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Freshness problem?

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    Freshness problem?

    I just got two 4lb pork butts. I washed, dried, trimmed, and salted them. I just noticed that one of them has a slight odor to it, the other has no odor, it smells fresh... These pork butts were in plastic wrap from the butcher and not a sealed package like I get from the grocery store. These were never frozen. They are now in my fridge in the same pyrex dish with plastic wrap over top.

    Right now it is Tuesday late afternoon, how concerned should I be about that smell and is it possible it will go bad before I start cooking 3am Saturday morning? Also, the one with the odor is slightly darker than the other one. I've had luck dry brining 3-4 days with the sealed pork but this is the first time I've done fresh. Its not out of the question to cook that one tomorrow... it was sort of to ensure that I had leftovers after this weekends cook.

    Any thoughts and help is greatly appreciated.

    I watch any fresh meat that comes from the butcher closely. Watch for some obvious slime and strong odor. If a fomite infested it, could be Staph. aureus.

    I had some country style ribs developed the slime and odor after 2 days. I trimmed it off, salted for brining, checked the next day, good to go.

    The salt used for brining is not enough to inhibit microbial growth. If it stinks now, no telling what it might be by Saturday.
    Last edited by Jerod Broussard; September 23, 2014, 06:28 PM.


      Thanks Jerod, the more I think about it the more I want to cook it tomorrow. Its not stinking like its gone bad, just doesn't smell fresh like the other one (or the previous ones). I've never had an issue at the butcher before. I'm usually more concerned with getting matching size/weights. I'll have to pay more attention next time. Let them know my cook is several days away. This was the only day I could make the drive out to the butcher, bummer. Well maybe not, I'll get to eat it tomorrow

      To be safe should I separate and wash the other one since they've been in the same container about an hour now?


        Nah, should be fine. To be honest, most meat, if you smell it, does not smell "rosy fresh," if you catch my drift.

        Takes somewhat of a gagging odor to alarm me.

        Washing is not needed. Only reason I wash meat is to get bone fragments off.


          Thanks man, you're putting my mind at ease.


            The biggest problem with food poisoning in restaurants is contaminating foods that will NOT be cooked.

            Cutting meat with a knife, then using that contaminated knife to cut cantaloupe. That happened somewhere and plenty people got sick.

            Edit- Also, under cooked ground meat is a problem also.
            Last edited by Jerod Broussard; September 24, 2014, 03:31 AM.


              I also think you'll be ok Adam. I've had the exact same thing happen before too. I had one rack of ribs that had a stronger odor, but like you're saying mine wasn't obviously rancid and bad, just strong and different than the others. I decided to proceed wioth cooking and take my chances. In the end you could never tell which was which and never got sick.

              I think if it's bad enough to cause trouble, it will have that obviously bad smell.


                read somewhere that it is lactic acid that causes that smell... especially in the cryovac packages. Either way, raw meat smell is unsettling to most people, but if it is a bad nasty smell... take it back.


                  Thanks so much guys. I checked on the meat every day and the smell didn't get bad at all, I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, the last day I had it rubbed with MMD so thats all I could smell I just threw it on the smoker early this morning.


                    That is an awesome pic Adam! Can't wait to see the cook pics. BTW Be sure to join us over at the bullet smoker thread if you get a chance.



                      Adam keep us posted... with more pics!


                        I certainly will Pit Boss. Thanks Jon, I will check out that thread


                          10 hours in. No wrapping. Front butt is 180, rear butt is 175. Cooking at 215 to 235 F. Guests are showing up in 2-3 hours, dinner is in 3-4.


                          • Marauderer
                            Marauderer commented
                            Editing a comment
                            You should right on time Adam. Sure is looking good.

                          They turned out fantastic. I of course was too busy to remember to take a photo but my buddy took a quick shot of me pulling it. 15 hours cook time.


                            Score! (big pics next time )



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