How to Remove Salt From Hams

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Salt is added to pork as part of the ham-making process.
Salt is added to pork as part of the ham-making process. (Image: ham image by Murar Gianino Sorin from Fotolia.com)

Ham, by the very nature of the processing procedure, a salty meat. Ham's distinct flavor means that for some dishes, only ham will do. To continue eating ham even when on a low-salt diet, simply remove the salt from the ham before cooking it. Leaching the salt out of the ham meat with water is a time- consuming process and requires a bit of pre-planning, but the amount of salt left in the meat is controllable so the flavor is not lost in the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Ham
  • Large metal or plastic tub
  • Water

Wash the ham thoroughly in cool, running water then place it in a plastic tub large enough for the ham to be completely covered with water.

Add enough cool water to completely cover the ham and let the ham sit in the water for six hours.

Drain the water and refill the tub with new, cool water, again completely covering the ham. Let the ham sit in the water for another six hours.

Discard the water and refill the tub with clean water another two to three times, until the salt content remaining in the meat is satisfactory to the cook, as the longer the ham soaks, the more salt is leached out of the meat. This may require a little trial and error, as ham cannot be tasted until after it is cooked.

Remove the ham from the water after the leaching process is complete and wash in clear running water in preparation for cooking.

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