Chicken Smell Like Eggs Or Sulfur? 3 Ways To Deal With It

Poultry in general and chicken in particular is not totally smell-free, they have a distinct “poultry smell”.

However, there are also cases that the newly-bought package of raw chicken smells different from what you expected, either like ammonia or hard-boiled eggs.

Don’t worry, you are not alone!

If you hesitate to keep or throw away that piece of chicken, check out this article.

We will walk you through the common concerns when it comes to weird smell chicken: what the smell is like, factors that cause that smell, and how to deal with it.

Why does my raw chicken smell like egg sulfur?

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There are several reasons for chicken having an eggy smell.

Firstly, if your chicken was cryovac packaged, chances are chicken smells funny because of being covered after a few days.

Another factor leading to that smell is spoiled blood.

The blood is spoiled faster than the meat, that’s why you might get confused due to the eggy odor while there are not any spoiled signals in the piece of chicken’s color or texture.

The third reason for the funky odor is the bacteria called Salmonella enterica which makes chicken and egg products produce gases smelling like sulfur.

That spoilage bacteria are known as the main cause of enterocolitis in humans.

Why does my thawed/defrosted chicken smell like eggs?

There are a few reasons why thawed chicken might smell like eggs.

First, if the chicken was previously frozen, it could have been stored in a freezer next to eggs, which would cause the chicken to absorb some of the egg smell.

Second, eggs and chicken come from the same family of birds, so they share some common chemical compounds that could make them smell similar.

Finally, many people associate the smell of raw chicken with the smell of eggs because they often cook them together.

Whatever the reason, if your thawed chicken smells like eggs, it’s probably still safe to eat – just give it a good wash before cooking!

Should chicken smell like eggs?

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There’s no universal answer to this question since everyone’s sensibilities are different.

However, in general, chicken shouldn’t smell like eggs.

If it does, it could be a sign that the chicken is old or has gone bad.

A fresh chicken should have a light, floral smell (similar to that of seaweed).

If it smells sour, chalky, or fishy, it’s probably not at its best.

If you’re still not sure whether or not your chicken is good to eat, consult a professional food safety expert.

When chicken starts to smell like eggs?

This usually means that your chicken has gone bad.

According to the USDA, “when chicken starts to smell like eggs, it should be thrown away.” Chicken is unsafe to eat when it smells like eggs because this is a sign that the meat has begun to rot.

If you’re not sure whether your chicken has gone bad or not, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.

Chicken that has gone bad can cause food poisoning, so it’s important to avoid eating any rotten chicken.

If chicken smells like rotten eggs is it bad?

If chicken smells like rotten eggs, it is probably bad and should not be eaten.

Chicken that has gone bad will often smell strongly of sulphur, which is what gives rotten eggs their distinct smell.

If chicken meat is starting to smell like this, it means that the meat has begun to decompose and is no longer safe to eat.

Sometimes chicken might only have a faint sulphuric smell, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and throw it out if there’s any suspicion that it might be gone bad.

On the other hand, if you’re referring to the smell of ammonia that sometimes occurs when cooking chicken, it’s completely harmless.

Ammonia is simply a by-product of the breakdown of proteins, and it’s completely dissipated by the time the chicken is cooked through.

So there’s no need to worry if your chicken smells a little like ammonia while it’s cooking – it’s perfectly normal and safe to eat.

If chicken smells eggy is it off?

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Yes, if chicken smells eggy it is most likely off.

This usually means that the chicken has gone bad and needs to be disposed of immediately.

When food goes bad it can release unpleasant odors, and the smell of eggs is a common indicator that something has gone wrong.

If you experience this smell with chicken or any other food, do not eat it – it could make you very sick.

Throw away the food and clean up any spills immediately to avoid contaminating other foods.

Is it safe to eat chicken that smells like egg sulfur?

Good news is: mild eggy smell chicken are still safe to eat.

In addition, the Salmonella enterica bacteria won’t cause any serious health problems if the chicken is cooked properly at a temperature above 75 °C.

Also, the unpleasant smell will probably go away after the chicken is cooked.

There is a different case, which is that your chicken smells like rotten egg, and the unpleasant smell ventilates even stronger after cooking.

That’s the sign of spoiled chicken which might lead to serious food poisoning if consuming.

We have a separate article talking about tips to identify the spoiled chicken and how to deal with it, check it out here.

What to do if my uncooked chicken smell like egg sulfur?

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If you decided that the chicken is still good to cook and consume, then you can consider the methods below to reduce the bad smell of chicken:

  • Let it air for a while.
  • This method should work if the mild eggy smell is from the packaging.
  • Wash the chicken under the running water in order to wash away the bad smell of chicken.
  • If the smell is still there, then you can use other ‘hardcore’ methods such as covering the chicken with salty water, vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for some minutes before rinse it under water.
  • Another tip to tone down the smell is to marinate it.
  • Aroma in herbs and spices will probably give your chicken a new and pleasant flavor.

If the bad smell still hovers in your mind, then better safe than sorry, you should toss it into the trash bin.


In order to avoid accidentally eating bad smell chicken, or wasting your money, you should pay a little more attention in the purchasing process:

  1. find a reliable grocery shop in your area;
  2. cook the freshly cut chicken within the day you buy it, if not, freeze it as soon as possible.

The weird smells found in many types of meat, either red meat or white meat might make you have a bad eating experience.

There are no exact right or wrong methods to deal with the smelly chicken, trust your nose and your senses in order to treat your family good meals and keep them from foodborne illness.

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