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Feb 5, 2013 01:20 PM

Pork shoulder smell - is this typical?

Over the weekend I cooked pork shoulder for the first time. When I pulled it out to shred, it smelled very much like a farm. Very um, barnyard-y. I've not had this experience with tenderloin or chops, but on occasion I've had ribs they were very "porky" for lack of a better term. It wasn't TERRIBLE tasting, but I prefer the aforementioned "cleaner" smelling and tasting cuts of meat. This was picked up at a regional supermarket with an in-house butcher, was not old from what I could tell, etc. Is this common and how pork shoulder is supposed to taste?

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  1. Not typical in my experience.

    1. I've very occasionally had pork that tasted the way you describe.

      I'm just speculating, but fat stores whatever the animal was eating. If at some point the pig was fed something (or ate something) other than "pig chow" its fat might take on a bit of an odor, which would be more apparent in cuts like ribs or shoulder than in very lean cuts like chops or tenderloins.

        1. Both Ruth and jgg are right plus the age of the porker factors in also.

          1. This happened to me once when I made a fresh ham for my in-laws. It smelled so porky and barnyardy, it was unappetizing and I LOVE pork. No one else commented on it, (perhaps too polite) and I gave them the leftovers.

            I cannot bring myself to eat that cut again. Luckily I make pork shoulder quite frequently, and have never experienced that smell again.