Check My Salt Percentage Math

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thirdeye

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You may recall I tend to favor "lower salt" amounts in my sausage, bacon, ham, buckboard, corned beef, porkstrami, curing brines, and flavor brines. 1.5% salt is my sweet spot, but I will increase to 1.8% on some of the Marianski brothers sausage recipes as that is their sweet spot on many formulations. These guys weigh all ingredients based on batches that are 1 kilogram of meat weight, so the salt amount will often be listed as18 grams, which is 1.8% salt.

Today, I bought a new (to me) brand of chorizo in a 1-pound log and wanted to see what the actual salt percentage was. If you read labels, you know they can be tricky... but they do list "sodium, "serving size", "daily percentage" etc. So, check my math using the following label information:
Serving Size: 2.5 ounces. (seems kind of small... a hamburger is 4 or 5 ounces...)
Sodium: 660mg per serving. (doesn't sound too bad, or does it?)
Sodium: 28% of Daily Value. (dang, 1/3 of the recommended daily sodium intake?)


Formulas:
1kg = 1,000g
1g = 1,000mg
Salt to Sodium divide by 2.5
Sodium to Salt multiply by 2.5


Calculations:
16 ounces ÷ 2.5 ounces = 6.4 servings in 1-pound.
660mg X 2.5 = 1,650mg salt / serving.
1,650mg ÷ 1,000 = 1.65g salt / serving.
1.65g salt X 6.4 servings = 10.6g of salt in 1-pound. (Uh-oh, I see what's ahead)
1 pound = 454g -OR- 0.454kg.

I learned to use the metric system to calculate my percentages, but it's not the only way. In a nutshell
10g salt / kg meat = 1% salt.
20g /kg meat = 2% salt.
30g salt / kg meat = 3% salt.


To solve: 10.6g salt / .454kg meat = 23.4g salt / kg meat. -OR- 2.4% salt (rounded up)

On the bright side, the chorizo did not taste salty, and I used it to make breakfast burritos and got 13 which is double the number of servings in the sausage log. Meaning each one is only 14% of the daily value.

Is my math right?
 
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SmokinEdge

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Yup math looks good. Most commercial products run in that 2.5-2.8% salt. This keeps the FSIS happy. A product like chorizo is mostly designed to be mixed with other food stuff which lowers the salt impact if the other food stuff is lower salt, usually is.
 

dr k

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When measuring salt I believe all salt is around 40% sodium and 60% chloride. They are just different size and shapes of crystals so weighing it will keep the recipe true with different salts. On labels they only mention sodium vs salt so do you need to calculate in the chloride to get the weight in salt? So if the daily max of sodium is 2,400 mg would that =6,000 mg of salt?
 

thirdeye

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When measuring salt I believe all salt is around 40% sodium and 60% chloride. They are just different size and shapes of crystals so weighing it will keep the recipe true with different salts. On labels they only mention sodium vs salt so do you need to calculate in the chloride to get the weight in salt? So if the daily max of sodium is 2,400 mg would that =6,000 mg of salt?
Yes! And for perspective, 6000mg = 6g of salt, or just a little more than a teaspoon of Morton's kosher. Remember, coarse salt weighs less than fine grain salts. My favorite salt-by-weight site is DadCooksDinner.

So, conversions are pretty easy as long as you are mindful of the fact the labels use milligrams, and 2.5 is the conversion factor.

Sodium to salt: multiply the amount by 2.5.
Example: 250mg sodium X 2.5 = 625mg of salt. (625mg ÷ 1,000 = 0.625g of salt).

Salt to sodium: divide the amount by 2.5.
Example 2: 5g of salt ÷ 2.5 = 2g of salt. (2g X 1,000 = 2,000mg of sodium).

Or, you can use a cheat sheet like this so that you know what the expected answer from your calculation should be.
JJIiGEE.jpg
 
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dr k

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Yes! And for perspective, 6000mg = 6g of salt, or just a little more than a teaspoon of Morton's kosher. Remember, coarse salt weighs less than fine grain salts. My favorite salt-by-weight site is DadCooksDinner.

So, conversions are pretty easy as long as you are mindful of the fact the labels use milligrams, and 2.5 is the conversion factor.

Sodium to salt: multiply the amount by 2.5.
Example: 250mg sodium X 2.5 = 625mg of salt. (625mg ÷ 1,000 = 0.625g of salt).

Salt to sodium: divide the amount by 2.5.
Example 2: 5g of salt ÷ 2.5 = 2g of salt. (2g X 1,000 = 2,000mg of sodium).

Or, you can use a cheat sheet like this so that you know what the expected answer from your calculation should be.
View attachment 638311
Right on! I divided the sodium mg by .40 to get the salt mg but the 2.5 is what I missed in your post, same . I always weigh when curing with nitrite etc so no issues. I was wanting a confirmation on food labels for my family that watches that if 2,400 mg of sodium daily is equivelent to 6,000 mg. salt and knowing sodium mg on labels does not = Salt mg.
 

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