First time smoker here (well just relatively new). I was working off a Steven Raichlen recipe which called for soaking the ribs in apple cider and some lemon juice for a couple hours, then blot dry and adding dry rub. Well I soaked the ribs for a few hours (I think four) and just pulled them out to blot dry and they seemed very pale and off color. I would say they almost look they are turning/ going bad but they smell OK and from what I remember when I brought them home today, they looked fine before soaking. So I believe this is due to me soaking it in the vinegar + lemon juice but wanted to confirm if this is normal or if it's possible I have bad meat. I have people coming over tomorrow that I would rather not poison haha.
Marinating Spare Ribs in Apple Cider
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The acid "cooks" the meat. I do not see any advantage to soaking in pure vinegar for any length of time. Many marinades will use acid to tenderize the meat but it is usually diluted. It might be interesting for you to post the results after completing the smoking.