Vacuum Packed Pork Smells Bad?- 3 Step Solution - Thekitchentablebywhite (2023)

The smell is disgusting.

But hey, it’s totally normal for the meat to smell bad after opening the package. So, you can stop freaking out!

However, you might be wondering, why exactly vacuum packed pork smells bad?

Well, the most obvious reason is the lack of oxygen in the package. As the meat isn’t getting any oxygen so the natural meat juices produce an odd smell. This odd smell can vary. But the most common smell you’ll get can be described as ‘tangy’.

This smell will disappear if you follow three easy steps. Now we’ve explained every important thing in detail for you.

We’ve also mentioned how to cook the vacuum packed pork.

Thus, if you’ve got time, stay tuned!

Why Does Vacuum Packed Pork Smell Bad?

In this modern age, lots of foods are vacuum packed. And pork meat isn’t an exception. You can easily find different cuts of pork that are vacuum packed. Pork ribs, pork tenderloin, pork shoulder are some of the cuts you’ll see.

Regardless, let’s get to the main point which is the smell. It’s true that right after opening the vacuum packed pork, you’ll get a weird smell. The meat and package might smell like rotten eggs. Sometimes the pork smells like fart as well.

So, which factors are to be blamed for this bad smell?

Before getting to the reason, you need to check your meat. If your meat has mold on it then buddy it’s game over. You’ve got to throw it away immediately. Because the meat is probably out of date.

But if the meat is within its use-by date then it’s safe to cook and eat. And the smell mostly took place because the meat was in an ‘airtight’ package. Being stored in a package where there’s no oxygen causes the meat juices to develop a weird smell.

And when you open the package the smell just bursts out. So yeah that’s basically the main reason why the pork smells weird.

How To Tell If Vacuum Sealed Pork Is Bad?

Vacuum Packed Pork Smells Bad?- 3 Step Solution - Thekitchentablebywhite (1)

Now that you know the reason behind the smell, you’d want to remove it as soon as possible. But before that, you’ve to determine whether the meat is actually bad or not.

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So, let’s get to know the ways to find out the meat’s condition, shall we?

Check the Seal Before Opening

Sometimes there’s a 20-30% of chance that oxygen may enter the vacuum sealed package. And it’s only possible if there were any air holes.

Air holes can promote bacteria’s to spoil the meat. Therefore, If you see any air holes that’s your cue to throw the piece of meat away.

Check the Meat Color

Now color is an important factor to determine the meat’s condition. A vacuum packed pork meat often comes in a deep red/purple color.

The discoloration typically takes place because of the absence of oxygen. However, rinsing, drying, and letting the meat sit will bring back its natural color. Therefore, there’s no reason to panic after finding the meat in a little darker color.

But there’s a catch-

Vacuum Packed Pork Smells Bad?- 3 Step Solution - Thekitchentablebywhite (2)

If the piece of meat has black/brown spots on it then it might be a bad piece of meat. Still, to be 100% sure, you should test how it feels.

Check How the Meat Feels

You can get a proper idea about the meat by checking the meat itself. Now, after removing the meat from the package, you’ll definitely get an odd smell. But if the smell is super strong, you’ve to check the texture of the meat as well.

Normal meat will have a moist feel to it. However, if the pork meat you’ve with you feels sticky and slimy then it’s bad news.

You see, the sticky and slimy texture indicates the meat has been spoiled. So, there’s no way you can eat that piece of pork.

However, if the meat has the right moist feel, you can move on to the next segment.

How To Get Rid of Vacuum Packed Pork Smell?

So, you’ve got a darker cut of meat along with a nasty smell. But don’t you worry at all! Because we’re going to get the smell out.

To remove the smell, you’ll only have to follow three simple steps. To help you, we’ve discussed how much time the steps will take beforehand-

Allow the pork meat to air out30 minutes
Rinse the pork meat15-30 minutes
Dry the pork meat and let it sit30-35 minutes
All of the steps75-95 minutes

Now, let’s cut the fuss and get to work-

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Step-1: Allow the Pork Meat to Air out

If there’s no sticky feel to the meat, you can get it out. However, my friend you’ve got to let the meat air out before rinsing it with water.

The air out process needs to be continued for at least 30 minutes at normal room temperature. Within this time, around 40% of the smell might disappear. The meat will also get some of its natural colors back.

Step-2: Rinse the Pork Meat

After the 30 minutes are over, you can start rinsing the pork meat. You’ve to rinse the meat gently. It’s better if you rinse the piece of meat in a bowl with fresh and clean tap water. The process is similar to rinsing a tough piece of corned beef before cooking.

While rinsing, make sure you don’t spill any of the water outside the bowl. Take your time and rinse the meat properly.

Step-3: Dry the Pork Meat And Let it Sit

Now, if you’re done rinsing the meat, you’ve to dry it. For this, you can use paper towels. Take a paper towel and pat both sides of the meat with it. And if the first one gets all soaked with water, be sure to use another one.

You’ve to keep patting the meat gently until it’s dry. The drying process might take around 15 minutes so you’ve to be patient.

After the meat is properly dry, you’ll have to let it rest for another 15-20 minutes. Within this time, the meat will start gaining its natural smell and color. Therefore, after 15-20 minutes, you can start cooking the pork meat. And enjoy a fantastic meal by yourself or with your family!

Nevertheless, there’s a 20-30% chance that even after all of that, the meat will still smell bad. You’ll also see that the meat hasn’t got back its natural color. Instead, the color has gone darker.

Pork Meat Still Smelling Bad: Reasons and Solution

Yup, it’s very frustrating if the meat still smells bad even after putting in so much effort. Just how it’s disheartening to find that your creme brulee hasn’t set properly.

But hey let’s not get demotivated so easily. Instead, let’s find out why exactly the smell isn’t leaving you and the meat.

Now there can be several thoughts going in your mind. But there are only two possible reasons why the smell is still present.

Poor Storage

Sometimes you might take the meat out of the package and let it air out for hours. Well, that can cause the meat to get spoiled. You don’t believe that?

Well, let’s say, the meat is close to its use-by date. And you carelessly kept it outside for two days. Do you think the meat will be perfectly fine?

Of course not! The pork meat can get infected by bacteria’s as now it’s out of the sealed package. Furthermore, the meat has to be kept at a temperature within 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Because above that range, the bacteria’s can double in size and affect your meat’s shelf life.

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Now if you’re sure that poor storage isn’t the reason then you can head on to the next one.

The Meat Was Spoiled From the Start

Yes, it’s possible that the pork meat you’ve bought was already bad. This can happen if the poor animal had an internal injury.

Vacuum Packed Pork Smells Bad?- 3 Step Solution - Thekitchentablebywhite (3)

The meat will only pass all the strict rules to measure the quality of it if there’s an internal injury. Only a butcher can identify this small detail. But sometimes even they can’t catch this very issue. So yeah basically you can’t blame anyone here.


Now that you’re clear about the reasons which cause the pork meat to be bad, you’ve two options. And both the options are a bit upsetting. But hey it’s better than getting sick by eating that spoiled piece of meat.

The first thing you can do is throw the pork meat away. However, make sure to discard it while it’s still inside the package. Or less, the smell might spread around your surrounding. Lastly, you can ask for a refund if the refund policy is available.

And if the meat is actually in good condition then let’s see how we can cook it!

Tips on How to Cook Vacuum Packed Pork

Finally to the cooking part! But before that, we assume some of you might want to cook a small part of the meat and store the rest. Well, if you’re one of them, you can use different methods to store the meat.

In case you still want to use the vacuum packed method, buy good-quality vacuum sealer bags. So, on that note, here are some of our favorites-

  1. Houseables Vacuum Sealer Rolls
  2. Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags

Now, let’s start cooking. Are you excited? We hope you are! Because you’ve come a long way. And now you’re 100% sure that the pork meat is perfectly fine.
Therefore, don’t worry about the storage process at all!

You can follow a good recipe book to cook the meat. If you don’t own a recipe book you can buy one. Therefore, we’ve suggested some amazing cookbooks for you-

But it’s wise to cook the meat as fast as possible. Thus, just grab the following ingredients-

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Lime juice

These are the basic spices that you’ll definitely find in your household. You can use these to marinate the piece of meat. It’s better to go with your own measurements of the ingredients for the amount of meat you’ll cook.

You can cook the pork meat in different ways. Just how you can thicken your ranch dressing.

For example, you can smoke the pork meat by using a smoker. You can even bake it with veggies in the oven. Your options are endless. Thus, just follow your gut feeling. We’re sure you’ll be able to cook the meat perfectly.

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Finally, you may get confused about whether you should brine pulled pork or not, and we got you covered for that as well.


Is it okay to eat pork that smells bad?

Well, before doing anything just see the use-by date. If the meat is within the date then yup you can eat it. However, rinse and dry the meat beforehand. If the smell is gone, you can cook it. And if the smell is still there, you’ll have to throw the meat away.

What to do if pork smells bad when cooking?

Yes. it’s not impossible for the pork meat to smell while cooking. But there are two reasons behind this. The first one is the boar taint. Boar taint will only give off an offensive smell. But if the meat is actually bad, you’ll feel sick. And you’ll have to stop cooking the meat if cooked pork smells because of the second reason.

Can everyone smell boar taint?

In reality 70-75% of the population are sensitive to boar taint. The level of sensory varies, with women being more inclined to be in that group. The offensive odor is due two naturally occurring compounds evident in non-castrated male pigs: androstenone and skatole.

What happens if you eat bad pork?

Well, the answer is pretty obvious. You’ll get sick. You can even develop a serious disease by eating a lump of spoiled meat. That’s why my friend, it’s better to just throw away a bad piece of pork meat.


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By now we hope you understood why vacuum packed pork smells bad. Also, did you know that vacuum sealed pork can’t last for more than 6-10 days in the fridge? Well, now you do.

Anyway, were you able to remove the smell?

Do leave a comment to let us know. And lastly, have a great day ahead!


Is it normal for vacuum packed pork to smell? ›

When opening a rack of ribs from their vacuum packaging, you might be greeted with a mild smell of sulfur or eggs; Most beginners will mistakenly believe the ribs are no longer safe to eat. Truth be told, this smell is usually completely normal and will go away after 10-15 minutes of being allowed to oxygenate.

Why does vacuum sealed meat smell? ›

The carcase is usually vacuum sealed after is cut and boned. This extends the shelf life by removing oxygen from the packaging. (Microbes need oxygen to multiply). If you open a vacuum sealed pack, sometimes there will be a smell.

Is it OK to cook pork that smells? ›

Main Signs Pork Has Gone Bad

If you get an unpleasant scent, then chances are it has gone bad. Rotten pork smells sour – detect any off smell, though, and you should probably discard it immediately.

Why does some pork smell strong? ›

Boar taint (it might smell like urine, feces or sweat) comes from compounds produced by pigs' testes. The conventional way of dealing with the problem is to castrate the piglets, or breed female pigs.

Should vacuum sealed meat smell? ›

During storage and shipping, meats can release gas in the vacuum-sealed bag which may produce a strong and sometimes adverse sulfur smell. If this happens to occur, simply remove the meat from the bag when you are ready to cook, rinse and allow it to air out until the smell has dissipated.

Why does my pork smell like sulfur? ›

This odor is due to androstenone, a substance only present in male pigs. Androstenone is a hormone produced in the pig's testes and can cause your pork to smell if the boar is not castrated once it hits puberty.

Why does my pork have a slight smell? ›

If pork smells weird, there are only two possible causes – either you are smelling boar taint, or the meat has started to go bad, and trust me you'll know the difference. If it's taint, the smell will only be unpleasant, and if it's rotten the smell will be nauseating!

How long does vacuum-sealed pork last in fridge? ›

Raw Meats – Raw meats can be kept up to 10 day when vacuum packed before needing to be cooked or frozen. In comparison, raw meat that is not vacuum packed will only last 3-5 days in the refrigerator before turning.

Will meat spoil if vacuum-sealed? ›

Vacuum sealing can extend the fridge life of meats as well, but because anaerobic bacteria can grow at temperatures above 3°F, all vacuum-packed refrigerated meats should be unsealed and cooked within 10 days.

Can you cook bacteria out of pork? ›

Chicken, Beef, Pork, and Turkey

Thoroughly cooking chicken, poultry products, and meat destroys germs.

What does rancid pork smell like? ›

Any sour or ammonia smells are sure signs your pork has spoiled and should be discarded. Another telltale sign for bad pork is puffed-up packaging, according to Cathead's BBQ.

How do you get rid of pork smell? ›

Make a lemon steam to neutralize pungent odors. Simply cut a lemon in half, add it to a pot of boiling water, and let it simmer for ten minutes. Or if you have leftover lemon peels or bits from your cooking, you can boil those too! For even more odor elimination, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of baking soda in the water.

Why does raw pork stink? ›

The reason why your meat smells sour is that the meat is breaking down, and bacteria have grown into a large population as the pork spoils. It's possible for the harmful bacteria on pork to survive cooking, so don't take any chances! If your pork smells bad, it might need to go in the trash.

How do you get rid of pork taste and smell? ›

Use A Marinade

If it works with your plans, try soaking the meat in a marinade with acidic ingredients, like vinegar or lemon juice. The strong flavors will counteract the gamey qualities of the meat. Let the pork sit in the marinade for 2 to 6 hours.

Why does my fresh pork smell? ›

If pork smells weird, there are only two possible causes – either you are smelling boar taint, or the meat has started to go bad, and trust me you'll know the difference. If it's taint, the smell will only be unpleasant, and if it's rotten the smell will be nauseating!

What does spoiled pork smell like? ›

Any sour or ammonia smells are sure signs your pork has spoiled and should be discarded. Another telltale sign for bad pork is puffed-up packaging, according to Cathead's BBQ. Bad bacteria produce gases that cause the packaging to appear bloated.

How can you tell if pork is rancid? ›

Spoiled pork may have a sour smell, slimy texture, and grey or green coloring. If you notice any of these signs, it's best to discard the pork immediately. Cooking bad pork will not make it safe. It will increase the unpleasant smell and taste of it and make you sick.

How long does vacuum sealed pork last? ›

Increased shelf life
Conventional storageVacuum packed
FROZEN6 - 12 months2 - 3 years
REFRIGERATED1 - 2 days2 weeks


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