How to Fix Oversalted Beef

Updated February 21, 2017

Salt brings out the full flavour of food, but too much salt can turn beef stew, braised beef or steak on the grill into an unpleasant experience. You can throw out the beef and start again, but before you waste food, try to correct the over-salted beef. There are a few different ways to save over-salted meat dishes. Choose the best option that complements your meal then try to correct the flavour. You might not end up with the exact original dish you wanted to make, but you can get something edible nonetheless.

Thin out beef stew or gravy by adding 1 cup of beef or chicken stock. If you don't have stock, add water to the gravy to thin it out. This dilutes the salt concentration of the dish to correct the flavour.

Toss cooked rice, couscous or noodles into the dish. Continue to cook the beef for a few minutes so the grains absorb the beef flavour and some of the salt. Alternatively, add sliced vegetables and cook until the vegetables are tender. The grains or vegetables will have soaked up much of the salt to even out the flavour of the dish.

Add vinegar or lemon - the acid cuts the salt flavour - and a dash of sugar or brown sugar to combat the excess salt. Use 1 tbsp of whatever vinegar works best with the flavour of your dish, then taste and add more if necessary. Try red wine vinegar with a hearty roast or stew or rice vinegar with an Asian stir fry.

Cut off the exterior of the meat to see whether the interior has a less salty taste. If it does, just remove the exterior and serve the interior with your sides and sauce.

Things You'll Need

  • Beef or chicken stock
  • Cooked rice, couscous or noodles
  • Sliced vegetables
  • Vinegar or lemon
  • Brown sugar or sugar
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