Removing Salt! – how to fix “too salty”

It’s something I’ve heard a lot.
Your dish is almost ready, you sneak over to the slow cooker for a little taste test.
Oh no!
It’s saltier than you’d like it.
What can you do to fix it?

Of course, the obvious reminder is to first ADD LESS SALT from the beginning of cooking your recipe 🙂

  • Use salt reduced sauces/stocks
  • Limit use of packet mixes, soups and jar sauces that can contain a lot of hidden salts
  • Limit seasoning, rubs, garlic or onion salts etc that also add salt into your dish
  • Remember that ingredients like bacon will also add salt to your dish
  • Canned items can be hiding higher salt than you realise
  • Remember too that pickled items eg olives and anything smoked will also add to saltiness
  • Wash off any salty brine liquid from eg silverside before cooking

What if you’ve done all that, or it’s too late to do that, but you still need to reduce the salt prior to serving??

Let’s talk potatoes!!
Many people, myself included, have shared the tip that adding a raw peeled potato to your dish in the final hour or two will reduce/absorb some of the excess salt from your dish into the potato. Then you discard the potato and hey presto – you have a less salty dish!
Well this is true – but not true hahaha
It turns out this is only partially true!
Yes it does absorb salt and this is why when I, and others, have done this we do notice a lessening of the saltiness in the dish.
But it’s not absorbing JUST the salt. It’s absorbing the salty liquid.
So technically you could just remove this liquid in other ways and still lessen the overall salt in the dish.
So while it’s worth doing this also – it’s not going to magically take just the salt from your pot.

How else can we combat the salt?

    Pouring out liquid from your dish alone won’t change the salt concentration in what’s left.
    Put you can pour out some liquid then add back in new liquid that isn’t salty eg water.
    While this may make your recipe runnier, we have ways to thicken your dish HERE

    The introduction of something like lemon juice or vinegar can help confuse your palette a little so you don’t notice the salty as much.
    This one doesn’t ‘remove’ the salt, so you’ll still be eating the same amount, but it might make the eating more enjoyable 😉

    Another option in the same way as the acid, is to add sweet. A little sugar, a drizzle of honey. Let that hint of sweetness help to balance the prior saltiness.

    While not something we may always want to do, adding some fat eg a rich cream, can help to balance out how much your tastebuds notice that saltiness

    In the same way we can dilute the dish with extra liquid, we can also bulk it out with extra food. So long as we are not adding more salty ingredients, then more food in the end dish will ultimately better balance the salt.
  • By all means, still add a few raw potatoes in too 😉

Of course, not all options will suit all recipes.
So, use some, or use a few that suit 🙂
We’d love to hear what works for you!
Leave a comment below ….

2 thoughts on “Removing Salt! – how to fix “too salty””

  1. I discovered quite some time ago a dash of maple syrup rescued a “to salty” meal and and it has become my go when needed. I actually like the flavour.

  2. I discovered quite some time ago a dash of maple syrup rescued a “to salty” meal and and it has become my go to when needed. I actually like the flavour it leaves.

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