Chefstemp Salmon Final

Citrus Maple Soy Brined Salmon

Perfectly Cooked Salmon with a Citrus Maple Brine

Salmon is the go-to fish for most people both in their homes and in restaurants. With its mild flavor, ability to adapt to any number of flavor profiles from Mediterranean to Latin America, salmon is one of the most versatile fish in the sea. Beyond that, it is cost efficient, nutritious, has just the right amount of fat, and is delicious.

There are any number of varieties of salmon available to your local fish monger, some seasonal while others are year-round. Coho, Sockeye, and King salmon are “kings” of the salmon species. Incredible flavor, beautiful texture, and a higher price tag make these fish well suited for simple preparation with limited ingredients.

For this recipe we are using Pacific wild caught salmon, but you can use Atlantic farm raised as well. On to the preparation!

Chefstemp Salmon Ingredients


Chefstemp Brine Ingredients

Salmon can be cooked any number of ways; oven roasting, grinding for burgers, stuffing, or grilling. But with each preparation, there comes a danger of overcooking. Even though it is considered an “oily” fish, like sardines, trout, and tuna, this does not mean there is protection from overcooking. It is very easy, without proper temperature regulation, to turn a flaky and moist piece of fish into a crumbly dry mess. We need to create some protection, an added defense against overcooking, while bringing a lot of flavors to the party.

This brine is not a typical one, there is no salt or sugar being cooked or dissolved. Here we use the salt of soy sauce and the sweetness of maple syrup, combined with the citrus punch of orange and a bite of diced garlic. A very simple brine that packs a huge flavor and will help protect our fish from overcooking.

Chefstemp Salmonin Brine


Fish proteins, unlike the terrestrial animals, are very sensitive to heat. They will begin to constrict and loose moisture around 120°F (50°C) and by 140°F (60°C) they are dried out and overcooked. This makes it even more important to monitor your internal temperatures and use a brine to help keep the moisture and texture of your fish perfect. We will be targeting for a final temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C).

We will achieve this through a dual cooking process, fast and hot to add beautiful grill marks followed by a hot indirect heat cook. This will produce a moist and flaky fish with a shiny glaze that is incredibly delicious.


Chefstemp Salmon Dried

This brine could not be simpler. After you mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, orange zest, and garlic together, your brine is done. Place your fish skin side up in a zip top bag, you can use a shallow baking dish, but the marinade doesn’t tend to cover the fish as evenly, the fish will sit on the bottom of the pan and the brine will not touch the flesh, and you need more marinade to do the same task. Let this sit overnight for maximum effect as the salt and sugar do their thing.

On the day of, you will notice that the flesh has firmed up and has taken on a darker color. This is the work of the brine and will help in the grilling process.

Chefstemp Salmon Spray

Preheat one side of your grill to searing hot. You want a high flame to heat the grates, but once you add the fish you will drop the heat down to medium, more on this later. Dry the fish completely with a paper towel as your grill comes up to heat. Once hot, use pan spray to lube the grill racks, and spray your fish completely, there is a lot of sugar in the brine, and you want all insurance against sticking.

Chefstemp Salmon Grill

Place the fish on the hottest part of the grill, skin side up, and reduce the heat to medium. Close the lid and cook undisturbed for 1.5-2 minutes. The reason you drop the heat is to prevent flareups and we have found that it helps keep the fish from sticking.

Chefstemp Salmon Glaze

Using a wide metal spatula work under the fish and check if it is sticking, rotate the salmon 90 degrees and place it in a new spot on the grill. Close the lid and let this sit for another 1.5-2 minutes. Prepare a foil pan with pan spray. (We made this one by folding aluminum foil to make a rimmed pan to catch the glaze) Place the pan on the upper rack or the offside of the grill. Remove the fish from the grill and place it on the prepared pan flesh side up. We like the have this on the top of the grill for extra heat coming right on top to help cook the glaze and create that sheen.

Chefstemp Salmon cooked

Spoon the brine over the fish and close the lid. Let this cook for 5 minutes then glaze again. After another 5 minutes start spooning the glaze that is in the pan over the fish. This glaze is cooking down and getting thicker so it will hold on to the fish better.

Check the temperature of the salmon with your Chefstemp Finaltouch X10 . When the internal temperature reaches 125°F (52°C) remove the pan from the grill. Spoon the glaze from the pan over the fish for the next few minutes, the glaze will set as it cools on the fish.  After you have glazed the fish for a few minutes let the fish rest an additional 2-3 minutes then garnish with sliced green onions.

The texture of the salmon will be tender and moist with a bold and loud flavor of orange, the sweetness of maple a hint of soy and the aroma of roasted garlic. This recipe is perfect for the holidays and will allow you to change up your standard fare.


  • 2# Pacific Salmon
  • 3/4 C Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 C Soy Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 orange zested


  • Make your brine, mix all ingredients together.
  • Place your fish flesh side down in a zip top bag. Pour in the marinade and remove as much air as possible.
  • Let this sit flesh side down in your refrigerator overnight. You can place this on a plate or rimmed pan to ensure there is no leaks that could make a mess.

Cook Day

  • Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and remove it from the brine to a plate, allowing as much brine to drip off as possible. Save the brine.
  • Use paper towels to dry the flesh of the fish as dry as possible.
  • Preheat your grill on one side to searing hot.
  • Once the grill is hot spray the grates with pan spray and sprays the fish completely with pan spray.
  • Place the fish on the hottest part of the grill and turn the fire to medium and close the lid. Let cook for 1.5-2 minutes to create strong grill marks. The strong grill marks help keep the fish from sticking.
  • Gently lift the edge of the fish and slide a wide metal spatula under the fish. Lift the fish and rotate 90 degrees to a new spot on the grill. This will give you those crosshatch grill marks. Close the lid and let cook for another 1.5-2 minutes.
  • Prepare a rimmed foil pan with pan spray and place the partially cooked salmon skin side down on the pan.
  • Spoon the glaze over the fish making sure to glaze all the flesh.
  • Continue cooking for 5 minutes then spoon more glaze over the fish.
  • After another 3-4 minutes start spooning the glaze from the pan over the fish. This cooked glaze will be thicker and will hold on to the fish.
  • Repeat every few minutes till your Chefstemp Finaltouch X10 reaches 125°F (52°C) then remove the pan from the grill.
  • Spoon the glaze from the pan over the fish for the next few minutes as the fish cools.
  • Sprinkle some sliced green onion over the salmon then place it on your serving platter and enjoy.
  • You can do this with an entire side of salmon for an incredible buffet display and a 3-4# salmon should feed between 15-20 people.

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Final touch X10
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