finger lakes area of NY has an icewine that is aged in applewood casks. Awesome!
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