If you never cooked liver before or didn’t soak it in milk, somehow soaking the liver in milk sounds strange. Don’t worry, you are not alone.
I cooked liver before but didn’t soak it in milk, so when I first saw the idea, I thought I would do some research and write an article about this and its benefits.
Why do you soak liver in milk before cooking
Soaking the liver in milk for up to three hours before cooking helps reduce the bitter taste and weird odor that the liver may sometimes have.
Some people say that the liver has a bitter taste, and this is why they soak the liver in milk. I didn’t notice that too much, but I cook liver with a lot of onion, which may cover the bitterness.
What type of milk is the best to soak the liver in
Soaking the liver in regular 3% milk is the best way since you don’t want to change the liver taste too much. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be cooking liver.
Almond milk can work as well, but it will change a bit the taste of the liver, so unless you really like almond milk, I would choose regular milk instead.
Coconut milk, in my opinion, is the worst of all since it will give a sweet taste to the liver, and this type of sweet doesn’t really work with the flavor from the liver.
Conversely, you can try adding heavy cream to the liver as it’s cooking. This way you get the milkfat to cover the liver bitterness without soaking it beforehand.
Can you soak your liver in something else?
You can soak the milk in water, but this will not have the same effect as soaking the liver in milk since it will not reduce the taste.
A better idea will be to soak the cut-up liver in a bowl of water where you add a tablespoon of vinegar or some lemon juice.
Can you coat liver in flour or bread crumbs ?
Yes, this is a great way to cook liver. Coating liver is great because it can give the tenderness that is missing from the liver, and this way, you can get a great texture out of it, which in my opinion, is one of the cons of cooking liver.
You can coat it with flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, or a combination of those.
How long should you cook liver?
There is no straight answer to this question because it depends on how you cook it.
If you want fried liver, it should take 5-6 minutes per piece, but make sure the oil is hot when you put the liver in. This may depend on the coating of the liver or the size of the liver pieces. Smaller, more tender liver (such as chicken) cooks faster than larger liver, such as turkey or pork.
To cook liver with onions, you need to make sure that there is no more blood in the liver but at the same time, make sure that you don’t overcook it.
The overcooked liver is a real problem because it’s grainy and will crumble apart. Unfortunately, there is not an exact answer, but it should be around 15 minutes, make sure you check it from time to time.
Color, in this case, is not a good indication since it can vary a lot from one type of liver to another. In general it should turn a lighter color as it starts cooking, but it will go back darker soon.
How to choose a good liver?
Do your best to not buy frozen liver, as it will have a poor taste and lose much of its texture. Also check the expiration date. I know this may sound obvious, but it should be the first step you do when you buy anything that is preferably to be fresh.
The liver should be kept in a refrigerator that is working properly, so if you notice that the refrigerator you get it from it is not cold enough, I suggest you don’t buy it from there. It happens even to the bigger supermarkets out there, so better check this as well. Always check for leaky containers ! Livers are notorious for splitting or breaking, and if the container it’s in is leaky, you will have a big mess.
The liver should have a medium-dark pink-purple color so choose the one with the darker color. The lighter liver, such as ones with yellow spots or pieces, are livers that have been fattened. They are not bad, they are simply fat.
The texture is important as well. The liver should be moist all the time. Make sure that you don’t choose one that has dried parts.
How to make liver taste better?
After you soak the liver in milk or water with lemon juice or vinegar, make sure you add enough seasonings, and some herbs can work well. Rosemary and heavy cream work well together.
The second tip is “GARLIC” , garlic can make any food taste better, so you can opt for fresh sliced garlic or even garlic powder. To be fair though, liver is a flavor of its own and it’s definitely something you get used to. It has a strong metallic, slightly bitter taste. All organ meat does. GArlic can only do so much before it becomes overpowering.
Soaking liver in milk is important, but more important is to cook it properly and make sure that you buy a good liver, to begin with.
Many people didn’t notice any difference between cooking liver after soaking it in milk, so I would say that it is not mandatory to do this, but it can help in some cases.
I hope everything is clear now and you understand the mystery behind soaking liver in milk before cooking.