Food Guide

Pork Tenderloin: Uncover the Truth Behind Its Distinct Aroma

There is nothing more delightful than the smell of freshly cooked pork tenderloin roast.

However, things sometimes don’t go as you want, and your pork tenderloin can smell like feces, especially if you cook with boar.

Let’s learn some basic knowledge about this topic and how to get rid of pork tenderloin that smells like feces.

Why does my pork tenderloin smell like feces?

There are some reasons that can explain the feces-like smell in your pork tenderloin.

If you are wondering what causes this smell in your pork cut that you have just bought from the local butcher shop or grocery store, here are several abilities:

Male pigs are slaughtered improperly

Typically, the feces-like smell from your pork tenderloin mainly happens in a male pig.

This means not only the pork tenderloin cut but once that hog is slaughtered in an improper way, chances are many other cuts of it carry this unpleasant odor.

The urine or poop-like smell often comes from the pig’s testes from non-castrated male pigs.

Most people feel throw-up with this smell and think that the pork is rotten or spoiled, but in fact, it is just the result of an improper slaughtering process that makes those compounds affect the flavor and smell of the meat and fat.


Unclean pork

Another reason that makes your pork tenderloin smell like feces is that it is unclean.

Normally, only pork that is sold at grocery stores or supermarkets has gone through several steps of cleaning before being packaged.

However, in some Asian markets or butcher shops in which food safety is not assured, you can buy unclean pork that even has some feces on it, which makes the cut have a nasty smell of poop.

Is it safe to eat pork tenderloin that smells like feces?

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Since nobody likes the feces smell in their meat, once they find this unpleasant odor after unpacking their pork tenderloin or while cooking it, they often think that their pork has been spoiled and needs to be discarded.

However, in fact, spoiled pork tenderloin often smells like rotten eggs or citrus instead of smelling like feces.

The poop-like smell, as already mentioned, is usually the result of slaughtering the pig improperly.

It is the problem of the smell and flavor of the pork instead of being harmful to our health.

So in general, if there is no problem with the pork tenderloin cut except for the unpleasant smell like feces, it is safe to eat, despite not being as delicious as normal pork.

How to get rid of the feces smell from pork tenderloin?

Although the feces smell in your pork tenderloin is normally not that dangerous, nobody wants to feel like eating waste.

So below are some common ways that can help you get rid of this unpleasant flavor in your pork tenderloin:

Buy female pork or castrated pork instead

As already mentioned, the poop-like smell in your pork tenderloin just often comes from non-castrated male pigs.

Therefore, to get rid of this smell, choose to buy pork from a castrated or female pig instead.

Ask the butcher for this information because sometimes, the feces smell just comes out in your kitchen when you cook it.

Cook the pork tenderloin with pungent spices

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If there is just a slight poop-like smell in your pork tenderloin, then find a way to mask it.

You should marinate and season your pork tenderloin with pungent spices like pepper, garlic, cardamom, lemongrass, or curry powder.

These condiments are affordable, available, and all go well with pork that can help make your dish more flavorful and also cover the feces smell.

Wash the pork tenderloin thoroughly with salt and citrus juice

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If the feces smell comes from your pork tenderloin because the meat is unclean, just wash it thoroughly to remove any outside bad odor.

Use salt or citrus juice like lemon juice to massage the smelly pork tenderloin and then rinse well with plain water before cooking it.

The bottom line

Although pork tenderloin is a delicious and well-loved cut of meat in many cuisines, it sometimes smells like feces, which is definitely not what we expect it to be.

This doesn’t have to happen again if you know how to choose, store, and cook pork tenderloin properly.

Which method works best for you?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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
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