What Do You Do If Chicken Is Too Salty [& How to Prevent It?]

We’ve all experienced too salty chicken. Maybe we’ve overseasoned it before grilling it? Or it could be the rotisserie chicken you picked up from Costco is too salty? Regardless, how do you fix salty chicken without having to throw out dinner and order takeout?

What Do You Do If Chicken Is Too Salty?

Fixing salty chicken is possible. You may have to prepare it differently or serve sides that help absorb the saltiness. Below are some tips to help make it less salty so it can be still be eaten.

what do you do if chicken is too salty

Cook Another Batch

If you’re fortunate to have more chicken on hand, you can cook another batch without adding any salt. This way you can combine the salted and unsalted chicken together to offset the amount of salt you taste.

Cooking chicken on the Pit Boss takes about 30 minutes, so it gives you plenty of time to cook a new batch if caught early enough.

You can even opt to use the salted chicken for other recipes such as chicken tacos.

Adding sour cream or avocado will mask the saltiness and no one will know you oversalted the chicken.

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, coconut milk, etc are great for neutralizing excess salt and can help save a dish.

Chop it Up

If your chicken breasts came out too salty, rinse them off and chop them up to make chicken enchiladas with a lot of vegetables. The vegetables such as kale, tomatoes, avocado, etc will absorb any saltiness that remains.

You can even use the salty chicken to make chicken salad or stock.

Serve With Sides

Chicken goes great with any sides, but when it comes out too salty, choose sides such as greens, or potatoes. The starch in the potatoes will help balance out the excess salt.

You can bake a sweet potato or regular potato on the pellet grill and serve right alongside the chicken. If you don’t have time to cook potatoes, consider other starchy foods such as; rice, beans, pasta, and bread.

Dilute With Water

Most of us have heard of washing raw chicken, but did you know you can wash cooked chicken? Grab the chicken and rinse under the kitchen faucet for a few seconds to remove the granulated salt.

Then use a paper towel to pat dry the chicken before serving.

Use Lemon

Lemon is acidic and is commonly used to balance out the strong flavor of fish, and other seafood. It can also balance the stronger flavor of dark meat in thighs and legs. Lemon juice can help mask the saltiness by adding a tangy twist to your chicken.

To add it to your cooked chicken, squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice onto the chicken. Coat the entire chicken and throw them back on the grill for a minute or two.

The lemon will help remove some of the acidity and the sour flavor should mellow out the salt.

Remove the Skin

If the chicken has skin, remove it. The reason the skin is so tasty is that it holds most of the seasonings. When it’s removed, you’re removing a big portion of the salt and the fleshy part won’t be as salty.

Serve With Greens

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are high in potassium and can help counteract and flush out the salt. That said, when serving over greens, avoid using salad dressings many of them contain sodium.

How to Prevent Oversalting Chicken?

The best way to get rid of salty chicken is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Below are some tips that will prevent you from oversalting chicken before cooking it.

Use Kosher Salt

Some people like myself are more sensitive to salt, especially, if you don’t eat it often. To prevent oversalting your foods, consider salting your foods with kosher salt. It is light and less salty than other types of salt because there’s less of it per measure.

Stop Using Salt

One of the best ways to prevent oversalting your chicken is to stop using salt in recipes. Most herbs and spices are naturally low in sodium, so you won’t miss it and your chicken will still come out flavorful.

You can also half the amount of salt you use in the recipe. For instance, if the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt, use 1/4 teaspoon instead.

If your guests think the chicken is undersalted, they can add more. Everyone’s taste buds are different and what someone thinks is undersalted others may not. Make sure the salt shaker lid is secure before using.

Taste Before Seasoning

When following a recipe online, mix the recipe in a separate bowl. This will allow you to taste it before adding it to the chicken. If it tastes too salty, then you can double the ingredient and leave out the salt, as long as you have enough chicken.

You can even add a teaspoon of sugar to balance out the saltiness.

Use Low Sodium Ingredients

I always opt for low sodium soy sauce, broths, stocks, etc whenever I cook. As mentioned above, everything already has some amount of sodium, so read the labels so you know how much sodium is in the ingredient.

Americans eat too much salt and cutting down can help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. (source)

Avoid Sauces

If you planned on slathering the chicken with a sauce before serving, you may want to skip it. Most store-bought sauces contain different amounts of sodium, which will just cause the chicken to become even saltier.


If you’ve let the chicken sit in the brine too long. Remove it from the brine and soak it in water or buttermilk. Soaking in water will remove the excess salt before cooking. The buttermilk leeches the salt from the meat, and the acidity helps tenderize the meat preventing it from being tough.

Final Word

It is possible to fix salty chicken, but you’ll have to get a little creative. The easiest way is to cook a fresh batch and use the salty chicken to make tacos, enchiladas, or another dish you can use with foods that will help counteract the salt.

Oversalting food happens to all of us. With practice, you’ll learn how much chicken to use on your chicken so it doesn’t happen again!

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