I am dry brining chicken wings for the first time. I used fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt to dry brine my chicken wings. I also used baking powder. 1 tsp of each per pound of chicken. The wings are cut and separated into drums and wings, the drums being significantly meatier than most of the wings.

They have been sitting in the fridge for about 4 hours now, and I test-cooked the skinniest piece of chicken. It’s pretty salty.

What can I do to reduce the salt levels in chicken at this point? Can I soak them in cold water to draw out some salt?


  • Can we just call it "salting?" By definition, a brine is a solution of salt in water.
    – moscafj
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 10:26
  • @moscafj Salting carries the connotation of long-term preservation with higher amounts of salt used. 'Dry brining' accurately conveys that a similar mechanism to traditional wet brining is used - just that the water is sourced solely from the food itself. seriouseats.com/how-to-dry-brine Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 16:27
  • I am closing as a duplicate, because to my knowledge, it doesn't matter if the oversalting happened through dry or wet brining, and the existing answer seems to be in line with the older question.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 17:36
  • agree with closing....@borkymcfood we'll have to agree to disagree. No one used the term "dry brine" before a couple of years ago....there is salting (no liquid) and brining (a salt solution). Serious eats is complicit in spreading the inaccurate terminology. I also realize the culinary world may have passed me by on this one. So, if you want to "dry brine" go ahead....I'll just "salt."
    – moscafj
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 20:10
  • 1
    @moscafj so i was interested and did some searching and it seems like it might have been cook's illustrated which brought dry-brining en vogue with a brined turkey test (including dry) . Here's an article from all the way back in 07, washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/13/… and another from 09 latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2009-nov-18-fo-calcook18-story.html . Pretty sure Alton also did it on good eats around the same time.
    – eps
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


What can I do to reduce the salt levels in chicken at this point? Can I soak them in cold water to draw out some salt?

Yes. Use plain water and cover the wings, stirring to agitate and changing water every 5 minutes or so to maintain the sodium concentration gradient, and test cook a batch for taste after each water change.

If not using right away, add ice cubes to the water to target <4C/40F and refrigerate overnight, replacing ice and water at least once partway through, evenly spaced intervals if doing multiple changes.

For future brining, use a scale and target a salt amount between 0.5%-1.0% of the total mass of wings. The fine sea salt is denser than kosher salt, meaning you put in much more sodium by mass in this batch.

The baking soda (NaHCO₃) contributes sodium as well - approx. 27.3 g sodium per 100 g baking soda, compared to ~39.3 g sodium per 100 g pure sodium chloride salt. Account for that by multiplying the mass of baking soda used by 0.7 to get the mass of salt to subtract.

  • The wings turned out great and drastically less salty. Thanks! Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 8:40

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