Low sodium?

Started by patti2003, July 01, 2008, 06:31:14 AM

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I am new to smoking and bought a smoker because I love smoked meats but don't want the sodium. Most of the recipes I see contain salt. Can I smoke turkey breasts, pork, etc. without salt?




Absolutely you can.  Have seen lots of recipes for rubs, etc. without salt.  Do a little research, you'll find them.  One source is the Smoke & Spice book.  Tons of rub recipes in there and an all around great source of knowledge for all things smoked.

Welcome to the forum Patti.  Great bunch of folks here far smarter than me always willing to help you out.



Welcome Patti,
I completely agree with KyNola, lots of good rubs in the S&S book, and I don't see why ya could'nt leave out the salt and still have a great flavor!  Good Luck! Keep us posted!

Its amazing what one can accomplish when one doesn't know what one can't do!


Welcome to the forum.  I see no reason why you can't leave off the salt on any recipe except perhaps when curing.  I'm sure you can always go with salt substitutes as well.  Habs is the best for answering this question.
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Welcome Patti;
I agree that there is no reason that you can smoke without salt in most cases.
There is also a place called Pleasoning that sells low or no salt spices.

Habanero Smoker

Hi Patti;

Welcome to the forum.

You can leave the salt out of the rubs, but the salt acts as a flavor enhancer, so you may what to add some chili powder (hot ground pepper such as cayenne, not the chile powder mix) or if the recipe already has chili powder in it slightly increase the amount. Here is a site I use occasionally for salt and sugar substitutes.


I'm not one for salt substitutes, for me it has a lingering after taste. Also most salt substitute have potassium, so if you are currently taking a potassium supplement, or on high blood pressure medication you may want to check with your doctor before using a salt substitute.



Thanks for all of the smokin' :-) advice! Will check out those resources asap.

I am smoking a whole turkey in my Bradley Smoker (Black) today as my first try... no spices or rubs or anything (I want to be able to judge what the smoke taste does alone). I love to cook and have always wondered why people give me a funny look when they ask me how I made something and I show them the recipe but then tell them I didn't measure anything. Now I understand! Felt pretty inimidating to do my first try today.

My reason for leaving out the salt is because I like to make food that is delicious and healthy... well, at least much of the time. (Don't bother to even try with deserts... they're supposed to be decandent, right?) We go to bbq restauants a lot because I adore smoked meats. So I recenlty decided to try it at home. Hope it's okay... ;-)

One more question... how far should the damper be left open?


As you've probably gathered from the fourum I kinda am (one  ;D) of the oddballs of the group!  I leave my dampner wide open for pretty much everything, although I do use mesquite on everything also!  But I would think the right way would be about 2/3 to 3/4 so as not to get a moisture build up.

Its amazing what one can accomplish when one doesn't know what one can't do!


W E L C O M E to the forum patti2003!

Quote from: patti2003 on July 06, 2008, 09:43:25 AM
One more question... how far should the damper be left open?

It depends on what/how you are smoking, and a matter of personal preference / opinion.

Wide open:
- Poultry (Which has a alot of moisture)
- Jerky    (You are trying to dry)

For everything else, I usually keep it 1/2 or 3/4 closed, unless I see:

- Smoke backing up into the generator
- Condensation on the inside of the smoker or stuff draining out the bottom.

Windy conditions may also warrant a more closed setting.

Having said all that I don't remember hearing anyone say "That pork butt/ribs/salmon would have turned out better if I had the vent open/closed"
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Looking forward to hearing your results Patti.  I've recently been thinking I should try to cut down on the salt a bit and since I'm in a chicken zone right now I'm especially interested.

Welcome to the Forum.