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Just found out I am on a low salt diet

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  • phcaan
    Club Member
    • Aug 2015
    • 1
    • Willow Springs, MO

    Just found out I am on a low salt diet

    Due to unforeseen heart issues I am now on a low salt diet, and am attempting to incorporate this into my BBQ addiction. Does anyone know of a dry brining formula that does not include salt?
    Thank you.
  • scottranda
    Charter Member
    • May 2015
    • 1530
    • Charlotte, NC

    No, but it sounds like you’ll be making your own rubs!! You can control the salt that way.


    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      This what I have been doing.
      Also read the Nutrition Facts on labeling, you can find some really low salt commercial rubs on the market.
  • texastweeter
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2238
    • Republic of Texas

    Maybe add in a little potassium chloride instead of salt. One brand is nusalt


    • parkerj2
      Club Member
      • Aug 2016
      • 107

      Typically (I'm no doctor, but do have a little education in nutrition), one can eliminate processed foods/fast foods/storebought seasonings that contain salt and be pretty 'low salt.' (also - pretty much eliminates eating at restaurants).

      Again - I'm no doc, but in the modern American diet, those foods are where the issues lie as far as sodium goes.


      • FireMan
        Charter Member
        • Jul 2015
        • 6707
        • Bottom of Winnebago

        Ditto with Ol’ parkerj2. I have learned that home cookin , brining, saltin a burger or steak, etc. is not the problem. Calculate the 1/2 or full teaspoons you use in a brining process. That the salt uses on pounds of meat & will not all be consumed. Plus you can dry brine & rinse. I have to watch my salt for a couple of reasons, not just heart & it worries me not. The processed stuff is loaded with sodium, not only meat but even muffins & bread, yes even that hamburger bun. If it’s in a box, bag or a can be very suspect. If you are cookin it, providin yer not loadin up but using sensible amounts you should be alright.

        PS. Stay away from fast food. All but a few meals as in 3 or 5 will give you your “daily” amount in one meal, even most salads.
        Last edited by FireMan; December 5th, 2019, 03:44 PM.


        • johnec00
          Charter Member
          • Aug 2014
          • 506
          • Orlando, Florida
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          I recently got warned by my cardiologist that I either cut down on salt or else. . . I've been experimenting with ways to cut down on salt without too much pain. First, dry brining, I've cut back from Meathead's 1/2 teaspoon per pound to 1/4 teaspoon without any noticeable difference. That cuts down by about 120mg. Then bread. A hamburger bun has about 220mg sodium (15% of what I'm allowed). We now make our own hamburger/hot dog/hoagie rolls without salt, again no noticeable taste reduction. Prepared vegetables, sauced vegetables 300+mg per serving, raw vegetables 20 or so mg and Mrs Dash no-salt seasonings make the flavor more-or-less acceptable. Then, I really love cured meats like breakfast sausage, pastrami, and Canadian bacon. All can be made with much less salt than commercial equivalents. Here's my post on low salt pastrami using a recipe by docblonder .



          • jfmorris
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 2145
            • Huntsville, Alabama
            • Jim Morris

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            I am with FireMan on this one. Dry brining with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt per pound of meat and limiting your salt to that in grilling is not going to lead to a very high sodium content. Mix your own rubs to ensure the rubs are salt-free, using the recipes here, and just keep some ready to go in air-tight jars in your pantry.

            I just checked, and Morton's Kosher salt (coarse) has 480mg of sodium in a 1/4 tsp serving. So if you use 1/4 tsp per pound when dry brining, each pound of meat will have a maximum of 480mg of salt. I am sure you could cut it to half of that, now that you know the math. Contrast that to Morton's Sea Salt, which has 590mg in 1/4 tsp (probably because more of the finer grain packs into the measuring spoon).


            • FireMan
              FireMan commented
              Editing a comment
              Here’s the thing, a half tsp. of salt per lb is 960mg. How much are we eatin here, a whole lb of meat? You might have a different problem. You are liable to have 350+ with a store bought slice of bread
          • Alabama Smoke
            Club Member
            • Oct 2019
            • 38
            • Birmingham

            My wife and I both have heart issues and salt is a problem. I agree with what I have read here above. We try to utilize other spices for flavor and honestly have pretty much given up on dry brining and no longer purchase packaged rubs, many of which are full of it. We use several of Meat Head's rub recipes which typically have no salt in them. Memphis Dust for pork and Simon and Garfunkel for poultry are both wonderful, have no salt, etc. We do use commercial BBQ sauces but that is all the salt we put on our smoked meat. Tried salt substitutes and disliked them more than simply not using it.


            • TNPIGBBQ
              Club Member
              • Jul 2019
              • 88
              • Church of Charcoal

              My condolences, I can’t even imagine if you served me a salt lick for dinner I’d still put salt on it. Lol

              Meathead goes into deep detail on this in his book and the website. Dry brining isn’t going to give you a heart attack, it’s really not that much. Assuming, you’re making your own rubs without salt.

              As others have mentioned, processed food is your real enemy here. The amount of sodium and sugar in processed food is absolutely absurd. Flavorless fake crap that a starving dog wouldn’t eat if they didn’t drown it in salt and sugar first.


              • tbob4
                Charter Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 2107
                • Chico, CA
                • BBQ's
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                I have found that beef grade really effects the amount of salt I use. Buy Prime, cut the salt in half, add a bit more pepper and see if it satisfies the palate.


                • Donw
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2017
                  • 2122

                  Cook’s Illustrated did an article several years ago where they found only a fraction of the salt used in brining was present in the finished product. You can eat well with a low salt restriction mainly by avoiding processed foods.


                  • JimLinebarger
                    Club Member
                    • Jun 2017
                    • 658
                    • Spokane Valley, Wa.
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                      About me
                      Name: Jim
                      Nick name: Bear
                      Location: Spokane Valley, Wa.
                      Born at a very young age at Egland AFB, Ft. Walton Beach, FL.

                      USAF vet, ECM (F4 & B52)/B52 Crew Chief, Computer Systems NCO, disabled
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                    Having heart failure for 22+ years, we first stop using processed foods and started increasing our fresh veggies. Issues with water retention didn't come back until the last few years because of many other problems and the meds/vitamins used to help other issues. Take one med to fix side effects of another but then deal with the side effects of that med. I make most of my rubs and BBQ sauce and look for store bought with little or no salt versions. Hard to find. I have become more sensitive to salt and my wife and I are not seeing eye to eye most of the time. I would also be careful of potassium. If you are on a diuretic you most likely are also taking a potassium pill (I call it a horse pill) or are taking another pill that is potassium sparing. Adding more potassium can mess up that balance with the meds.


                    • FireMan
                      FireMan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I have a question fer ya? Do you and Donw see eye to eye.

                    • JimLinebarger
                      JimLinebarger commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I would say from the position I am in, yeah.
                  • Alabama Smoke
                    Club Member
                    • Oct 2019
                    • 38
                    • Birmingham

                    Originally posted by tbob4 View Post
                    I have found that beef grade really effects the amount of salt I use. Buy Prime, cut the salt in half, add a bit more pepper and see if it satisfies the palate.
                    Totally agree. I try to buy prime choice.....at least prime....and our local Costco usually has it at a price several times lower than the price of my local butcher shop.


                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Just be careful of buying pre-cut steaks at Costco - they tend to ruin good USDA prime beef by blade tenderizing it - meaning it’s only safe if treated like ground beef and cooked to well done. I only buy primal cuts or other beef that doesn’t say blade tenderized at Costco now. Brisket and strip loins for example.
                  • mountainsmoker
                    Club Member
                    • Jun 2019
                    • 1465
                    • Bryson City, NC

                    On a low salt diet herbs become your friend. Since using more herbs for flavoring both my wife and I have reduced the salt used by 1/2 and come off our meds for blood pressure. We still dry brine but with less salt.. !/4 tsp per lb of meat. instead of 1/2 just let it take a little longer.

                    Our last 6 months check ups had the doc chortling.

                    We also do not eat canned processed food. Every thing we eat we make. No added salt. for anything we make. You can easily not add salt to anything you make or add herbs to it.

                    Just add different herbs and spices.



                    • fzxdoc
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                      Originally posted by texastweeter View Post
                      Maybe add in a little potassium chloride instead of salt. One brand is nusalt
                      Problem is, the KCl has a bad taste to it, at least to me, a real salt-lover. A lot of reduced-salt seasonings and rubs have it. I just wish it tasted better.

                      I try to cook with lower salt for my husband who is very health-conscious. Low salt no fat is his mantra. If I want salt on something, I can always add it. Marrying him and switching to more healthy cooking as compared to the fat-laden salty southern cooking I grew up with may possibly extend my life by a few decades. Not a bad dowry he brought into the marriage, I'd say!



                      • texastweeter
                        texastweeter commented
                        Editing a comment
                        deep South fried...pass the bacon grease!



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