How can I tamp down the salt in a dish I'm cooking?

I have a beef stew I’m cooking low and slow on the stove top. Just tasted it and found that I used far too much salt when prepping the beef. Is there some way I can neutralize the salt flavor, instead of calling this a total loss?

Dilution is the only way. Remove half of the broth/ stock and replace it with unseasoned broth/stock and go from there or double the amount of everything (broth/stock, beef, veggies,) without reseasoning and then adjust from there.


I think I’ll need to go this way. Did not use potatoes in this prep, so they are/were not present in the stew to absorb some of the salt. Thank you, WeezieD.

Is there a possibility to add potatoes? Because they will absorb quite a bit of salt.

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Good thought. But I’m only an hour away from dinner and I don’t think the pot temp would cook the potatoes. Thank you, Gretchen.

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Maybe this old link can help too or not.

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We toughed thru it. Added a flour slurry, vegetables, steaming hot water; and it still turned out dreadful.

I’ve been cooking beef stews for five decades and never had this happen to me before.

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Uuugh…! I wonder if you strain the broth and toss it and add the meat to a new batch of broth would that help…? Or is the meat itself is the too salty part?

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The potato trick has always worked for me… what I was taught was to cut the potatoes in small pieces about 1" cubes and don’t let them cook all the way, so they don’t disintegrate, scoop them out after about 5 or 8 minutes.

Or as in your case, use no salt when you start.


That was my fail…

Potatoes don’t absorb salt. They absorb the salty liquid. So you could use a kitchen sponge or just remove liquid with a ladle and get the same effect.


I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve had meals comped at restaurants because I saved the chef’s oversalted soup.

I get it…I comprehend the science in the articles, but I have a lifetime of actually observing that it works in the kitchen, plus that of the long line of cooks who taught it to me.


We had a second dinner from my Lost Cause Stew last night. I started with about a two serving portion of leftover mashed potatoes, fried hard; then added the stew–no liquid to the pan. I mixed the two together and let it heat a bit. No seasonings added.

Surprize! It was edible. Not a pretty plate. But tasty even.

Thank you for all of your advice.


Add a copious amount of hot sauce!!! (nobody will realize how salty it is!!!)