Pork and that "sulfur" smell.
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Pork and that "sulfur" smell.
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Thread: Pork and that "sulfur" smell.

  1. #1

    Pork and that "sulfur" smell.

    I seem to get this with cryovaced pork from time to time.I guess what I am wondering is why is it only sometimes?Also some instances it seems to be stronger than others.I kinda doubt the pork is bad cuz I have eaten it and everyone has been fine.
    Also the last two times the smell has carried over into the flavor and makes the meat kinda taste "gamey".

    Anyone's thoughts?
    Low and slow is the way to go!

  2. #2
    I have definitely had this happen with cryovaced meat, especially pork, and it's perfectly normal.

    I don't buy cryovaced pork as often as fresh cuts from the butcher, but when I do, I have learned to ignore the smell.

    My understanding is that bones (and bone dust) contain sulfur compounds. The lack of oxygen and gasses added to prolong shelf life (typically a mix of CO2 & Nitrogen) can cause this sulfur smell to concentrate.

    After opening, if you let the pork sit for 15 - 30 minutes and/or wash it off, the product should bloom and the smell should dissipate.

    The gasses used are inert and should NEVER affect the flavor. If you got some pork that tasted "gamey," I suspect you got some that was starting to go bad.
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  3. #3
    Yeah this is pretty much what I figured,but I don't know if it's really the case anymore.I have had more than one rack of ribs have that "gamey" type flavor,and nobody has become sick.And it was all before the "best buy" date.Maybe they warmed up a bit during transportation and it was just enough to make them smell/taste funky but not enough to make anyone sick.

    Anyway I guess I really had bad luck yesterday cuz this is what happened:
    I went to my local butchers and bought a rack out of the display case.(These ribs do come cryovaced,but they take them out and put them in the case.)I got them home and they had a slight smell,even after I washed them so I threw them out.I then went to the supermarket down the street and bought a cryovaced rack,brought them home,and sure enough the same thing.
    Well at this point I figured I was being paranoid so I cooked the ribs up and ate them.Both the wife and I experienced the "gamey" taste.And as I said this is not the first time.
    In fact I wont even buy Farmer John ribs cuz their's always smell and more often than not have that "gamey" flavor.
    Maybe after I washed them I did not let them air out enough?Idk...
    Anyway it's just really frustrating,and I don't want to be "that guy" always running my ribs back to the store complaining about the smell.
    Low and slow is the way to go!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mayn's Avatar
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    If you've got a Costco near you try those. I've never had an issue with them and used them many times. Even before I owned a smoker. They are in that cryo package. Or maybe try a natural store such as whole foods. You pay a lot more at whole foods but maybe worth a shot.


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  5. #5
    The ribs I smoked yesterday were from costco and they did have a faint sulfur smell. I just rinsed and dried with paper towels and they were fine. Once they were finished, they tasted like heaven, but better...

  6. #6
    Yeah I have gotten them from Costco and they are hit and miss.The problem is I usually do not cook 3 racks at a time.
    Low and slow is the way to go!

  7. #7
    Ok I talked to one of the butchers @ Vons today and he confirmed that it is the CO2 they inject in the package that gives it the smell.And he said what everyone always confirms,"wash it and let if air out in the fridge and it should be fine".
    Although I think I may have figured out why sometimes this smell (and taste) does not air out.(And y'all can correct me if I am wrong.)
    I know cryovaced gassed ribs sit around in the package for around 2 weeks or so until they get to the "best buy date"(maybe even longer?).So all that time in the sealed cryovac the meat is basically "marinating" in that gas.I would think after all that time if would be really hard to wash all that funk out of the meat.So maybe that's why the smell won't wash out?I know the ribs I got had a date of 7/31/13 on them.Still 8 days away from the best buy date,but I bet the ribs were in that package for at least a week and a half.
    I guess I will just go to my local butchers and be "that guy" all the time and ask to smell the ribs.And if they are sitting in the display case and they still smell they can't give me the "hey just air them out" talk.
    Low and slow is the way to go!

  8. #8
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    CO2 is infinitely combinable with O2. Through osmosis with the ribs airing out, the concentration of both gasses will eventually be the same as the composition of air. The question I think, would be how long does that process take? Has anyone that's noticed this, tried airing out the pork in the fridge (for meat safety) overnight and perhaps draping the meat with a damp paper towel to keep a pellicle from developing?

  9. #9
    That's a good question.I also wonder if you took it out of the cryovac,rinsed,resealed it in a food saver bag,and then stuck it in the fridge overnight if ti would still air out?I would think at that point seeing as the gas is gone maybe it would?
    Low and slow is the way to go!

  10. #10
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    I doubt that vac sealing would change anything as you'd just be re-cryovac-ing with everything still there except what you removed by rinsing. There isn't anywhere for remaining CO2 to disburse.

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