If you’ve bought liver to enjoy fried up with onions, or perhaps to make a delicious winter pate, it’s perfectly fine to buy a decent portion of fresh liver and freeze what you don’t use.
Whether you’ve purchased chicken, lamb, duck, turkey, or beef liver, the same freezing rules apply. So how do you freeze liver? And does it freeze well?
Liver can be frozen 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.
Can You Refreeze Liver? Yes
Does Liver Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Liver
Freezing liver is pretty straightforward, and doesn’t require a great deal of 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 livers themselves are quite wet. This additional liquid can cause a bit of a problem when it comes to freezing, so you will need to remove it. Simply remove the livers from their packaging and transfer the meat to some sturdy paper towels. Leave them for a few minutes and then press to absorb any additional moisture.
- Separate Into Portions
If you’ve purchased your livers in bulk, you will need to portion them before freezing. It’s up to you how you separate your liver, but the smaller the better. This way, you don’t have to defrost more meat than you need.
- 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.
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 would 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, which is 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 it comes to removing the excess liquid, consider draining your liver in a colander or sieve before dabbing with paper towels. It’s really important that you 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.
You Can Freeze Liver for up to 6 Months
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:
Can You Cook Liver Then Freeze It?
Cooking liver then freezing it is not something we would advise. It can turn the liver tough and stringy in texture which will make it unpleasant to eat. Instead, try to freeze liver uncooked so that you can thaw then cook fresh.
Can You Freeze Liver and Onions After Cooking?
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.
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