What Does Beef Liver Taste Like? Everything You Need to Know

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What does beef liver taste like? To be totally honest, it tastes like something on fear factor…

But what if I told you that despite the terrible taste it’s my favorite food.

Similar to how I love exercise even though it’s painful, I love liver even though sometimes it makes me want to gag…

Why? It’s packed with so many nutrients that it makes spinach look like green cardboard. And comfort is the worst addiction. Every time I power through eating liver, I get stronger (physically and mentally).

But most people are terrified of this superfood because of the taste.

Their only experience with liver is hearing stories from their grandparents about mushy liver and onions. No thanks!

Before you run for the hills, let’s start fresh. You’re an adult now and if you’re dealing with a health crisis or are simply trying to achieve next level health, liver deserves a second chance.

What does it taste like? What does it feel like to eat it? What is the best way to prepare it? These are all normal questions to have when it comes to trying something new. 

PS. If you’re new here, you can read more on the health benefits of liver here and here.

First off, why eat beef liver?

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Until I added liver I had low energy and lingering skin issues.

Adding liver was like a cheat code.

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My energy is through the roof, I have increased mental clarity, my workout performance increased by 20%, and my skin is clearer than ever before.

Long story short, cutting carbs eviscerated most of my issues. 

The carnivore diet has completely transformed my health. But I have to be honest, the first couple weeks weren’t the greatest.

So I decided to do more research and noticed that most of the carnivore dieters encouraged eating liver.

Like most people, I was a little grossed out at the thought of eating beef liver. After all, why would I want to eat an animal’s organs?

It turns out it’s providing much needed nutrients that beef alone doesn’t.

Once I made it a priority to have at least 400g / week, I felt and looked like a new person.

Adding beef liver made me more energized than ever before, my skin was clear, and all of my digestive issues were gone. My muscle growth even improved more than it did when I was taking everything from GNC. If you want to learn more, here are 9 health benefits of eating beef liver.

I’m not joking around when I tell you that I go about my day feeling like the energizer bunny even when I didn’t get a full night’s rest.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about liver.

The Flavor of Beef Liver

Imagine how you must have felt as an infant going from smooth, sweet milk to something chewy or crunchy in your mouth. What is this poison these adults are feeding me? Why does my mouth feel so funny? But soon you got used to the textures and flavors and food was fun. Liver can be too So let’s unpack the unknowns so you can get this nutrient powerhouse into your diet and start feeling amazing.

First, flavor is a sensory experience that is individualized so you may taste something slightly different from someone else eating the same meal. 

As we’ve explored in several places on this site, liver is a vitamin and mineral rich food, so it’s not surprising that many describe it as having a mineral-ly or metallic taste when it is eaten plain. Other descriptions of the taste of liver include:

  • Rich
  • Earthy
  • Strong
  • Iron/metallic 
  • Pungent (yes, its true)

Liver doesn’t exactly have the star studded status of filet mignon or a lamb chop but, nutritionally it blows muscle meats out of the water.

What is the texture of beef liver?

Of course eating isn’t only about taste, it’s about texture too. And much of our enjoyment of food comes from what food scientists call “mouth feel”. If you can’t figure out what this means then I’m not sure even liver can help you. Kidding aside, how food feels in your mouth is important and can make or break your ability to enjoy a particular food. 

Cooked liver feels a lot like a fattier, gummier cut of meat – soft and squishy. This can be off putting to some, especially if you aren’t expecting it. If you are used to chewy or crunchy textures, most plain cooked liver isn’t going to deliver. But there are some tips to improve the flavor and texture so liver can be a regular staple in your rotation.

How to eat beef liver

If you are new to eating liver there are some tips that can create a smoother experience for you.

  1. Select fresh, high quality liver

Liver should be from grazing animals like cows, bison, chickens, sheep or chickens. For larger animals the package will read “grass fed”. This is not normally a term associated with chickens or other smaller animals because they eat lots of plants and bugs, not a whole lot of grass. The green plants and other foliage produce a more nutrient rich liver.

Beef liver goes bad quickly so buy it frozen, preserved or just packed and freeze it yourself. 

  1. Soak it 

Soaking liver for a few hours in something acidic like lemon or lime juice mellow the flavor out for a more palatable experience. This may help prevent oxidation of certain compounds in the liver to keep it fresh (*). Acids are also known to help break down food so it is easier to digest (ex. hydrochloric acid in the stomach).

  1. Season it and add some fat

Add some herbs and spices to flavor it. Don’t overthink this step, just use what you like – salt, cracked pepper, garlic, etc. 

Cooking fat does also work wonders for mellowing down the taste of liver – ghee is a good option and also full of nutrients. 

  1. Don’t overcook it

Liver can get tough if you cook it too long. Slicing it thin and frying it in a pan (about a minute on each side) is a good approach.

I know what you’re thinking – this is too much work! Isn’t there an easier way? 

Believe me when I tell you, I understand and I’ve been there. I actually don’t enjoy the taste of liver and spending a ton of time in the kitchen isn’t my idea of fun. I’ve found that liver jerky (crisps?) are a great, convenient option that is shelf stable. You can make a big batch yourself or skip the guess-work and buy ours

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Liver crisps have a different flavor and texture profile than plain cooked liver, in fact its almost exactly opposite. 

  • Crispy and crunchy texture
  • Smoky taste
  • Round flavor

The added benefit to a preserved form of liver is that it is ready to eat, portable and you don’t have to deal with the mess in the kitchen (can I get an AMEN?).

Liver is a taste worth acquiring

Liver is a nutrient powerhouse. Don’t let the texture or taste sway you from what is undoubtedly one of the best things you can add to your diet. 

Whether you make it or buy it is ultimately up to you. Either way, figure out what the best approach is for your lifestyle and get to it, a better version of yourself is waiting on the other side!

If you’re interested in our liver crisps, check them out here.

Additionally, sign up below if you’d like to receive my 5 favorite beef liver recipes. 

5 ways to make beef liver taste good

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