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Marinating Spare Ribs in Apple Cider


Joined Jul 22, 2016
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.  


Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 13, 2015
Sometimes I soak mine in Apple Juice and get the same pale color . Someone smarter then me can explain why this happens , but they are fine.


Joined Apr 21, 2012
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.   

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
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Joined May 12, 2011
That is normal...Just made Lamb Kabobs that soaked in Red Wine Vinegar. They came out of the marinade pale gray...JJ


Master of the Pit
Joined Aug 9, 2015
Yep....the lemon juice and not sure if you used Apple Cider or Apple Cider Vinegar, will "cook" the meat due to the acid.

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