Rib smell?

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by lsmoguy, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Hello,

    I was shopping at a local grocery store the other day and as always, I was perusing the meat selection to see what looked good to smoke this weekend.  They had some decent cuts of pork shoulder and some ok ribs and of course the standard whole chickens.  Then I stumbled upon some pre-packaged ribs from Tyson.  They looked pretty good, so I bought them.

    I was cleaning them up yesterday morning and putting rub on them to wrap them up and let them sit overnight before smoking them today.

    When I opened the package and started cleaning the ribs up, I noticed and odor.  It was bad enough that the wife made comments as she walked through the kitchen.  If I had to explain the odor, it would be something like a fishy type smell.

    I checked the date on the package and according to the date, the ribs have not expired.

    I am curious if anyone else has run into this with the pre-packaged ribs, or if anyone has any thoughts?

    Are they possibly tainted, somehow?

    Should we not eat them after I smoke them?      [​IMG]

  2. Never experienced this, was it in vac seal you mean? If it smells that bad BEFORE you cook it, what will the wife say about the smells from you AFTER you eat it? If it was me and I was questioning it, I wouldn't risk it.
  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My understanding is that there can be a gas build up in cryovac packages.

    They say if it's not too offensive, you should rinse the meat off good, and let it air out a bit. Then if it goes away, fine, but if it still smells bad take it back or toss it.

  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I noticed this the last couple racks of those I got. I rinsed them real good like bear said and dried them well too. After all night in the fridge under jeffs rub they smelled fine and tasted great. Like bear said if it still smells bad after a wash and dry then use your judgement.
  5. The final verdict ....

    I smoked the ribs using the 3-2-1 method with cherry wood.

    Everything turned out good and everyone loved the ribs!

    I assume Bearcarver was correct, just some gas build up in the packaging.

    Thanks for the replies!
  6. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Glad it all turned out well!  I have had this same smell with cryovacked ribs and lamb.  I did what Bear suggested and rinsed and dried them, let them sit in the fridge for a while and they turned out fine.  Haha, I understand your worry because that smell is pretty funky.
  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Had this happen a few times and these guys are correct, mine had a sulfur type smell, I rinse the meat real good and the smell goes away.

    Its pretty scary though when you open up a bag of 40+ dollar ribs and they smell.

    Glad it worked out.
  8. smokey bruin

    smokey bruin Fire Starter

    I have had this happen to me, I took them back and the grocer said that went bad due to people pulling them from the cooler and not putting them back
  9. I had the same issue with the smell last week. I had a package in fridge and when opened the smell was really strong like sulfur as SQWIB said, wash them up really good put my rub on them let them sit overnight and they still had a little smell but after smoking them the smell went away and they tasted really good. I was afraid they were going to be still smelly but it was gone.....lots of smoke works on them.
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I too have noticed the smell from cryopaked meat.  Not always, but sometimes. Usually goes away and not a problem.

    If that smell doesn't go away?  Pitch it.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Having been a butcher for over 35 years and handling this type of product many, many times I would be cautious with this type issue.  First let me say I'm glad everything worked out.  However If I open a package like this or any cry packed meat and got odor's like you guy's had, I would just return the product.  One thing that happens often is when these type of packs get handled from the point of shipping, to being placed in the case for sale, and of course handled by customers, a leak can develop in the packaging.  If this happens, code dates don't mean a thing, and bacteria can develop quickly [just a example of what may of happened here].  Cryovac packs must be sealed air tight.  I rinse all meats before I cook it regardless.  A very good practice, believe me.  Most packs that I have opened like this or any cryo pacs never had any odors like described above.  I dont want to sound like a alarmist.  Just very fussy with things like this.  Odd odors are not normal,  there is a reason why, and most of the time it's not a good thing.

    When in doubt bring it back. These packages should be tight, and not loose.  SmokinPotro87,  You said you washed your ribs, put rub on them, let them set overnight and still had some odor.  That right there should be a alert that something is not right.  Sulfur smell or any unpleasant smell in my opinion is not normal and the product should be sent back.  Just my opinion.  Reinhard
  12. Thanks for your reply. Ver good informationI will keep this in mind. Next time ribs with smell are going back to vendor.
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thought I'd resurrect this thread.  Picked up two racks of "previously frozen" BBs on Friday, 8/22/14.  Use by date was 9/1/14.  Opened one rack today for the smoker and it was fine.  Opened the other and whoa, a funky smell.  Rinsed it off, let it sit for ten minutes or so, then rinsed it off again.  Smell wasn't bad, but still noticeable. 

    Smoked both racks and kept track of which was which.  The smell never quite went away.  Tasted a piece of both when finished.  One was delicious, the other absolutely funky so I spit it out.  I had tossed the receipt but dug the cryovac out of the trash, wrapped up the funky, still hot rack in aluminum foil and took it and the empty cryovac back to the grocer.  Manager took one whiff and said "they smell delicious, but something ain't right."  "Take a bite" I said.  "Not on your life" he answered.  Since I didn't have the receipt he gave me a store gift card for the price of the ribs.  That works.    
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can't say you didn't give it every chance!!

    Thanks for the report !!

  15. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hers an article from my website, all turned out OK though
    • What am I looking at here?
    • Lets have a closer look
    • And yet closer. Whuuut! Really!!

    And yes these were cooked on the 8th.

    After me feeling slightly taken advantage of and TICKED off at the relabeling, especially due to the fact that I bought 9 racks.

    I proceeded to cut the ribs from the cryovac.

    As soon as I slit the package I smelled a nasty, nasty sulfur smell, sort of like rotten eggs.

    Now I'm really ANGRY, I tell the wife and say they're bad but I'm going to cook them anyhow, she says, "why, if they're bad ditch'em".

    I said I was going to cook them all nice and pretty and give them to the manager at Sams Club.

    After I calmed down a bit, I remembered this same thing with chicken and a simple rinse removed the smell, so the ribs went into a steamer pan, were rinsed and patted dry, I smelled every square inch of the meat and there was no smell at all, good or bad, so I figured I'm Good to go.

    I know the date stamped is a sell by date and food can be cooked after the date, but the re-dating really ticked me off!

Share This Page