Karen Caudle @klc posted in Kitchen Hints
Nov 4, 2010

a fix for ham that is too salty

Last July Ii baked a ham for our family reunion that turn out to be too salty. I found this info on the internet and surprisingly it worked.
Ham is a popular meat that is served year-round, especially during the holiday season. One problem that often occurs with hams is that too much salt is used in the curing process which leaves the meat almost inedible.
 Since cooks don't know the ham is too salty until after it's cooked, it can be disheartening to think about all of the wasted preparation and cooking time. However, there's no reason to throw away a salty ham. In a few short hours, you can draw out the salty flavor and have a delicious main course ready to serve to your family and friends.

Use the Proper Sized Container
Find a pot large enough to hold the entire piece of salty ham and place the meat into the container. Large stock pots work best, but if you don't have one of those you can disinfect the inside of a cooler and use it as well.

Soak the Salty Ham in Soda
Purchase three to four 2-liter bottles of a clear or light colored soda such as Sprite, 7-up, Mellow Yellow or Mountain Dew. The sugar in these drinks helps to counteract the salty flavor while at the same time drawing some of the salt out. If you don't want to use soda, you can use water although it will not be quite as effective. Whatever liquid you use, make sure to completely cover the meat with it so that the meat is submerged.

Place the pot into the refrigerator and allow the salty meat to soak for at least two hours. You can also allow it to soak overnight if desired. If you are using a cooler that will not fit into the refrigerator, place plenty of ice packs into the liquid to keep it cool and change them out frequently.

Rinse and Serve
After the two hours are up, remove the meat from the soda and pour out the soda. Rinse the meat in clear cold water to remove the soda residue on the surface. Reheat the meat in the oven until warm and then serve it. The meat will not taste like soda and you may even get a few compliments on how good it is.
Kathy Sterling - Nov 4, 2010
Thanks for your hint. My mother used to put the ham in a large pot and add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of Vinegar and boil for 1 hours...always worked. Guess the sugar in the drinks do the same thing. Enjoy your ham.
Kay Baldwin - Nov 4, 2010
I love the great hints on too-salty ham. My grandmother always covered her ham, especially country ham, with milk and let it soak for several hours, then rinsed milk off and cooked the ham. I would guess that the sugar content in the milk is what made this work, just like with the light sodas or the sugar-vinegar mixture.
S I - Nov 4, 2010
This is interesting! I (as well as my mom & sister) have always cooked our hams in soda, such as Sprite/7-Up, or we use apple or pineapple juice...so maybe that's why I haven't had the salty issue; but I'll definitely remember this when it comes to country ham as I've always found that to be more salty than sugar-cured. Thanks for the tip!
Avery Davis-Fletcher - Nov 16, 2010
Many years ago, my parents always bought Smithfield Salt Cured Hams in bags to cook for special and sometimes, not so special occasions. Mother always soaked them in Dr Pepper over night, and she frequently cooked them in Dr Pepper later. They were ALWAYS good and never, ever salty. I did taste one of those marvelous and expensive hams that someone else cooked (without soaking or cooking in soda) and it was very, very salty. ... and, back then, I almost NEVER thought anything was too salty.
FanOf Funkadelic - Nov 29, 2013
I bought a country ham(1st time tryin to cook one)& needless to say, It was very salty after I baked it. I also found this remedy and I'm getting to try it. I have plenty of the sodas needed. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Maretta Colvin - Apr 8, 2015
Karen Caudle, you saved my ham. I followed your instructions and it worked perfectly. Except I used ginger ale. THANKS SO MUCH. My ham is eatable now.
Marguerite Clark - Nov 23, 2016
Ms. Caudle: Thank you so much. I just pulled my ham out of this oven this morning and cut a little slice of it to see how it tasted and to my utter surprise it tasted like a bucket of salt. I thought to myself, "I can't feed this to anyone, it is way too salty. My guests are going to have a heart attack within the first two bites". Something said go to the internet there has to be something written about "How to fix a Salty Ham" and low and behold I came across your article. I just want to say many thanks to you. Your article truly same me this Thanksgiving. I was literally about to throw the ham out because there was no way that I was serving my family a bundle of salt. Your cooking tips "rock". Thanks again. Marguerite Clark - Las Vegas, Nevada
Airlee Evony - Dec 24, 2016
Thank you so much! My husband's company gives a ham every Christmas to all employees. The brand is so loaded with salt we couldn't eat it in past years. Thanks for the tip! I hate to waste a free ham :)