Scallop is just one of many bivalve mollusks with a similar appearing shell like the clam, mussel, or oyster. They tend to be found in clear waters where there is sand or fine gravel. There are variations in sizing depending on how they will be used in a recipe. Today, we are featuring a simple stove top cooking and smoking technique that produces exceptional wood-flavor and searing to the scallop. This will be finished off with an orange-lime vinaigrette.

Easy Ingredients for an Easy Technique

If you follow our recipes and techniques, then you know we love to use the plancha on our stovetop with various wood products. I’ll be using SmokinLicious® Smokin’ Dust® in Alder to bring a complimentary wood flavoring to the scallop while they sear on the plancha. Here’s what you’ll need for the cooking technique:

  • A plancha or hot griddle surface on the stove top
  • Your choice of Smokin’ Dust® flavor — about 3 tablespoons
  • 1–1/2 pounds of scallop medium to large in sizing
  • High heat oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper


As with any protein that you want to sear, it’s important to remove as much water as possible. To start, lay out the scallop on a paper towel lined sheet pan and cover the scallop with additional paper towel. Gently press down on the paper towel covering and then allow to sit for 10 minutes.

While the scallop dry, prepare the plancha by placing three tablespoons of your choice of Smokin’ Dust® on the plancha. Place the lid on and allow to heat to at least a registered temperature of 300°F on the thermometer. Remember, the plancha surface will be hotter than that. When ready, remove the paper towels from the scallops and sprinkle both sides of the scallop with salt and pepper.

Place one tablespoon of oil on the cooking area of the plancha. Only add the number of scallops that can fit comfortably on the plancha without crowding each other. Cook the scallop for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until browned. It is important that you stay with the plancha, as this is a very hot unit that cooks quickly, much like cooking in a wok. Additionally, be sure you use the vent hood on your range as well to reduce the smoke vapor.

When you turn the scallops, add a tablespoon of butter to the plancha and baste the scallops. You will cook the scallops on the plancha until firm in the center an opaque in color. Remove the cooked scallop to a large plate and tent loosely with foil. Now continue cooking the remaining scallops in the same manner. Keep in mind, the plancha will need additional oil after the first two cooks of scallop to keep them from sticking. There is no need to add additional Smokin’ Dust®. Just three tablespoons will add plenty of wood flavoring. When all the scallops are cooked, keep them warm on the tented plate or move to a warming drawer or low temperature oven. Now on to the Orange-Lime Vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette Ingredients

For the Orange-Lime Vinaigrette you’ll need the following ingredients to produce a ½ cup of vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fine salt

Make the vinaigrette by combining the orange juice, lime juice, shallot, cilantro, and pepper flakes in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oils. Season as needed.


With the scallops seared and smoked to perfection on the plancha and the vinaigrette made, it’s time to plate the flavors. If you are serving as an appetizer, spread a small amount of the vinaigrette on a plate and add a scallop. If serving as a first course, spread a small amount of vinaigrette on the plate, add 2–3 scallops, and drizzle with a tablespoon more of vinaigrette. As an entrée, you get to decide how many of these beautiful scallops will grace the plate.

These flavors work great served with a light pasta like angel hair or with orzo mixed with parsley, feta cheese, and the oil. The pairings are endless. Plancha Seared Scallop infused with Wood Flavoring — an explosion of flavor you won’t soon forget. You must try our HOT SEARED SCALLOPS recipe.

By Donna J. Grant, M.S., Lead Wood Specialist, Member- American and Canadian Culinary Federations, at SMOKINLICIOUS® GOURMET WOOD PRODUCTS. For additional information regarding this article or other wood cooking questions, please contact her at 1–800–941–5054 or at Follow us on Quora for our content contributions.




This publication offers tips and culinary insight on any foods cooked or smoked with wood.

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