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How to remove salt from ham – The trick that works

The hardest thing about ham is that it comes with salt. It makes the task of cooking a delicious ham even more challenging because you’re dealing with two intense flavors ham and salt. However, getting rid of the salty taste from it is possible if you know how to remove salt from ham. Here are some tips on to do it.

How to remove salt from ham? First, remove excess salt by rinsing the piece of meat under cold running water. Take a large bowl and combine 8 cups of water with 1 cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons of salt. Now place the ham in a bowl and let it soak for an hour before rinsing it under running water until there is no more liquid left. Do not forget to wring it dry after that.

Salt is one of the most common preservatives used on hams because it prevents bacterial growth. You should remove salt from hams before cooking to avoid a salty flavor.

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What is ham?

What is ham

The ham is meat derived from the hindquarters or hind legs of pigs. It is one of the primary meats used in dried and fresh pork products. Ham is from the whole leg of pork, typically with the bone removed, and includes meat, fat, skin, and rind. However, pre-sliced ​ham is part of various mixed meat dishes with or without the bone.

Ham as pork has a freshness through salting, smoking, or wet curing. It is from the hind leg of swine worldwide, including several highly coveted regional specialties.

How to remove salt from ham 

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There are many methods to remove salt from ham. The best way is to soak the ham overnight or cook it in the oven with a lot of water. The following are some of the methods that you can try.

Method 1 

Soak it in freshwater for twelve hours. A more extended period is OK, but not necessary or suggested. It is required to change the water at least once after 4 hours.

After soaking the ham in cold water, drain water and soak again for 10 minutes. Rinse again with cold water, drain and repeat until the water runs clear.

Method 2

Removing excess sodium from ham is as simple as soaking in natural ingredients such as water and vinegar. Put the ham in a pot that is big enough and fill it with enough water to cover. If desired, add an equal amount of vinegar to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil before turning off the heat.

 Allow the ham to soak overnight, and then remove it from the water before rinsing thoroughly. This solution will also help restore moisture to salty ham and remove any discoloration that may result from drying out while in the brine.

Method 3

To cut down on time needed to soak ham, you can pre-soak it for one hour instead. After this, boil it in a large pot with enough water to cover the ham completely. If you are unsure how much water is needed, bring 10 cups of water to a boil and use it to cover the ham while it cooks.

The water will turn brown but then clear after boiling. After the ham has cooked, you can add some white paper and rub it into the ham to absorb more water.

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How to remove salt from ham – Health benefits of ham

  1. Ham is healthy, lean meat that makes a nutritious part of your diet. A serving of hem provides 6 grams of protein and vitamins B6 and B12. Ham (fresh pork), water, salt, dextrose (dried corn syrup). 
  2. It Contains under 2% sodium phosphate, caramel color, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, sodium lactate, spices, sodium erythorbate, natural flavor.
  3. They provide a boost of protein and contain zinc.
  4. It helps protect you from heart disease.

How Much Salt Is Removed by Soaking Ham

Soaking ham in water for about four hours will help remove some salt. How much salt is removed depends on how much there is to start with. The longer you soak, the more salt will be removed. Soaking time is affected by the amount of ham being soaked and the temperature of the water.

However, by soaking a ham in water overnight, you can remove up to 36 percent of the salt it contains. Soaking removes salt by osmosis, when water moves through a semi-permeable membrane and into a solvent, as salts can’t be dissolved in water.

It means that soaking raw ham in cool water will remove approximately 2/3 of the initially added salt.

How to Cook a Salty Ham

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To cook a salty ham, you first need to soak it in water before you put them into the oven for cooking. 

But before you start, make sure that your salty ham is cooled and patted dry. Also, preheat your oven, so it reaches 130-140 degrees Celsius (250-275 degrees Fahrenheit). 

The salted ham needs to be in a baking tray, preferably not aluminum, as it could give an off taste to the ham if you are planning to use its juices for flavoring other dishes. 

Now, put a cup of water inside the baking tray with the already cooked salty ham; add some herbs and spices that can flavor the salad or vegetables you are planning for the saltiness of the ham. 

After covering everything with some parchment paper or foil, put the whole thing in the oven for 4-5 hours.

Take the ham from the oven and leave it to cool slightly before slicing it into smaller pieces.

What Type of Ham Is Less Salty?

The type of ham that has less salt is the cooked ham that is fully cooked and can be used to put out on a sandwich or as an appetizer. The custom cuts of ham will always have more salt than those at the deli counter because they are presalted and packaged in boxes or aimed for other ways to cook the meat.

The best way to tell which saltiest ham is available is to compare the amount of sodium per 100 g serving. Four types of Virginia ham even out on this front – just around 2% less than the daily recommended intake (DRI) of 2,300 mg. The more salt, the more flavor, and moisture retention your meat will have. 

So if you prefer ham that has less salt but still tastes great, consider buying a sodium-reduced ham. These hams are often labeled “kosher-style” and may contain up to 40 percent less sodium than regular ham.

Does Boiling Ham Remove Salt?

Boiling or cooking ham meat doesn’t remove salt from it. You might remove some of the protein if you boil it too long. If the ham is pre-seasoned, boiling it will only reduce the salt content to a very small degree.

Therefore, boiling ham may reduce the salt content of the meat by removing up to 10% of the sodium. Boiling removes about 1 mg of sodium per ml of water, so to lower the amount of sodium in a 3-pound ham by 10%, you would need 600 ml or 20 ounces through the water.

You can boil your ham in water as if you’re boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes. Replace a few cups of water in the recipe with more than 20% orange juice (save a little water to serve alongside your ham and mashed potatoes). By adding liquid, you break down the salt it retains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you soak a ham before cooking?

To soak ham before cooking, first, leave the meat out at room temperature for about 6 hours and then rinse, pat dry and cook it as you see fit. You don’t need to soak a ham before you cook it unless you are going to bake or boil it, in which case, it does need an overnight soak in water.

How do you remove salt from cooked meat?

There are several methods to use when removing salt from meat. The first is to remove the meat and then carefully wash it under cold water until it runs clear. It can take a long time, so it is best to do this in a sink. Another method is to place a mixture of 1 chile pepper and two tablespoons of water in a blender. 

Next, add ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper for each pound of meat you need to remove the salt from. Blend until smooth, and then pour the mixture over the meat you wish to cook. Be sure that you let it sit for 5 minutes before cooking.

How do you fix salt cured ham?

To fix this ham, soak it in some fresh water in the fridge. Remove the ham after 24 hours and place it in a pot with clean water and roughly 1/2 tablespoon salt per liter of water. Boil the ham, decrease the heat to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes per kilogram (approximately 30 minutes).

How do you make a spiral ham less salty?

The easiest way to ensure that a spiral ham is less salty is to soak it overnight in a brine solution. You will need about one cup for every pound of meat. It is OK to use table salt for this; dissolve the salt completely in warm water before soaking your ham in it.

Can you boil salt out of meat?

You can, One hour at a rolling boil should do it, but keep in mind that the salt content of your water will affect how long it takes. I also recommend using cold water instead of hot water to remove the salt (boiling water will dry the meat out).


Getting the salt out of ham can be a pain. But with a lot of patience, it is possible to have that ham back to normal. All you need is the proper knowledge on how to remove salt from ham, maybe some other ingredients, and a little note of caution. If your previous method doesn’t work, be reassured that the one given above will surely do.

What to Do with Leftover Serrano Ham

Homemade Serrano Ham

Spanish speciality Serrano hams are cured to protect the meat and retain flavor.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: How to Carve Serrano Ham
Servings: 4
Calories: 4860kcal


  • 1 Grill


  • 1 Ham


  • The number of slices you wish to make will determine where the Spanish ham is placed in the support. You’ll find that it works best for thick slices and for immediately devouring the entire ham if you position it hoof upward. It is best to begin cutting your Spanish ham at the stifle, the thicker part of the leg, and to place the ham hoof down in the ham holder if you intend to consume it over a period of several weeks. After deciding where to place the ham, tighten the support by placing the spike jutting out in the hip-corresponding location and correctly tightening the thumbscrews in the hoof-corresponding area. It is best to set up the stand on a solid table that provides the cutter with comfort, security, and roughly the proper height while they are working.
  • Predicting how many slices you will use at this stage is essential since it will determine the size of the aperture you cut. The flesh will dry out and lose part of its juiciness and flavour if too much Spanish ham is peeled. The skin and the pale-yellow surface fat should be removed first. It’s probable that as the cuts are being made, mouldy spots will be visible. Cutting them away is adequate because they are a normal byproduct of drying and ripening and pose no concern.
  • Serrano ham slices can be cut after a section of the ham has been skinned. Simply make parallel incisions from the hip to the hoof, spanning a length of around six inches, if you want to make long slices. Make parallel cuts while carefully controlling the blade angle and pressure to achieve uniformly thick slices.



Calories: 4860kcal | Protein: 431g | Fat: 335g | Saturated Fat: 120g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 36g | Monounsaturated Fat: 158g | Cholesterol: 1240mg | Sodium: 23740mg | Potassium: 5720mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 17mg
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