Large cast iron pot filled with homemade beef stew with large vegetables.

Things can and will go wrong in your kitchen from time to time; disasters happen, but over salting your soup or stew doesn't have to be one. Before you toss all your hard work into the trash, give a few tried and tested tricks a chance. With a little patience and technical know-how, your most mouth-puckering dishes can be transformed into well-balanced, flavorful, perfectly salted meals.

Dilution Method

Add low-sodium beef broth to the salty stew 1 cup at a time until the saltiness of the stew has been significantly reduced.

Add additional stew ingredients to the pot to help absorb and dilute the salty flavor. Do not add additional meat as the beef will not have enough time to fully tenderize before the vegetables become mushy.

Simmer the stew without a lid until the vegetables are fork-tender. Taste the stew and, if it is still too salty, add additional stock or water until you get the desired balance.

Sugar and Cider Vinegar Method

Measure out 1 tsp. each of sugar and vinegar.

Add the measured vinegar and sugar to the stew. Allow the stew to simmer for five minutes and then taste the stew.

Add additional sugar and vinegar to the stew in 1 tsp. increments until the saltiness has been greatly reduced. This will alter the flavor of the stew.

The Potato Method

Peel two large potatoes.

Cut each potato into quarters.

Drop the potatoes into the stew and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the stew before they turn mushy. The potatoes will absorb much of the excess salt. You can use this method in conjunction with another method if the soup is extremely salty.


Some individuals will turn to the pepper-mill when their soup or stew is too salty. This will just result in an overly spicy, salty stew.

If your stew is too salty even after using the suggested methods for reducing the salt content, try making additional stew without salt and blending the two together.