Liver gets a bad rap for being difficult to cook right, and what do you even do with the leftovers ? But in truth, it’s really such a delicious piece of meat that it’s real shame to let it go to waste. True, not everyone likes the strong taste but those who do absolutely love it.
So what do you do when you’ve got leftover cooked liver ? Can you reheat liver ? If yes, is there any way to preserve its texture without turning it into a crumbly, dry mess ? Let’s find out.
Can you reheat liver ?
Yes, you can reheat liver and still retain most of its texture, as long as you use a medium-low heat setting and provide some extra cooking liquid to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Be sure to cover the plate, in case the liver decides to splatter all over while it heats up. This also makes it much easier to trap heat and moisture, meaning you won’t have to use a lot of it to get your liver reheated.
An important point about reheating liver: you have a slim chance of getting it fully heated without changing the texture a little bit. It may end up a little dry around the edges, but the rest of it should still be fairly tender if there is enough moisture.
Now let’s get to the reheating methods themselves. There are two main ones, and which you use depends on what you have in the house or which you think is most comfortable for you.
1. Reheat liver in the microwave on medium-low
You can reheat liver in the microwave and this is probably the easiest and fastest method. Most of the time the microwave turns things to mush because there is nowhere the moisture can escape. But for liver this is great ! Place your cooked liver on a microwave-safe plate, make sure it’s a little deep, not a flat plate.
Add a bit of cooking liquid if there’s any left i the pot. If not, add about a tablespoon of water (no more !) to the liver, and cover with a microwave-safe bowl. Please never reheat liver without a cover ! As the heat comes through, the bowl disperses it evenly onto the plate and traps the moisture from that tablespoon of water, steaming the liver as well.
Use medium-low heat to make sure you get an even heating and you don’t overcook the liver.
2. Reheat liver in the oven or toaster oven on low
If you need to use an oven or toaster oven, make sure the plate is oven-safe, and your oven starts out cold. Again, add a tablespoon of water or cooking liquid to the liver, and cover it. While it won’t explode in the oven, it can dry out real fast. Make sure you cover it with something that allows no moisture at all to escape. Aluminum foil or a very good non-plastic bowl are both good.
Place the liver in the cold oven, start oven, set it to low. Gove it at least 10 minutes, then take it out to check if it’s fully heated through. If you use higher heat you risk overcooking the edges of the liver, with the inside left cold.
If it’s not hot enough, give it 5 more minutes and maybe turn up the heat just a little. Keep checking, though it should be done by now.
Read also: Can You Reheat Lasagne ?
Can you refreeze liver once cooked ?
Yes, you can freeze cooked liver and it can keep up to 3 months in the freezer. Make sure the liver is at least room temp before sticking it in the freezer !
We recommend placing the liver in a freezer-safe bag, in a single layer, with a bit of cooking liquid as well. This way when the liver freezes, it’s all in one layer so it will freeze evenly, and then thaw evenly.
Only thaw and reheat frozen liver once. You’re inviting bacteria to come right in and get comfy if you keep reheating and freezing and so on.
Can you eat cold liver ?
You can eat cooked liver cold, yes, and it’s very similar in flavor pate, which is a sort of spreadable cream made from cooked bird liver. Of course, the cooked liver will have a different texture but it’s essentially the same product.
If you’re thinking of any possible health risks, there aren’t any. As long as the liver is cooked through and then cooled, you can still eat it cold. Just make sure it’s not more than 48 hours since it was cooked.
Can you cook liver in the microwave ?
We don’t recommend cooking liver, or any meat at all, in the microwave. This is because you get a very, very uneven cooking and heating throughout the meat, including the liver. So you end up with parts that are undercooked, and parts that are overcooked.
We’re aware a microwave may be quicker, but it’s really a very poor idea. If you want to keep your liver fat-free, you can simply boil it, along with a few veggies and salt for extra flavor. This way you don’t have to add in oil or fat, and the liver is still edible. Please don’t cook it in the microwave.
Read Also: Why Is Chicken Liver Green ?
Why does liver explode in the microwave ?
Liver is high in fat and when exposed to high heat, or even medium heat for a long time, the fat will explode. It’s the same reason a juicy sausage will explode in the microwave. The fat/oil will start to boil and build up so much pressure it simply has to go somewhere.
How can you avoid or mitigate liver explosions in the microwave ? Here’s a few ideas.
- use medium-low heat setting, turn and stir then every few minutes
- always use a bowl on top of your plate, upside down, to catch any exploding bits
- add a tablespoon of water or cooking liquid to help steam the liver, so it will reheat faster
- please use a bowl on top, alright ?
And that’s pretty much it. As long as you cover the liver when reheating it, you should be safe and won’t have to wipe everything down afterwards. Remember to use medium-low heat when reheating liver, just to be sure you don’t end up with it overcooked.
You can reheat liver in the microwave and also in the oven, the microwave method is the fastest and many times the most convenient one, especially during a short lunch break at work. Reheating them in the oven might give them a better texture but you need to allow them more time.