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Is there a way to estimate consumption of salt when dealing with the boiled meat? I.e. I had 500 grams of meat, boiled in 2 litres of water, with 5 grams of salt diluted in that water. If the water is to be discarded, how much salt will be left in the meat?

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See also cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/27407/… –  derobert Aug 22 '13 at 6:34
This is probably going to be pretty difficult to answer - the answer depends on the exact quantities (and the kind of meat, and so on), and I doubt there's a nice simple formula or anything, just the various specific circumstances someone's bothered to test in a lab. –  Jefromi Aug 24 '13 at 4:38
My non-scientific answer would be "almost nothing", since meat generally loses water during boiling rather than absorbing it. That's why it comes out so dry. Salt would normally be absorbed with water, as in brining. –  Aaronut Aug 24 '13 at 16:27
@Aaronut: When making a beef roast, I usually make a fond by boiling unsalted meat in unsalted water (and reducing the result to about a cup of semi-liquid). I have learned to not to cut corners and buy ready-made fonds, because when I reduced those, they contained too much salt and the sauce got too salty. So boiled meat does absorb salt. Undermining that is the fact that the meat this boiled without salt tastes terribly bland. Even the kids don't want it. –  sbi Sep 8 at 10:15
The upper limit of salt absorption should be easy to establish- if you assume that the meat is about 75% water, then the concentration of salt would be 5g*(500g*0.75)/(2000g+500g*0.750)=0.789g, or 789 mg salt. This is assuming that the meat salinity has reached equilibrium with the cooking water, which is a huge if. –  Tenway Norsing Oct 3 at 22:09

1 Answer 1

Short answer: Not really.

Doing some armchair math, you have two liters of water and 55g of salt, which is about 0.25 liter. That gives you 12.5% the amount salt as there is water in your original solution. The logical solution would be to then cook the meat, then measure the quantity of salt afterwards, right?


That would assume that the absorption and dilution were one-way, i.e.: water-to-meat (as in reverse osmosis to filter water, for instance). In reality, it goes both ways.

The meat, while cooking, will release blood and other body fluids (like oil from the fat) which also contains a certain amount of sodium, and so your post-cooking solution will be "dirty" and that makes it nigh-impossible to get an accurate reading of how much sodium was absorbed vs. released.

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