4 Methods to Prevent or Fix Salty Pastrami

pastrami meat slice up close

Plenty of people consider themselves “pastrami fanatics.” There is simply nothing quite like the decadent and intricate flavor of this meat. Yet, one of the biggest complaints is that pastrami is way too salty. If you sink your teeth into your pastrami and notice it’s saltier than you’d prefer, there are a few great ways to fix it.

The easiest way to fix salty pastrami is to tackle the issue before cooking it. Soak it in water for 72 hours, changing the water every four to 12 hours. Add some sugar to your seasonings to reduce the salty flavor. If it’s already cooked, you can mask it by whipping up a dish of pastrami hash (with potatoes and other foods) or serving it in a sandwich.

Nobody wants to eat overly salty pastrami. If you found yourself in this unfortunate event, then this article is for you. Keep reading to learn the top four ways to fix overly salty pastrami and enjoy your meat once more.

Read More: Best Ways To Heat Up Pastrami For A Sandwich

How to Fix Overly Salty Pastrami – Four Ways

While pastrami should have a decent amount of salty goodness, too much salt is never enjoyable. If you believe your pastrami is way too salty – before or after cooking – there are a couple of ways to (potentially) fix it.

1. Soak Before Cooking

Removing the extra salt will be much easier if you haven’t cooked your pastrami yet. All you need to do is add your pastrami to a bowl of water. Leave the salty pastrami in the water bath for up to 72 hours (in the fridge, of course).

You will want to replace the water every 12 hours (at least – you can change it every four hours if desired). This will ensure that there is enough fresh water to reduce the level of salt in your pastrami.

Some people have had good luck soaking their pastrami in some water and milk (or heavy cream) to reduce the salt content. Others add a dash of an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice or white vinegar. This is unnecessary unless you’re dealing with a heavily salty pastrami and don’t mind a subtle flavor alteration.

2. Add Sugar to the Seasoning

Most pastrami recipes will state to add sugar to the seasoning. However, some don’t. Double-check your recipe. Does the ingredient list include sugar? If so, ensure you add the recommended amount to your pastrami meat.

If no sugar is included in the recipe, feel free to add it yourself. You can add up to a cup of sugar without causing your pastrami to come out overly sweet. 

You can also cut down on the amount of salt called for in your recipe.

3. Cook With Other Ingredients 

Pastrami is typically served in a sandwich, either hot or cold. Although, that doesn’t mean that’s the only way to eat your beloved piece of meat.

If you cooked your pastrami and notice that it’s way too salty to eat on its own, the next best thing is to serve it with other ingredients. For example, cooking in a hash is a top-notch way to reduce the saltiness and enjoy your meat with other favorite food items (potatoes, eggs, shallots).

When cooking with other ingredients, you don’t need to add seasonings. The goal is to allow the intense, salty flavor of the pastrami to dissipate into the complementing elements, which will lead to a “perfectly” salty plate.

4. Serve in a Sandwich

The best way to mask overly salty pastrami is to simply consume it the way it was meant to be consumed – in a sandwich. Whether you enjoy your pastrami warm or cold, the accompanying ingredients will work wonders to reduce the level of saltiness.

When making your sandwich, make sure to add the “classic” ingredients, as these will help to combat the extreme saltiness of your pastrami. For instance, you should use brown mustard (or regular mustard) and mayonnaise as a sauce. Add some fresh ingredients, like lettuce and tomatoes. Don’t forget the sauerkraut to bring it all together!

With a combination like this, overly salty pastrami doesn’t stand a chance.

Fixing Overly Salty Pastrami is a Cinch!

While it’s easier to fix salty pastrami before it’s cooked, you can still fix it after it’s cooked, too. Soak your meat for up to 72 hours, replacing the water every four to 12 hours. Add some sugar to the brine. If your pastrami is already cooked, you can whip up a hash with other ingredients (potatoes and eggs) or serve it in a sandwich (hot or cold). 


How to Cut the Salty Taste in Corned Beef | eHow

Way to save my overly salty pastrami? : smoking (reddit.com)

Pastrami – what went wrong? Too Much Salt! | Smoking Meat Forums – The Best Smoking Meat Forum On Earth!

How To Reduce The Saltiness Of Corned Beef (w/ Examples) (priceofmeat.com)

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