First time meat smoker in Missouri; sodium free alternatives

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by kilty, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. Greetings smokers. I have never smoked meat before, but I am great at eating it. I am working my way through the 5 day eCourse and trying to decide which type of smoker to invest in (most likely an electric) to get started on my new hobby. However, a recent diagnosis at 42 of congestive heart failure has forced me to make some lifestyle changes. The most painful change is ELIMINATING sodium from my diet. If I eat any salt, I swell up faster than Oprah after wolfin' down a canned ham, LOL. I figure smoking my own meat allows me to control the sodium content. So if you have any resources on sodium free rubs, sauces, etc. Please let me know. Wish me luck. Cheers!
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  2. [​IMG]   Good morning and welcome to the forum, from an  overcast and rainy looking  day here in East Texas. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything. 

  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

  4. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Welcome to the board! You will be able to avoid sodium when you grind your own sausage, and decide what goes into it.
  5. eman, thank you for the salt free pork rub recipe!  I am going to try it as soon as I get set up to smoke my first pork.  I will let you know how it turns out. 
  6. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    While I do not go totally salt free, I am a big believer in low sodium rubs.  I use very little salt and am pretty sure you could make one of your own with out any salt.  You may have to step up some of the other ingredients (Paprika, and pepper).  Give it a try and let us know what you find out.  I am going to make a bunch of rub this weekend and will play with a sodium free version.  I will let you know what I come up with.

    Good Luck and Smoke ON!  
    beaver4364 likes this.
  7. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    OK, understand that salt basically enhances other flavours. I don't have an issue with sodium personally, but I don't add salt to much of anything. I use spices & herbs for flavour, as I figure there is enough naturally occuring salt in the food already. Although I do have a lot of different salts in my pantry, they are used judiciously.
  8. Excellent, millerbuilds. Let me know how the sodium free smoke goes. I'm still working on getting the smoker I'm looking for...Fathers Day really depleted the stock around here.
  9. Welcome aboard!! we have the same issue here with salt. I have been working the last few years on switching over to as salt free as you can get. still tweaking here and there but in my opinion you just cannot get completely away from that pesky salt 

  10. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    I played around with some rubs last night.

    I found that by increasing the amount of paprika, black pepper, and onion powder equally I did not really miss the salt.  I did learn that you do not want to increase the amount of brown sugar.  I also tried increasing the amount of garlic powder, but did not notice a change so left it at the original ratio.  I typically would coat the meat with mustard to allow the rub to stick.  Since there is sodium in the Vinegar, I would suggest mixing a bit of rub with olive oil and vinegar to coat the meat before applying the rub.  

    Hope this helps!

    Smoke ON!

  11. That sounds great. I am still waiting on my smoker to come in, so I may try my first salt free run over 4th of July weekend. Cheers!
  12. Jason,

    thanks for the info. I have always used mustard as well with my rubs. I generally will coat with the mustard then the rub and tightly wrap with plastic wrap and toss into the deep cooler for up to a week depending on my time frame, then kick it to the smoker.

    Good Smokin!,

  13. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    Glad you liked it.  Mustard is a great way to hold the rub to the meat and it also has enough vinegar to break down some of the tissue allowing both the smoke and rub to pull into the meat.

    If you are really trying to kick the sodium, then the mustard would need to go as well.  After my post I was thinking that you could also just use vinegar and beer or vinegar and wine....

    Smoke ON!

  14. Jason,

    had not even thought of the mustard being part of the sodium issue,,,,,so focused on the rub that I missed the obvious, thank you. I will give it a try on the next shoulder.

  15. millerbuilds

    millerbuilds Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I just read on another site to mix some mayo with some vinegar to coat your meat with.  I have never tried it, it should work though.  Without the salt the vinegar should help pull the rub into the meat.

    Good luck & Smoke ON!
  16. Great info everybody, keep em coming. Just got my MES 40" 1200 watt seasoned and ready to go for this 4th of July weekend. Probably will do a few racks of ribs and a pork tenderloin. Wish me luck.
  17. Good Luck KILTY!

    Everyone have a wonderful Smoke Filled and safe holiday with family and friends!

    that being said, the mention of mayonnaise  brought up some thoughts (one I had not considered it for this application) but I have two older and well used recipes (I had forgotten about) that one is rubbing the mayo onto the fresh salmon a1/2 hr or so prior to tossing on the BBQ then at the last minute coating with one of by BBQ sauces. the other is coating halibut / cod with mayo then in a baking dish then cover with some of your smoked blue cheese, cover dish with foil then toss into the oven for 20-30 minutes and uncover about half way thru. of course you use seasonings to your tastes and can be as simple as just sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

    sorry for getting sidetracked.....but two more good reasons to use Mayo.

    Happy Holidays!


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