If you’ve bought liver to enjoy fried up with onions or perhaps to make a delicious winter pate, then you may find you have more than you need. Whether you’ve purchased chicken, lamb, duck, turkey, or beef liver, what’s the best way to store it?
Can You Freeze Liver?
Yes, you can freeze liver for up to 3 months. Fresh liver will only be good in the fridge for a few days after buying it, so unless you plan on using leftover liver the following day, you should wrap it up and freeze it right away to preserve its freshness.
Does Liver Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Liver? Yes
How to Freeze Liver
Freezing liver is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require much prep. This section deals with freezing fresh liver. We will mention freezing cooked liver a little later on.
The following steps take you through the freezing process and ensure your liver will be perfectly preserved for whenever you need to use it in the future:
- Drain Liquids: Most fresh packs of liver come with excess liquids, and the livers themselves are pretty wet. This additional liquid can cause a problem when it comes to freezing, so you will need to remove it. Drain the livers, then pat dry.
- Separate Into Portions: If you’ve purchased your livers in bulk, you must portion them before freezing. It’s up to you how you separate your liver, but the smaller, the better.
- Pack Into Freezer-Safe Bags: Place your liver portions in freezer-safe bags. Be careful not to transfer much liquid to the bag. Press as much air from the bag as possible, as this will save your liver from freezer burn.
- Label and Freeze: Write the use-by date on the bag before you transfer it to the freezer. You can keep your liver in the freezer for up to three months.
Yes, chicken livers can be frozen in thick freezer bags. They easily absorb odours so ensure the bag you are using is thick with a tight seal.
Uncooked lambs liver can be frozen for around 3 months. Pop it into a freezer bag, then seal it up, removing as much air as possible. Avoid freezing cooked lambs liver, however.
Yes, you can freeze beef and calves liver for around 3 months. The best way to do so is to pop it into a resealable freezer bag, seal it up whilst pushing out as much air as possible then freeze it.
How to Freeze Cooked Liver
People cook liver in different ways. For instance, if you’re making a pate, you will find that it freezes well. However, if you’re sautéing your livers, they don’t freeze overly well and will dry out.
As a general rule, we recommend only freezing fresh liver, to ensure it maintains its taste and texture when you come to defrost it.
While it’s perfectly safe to freeze cooked liver, you can’t be as sure of the quality once thawed.
3 Tips for Freezing Liver
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing liver to have the best results:
Liver is a delicate meat. If you cook it twice, it can go tough and stringy, a texture that nobody wants! This is why it’s much better to separate your liver into portions and only thaw what you need. Cooking it and then returning it to the freezer will result in a deterioration in the liver’s texture.
If paper towels aren’t doing the trick when removing the excess liquid, consider draining your liver in a colander or sieve before dabbing with paper towels. You must remove the excess liquid before freezing.
One of the best things about liver is that freezing it when it’s fresh doesn’t alter the taste or texture a great deal. That means you can use your defrosted liver in the same way as you would use freshly bought liver from the store.
How Long Can You Freeze Liver?
You can freeze liver for around three months.
Some sources might tell you that it can be frozen for up to six months or even longer, and while this is safe, you risk exposing your liver to freezer burn.
If you can, try and use your liver within those first few months to get the best results when it comes to cooking.
Fresh and uncooked liver will only last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. This is the case for most offal products.
How Do You Defrost Liver?
You’ll be pleased to hear that defrosting liver is just as easy as freezing it. Remove your liver portion from the freezer the night before you plan on using it, and allow it to thaw in the fridge.
You should never leave your liver or any other meat to defrost at room temperature. This allows harmful bacteria to grow on the meat’s surface and could cause illness.
If you’re in a rush, you can submerge your bag of liver in a bowl of lukewarm water.
This should defrost the meat within 3-4 hours, depending on the portion size. If you do this, make sure you cook it immediately once it’s thawed.
Can You Refreeze Liver?
Liver that has been thawed appropriately in the refrigerator can be safely refrozen. So, if you take out more than you need, you can simply place it back in the freezer and return to it at a later date.
We wouldn’t recommend refreezing cooked liver due to the deterioration in its texture as we’ve already mentioned.
Does Liver Freeze Well?
Fresh liver freezes extremely well. In fact, it’s one of the best meats to preserve in the freezer, as you won’t be able to notice the difference when it comes to preparing it after it has been thawed.
As we’ve mentioned throughout, we wouldn’t recommend freezing cooked liver, as it can become tough and stringy when it’s cooked for a second time.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing liver or liver in general, then these may help:
As with any form of cooked liver, it’s not going to freeze well so, where possible, plan ahead and try to only freeze liver in its uncooked state.
We advise against freezing cooked liver which can undergo major textural changes if you’re not careful. Instead, stick to freezing it raw.