It can be hard to know when pork meat is cooked or not, especially if you are used to beef. You can tell the doneness of beef simply by its color, but this isn’t the case for pork. You’ll need to take into account the length of cooking time and the temperature levels when checking pork meat.
This basic knowledge would be essential when you’re trying to be proficient in telling if pork is good or bad. Learn how to tell if pork is bad by reading on below.
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How to Tell if Pork is Bad: Use Your Senses!
1. Smell the Pork
First off, there’s some sort of automatic reflex when we are in doubt about a particular food’s safety, we smell it. It probably stems from an ancient thing that our forefathers had to rely on to tell if food is still good or has gone bad.
Coincidentally, it remains one of the best and simplest ways to tell if food - particularly, fresh meat - is good or not. The rule is: if it smells funky or sour, it’s gone bad. Even if you cook that piece of bad meat, it will still have a sour taste and smell after. In fact, that sourness might even intensify.
In some cases, odor might be contained if the meat is vacuum packed, as is the case for processed meats bought from the supermarket. Make sure to rinse the pork before checking for smells. This will remove the liquid that has encapsulated the meat, which can give a false acidic scent.
2. Look at the Pork
Without tools, we can tell the safety of meat using our senses. Obviously, smell is the first one, as mentioned earlier. Next, use your eyes. The appearance of fresh pork is always going to be gray. However, cooking will change the color of the meat. On the outside, the meat will keep this grayness, and the inside of the meat will become pink.
Don’t mistake pork for beef, which can be safely eaten rare and pink. Pork must always be prepared thoroughly and eaten only if well-cooked.
If you have taken a cut of pork out of the fridge to thaw before cooking, or if you have taken home a fresh slice from the butcher or market, make sure to check for any unpleasant smells or sourness before cooking.
3. Feel the Pork
Next, use your sense of touch. That’s right. Touch the meat and check if it is slimy. Pork should be naturally moist, but sliminess is a sign that it has gone bad.
If you’re having sausages, make sure that their casing is cool and dry to your touch. Sausages have gone bad if the casing is unnecessarily soggy and wet, and if the odor is sour.
Proper Storage and Cooking of Pork
There is such a thing as “shelf life” for food items, and while it isn’t the best way to decide on the safety of meat products, it can still be useful information. Here are the shelf life standards for different cuts of pork.
1. Pork Loin
2. Pork Chops
3. Pork Sausages
Pork is a pretty great meat, and can be the hero in many culinary marvels. Learning how to tell if pork is bad can be quite easy. Simply rely on your senses: touch, sight, and smell.
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