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Why Do You Soak Liver In Milk Before Cooking?

There are some people who may find this odd but… Why do you soak liver in milk before cooking?Is there something special about milk, which makes it a good marinade for liver? Or does it offer certain benefits to improve the overall quality of the liver before you cook it?

Do keep in mind that liver generally has a strong flavor. Some people may like this but if you are very sensitive to the taste, then you need to do some quick preparation steps. When you soak liver in milk about 3 hours prior to cooking, this eliminates the odd odor and ‘metallic’ taste. It can even make it more tender, which is a bonus point for this technique.

We will explore more on the fascinating reason behind this cooking practice and why you may end up wanting to do this yourself, too!

Is Liver Good For You?

Why Do You Soak Liver In Milk Before Cooking

Is liver really beneficial to your health?

As it is a type of organ meat, the idea of eating liver may not be quite exciting for some people. After all, its main function is to filter toxins. So why should you eat it?

Well, surprisingly, liver is a very nutritious food. In fact, it is loaded with iron, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, protein, and an abundance of B vitamins.

Sure, it contains cholesterol but as long as you eat liver in moderation, you should be fine. Anything consumed excessively is not good for you.

Liver has around 370 mg of cholesterol per serving. This is why you should take it easy if you are following a low-cholesterol diet for health reasons.

But overall, the benefits of eating liver outweigh some of the drawbacks.

How To Make Liver Taste Good?

How good the liver taste may depend on how you buy, store, and prepare the liver before cooking it. I highly recommend that you inspect the liver carefully before purchasing it.

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Go for a liver that is lighter in color. This means that it comes from a younger animal, which makes it taste milder and fresher.

Pale pink is preferable than the dark red. But if you can find a blond-colored liver, this is even better. The terracotta hue to the liver means it is richer in terms of flavor and aroma once you have cooked it. You should also choose one that comes with a moist appearance without any hint of dryness to it.

When buying organ meats, you need to keep them cold. The best way to store liver is by keeping it in the refrigerator loosely covered. Then, you need to cook it within 2 days.

If you plan on cooking liver at a later time, you should keep it in the freezer at zero degrees. Never leave it longer than 3 months in your freezer.

Why Soak Liver in Milk?

Liver requires some preparation before cooking it.

Some people simply slice and toss it into the pan, which is the simplest way to do it. However, there are other things you can do to enhance the flavor of this organ meat.

When slicing liver, it is best to first place it on your cutting board upside down. The veins or tubes should be exposed, and you need to cut each tube out. It can be tricky to get them all out, so some may have to stay intact.

Then, peel the outer membrane off. There are those who skip this part but I suggest you take the extra time to do it. This way, your liver will be more tender and fresh-tasting.

Now comes the best part – soaking liver.

What’s great about soaking liver in milk is how it improves the overall taste.

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Here is an interesting video that offers more tips on how to prepare liver before cooking. These tips should help you to cook better-tasting liver for your recipes.

Do You Have To Soak Liver In Milk?

Not necessarily. It does not alter its chemical composition or nutritional value at all.

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Whether you soak the liver in milk or in water or in other liquids, it still maintains its nutrition.

However, what changes is the flavor of the liver. I would, for instance, go for the chicken liver that is rosy pink on the inside. This is very silky and contains a complex, yet fascinating flavor.

How Long To Soak Liver In Milk?

To make the liver taste even better, I soak it in milk to bring out a unique flavor and quality to it. In fact, I have observed that liver soaked in milk for a few hours before cooking does amazing things to it.

The flavor is much richer and fuller. It also makes them extra tender, which many people enjoy.

Can You Soak Liver In Milk Overnight?

Yes. You can. There is a theory that keeping the liver in milk overnight (in the fridge) make it more tender and remove the bitterness better than just soaking it for a few hours.

Another advantage is that it will help to cook the liver quicker as the “fluffier” form help the heat go through it more easily.

Do You Rinse Milk Off Liver Before Cooking?

It is not compulsory.  It is a good idea to lightly rinse the liver before patting dry and placing it in whole milk (to cover), soak in the fridge for close to an hour before coating with flour and frying it directly.  

Interestingly, you can implement a practical tip for defrosting the liver. Let’s say it just came out of the freezer and you need to thaw it out before cooking.

Instead of simply soaking the liver in a bowl of cold water, I would use cold milk to defrost it. This hits two birds in one stone – one, it helps to thaw the liver, and two, it improves the flavor. What can be more practical than that?

As for the cooking process, there are a few tricks to make sure the liver is cooked perfectly.

The most important rule of thumb is to never overcook liver. Just a minute of cooking or searing in a hot pan on each side of the liver is all you need.

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The nasty part about overcooking liver is it changes the flavor drastically. Overcooked liver tastes more bitter and obtains a chalky texture.

Does Soaking Liver In Milk Remove Iron?

Even though soaking the liver in milk helps to enhance the taste and remove the bitterness, the chemical reaction between the iron and other minerals in the liver with the calcium in the milk can affect the availability of iron in the liver.

If you are cooking milder livers like chicken and duck liver, you can avoid soaking in milk to keep the nutrients.

Can You Soak Liver In Almond Milk?

Yes. Technically you can. However, almond milk may change the taste of the liver compared to regular milk. 

Unless you really like the taste of almond milk,  we recommend just sticking to regular milk instead.

Final Thoughts

Liver is without a doubt a highly nutritious food.

If you are looking to improve your health or try a new dish that is packed with nutrients and health benefits, you need to incorporate the liver in your diet.

And for those wondering why do you soak liver in milk before cooking… Now, you know the reason behind this interesting technique!

Be sure to apply these cooking tips I shared with you on how to cook liver, so you can enhance its flavor, texture, and overall quality. These expert tips should help you to prepare the finest recipes each time!