If kept at a temperature in the range of 0 to 17 F, harmful bacteria and viruses won’t survive, making the liver safe for storage and later use.
So can you freeze liver? Yes, both chicken and beef liver can be frozen. The frozen beef liver can remain stored for three to four months, while the frozen chicken liver can remain in the freezer for two to four months.
All types of the liver can be frozen, regardless of whether it’s raw, cooked, chicken, duck, or beef. It will taste great if you’ve packed it in airtight containers, and it thaws the fastest in a microwave.
Whether you’ve overbought or have received a few pounds of liver more than you can eat, it’s always a good idea to freeze the excess meat.
One of the tastiest and healthiest edible parts of beef and chicken is coincidentally the one that freezes best. The liver can be frozen if adequately prepared for the process; you can also freeze smaller chunks and refreeze both larger parts and bits.
What Happens if You Freeze Liver?
The quality of the liver will remain intact, meaning it will retain its chewiness, taste, and texture for the most part. However, this will only be true if you’ve followed the steps word-for-word.
Aside from various advantages, there are some drawbacks to freezing the liver. For instance, the cooked liver doesn’t freeze well at all, and using poor-quality wraps can ruin the meat entirely. Let’s take a quick look at the good and the bad of freezing liver:
- It freezes phenomenally well
- It almost tastes as great as originally
- Most types of the liver can be frozen in the same manner
- You’ll need quality freezing containers to preserve the meat
- Freezing cooked liver will ruin the meat
How to Freeze Liver
Due to its excellent suitability for freezing, the process is easy and requires minimal preparation. Follow these steps to make sure your liver retains its quality and taste even months after being put in the freezer:
Step 1: Drain the Liquids
Keep the liver dry so that it doesn’t develop ice crystals. Every bit of liquid that remains stuck on the liver once you’ve put it in the freezer presents a threat that you won’t be able to address until you thaw the meat.
You can wash the liver before draining the liquids. This way, you’ll push the liquids that were stuck in place. To drain excess liquids, place the meat on paper towels and leave for about ten minutes. Gently press the liver to push out the remaining liquids.
Step 2: Divide liver portions
As a general rule of thumb, small bits of meat freeze much better than big ones. Separating pieces of liver into smaller portions also helps reduce thawing time.
Step 3: Place Liver in an Appropriate Container
I recommend freezer bags over any other container, simply because they’re robust and very easy to use. Let’s take a quick glance at alternatives:
|Zip-top bags||They are very easy to use and place in the freezer.||Fairly low. They easily rip and can be punctured by frozen meat.||Moderate||It occupies minimal space but doesn’t provide much.||One-time use to avoid contamination.|
|Airtight containers||They are stackable, but you may need to reorganize your freezer a bit.||Decent. Won’t shatter on impact like Mason jars.||None||Occupies low to met of space, but it offers quite a bit in return.||It can be reused if cleaned.|
|Plastic boxes||They are decently easy to use if you have a big freezer.||Overall, low. They will eventually lose their shape.||Low to Moderate||They are usually very spacious, one of their only redeeming qualities.||It can be reused if cleaned.|
|Mason jars||Perfect for smoothies. Not as great for freezing liver, cooked, raw, or otherwise.||Will shatter on impact in most cases. Virtually unaffected by freezing.||None||Not ideal for freezing meat in bulk.||It can be reused if cleaned.|
This might also be interesting: Best Freezer Bags for meat.
How to Freeze Deer Liver?
Yes, deer liver can be frozen. Many people plan on frying deer meat as soon as it thaws, so you may want to prepare it ahead of time.
The same rules that I mentioned above apply. Don’t use mason jars or zip-top bags, and get high-quality freezer wraps if possible. Cut it up in small chunks before freezing for best results.
How to Freeze Cooked Liver?
It’s rarely a good idea to freeze cooked meat, as its taste and texture will drastically drop in quality. If you want to do it anyway, use airtight containers to prevent further meat degradation from freezer burn.
What is the Best Way to Freeze Fresh Liver?
Personally, I think the best way to freeze fresh liver is in freezer wraps. They wrap tightly around the meat, regardless of its size, and they’re faring pretty decent against freezer burn. In comparison to alternatives, its benefits outweigh its drawbacks.
How Long Can You Freeze Liver For?
Similar to freezing bratwurst, chicken liver can sit in your freezer between two to four months, while beef liver will be good after three to four months.
How To Defrost Liver?
Ideally, you’ll want to defrost your liver with a microwave. It’s the quickest, safest solution, as it heats evenly and usually takes less than thirty minutes. Alternatively, you can put it in your fridge for about a day or under your sink in a bowl with cold water for several hours.
Can you Refreeze Liver?
You should not refreeze thawed liver. Essentially, as soon as the meat warms up, bacteria will flock to it when the temperature exceeds eighteen degrees. Even though the cold temperature will kill the bacteria, your meat will be contaminated and ruined. Throw out unused frozen products.
Freezing Different Types of Liver
|Can you freeze beef liver?||Yes, and it can stay in your freezer for up to four months.
For example, if you’re freezing Braunschweiger made with beef, the freezing time may be a little shorter depending on the other ingredients.
|Can you freeze cooked liver?||You can, but it will taste funny, and its texture will degrade.|
|Can you freeze chopped liver?||Yes. Stroke chopped chunks in small zip-top or freezer wrap containers.|
|Can you freeze chicken livers?||You can freeze chicken liver for up to four months.|
|Can you freeze cooked chicken liver?||Same as with cooked beef liver, you can, but you shouldn’t.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does cooked liver last in the fridge
The cooked liver will remain edible for about a day. You may not notice the difference even two weeks after, but it will generally begin to smell and become sticky.
How long can you keep the raw liver in the fridge?
The raw liver can sit in your fridge for days. It’s a different story from freezing cooked liver, which is not recommended. Freezing raw liver just requires more diligent preparation work (and a messier clean-up afterward).
Is Liverwurst the same as Chopped Liver?
Linvewurst may refer to liver sausage, chopped or otherwise. In that particular scenario, liverwurst can be the same as chopped live food.
This might also be interesting to you: Can you freeze liverwurst?
By now, you should know how to store, freeze, properly thaw, and use your supply of liver. Leave your thoughts in the comment section if you have a different freezing/thawing method, and make sure to check out my other ‘freezing cool’ guides for more quality content.