maple bourbon grilled salmon & an awakening

Every so often we need a shot in the arm. A renewed vigor. A push forward. A fire lit under us. An awakening. You get my drift. I received this in the unlikeliest of places last week – Iowa. Feeling a little lost, wondering if I was on the right track with my career, I flew to Iowa to “try out” for a job. The position wasn’t for me, best suited for someone junior with a lot less experience than me. All in, this exercise took about 10 days of my time. Instead of looking at this as a waste of time & money, it was just the epiphany I needed to know my hubby & I are on the right track sticking with our initial plan we made two years ago. While in Iowa, I received some much needed inspiration, also from a very unlikely source – a big, bald, black dude named “John”. But first, let me introduce you to today’s recipe – world, meet maple bourbon grilled salmon

a whole piece of skinned salmon is marinated & cooked over indirect heat in the barbie.

Not a big fresh salmon fan, preferring it smoked, I do love this recipe. Love it. Which is perfect because salmon is good for me & fits very nicely into The Fresh Aussie’s Renovation Diet. A whole piece of skinned salmon is marinated for 24 hours in maple, bourbon, soy sauce, parsley and olive oil then cooked over indirect heat on the barbie. Perfect in its simplicity & taste. 

maple bourbon grilled salmon

First things first – remove the skin & any pin-bones. I bought this piece of salmon from Costco so it was already skinned & someone had skillfully already removed all the bones, nice job Costco. I folded the thinner, tail end under. One –  it fits in the dish & two –  it cooks evenly this way. 

maple bourbon salmon

Then I submerged the salmon in its maple bourbon marinade & popped it into the fridge for 24 hours. You can even do 48 hours if time permits. After marinating, I liberally greased a large piece of foil, poked holes all over it (this allows the flavors from the barbie to permeate the salmon) & carefully lifted the salmon out of the marinade onto the foil. 

maple bourbon grilled salmon

Then I cooked the salmon over indirect heat on the barbie (as I mentioned). I didn’t spread the glowing charcoal out around the edges quite far enough but you want heat only around the salmon, not under it. This is an important step so pay attention. If it’s more manageable for you to cut the salmon into pieces feel free, just reduce the cooking time. I like having a slab of salmon like this to plonk in the middle of the table served family-style surrounded by simple veggie sides such as garlic butter French green beans & roasted pickled beet salad. Maybe even a baby potato salad. Any leftovers are wonderful served cold in a salad the next day. There are rarely leftovers though. 

maple bourbon grilled salmon

Back to my Iowa story &  “John” who I met last week…at the age of 17 “John” (who is now 40-ish) was imprisoned for over a decade after a violent crime. He served his time with hardened, adult criminals when not in solitary confinement for his angry outbursts. After serving his sentence, “John” obtained his masters degree in criminal justice & is now about to obtain his PhD.  Impressive for anyone, even more so when the odds are stacked against you. He helps juvenile offenders, much like he once was & is trying to have laws changed so juveniles aren’t incarcerated with adult prisoners. “John” has come far & I suspect he was never given the proper tools in his young life to succeed. This is a man who has risen up & not only has made something from the tatters that once was his life, but he’s also helping others. Selfless. I spent several hours chatting to “John”. I told him he was inspiring. He’s very humble. If someone can succeed with such darkness once in their life, then surely I can succeed at what I want to do. I’m grateful, I had good tools to start & I built upon that: A loving family; a sound education; an illustrious career; an amazing, supportive husband & the opportunity to focus on what I want to do. So many of us are blindsided by the small things, those hurdles that can derail us. The trick is to not lose sight of the big picture – your end goal & to have faith in yourself, no matter what & regardless of your goal. So thanks to a rather bizarre job “interview” & an incredible story of human resilience & courage, I got that push I needed. We all have the power to overcome & achieve whatever we set our minds to. Mum always told me that, I just needed a reminder. 

maple bourbon grilled salmon
Serves 6
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
24 hr 20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
24 hr 20 min
  1. 1 cup maple syrup
  2. 1 cup bourbon
  3. 1 cup olive oil
  4. 1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  5. 1 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  6. 2.4 lb (1kg) skin-free salmon (I bought my salmon at Costco & the skin was already removed
  7. Large piece of foil
  8. Lime wedges & parsley sprigs to garnish
  1. Combine maple, bourbon, oil, parsley & soy sauce in a large jug.
  2. Check salmon for pin bones & remove with tweezers. Place salmon in a large, non-metallic baking dish. Pour maple mixture over salmon & ensure salmon is completely submerged. Cover dish & chill for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
  4. Grease a large piece of foil & poke holes all over salmon using a fork or skewer. Remove salmon from marinade; discard marinade. Place salmon on greased foil.
  5. Cook salmon over indirect heat, tucking under the narrow tail end, for 15 to 18 minutes depending on the thickness of salmon until salmon flakes easily & is just cooked.
  6. Serve salmon with lime wedges & parsley if desired.
The Fresh Aussie
Print Friendly


  1. Jennie Townsend says:

    G’day: I love your recipes and I particularly love salmon. However, I have an electric grill so it’s impossible to spread the coals out and cook over indirect heat. Can I do this in the oven? Or is there some other way to get indirect heat? Thanks from another Aussie.

  2. Jennie, funny you asked the question about cooking the salmon in the oven because I was just thinking that I bet the salmon would also be delicious baked. You wouldn’t get the lovely smoky flavour from the barbie but it’d still be really good. This is what I’d do: Preheat the oven to 450F (220C). Line a baking sheet (tray) with foil. Place a wire rack on foil & grease the rack. Remove the salmon from the marinade & pat dry with paper towel. Bake for about 15 minutes for a whole side (like I did) until just cooked, be careful not to overcook. It’s about 5 minutes for every 1/2 inch of thickness of salmon. I fold the thin tail end under so it doesn’t overcook. I hope this helps. Let me know if you had success. Not sure if you like beetroot but it’s so good with salmon. Cheers!

    • Jennie Townsend says:

      Thanks will try this. Love beets, pickled, roasted or any way. Really appreciate the variety of colored beets available here. I’m following Dr Mosely’s sugar diet so many of your recipes are so much more flavorful than some published elsewhere. Look forward to more.

      • I carry the Blood Sugar Diet around with me. I think it’s an excellent book and makes a lot of sense. I believe a person can greatly improve their health with a doable, long-term diet plan that includes lots of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, proteins & occasional treats. That’s what I do and it’s starting to pay off. We’re beginning to upload cooking videos of my weight loss journey as well as podcasts.

Speak Your Mind


%d bloggers like this: