Tasting the dish you’ve spent hours preparing, only to discover you’ve added too much salt, is deeply disappointing. Sometimes, you need very little additional salt if you're cooking with cheese. However, it makes sense that you should not add any salt to the water, stock or sauce that the meat is in as it cooks. The excess salt will leach out into the water. © 2020 Condé Nast. Use a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of a mild vinegar to help mask some of the aggressive salt with a new flavor. Did you oversalt your burger patties? Soak very salty meat up to 72 hours to remove as much salt as possible. Say you bought a grocery store ham, a pack of bacon, or some salt pork that’s just too, well, salty. There are ways to solve your problem. To combat that, make up a roux or cornstarch slurry and add it to the soup as a thickener. Say you made a Vietnamese chicken noodle soup or a mixed curry and got a little overzealous with your salt sprinkling. You salted every step of the way, but maybe you went one step too far, and dinner now has Dead Sea-level salinity. The salty meat you’re most likely to encounter is ham, but other cured or uncured meats can also absorb too much salt as well. Meat without salt doesn’t taste that great, but even so, you still can have too much of a good thing. Much like salt, acid is a prime seasoning factor. To remove salt from meat like bacon, boil it and then cook it in olive oil. In soups, stews and other liquid-based recipes, just adding a little water, sodium-free stock or other saltless liquid will dilute the salt concentration. Moreover, after testing the salinity of the salted water he used for his experiment both before and after the potatoes were added, Wolke writes (emphasis his), “There was no detectable difference in the salt concentrations before and after being simmered with potato…. Adding potatoes and other vegetables won’t do any harm, and the additional ingredients – especially potatoes – may absorb some of the salt as it leaves the meat. The results however, are mild, so don't depend on this to fix everything. Depending on what recipe you’re cooking and how certain ingredients interact, any of the following solutions can bail you out of the salty situation you’re in. She Knows: How to Fix Salty Food — Yes, It Really Can Be Done, A Web Experience brought to you by LEAFtv, How to Cut the Salty Taste in Spaghetti Sauce, How to Remove Saltiness From a Potato Dish. A pinch of sugar (brown or white), honey or molasses or even the addition of a sweet ingredient can sometimes balance out salty food. Adding excessive amounts of salt to meat makes it unpalatable, at best, or, at worst, inedible. When you go a bit overboard on the salt, you have a few options for balancing: Add liquid for dishes like soups, stews, casseroles and other liquid-based dishes; Add fat to “absorb” the taste of the salt for most dishes; Add something bland, such as potatoes, grains or bread; Add something tangy or sour, like lemon juice An overly salty chicken taco gets both texture and a bit of tempering from additions like avocado or sour cream. Add a raw potato (no need to cut or peel it) to a liquid dish like a soup or a curry to soak up some of the extra salt as they cook and will add some starch that will dilute the saltiness further. That may be why Alton chose the amount of salt he did since there's usually a rational/scientific reasoning behind the recipes he endorses. Kosher salt has larger granules than table salt, so if the recipe calls for kosher, either use kosher or measure much less table salt than it calls for. Your first impulse might be to throw the whole thing down the garbage disposal and order takeout. Stir the chili until the paste is fully mixed. One quick fix for over-salted broths or liquid dishes is to add water. Soak heavily salted meat up to 72 hours and less salty meat 10 to 12 hours. All rights reserved. Wipe those salty tears, friend. But we all get a little carried away sometimes (and raise your hand if you’ve ever had a secret salt fairy “help” you in the kitchen while your back was turned). You did everything you right. Finally, if you can’t taste as you go for food-safety reasons (raw meat or eggs, for example), remember that underseasoning is much easier to fix than the opposite. Even a low-sodium cheese with a creamy finish — like Swiss, Monterrey Jack or ricotta — can counteract the saltiness of another ingredient. According to Wolke, while the potato does absorb some of the liquid and therefore tastes salty itself as a result, it doesn’t actually remove excess salt any more than dipping in a dry kitchen sponge would. Carefully put away that salt container and check out what else you have in your kitchen that can cover up your mistake. The theory goes that if you add a few pieces of potato to overly salted food, then remove them, they’ll have soaked up the excess salt. Before you go, check out these snack ideas for every kind of craving — salty, spicy and sweet. You may dull the flavor of the other ingredients, but you’ll have equalized the flavor levels on the dish and can add back the spice to taste (but not too much). Creamy ingredients can counteract the saltiness of certain foods, and when they’re added in liquid form to a liquid recipe may even dilute it some too.