Homegrown bacon, odd smell, can it be saved?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by trikefreak, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. trikefreak

    trikefreak Smoke Blower

    We had some hogs butchered a few months back, and had the butcher cure up the hams and bacon. I've noticed the last 2-3 packages I've taken out of the freezer seem to have an "odd" smell and it comes through when you cook it. I'm not edjumicated on the curing and such of meats, yet. Is there anything I can do to "save" this bacon? I've got about 20+ lbs that if I had to throw it away..................I'd probably have a breakdown. It's not bad enough to make anyone sick, but it ain't right. The first months I used it this "odd" odor was never present, and I kept telling myself to use this sparingly to have some for months to come.

    I'm fixing to buy a foodsaver today, and got to thinking maybe I could smoke this bacon some more, and then freeze it in sealed bags. The packaging from the butcher is sort of cheap, in my opinion. Maybe I can cure the bacon longer, and stop it from turning any further?

    Man.........................I'd really feel like I lost a limb if I had to throw out this much GOOD bacon..........I've never had pork fat go bad, so this bacon concern has me a little confused. Am I facing the same concerns with the hams too? I sure thought you could freeze meats for longer than just a few months.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd ask the butcher what he did and how he did it. It sounds like it might be freezer burn, but not knowing what it smells like I'd have no real way of giving you advice.
  3. trikefreak

    trikefreak Smoke Blower

    Thanks for your comments, and I'm sorry I can't provide a better description of the smell/flavor. I'm going to try some experimenting today, can't make it any worse!
  4. rexster314

    rexster314 Meat Mopper

    More than likely it wasn't fully cured and has gone rancid between the times the butcher had it and when you smoked it. I ordered a case of fresh bellies once from our local market. Between the time they called me and the time I picked them up they had spoiled. Opened the case up when I got home and there was mold growing and a rotten flesh smell. Got my money back too
  5. trikefreak

    trikefreak Smoke Blower

    I've not smoked it, it's still in the sealed packages from the butcher. I thought maybe the cure wasn't good, but I don't really know what that would really mean. I'm going to toss some in the smoker today, lightly cook it with some smoke, and then seal it up. I really have nothing to lose at this point. Thought about packing it in some salt, to see what it would do as well.
  6. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    Were these butcher hogs or wild hogs?  Got a lesson a couple of weeks ago about a foul oder from male pigs, something about a hormone release.  I'll go back and get the specifics from the person that was telling me about this.
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sorry but you know the saying... When in doubt, throw it out...... Did it taste differently...?
  8. Without more information and without tasting the bacon....my first guess is that the guy smoked the bacon at high enough temperature and long enough to give it a warmed-over flavor.....it's kind of a funky rancidy like flavor.

    You can read more about warmed-over flavor here: What is “warmed-over flavor”?


  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very good article Martin..... That explains a lot...
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another reason to do it ourselves.

    My biggest problem with BBQ joints is that I often get that nearly rancid "warmed over" flavor from their meat.

    I realize it is hard to impossible for a restaurant to serve fresh BBQ throughout the day.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. trikefreak

    trikefreak Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all the comments. I pulled some of this bacon out of the freezer yesterday and cooked it up for breakfast. I took some to work to share with some coworkers, looking for their input on this "odd" flavor that this bacon has. I was told by two gentleman that this was bacon from a male hog, and he was butchered slightly overweight than should have been. They also said that if they aren't castrated at an early age, that it will affect the meat as well. They were correct, this was from a male hog, and we waited a little longer and butchered these after they had passed the ordinary weight. I had no idea, and nobody told me this fact when we were raising these pigs. Nothing is un-edible, it just has a noted flavor/taste/smell that you can notice. Oh well, lesson learned!
    daveomak likes this.
  12. Yep, boar taint.


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