Food Guide

7 Reasons Why Ground Pork Smells Like Vinegar – Uncover the Surprising Facts!

Cooking ground pork should deliver a delicious aroma from fresh meat, but sometimes it produces a vinegar-like smell that can make your dish less appealing and your stomach turn.

This post will explore what causes ground pork to have an unpleasant sour smell and how to eliminate it.

Let’s get started!

Why does my ground pork smell like vinegar?

Niman Ranch Ground Pork, 1 lb

Check Current Price

Many people might feel panic with the vinegar-like smell from their ground pork.

A common question is what causes this sour smell in their ground pork.

Let’s check out the following chances to see what reason is true in your case:

Pork hasn’t been rinsed well after being washed with vinegar

Vinegar is one of the common ingredients used in the kitchen to remove bad odors from things or foods.

Pork can be washed with a diluted solution of water and vinegar, but it needs to be rinsed again with plain water to remove any excess vinegar flavor.

Otherwise, your ground pork will smell or taste like vinegar.

Pork has been spoiled

The second reason that can explain the sour smell in your ground pork is it has been spoiled.

Bad ground pork has an unpleasant smell.

So if you notice another sign of spoilage like a slimy texture or discoloration in your ground pork along with the vinegar-like smell, this means your ground pork has been spoiled.

Cooked ground pork has been seasoned with too much vinegar

If the raw ground pork has no problem but the cooked ground pork delivers a vinegar-like smell or taste, it might be because you have marinated or seasoned the pork with too much vinegar than what the recipe calls for.

Is it safe to eat ground pork that smells like vinegar?

Determining if your ground pork is safe to eat will actually depend on the reason that causes the sour smell in your ground pork.

If it is because you add too much vinegar to the mixture or haven’t rinsed the pork cut well before grinding it, it will be safe to consume that ground pork.

In other cases when your ground pork comes with another sign of spoilage, this means that your ground pork is not safe anymore to be cooked and should be discarded.

How to get rid of the vinegar smell from ground pork?

Vinegar doesn’t smell bad, but it is what shouldn’t appear in your ground pork recipe.

There are ways to help you get rid of that vinegar smell from ground pork so that it doesn’t bother anyone else who is trying to enjoy the meal: 

Look for a good package of ground pork without any sign of spoilage

UltraSource - 190008 Ground Pork Freezer Bags, 1 lb. (Pack of 1000)

Check Current Price

The first thing you should keep in mind when shopping for pre-ground pork is to look for a good-quality package.

It should come from a reputable store or brand, and the package has no damage or sign of spoilage.

Also, check the expiration date printed on the package and store your ground pork in the freezer if you haven’t used it yet.

Buy a fresh cut of pork and make your own ground pork from scratch

You can also get rid of the vinegar-like smell from your ground pork by making your own ground pork at home.

It is best to buy a fresh cut of organic pork so that you can have the best ground pork with a high-quality texture and flavor without any weird smell like vinegar.

Use a sweetener to balance the sour taste in your cooked ground pork

Swerve Ultimate Sugar Replacement Sweetener, Granular Sugar...

Check Current Price

If the cause of the vinegar smell or taste in your ground pork dish is because you add too much vinegar, you can fix it by using a sweetener like sugar or honey.

These cooking condiments are inexpensive and good to neutralize the sour flavor in a dish.

They can be found in most grocery stores or supermarkets across the country without any fuss.

The bottom line

Hopefully, this post has helped you understand what causes your ground pork to have a sour smell like vinegar.

It is crucial to check your ground pork carefully to see if there are any signs of spoilage on the meat like a rotten smell, slimy texture, or discoloration, you should toss that package of ground pork away.

Otherwise, the vinegar smell in your ground pork disappears in the air after hours of placing at room temperature and the meat looks fine, you can keep it and cook as normal.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you purchase an item from Amazon through one of my links, I receive a small commission at no added cost. This helps support the site!

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
Back to top button