A family member picked up the wrong jar at the supermarket and now we have a (small) jar of salted capers instead of the brined ones they wanted to buy.

We were wondering if we could somehow wash the salted capers and remove enough salt to put them in the brine from the previous jar and not notice the difference.

I think the capers might have absorbed the salt, and that they're unsalvageable, but who knows?

  • 1
    you might be able to soak them in water and get some of the salt out but once that bell has been rung.... May 29, 2022 at 11:13
  • @SteveChambers ...once that bell has been rung, what happens? (I assume you mean that there's no turning back, but I'm not sure)
    – Zachiel
    May 30, 2022 at 17:24
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    It's an old saying that ends with "...you can't un-ring a bell." May 30, 2022 at 18:10

1 Answer 1



Brined capers also have a lot of salt, so you're not really trying to remove the salt, just dissolve it a bit. The way I've done this is to simply take out about 1/4 of the capers, add a tablespoon or so of wine vinegar, then fill the bottle to the top with water, shake, and wait a couple hours.

Alternately, if you want to use them immediately and they're just too salty: dump them in a sieve, rinse off all the exterior salt, and then dry. They will be somewhat different due to the lack of vinegar, but swappable in most recipes.

  • The sieve method is what I normally use, but if you want to remove most of the salty flavor I suggest to soak them in water for a bit, then squeeze the water out. You can repeat this process a few times, but squeezing only once will go a long way in removing most of the absorbed salt. Rinsing off the exterior is necessary as well. May 29, 2022 at 20:54
  • Shouldn't be a need to squeeze. Rinse off the salt, an soak them in a large-ish volume of brine of the currect salinity. Diffusion and osmosis will take care of the rest. May 30, 2022 at 14:18
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    "at" a tablespoon? Is that a typo? Otherwise, it's not a sentence structure I recognize.
    – Zachiel
    May 30, 2022 at 17:25
  • 1
    @Zachiel, probably "add"...? May 30, 2022 at 18:30
  • @paulgarrett That's what I figure, but I'm just 99% sure.
    – Zachiel
    Jun 6, 2022 at 9:28

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