How to get salt out of meat? (5 ways)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to get salt out of meat?”, discuss several ways to get salt out of meat-based dishes, and the tips to avoid over-salting in dishes. 

How to get salt out of meat?

While preparing meat, it is common to add the wrong amount of salt. This can happen often, either because you misread the recipe or because the cap of the container falls off the container mid-dash. Let’s now dig into the solution to the problem!

So, to get the extra salt out of the meat, you need to cover the piece of meat in cold water and let it stand at room temperature. The salt will move out of the meat into the water, but slowly. If you can see salt crystals on the surface of the meat, it means the salt concentration is still high, and you should change the water between 4 to 6 hours. If no salt is visible, change the water after 6 to 10 hours.

More salty meat need to be soaked for about 72 hours to remove as much salt as possible. But less salty meat can be soaked for about 10 to 12 hours to make the meat palatable.

You can also boil the meat after soaking it for some time, as boiling the meat after soaking will continue to remove the salt.

6 ways to get salt out of meat-based dishes

As the addition of too much salt can occur often, you need to know how to counteract the situation if it occurs. For this, you can go through the following tricks and use them depending on the recipe at hand. Make sure to proceed with caution. And start by adding small amounts at a time and tasting the result as you go until you reach the desired flavor.

Dilute the dish

The easiest way to tone down the excess salt is to dilute the dish. For dilution, you can also use the ingredient that is already used in the dish. This method holds the least of the risk for spoiling your dish under preparation.

For instance, to fix salt in soups and stews, you can add potatoes as these bland and starchy tubers tend to absorb the extra salt well. Breadcrumbs can be added to dilute dishes like meatloaf. The addition of an extra egg along the breadcrumbs can also be helpful.

Corn starch and flour can also be used in some dishes to serve the purpose.

Balance the flavor with seasoning

The addition of a new ingredient to a recipe can also help you balance the flavor. Seasoning the dish with new herbs and spices can provide you a balance that complements the flavor. For instance, you can use curry powder, cumin, and garlic in Indian and Spanish dishes. For Italian cuisine, basil and oregano may work.

Double the recipe

When in doubt, double the recipe without adding salt, then season to taste. This is an especially good solution when it comes to something you can easily freeze for later.

Add something sweet

Adding something sweet to your dish can also be helpful to compensate for too much salt. By adding sweetness to your dish, you can trick the taste buds by distracting away from the taste of extra salt.

To fix your dish with something sweet, you can add carrots, tomatoes, or other sweet vegetables to soups. For heavily salted meat, you can use barbecue sauce or honey glaze.

Use acidic ingredients

The logic behind this trick is satisfied by chemistry. Salt can be easily neutralized by some acidic substance. So, for Asian dishes, lime juice is a perfect solution. For pork and other meat-based dishes, apple cider vinegar can serve the purpose.

Serve with something mild

A dish that is not utterly ruined by an overabundance of sodium, but that is nevertheless quite briny, can be served in a way that will minimize its impact on the palate.

Serve small portions with mild side dishes like a baked potato, bread, rice, or pasta, and avoid offering butters and cheeses that tend to be high in sodium.

Tips to avoid over-salting

Of course, the best of these solutions is to avoid over-salting. For this, you can follow some tips:

  • Pay attention to the ingredients you are using. For heavily salted ingredients, such as canned stocks, you might not need as much added salt.
  • Always use low- or no-sodium versions so you can control your own sodium content.
  • Never substitute one type of salt for another directly when following recipes.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to get salt out of meat?”, discussed several ways to get salt out of meat-based dishes, and the tips to avoid over-salting in dishes.


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