How to Desalt Codfish

Salting is a very common method to conserve many foods. It’s very easy to do. It consists on covering the food with enough salt to make sure that the salt penetrates well. Salt absorbs moisture and produces some dehydration of food, thus preventing the growth of bacteria and microorganisms. One of the most common products that are preserved in salt is cod. The following article will show you the necessary steps to desalt cod so it’s ready to cook!


  1. Image titled Desalt Codfish Step 1
    Clean the salt with water. The pieces of salted cod are covered with a large amount of salt. So it is recommended before the desalination process begins, to clean the cod under running water, rubbing with your fingers the outermost layer of the cod salt.
  2. Image titled Desalt Codfish Step 2
    Soak the cod. Fill a container with cold water. It should have three parts of water to one part of cod. Introduce the cod into the container and place the container in the refrigerator.
  3. Image titled Desalt Codfish Step 3
    Soak the cod a second time. When the cod has soaked for 12 hours, remove the water from the container. Refill it with fresh cold water and put it back in the refrigerator for another 12 hours.
  4. Image titled Desalt Codfish Step 4
    Repeat the soaking process two more times. After the first 24 hours you must repeat the process two more times, four changes of water separated by 12 hours apart, this way the cod will be soaked for a total of 72 hours or three days.
    • If the cod is shredded, not whole, the first 24 hours of soaking should be enough.
  5. Image titled Desalt Codfish Step 5
    Now the cod should be ready to eat. Once you have finished with the desalting process, cod will be in perfect condition to be used in the kitchen and you can enjoy its great taste.


  • It's recommended that the refrigerator reaches a stable temperature of 6 °C (43 °F).
  • It’s recommended that the pieces of cod are the same size in order to avoid some pieces being saltier than others.
  • Put the pieces of cod skin up in the container.
  • If you have questions about the desalting process, test a piece of cod to check the level of salt.
  • Never take the cod out of the refrigerator during the desalting process.

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Categories: Fish and Seafood