For a long time, salt tracers have been used to measure the residence time distribution (RTD) of fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) particles. However, due to limitations in experimental measurements and simulation methods, the ability of salt tracers to faithfully represent RTDs has never been directly investigated. Our current simulation results using coarse-grained computational fluid dynamic coupled with discrete element method (CFD-DEM) with filtered drag models show that the residence time of salt tracers with the same terminal velocity as FCC particles is slightly larger than that of FCC particles. This research also demonstrates the ability of filtered drag models to predict the correct RTD curve for FCC particles while the homogeneous drag model may only be used in the dilute riser flow of Geldart type B particles. Thus, the RTD of large-scale reactors can be efficiently investigated with our proposed numerical method as well as by using the old-fashioned salt tracer technology.