Why Does Brown Beef Smell Sulfur? And How to Fix it!

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It appears that browning meat is a challenge that many home cooks encounter.

When meat, most often beef, is cooked, it can end up smelling like sulfur or like rotten eggs. This is especially common with beef.

It does not indicate that the food is spoiled and should not be consumed; rather, it indicates that something has changed in the chemical composition of the cooking process. This does not mean that the food should not be consumed.

Despite this, numerous individuals have voiced their displeasure regarding the beef’s pungent odor as it begins to brown.

In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at the problem at hand so that you can find out what’s going on.

Keep reading if you want to find out more.

Why Your Brown Beef Smell Sulfur?

Let’s begin with the meat in its brown form.

Browned ground beef has a more eye-catching brown hue, and meat that has a nice crust on the top is commonly referred to as “brown beef.” Browning ground beef involves partly cooking the beef before browning it.

The taste of meat is significantly improved by browning it before cooking it.

The question now is, what causes these things to have an unpleasant odor?

This is due to a number of factors, including the following:

Lack of Oxygen in the Package

Before beginning to cook the beef, you need to make sure that it has been taken out of any plastic wrapping it may have been in.

If this has not already been done, it has to be done as quickly as possible since keeping meat in packaging reduces the amount of oxygen that comes into contact with the meat.

As a consequence of this, the surface of the beef becomes less oxidized, and when it is cooked, it emits an odor that is disagreeable.

In addition, the taste will be diminished, and it will seem drab and unappetizing.

When you first open the box or container, the pungent stench will be very noticeable.

Poorly Stored Meat

Your brown beef may have been improperly stored, which is another contributor to its sulfuric odor.

When ground beef is allowed to sit out at room temperature, it creates the perfect conditions for the growth of bacteria that cause rancid egg smells.

This is a particular issue if you have any cuts on your hands or arms, as it’s much easier to contaminate your meat with various bacteria that cause these smells.

Your Brown Beef has Gone Bad

Bad brown beef can give off a smell similar to rotten eggs (or farts), ammonia, or a sour odor, all of which may be indications that the beef has gone bad due to improper storage or that it came from a sick cow.

It’s possible that the smell of terrible brown beef smells like rotting eggs (or farts), ammonia, or something sour.

Changes in color, such as greening or browning, an unusual thickness, and a sour smell are some indications that beef has gone bad. Other symptoms include a change in texture.

When making ground beef at home, it is important to keep in mind that the meat that has been ground can frequently become rancid much more quickly than whole cuts of beef. This is something that you should take into consideration.

Is it Safe to Eat Sulfur Smell Brown Beef?

As long as you don’t notice any other symptoms of spoiled brown beef, you should be fine to consume it even if it’s been sitting out for a while.

You should, however, toss it out of the dumpster if you are unsure about the state it is in.

Because the environment at room temperature is ideal for the rapid multiplication of bacteria, it is a good idea to keep ground beef stored there for a shorter period of time than you might otherwise.

If the smell of sulfur is gone after a few minutes, it is safe to consume the food.

In any other case, brown beef that has discoloration or mold on it should be thrown away.

How to Remove Sulfur Smell from Your Brown Beef

If the smell of sulfur in your brown beef is caused by the lack of oxygen in its storage container, try popping open the package or container and letting it rest on some newspaper for five to ten minutes to allow fresh air to circulate. This should help eliminate the sulfur smell.

While you’re at it, you might want to think about switching to a plastic bag that can be sealed again.

If you’ve made some brown beef at home, you should try slicing it open to examine the color and smell of the interior.

Throw out the brown beef if it smells sour or has green spots on it, or if it has green spots and smells foul.

The following are some suggestions that can help you rid your brown beef of its smell of rotten eggs:

Buy and Make Your Own Ground Beef

If you buy your ground beef from a butcher and grind it yourself, this is one of the most effective ways to reduce the likelihood of having beef with a sulfur smell.

Before you use the ground beef to make burgers or meatballs, observe it in this manner so that you can evaluate both its appearance and its smell.

You might want to consider purchasing a cut of beef that naturally contains less sulfur if you’re looking for a more flavorful option, but this will depend on your preferences.

When cooked, certain cuts, such as sirloin and flank, have a lower risk of releasing hydrogen sulfide gas.

Add Sugar or Salt

Because sugar and salt can help cut down on the smell of rotten eggs, adding sugar (such as brown sugar) or salt to your ground beef can help cut down on the smell of rotten eggs.

Be careful not to add an excessive amount of sugar or salt, as doing so could cause the brown beef to become dry and alter its flavor.

Always Look for High-quality Ground Beef

This is of the utmost importance.

Be absolutely certain that your brown beef has not gone bad before its expiration date and does not have any green spots on it.

It is not always simple to tell when you have gotten rancid brown beef, which is why it is recommended that you smell your meat before you cook with it.

Alternately, if you’ve made ground beef from scratch at home, you might want to consider dicing the meat open before you cook it so that you can examine its color and appearance.

Meat from cows that have been properly cared for and fed will be used to make high-quality ground beef.

It is important that the ground beef contain a relatively high percentage of fat, as this is a good indicator of the flavor and taste it will produce.

To lessen the likelihood of bacteria developing on your brown beef, store it in an area that is shielded from air and light.

It is recommended that brown beef be kept in an opaque container at lower temperatures (such as the refrigerator) and that it be eaten within two days of being purchased.

Spice it Up to Mask the Sulfur Smell

If your brown beef is only slightly sour, pungent spices can often help to mask the smell by providing a stronger flavor profile.

Cloves, ginger, paprika, and garlic powder are just some of the spices that might be of assistance.

If you end up with brown beef that has a particularly pungent odor, try putting it in a ziplock bag with onions and letting it sit for 24 hours before cooking it. This should help mask the smell.

By that time, the sulfur compounds will have been absorbed, and the odor should be much less pronounced.

It is important to keep in mind that the longer you cook the brown beef, the greater the likelihood that it will smell sour and earthy.

This indicates that if you want to use it to make a stew or soup, you should try simmering it in water (ideally at a rolling boil) for a number of hours before adding any vegetables or other ingredients.

It is imperative that you keep in mind that the odor that your brown beef produces while it is being cooked can be extremely potent and must not be ignored.


In spite of its odor, brown beef has a wonderful flavor.

If you keep this information in mind and spend a few minutes treating the cut of meat before you cook it, you will be able to prevent the smell of rotten eggs and sulfur from permeating the brown beef you prepare.

If your brown beef is already giving off an unpleasant odor, you might want to consider adding some spices to it in order to help mask the smell.

Additionally, keep this article in mind for the next time you go through this process.

I hope you have success, and enjoy your meal!


Why does my beef smell like sulfur?

What Causes Pre-packaged Meat to Have a Sulfur Odor? There is a chemical in beef that has a smell similar to that of sulfur. When you open the vacuum-sealed package that has been stored for a while, you might detect that odor. On the other hand, if the meat was stored correctly, the sulfur smell might not be a sign that the meat has gone bad.

Can you eat meat that smells a little?

In contrast to the almost imperceptible aroma of freshly ground beef, rancid meat has a smell that is both sour and putrid. When something has gone bad, it can no longer be consumed safely. The increased growth of spoilage bacteria, such as Lactobacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp., causes a change in the aroma, which may also have an effect on the flavor.

Does spoiled beef smell like eggs?

spoiled meat has a pungent odor that is still somewhat reminiscent of steak but also has undertones of ammonia in it. this odor can be quite overpowering. Some steaks may also have an egg-like smell. If your steak has passed its sell-by date and gives off an unpleasant odor, it is highly likely that it is not safe to consume.

What does rotting beef smell like?

The odor of spoiled meat is described as being similar to that of sour milk. Additionally, the red color that it had before will be replaced by a murky brown hue. If any of the meat in your refrigerator has an odd odor or color, it is best to throw it away rather than taking the chance that it might still be edible.

How do you get rid of rotten beef smell?

Because baking soda is a cleaner as well as a deodorizer, you should put a box of baking soda that has been opened only partially in the refrigerator so that it can help absorb odors from meat over the longer term.

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