Singular and combined effects of added water, sodium erythorbate and storage time on salt soluble protein extractability, bacteriological and chemical characteristics of preblended hot-boned beef were evaluated. Waterholding and gel forming capacities of preblended hot-boned beef containing either 0, 10 or 20% added water were determined. Significant interactions between added water level and storage time on microbial counts and between sodium erythorbate level and storage time on thiobarbituric acid values and residual nitrite levels were noted. The presence of sodium erythorbate resulted in a more (P < 0·05) rapid rate of nitrite disappearance, but it did not affect (P > 0·05) microbial counts. Salt-soluble protein extractability was not affected (P > 0·05) by added water, but more protein could be extracted with increasing storage time. A trend existed to suggest that the presence of added water in the meat preblends slightly improved the gel formation and waterholding capacities.