Talking about liver meat, The crowd gets divided very quickly. Some people treat liver meat as a delicacy while for some it is a food with a weird taste. Due to the general conception of livers tasting funny, people are hesitant to try liver. But, They think, what does liver taste like?
The liver is an offal or internal organ that has a particular taste to it. Its flavor is marked with hints of bitterness and earthiness. The intense flavor is accompanied by a certain metallic kick. The taste depends on the animal’s size. The taste is also somewhat influenced by the cooking methods and ingredients.
In this article, we have compiled a compendium about the liver and its nutrients. We will also discuss various culinary methods of presenting it. Without further ado, let’s jump to it.
What Does Liver Taste Like?
The liver has a different flavor from any other type of meat. It has a strong and intense flavor that can be best described as earthy and bitter. The flavor profile is bold and changes depending on the animal.
Normally, Meat takes the flavor from the ingredients that you use to cook it. No matter if it is a steak, rib-eye, brain, or tongue, meat tends to soak up the juice or the oil that you cook in it.
But, the Liver is different. Regardless of the ingredients that are used, it will retain its natural flavor. Chefs describe the liver as an acquired taste. It can be sweet with a natural earthiness to it.
Livers taken from big animals such as cows have a strong, intense, and steaky flavor. Chicken livers usually have a sweet and metallic taste to them. All livers take creamy form after they have been cooked. Overcooked livers are chewy and dry with a somewhat smoky flavor.
Depending on how you cook it, you can somewhat alter its taste. Boiling liver in a broth or juice will give you a somewhat soft yet chewy texture and a natural-earthy flavor. If you fry the liver in some oil or butter, it will have a creamy texture with a hint of smokiness to it.
In some cultures, Raw liver is described as a delicacy. After cleaning it thoroughly, they take the liver and slice it up into bite-sized pieces. The raw liver can be chewy and tough to swallow. The raw liver has a slightly metallic taste to it due to the liver being rich in iron.
Does Liver Meat Have a Weird taste?
Well, you can say. Children always refuse to eat liver because it has a ‘weird taste’. The liver certainly has a more strong and more intense flavor than any other meat. The taste of the liver also depends on the animal. The bigger the animal, the more intense the taste.
Now, let’s talk about the reason why the liver has a certain distinct flavor. Liver meat contains a certain chemical compound known as mercaptan. This gives the liver its bitter taste and the awful smell of chicken livers.
Another key reason behind the taste is the liver’s function in the animal body. The liver acts as a detoxifier in the animal body. It detoxifies the body and while doing the task, it accumulates a lot of toxins and chemicals in it. This gives the liver a weird taste to it.
The liver is high in iron and other mineral content. This gives the liver it’s signature metallic and odd taste to it. This also leads to the liver having a slightly acidic aftertaste to it.
The flavor profile of Different Animals Liver
The taste of the liver depends on the animal. The liver of small animals like chicken tends to have less intense flavor than big animals such as cows, and sheep.
|Chicken||Mild flavor and smooth texture with a creamy mouthfeel|
|Cod||Smooth and soft texture with a fishy taste|
|Calf||Sweet flavor with a soft texture|
|Pork||Rich and mildly bitter, Rough texture accompanied with a hint of earthiness|
|Lamb||Soft and tender with mild flavor|
|Beef||Soft texture accompanied with robust and pungent flavor|
|Veal||Mild and light flavor with tender texture|
|Goose||Rich flavor with buttery smooth texture|
Is Liver Healthy and Safe to consume?
Since ancient times, people have been consuming liver meat as a remedy. Some might question whether is it actually healthy and safe to consume due to the liver being a detoxifier.
We are telling you that liver meat is actually very healthy and super safe to consume. The one thing that you have to ensure is that the meat is fresh.
Liver meat is heavily packed with nutrients like folate, protein, fat, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B16 and etc.
It also contains high amounts of iron which makes it a great food for anemic people. These minerals and nutrients boost your immune system and ensure a healthy lifestyle. But, there is a catch. You have to eat fresh liver meat or else you can get into big trouble.
The liver is offal which means it is an internal organ. Offals tend to have a short shelf life. Even, with proper preservation methods, the liver meat will go bad after 3-4 days.
Bad liver meat is a hotbed for bacterial infection. Consuming bad liver meat can result in severe problems such as food poisoning, stomach aches, and diarrhea. So, ensure that the liver you are consuming is fresh.
Nutritional value of Different Liver meat
Different animal’s liver meat tastes different. But, that is not the only difference. The nutritional value of each animal is also different from the others.
A 100g Serving of Beef Liver
- Calories 135
- 313 mg of Potassium
- 20.36 grams of Protein
- 3.89 grams of Carbohydrates
- 275 mg of Cholesterol
- 69 mg of Sodium
- 3.63 grams of Fat
A 100g Serving of Chicken Liver
- Calories 116
- 16.92 grams of Protein
- 230 mg of Potassium
- 4.83 mg of Fat
- 71 mg of Sodium
- 345 mg of Cholesterol
A 100g Serving of Lamb Liver
- Calories 139
- 70mg of Sodium
- 20.38 grams of Protein
- 5.02 grams of Fat
- 313 mg of Potassium
- 371 mg of Cholesterol
A 100g Serving of Veal Liver
- Calories 140
- 308 mg of Potassium
- 4.85 grams of Fat
- 19.93 grams of Protein
- 77 mg of Sodium
- 2.91 grams of Carbohydrates
Health benefits of Liver meat
While liver meat has an acquired taste, none can deny its health benefits.
Liver meat has been suggested by physicians since the times of Galen. It has been historically used as a ‘super food’ that can benefit the body hugely.
Liver is packed with nutrients like Riboflavin, Vitamin B16, Vitamin A, Folate, Choline and etc. These nutrients ensure that your body has a healthy immune system. Also, liver meat is more easily digestible than other meats. It helps the body to absorb nutrients more easily and quickly.
Good For Anemia
Anemia is a genetic condition where the body cannot produce enough red blood cells to ensure proper oxygen circulation. It’s a genetic condition that has no cure. High intakes of minerals like iron, zinc, and copper can ensure a healthy for an anemic person. Fortunately, the liver is rich in these minerals. Regular consumption of the liver will ensure that the body doesn’t suffer from iron deficiency.
Liver meat is packed with Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eye health. The nutrients present in the liver meat reduce the muscular degeneration of the eyes. This ensures that your eyes stay healthy.
Reduces The Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
The liver is rich in minerals like Calcium, Potassium, Copper, Zinc and etc. These minerals play a key role in your body. The body needs minerals to improve its immune system.
Consuming liver meat will ensure a healthy and strong immune system which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The liver is more easily digestible than other types of meat. It is also rich in micronutrients. For these reasons, people have always identified the liver as a ‘super food’. Regular consumption of liver meat will ensure that you don’t feel lethargic and stay strong throughout the day.
Improves Skin and Bone Health
The liver is rich in minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin B16, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. These minerals will make sure that your skin stays shiny and you will look younger than your years. Also, The calcium, Vitamin D, potassium, and zinc present in the liver will make your bones stronger and healthier.
How to Know If The Liver Meat Has Gone Bad?
Like any meat-based product, the liver can go bad if proper preservation measures are not taken. The liver is a type of offal which means it has an extremely short shelf life. Offals tend to go bad after 3-4 days. Consuming a liver after it has gone bad is highly risky and causes a number of issues. Fortunately, Identifying an inedible piece of liver is very easy.
The Liver has a lively red color to it. Red signifies that the liver is fresh and healthy to eat. Sometimes, the fat can appear as a green or yellowish hue. Other than these three colors, any other color means the liver has gone bad.
Usually, the liver has a smooth and tender texture to it. When you hold it, you can easily feel the smooth and delicate texture accompanied by bright looks. But, Bad liver has a slimy and dull look to it. It also has a mushy feel to it.
The easiest way to identify if a liver has gone bad is the smell. The liver tends to have a meaty and metallic smell to it. But, the bad liver has an awful smell to it. The smell has sour or sulfur-like notes to it. If your liver smells bad, then it’s time to throw it in the trash.
Different Methods And Tips for Cooking Liver Meat
The liver is a surprisingly versatile ingredient. You can prepare it in many different ways to enhance its flavor. Different cooking methods require different preparations and ingredients.
The taste changes with the cooking methods.
One of the most widespread ways of the cooking liver is frying it. The liver has a strong flavor so frying it somewhat balances out the flavor. Before frying it, you have to soak the liver in milk for 3-4 hours. The milk reduces the metallic taste and enhances the creaminess.
Cut the liver into thin slices and let them rest. Slice up some onions and saute them in a frying pan. Fry the liver in the same pan. The perfectly fried liver has to be brown on the outside and pink on the inside.
You can also fry the liver using batter. Take some chicken livers and coat them in a batter.
To make the batter, mix some flour, salt, and pepper. After coating the liver with the batter, pan-fry them in a skillet using some butter and garlic. Saute some onions in the same pan after frying the liver. Top the dish with onions and you will have a perfect appetizer.
Some people might want to avoid fried food due to personal and health reasons. For them, Braising is the most popular cooking method. Braising is a healthy and clean way to cook for it uses no excess oil or saturated fat.
Chop up some chicken liver and braise them in a skillet. You can also coat the liver in some seasoned flour to increase the flavor.
After braising the liver, saute some vegetables in the pan and serve them with the braised liver. You can also add a side of mashed potatoes to the meal more hearty.
Frying and Braising might take some time and skills to prepare. Then, the easiest option for them is grilling.
Grilling a liver is very easy and convenient for people. Before you grill a liver, pat the liver dry with paper towels. Make sure the grill is hot. Make some liver seasoning by mixing some oil and vinegar with mustard, salt, and pepper. Dress the liver with the seasoning and grill the liver on both sides.
Serve the dish with some onions and vegetables. You can add some sauces to the side to enhance the flavor.
Now We think you know what liver does taste like.
The liver has a unique taste that makes it different from other types of meat. It has a slightly bitter and earthy taste. Its flavor is quite intense and strong with a subtle metallic hint. Different animals’ liver has different taste. Cooking methods and ingredients also sometimes affect the taste of the liver.
Now, you know the taste of the different types of liver and also the different methods of cooking it. So, grab your pot and knife to cook up a storm.