How To Know When Liver Is Cooked

Last Updated on December 26, 2021 by Griselda M.

It is hard to figure out how to know when the liver is cooked, as beef liver looks very different each time you purchase it. Livers are filled with nutrients and have a positive function that is important in all animals. Surprisingly, it also tastes really delicious when cooked appropriately.

Beef liver, like most meat, needs to be prepared and cooked well. If there are any issues along the way, before it makes it into somebody’s stomach, a lot of problems can occur, like contamination.

What Is Beef Liver?

What is the liver? For the purposes of this article, we will be referencing liver as beef liver. Although it is true that you can cook both pork and chicken liver, beef liver is very common in Mexican cuisine. The liver is an organ of the body that aids in digestion and removing toxins from our bodies.

Beef livers are large! These livers can weigh anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds and contain many nutrients and minerals. The consumption of beef liver is not new either! Beef liver has been eaten for thousands of years. Our ancestors could not waste any part of an animal’s body as they needed to be resourceful, which meant eating livers.

What Dishes Use Liver?

In authentic Mexican dishes, there is one that uses beef liver! Have you ever heard about liver with onions? The recipe is simple and easy. There are only a few ingredients that you need in order to make a delicious and savory beef liver dish. The ingredients are onions and beef liver.

While you can cook beef liver as a whole, it is easier to consume when chopped up and served with other vegetables, like onions. For Liver and onions, the beef liver is cubed into small sections and cooked in a large skillet with oil, onions, and various seasonings.

do you wash liver before cooking

Do You Wash Liver Before Cooking?

The truth about meat is that we have no idea where it comes from! Some meats, however, and undergo contamination during the cleaning process. What about beef liver, though? Beef liver should be cleaned before being cooked. The best way to wash the liver before cooking is to simply rinse it with tap water and pat it dry in a sterile and clean environment.

For example, rinse a beef liver, and place it on a clean cutting board. With a paper towel that is strong and won’t crumble at the first sign of water, you should pat dry the meat. Why is this helpful, you may ask? The beef liver meat has a tendency to grow sour and bitter. The flavors, however, only develop on the outside as it is exposed to other meats.

How To Properly Cook Liver?

Once your beef liver is cleaned, you should begin the process of cooking it. This depends, however, on the exact recipe you are looking at. Liver with onions is a popular authentic Mexican dish that utilizes beef liver as the main protein. The way it is cooked in this dish is with a skillet and oil.

Take a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and pour it into a medium-high pan on the stovetop. When the oil first starts simmering, take the chopped-up beef liver and place it in the oil. It should be seasoned beforehand, but you can always add extra seasoning as it cooks as well for additional flavoring.

The liver should not be cooked on low flames for only a few minutes. It is likely that when you use low heat, it is not enough to cook the inside and outside of the meat. Instead, the outside browns, leaving the inside pink and raw, which means that any bacteria that could be on it may still be living on the meat.

How To Know When Liver Is Cooked?

is green liver safe to eat

The scariest thing about cooking meat is knowing exactly when it is ready. It is difficult to know when the liver is cooked because the meat is tender and unique. For example, while it is true that the general rule is if the center is pink, it is not ready, sometimes even at safe temperatures, beef liver shows some pink on the inside.

The only way to know when your liver is fully cooked is to use a thermometer. Kitchen thermometers are great additions to your culinary life and are a great help when looking to fully cook a slice of meat. The liver is fully cooked when the internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you do not cook beef liver properly, it can make you sick! The bacteria that harm our digestive systems do not live on the outside of the beef liver but on the inside of the muscles and ‘veins.’

Is Green Liver Safe To Eat?

Although the color green is unsightly and nerve-racking when on food, it is nothing to worry about most. When beef livers are green on the outside and have not been cooked yet, it is because the gall bladder of the animal may have secreted onto the liver. This acid from the gallbladder is not toxic or dangerous. Think of it more as a stain.

While this is the case, if you notice that a piece of your beef liver is green and has been sitting in the fridge for some time, it is likely growing mold. It is best to check by smell. If the color is green and the smell is foul, don’t cook or consume the meat! It is better to be safe than sorry.


All in all, beef livers need to be eaten carefully. It is hard when you are figuring out how to know when the liver is cooked because they are unique pieces of meat that don’t follow the rules. For instance, the meat on the inside is still pink even when fully cooked! However, bacteria reside in the center, and beef liver needs to cook thoroughly.

Also, beef livers that are naturally green in the stores are okay to eat. The discoloration is just a sign that the gallbladder of the animal was damaged. With all of this new information, hopefully, you learned something! What do you think about this article? Let us know in the comments and share if you know anyone else interested in beef livers.

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