I purchased some fresh chicken a few weeks ago and immediately froze it. Today I took it out and put it into boiling water to start making soup. Before I added anything else, the whole room started to smell like eggs (not rotten per se, but strong).

Is something wrong with the chicken? Should I throw it out?

  • Was the chicken an odd colour or slimy at all? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 9:10
  • @ElendilTheTall No. All else seemed normal.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:12
  • Did you defrost it for a long time? I find that my chicken, whether in the meatpacker's original packaging or my local grocery store's repackaging, smells a bit if I defrost it much longer than four hours.
    – Edwin
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 3:28
  • 14
    Which smell came first, the chicken or the egg? Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 13:40

4 Answers 4


Raw meat should not have a smell to it. When it has an odour to it it is a sure sign that it is starting to spoil. Blood will spoil quicker and some rare conditions causes the smell on the meat. Washing it off helps to reduce the odour but it is best to just toss it out to avoid being made sick by eating it.

Salmonella enterica infected chickens will release hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like eggs. It is found largely in chicken products and eggs. It is killed by cooking at high temperature, but it is best to avoid using it if the chicken starts to smell like that. Salmonella is the second most common bacterial cause of enterocolitis.


I have had this happen and have received conflicting answers. Some say the chicken is off. However, when Amazon Fresh (local grocery delivery service) ships chicken, they include a message that the gases used to pack the chicken may smell like sulfur but that this should dissipate quickly. I have had chicken where the smell went away quickly and times when it stuck around. When it stuck around, I got rid of the chicken.


Usually, chicken's smell isn't good in all cases, but in order to decrease this smell you have had done the following:

  • Wash the chicken after getting it out of the freezer.
  • Pass a little amount of vinegar or lemon juice all over it, it will reduce odors.
  • Rewash it, then put some salt all over it, then boil it or do whatever you want to do; this makes it even taste better.
  • upon cooking, try adding some paper laurel to decrease the smell.

throw it out, smell indicates the chicken is spoiling.

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