We’ve all gotten a bit overzealous with our seasoning at one point or another. Putting too much salt in a dish is probably the most common “oops” moment to be found in a kitchen. The good news is that if you’ve over-salted your beans, it’s not the end of the world.
The 4 best ways to fix over-salted beans:
- Add more water to the pot- This effectively dilutes the amount of salt.
- Completely replace the water- If the amount of salt is extreme.
- Add potatoes to the pot- They will absorb some of the salt as they cook.
- Make a second pot of beans- Then mix the two pots together.
The rest of the article will go into greater detail on the four methods and give you tips on ways to make it work even better.
1. Add Water to Dilute the Amount of Salt
If you’ve tasted your beans during cooking and found that they’re too salty for you, you may be tempted to throw them away. Don’t do that. The salt level can be reduced by diluting the water in the batch.
Adding more water to your pot will often significantly reduce the saltiness of beans. This will even work if you’ve got salted beef or another type of salted meat in the pot.
Here’s the process:
- Add one extra cup of water and stir to ensure that the original salt solution is evenly diluted.
- Taste a teaspoonful of the water. If the saltiness has been reduced adequately, you’re done.
- If it’s still very salty, add another cup of fresh water, then taste it again with a clean spoon.
Keep on following this process until the salinity reaches a level that is ideal for you. Just do not add several cups of water all at once because you could quickly end up with the opposite problem, not enough salt.
This technique is often effective by itself. If I am making a pot of beans by itself, this is my go-to method. However, in other cases, you will need to combine it with other methods.
2. Replace All the Water
This method is best in cases where you don’t want or need a large volume of water in your pot. Replacing the water helps you keep the liquid to a manageable level, which is ideal for thick stews and similar dishes that don’t require a lot of water.
In that case, it may be better to just replace the water completely. Just turn off the heat temporarily, pour off the water, and then re-add the desired amount.
You could also leave the pot in position and scoop the salty water from the pot by using a ladle. Your aim is to remove as much of the salted water as possible. Once you only have beans left in your pot, just add fresh water to the pot.
Pro Tip: After you pour off the salty water, consider using it in a different recipe, such as seasoned rice. It contains salt and some dissolved nutrients from the beans, which can enhance the dish’s flavor. Other ideas include using it in soup, chowder, or to make gravy. You could also use it to prepare stewed beef or another dish with meat.
This method is also helpful in cases where your beans are almost cooked. Adding a lot more water to them is likely to extend the cooking time beyond what you had planned. That will affect the texture of the beans and the overall taste of your recipe.
3. Add Potatoes
If you were making a stew, you were probably already planning to add potatoes to your beans. Potatoes will absorb some of the salt, so your beans will effectively become less salty.
Of course, this method will not work very well if the dish is really salty. It will only help with mild saltiness since there’s a limit to the amount of salt that each gram of potatoes can absorb.
Potatoes are not the only complex carbohydrate that can be added to your over-salted beans. You could also add similar starches like yam or sweet potatoes. Just make sure they actually work with the dish.
Pro Tip: It is better to peel potatoes before you add them to over-salted beans. This is because a greater surface area of potatoes will be available for absorption. This actually allows the potatoes to remove much more salt from the pot.
4. Make Another Batch
If you’ve really accidentally added a lot of salt to your beans, such as twice the amount that’s required, you may just want to make another batch and then mix the two together.
If you decide to go this route, immediately turn off the heat on the original batch so they stop cooking. Otherwise, the initial beans will be way too overcooked by the time the second batch is done.
The process is simple, just start the new batch without any salt at all. When the latest batch has been cooked to the same level as the original batch, you can combine both batches. If you’ve estimated correctly, when the salt is extended to both batches, so they will both be just right.
Pro Tip: Some people like to soak their beans overnight so that they’re softer. Obviously, you won’t have this luxury with your second “rescue” batch. However, you can use a pressure cooker to speed up the process of “soaking.” Here is a guide that tells you exactly how to do it.
So there you have it, four quick ways to save those super-salty beans. I hope your recipe turns out perfectly and everyone raves about the meal!
Thanks for stoppin’ by! For more, don’t miss How to Fix Crunchy Rice | 5 Easy Steps.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.