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How to Eat Liver: 4 Easy Tips

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

Beef liver is one of nature’s most underrated superfoods. It’s rich in hard-to-get nutrients like iron, B vitamins, vitamin A, and zinc — no wonder humankind has been enjoying, err…relying on it for thousands of years. But beef liver isn’t the most-user-friendly food out there. Many people dislike its taste, smell, and/or prep time. So in this article, we’ll be exploring several of the most palatable ways to eat liver. Keep reading to learn more. 

Benefits of Eating Liver

Why eat beef liver? Because it contains a robust blend of nutrients found nowhere else in nature: 

  • 3,400% of your RDI for vitamin B12: B12 assists with red blood cell production. It also plays a vital role in brain cell metabolism. [1]
  • 1,610% of your RDI for copper: copper works with zinc to activate the immune system. It also activates important enzymes to regulate cellular energy production. [2]
  • 1,000% of your RDI for Vitamin A: vitamin A is critical when it comes to maintaining vision, immunity, and skin health. It also helps your body’s own liver and other organs function correctly. [3]
  • 250% of your RDI for riboflavin/B2: riboflavin is one of the most pro-metabolic B vitamins–it helps convert the food you eat into usable energy. [4]
  • 90% of your RDI for choline: Choline is a B vitamin that’s especially important when it comes to cognitive development and liver health. [5]
  • 60% of your RDI for folate/B9: folate is yet another pro-metabolic B vitamin that assists with cell growth and differentiation. It’s of utmost importance for women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant. [6]
  • 80% of your RDI for iron (35% for menstruating women): iron is an essential nutrient that distributes oxygen throughout your body. The iron in beef liver takes the form of highly bioavailable heme iron.  [7]

We’ve gone over many of beef liver’s top health benefits elsewhere, so we’ll introduce just one more for now: increased resilience against stress.

A 1975 article from Prevention Magazine described how liver’s anti-stress properties were discovered. Dr. Benjamin Ershoff subjected three groups of rats to swimming tests; one group was fueled by liver, one was fueled by B vitamins, and one got nothing: [8

“After several weeks, the animals were placed one by one into a drum of cold water from which they could not climb out. They literally were forced to sink or swim.” Rats fed nothing swam for an average 13.3 minutes before giving up. The vitamin B group swam for an average of 13.4 minutes.

The rats that were fed liver fared dramatically better: “Of the last group of rats, the ones receiving liver, three swam for 63, 83 and 87 minutes. The other nine rats in this group were still swimming vigorously at the end of two hours when the test was terminated. Something in the liver had prevented them from becoming exhausted. To this day scientists have not been able to pin a label on this anti-fatigue factor.”

If a little bit (or a lot) of extra energy would make a difference in your life, don’t neglect beef liver any longer. 

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Tips For How to Eat Liver

Below are a few ideas to help you make beef liver palatable — and maybe even fun.  

1. How to Eat Liver: Make it Smooth and Salty with Pate

Pate from beef liver. Sandwiches with bread, pate and greens, dark stone table. Top view.

“Pâté” is the French word for ‘paste.’ This paste is usually a mix of meat, veggies, spices, or even seafood. Some pates are super smooth, while others are more chunky. French cuisine has been using pates to mask or enhance the taste of organs for centuries, and this tactic has tended to work. Most people who try pate find it surprisingly tasty. 

To make pate, simply blend cooked beef liver, onions, chives, and any spices of your choice in a food processor. Once it’s been mixed, place your pate in the fridge in a sealed container and serve chilled at your convenience. 

2. Hide it in Other Meat

Liver usually comes in whole pieces, but you might consider asking your butcher about ground liver — it’s much easier to work with and incorporate into other dishes. 

Once you’ve got a package of ground liver, you can mix it 20/80 with regular ground beef.   Chances are you won’t even notice the liver. If anything, the mixture will taste slightly sweeter than normal meat.

 It can be made into hamburgers, cheeseburgers, meatballs, and meatloaf. There’s no better way to get your family onboard the organ meat train. 

Bathe it in Tallow or Butter

When in doubt, there’s one especially classic way to enjoy beef liver: fry it in liberal amounts of salt and butter. 

This approach is both simple and effective. First, place a pan over high heat, then melt some butter or tallow into the pan. Once this cooking fat is nice and hot, add some thin strips of liver into the mix. Finish up by adding some salt and bacon for an extra crunch and flavor. 

3. How to Eat Liver: Raw 

Yep, you read that right. Beef liver can indeed be enjoyed raw. Hey, don’t knock it til you try it — many raw liver aficionados find that it has a sweet flavor and pleasant mouthfeel. (Some of the more nuanced aspects of liver’s taste are lost during cooking.) 

Just be aware that raw liver is also pretty chewy, so be sure to slice it into thin pieces or small cubes before enjoying it. Slice the liver when it’s thawed, and then freeze the slices to save yourself some time. 

The age of the liver you’re dealing with also plays a role in its flavor. Veal liver has a milder taste, while the liver of a mature animal may taste stronger and earthier. 

Other Ideas for How to Eat Liver

  • Pan-fry liver, onions, and mushrooms with some butter
  • Chop some liver, then mix with regular ground beef into meatballs and serve with tomato sauce
  • Opt for calf or lamb liver, instead of mature beef liver (it has a milder taste)
  • Soak your liver in milk or lemon before cooking to reduce its flavor

4. How to eat Liver: Take Desiccated Liver Pills

Beef liver is among the natural world’s best superfoods. It’s chock-full of important nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and selenium. [9

If the thought of nutritional perfection isn’t enough to persuade you to try it fresh, however, then we have a more practical solution: beef liver supplements from desiccated liver. 

Dr. Kiltz’s very own Beef Liver supplements place the power of beef liver in the palm of your hand. There are no undesirable tastes or long prep times to worry about. And they’re sourced from grass-fed New Zealand cattle. 

Best Liver to Eat? 

Lab analysis shows that grass-fed beef liver is superior to grain-fed in nearly every way.  And when it comes to grass-fed liver, New Zealand beef liver is unquestionably the best of the best. 

Beef Liver Sourced from New Zealand Cattle 

New Zealand cattle are among the healthiest cattle in the world. You can thank the country’s idyllic climate for that: New Zealand has sunny summers, wet mild winters, and plenty of fresh grass. While most cattle ranchers in America keep their cattle indoors during winter months, New Zealand cattle have access to fresh grass year-round. 

Even the USDA can’t help but admit that New Zealand-raised beef liver is nutritionally superior to US-raised beef liver. Check out the differences for yourself below:

NutrientGrass-fed New Zealand beef liver compared to U.S. Beef liver
B1243% more
B544% more
Iron 72% more
Thiamin96% more
Vitamin A459% more
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How to Eat Liver: The Takeaway

Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Prized by our ancestors for millennia, liver is making a comeback thanks to nose-to-tail diet aficionados. 

But not everyone finds liver particularly delicious.  Try transforming your beef liver into any of the following dishes if you’re trying to give its taste an upgrade:

  • Pate
  • Liver-infused meatballs
  • Liver blended burgers
  • Desiccated liver supplements

And if you’re feeling more adventurous try it raw, or prepare the simple classic pan-fried with plenty of butter.

Just don’t forget that quality matters when it comes to experiencing beef liver’s benefits. Source your liver from New Zealand if you don’t have access to organic cattle farms you can trust. And, regardless of what you do with liver, be sure to enjoy your journey towards better health! 

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