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How to Grill Beef Liver

by Jon Mohrman

Adventurous home cooks may welcome the challenge of cooking organ meats such as beef liver. Beef liver costs less than calves' liver, but it's also tougher and less mildly flavored than pricier calves' liver. The easiest remedy for this is a milk or other dairy marinade, which is one of the few types of marinade that tenderize as well as impart flavor. After the soak, beef liver grills up tasty and tender.

Pour enough whole milk or buttermilk into a glass or ceramic baking dish to submerge the liver. Stir in a bit of chili pepper or curry powder to taste, if you want to give the meal some kick.

Lay the beef liver in the dish and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Marinate it in the refrigerator for one to four hours, flipping the liver once halfway through the soaking time.

Use nonstick cooking spray or cooking oil to grease the rack of your grill. Preheat to medium heat.

Drain the liver and dispose of the dairy marinade. Thoroughly pat the organ meat dry with paper towels. Season it with salt and pepper, along with any other herbs or spices you want. Sprinkle on onion or garlic powder, dried sage or thyme, dry mustard or other seasonings. Alternatively, brush the liver with a little Dijon mustard mixed with vinegar or cooking oil, barbecue sauce, horseradish sauce or other suitable preparation.

Grill one side of the beef liver for about two minutes with the lid closed. Turn it with tongs, close the lid again and grill the other side for another two minutes.

Turn the liver again and brush on more sauce, if you prefer. Close the lid and continue cooking for one to three minutes, until the center of the beef liver reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. At this temperature, the organ meat is safely cooked and ready to serve.

Items you will need
  • Whole milk or buttermilk
  • Baking dish
  • Chili or other spice powder, optional
  • Plastic wrap
  • Nonstick spray or cooking oil
  • Paper towels
  • Salt and pepper
  • Complementary seasonings, optional
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer

Tip

  • Store beef liver in the refrigerator at temperatures below 40 F. Use or freeze it within two days of purchase. Never leave liver or other meat at room temperature for more than two hours.

About the Author

Jon Mohrman has been a writer and editor for more than seven years. He specializes in food, travel and health topics. He attended the University of Pittsburgh for English literature and San Francisco State University for creative writing.

Photo Credits

  • Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images