Chicken livers are a healthy portion of the bird, containing essential fatty acids, protein, high levels of vitamins, and essential trace minerals in a low-calorie package.
Chicken livers can be frozen. They should be frozen before they are left for 2 hours at room temperature or 2 days in the refrigerator. Freezing chicken livers between 17 and 0 °F (-8 to -18 °C) inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Frozen chicken livers will store for 2 to 4 months.
Proper freezing of chicken livers ensures that they are safe to consume after several months. It is vital to practice safe food handling to avoid illness caused by bacteria like salmonella and E Coli.
How To Store Chicken Livers in the Freezer Properly
Chicken livers can be easily stored in the freezer and will stay fresh for two to four months, depending on how well-sealed the packages are. Here is how to properly store both cooked and raw chicken livers.
Ideally, a food vacuum sealer should be used to store the livers. This will increase the storage time because more oxygen is removed from the package. Livers can be stored in freezer bags if the air is carefully pressed out before storing. Double-bagging will also help them stay fresher.
- Livers should be raw for best results. This is because the delicate liver meat will not hold up to repeated heating. Cooked, frozen, then reheated liver dishes may not taste very good or even spoil during the repreparation.
- Livers that will not be consumed immediately must be prepared and frozen before two hours have elapsed. During this time, pathogenic bacteria are growing on the meat even if it is cooked.
- Whether the livers are cooked or raw, they must be patted dry before freezing. Removing excess moisture will help to maintain a fresh flavor.
- Separate the livers into desired portion sizes. This ensures that livers will not be wasted in the future by being thawed and not prepared or eaten.
- Place each portion of livers into a separate plastic bag.
- If using a food vacuuming machine, use it to vacuum all air out of the bag before storing it in the freezer.
- If using freezer bags, place the liver portions in the bags and then roll them carefully to get as much air out as possible before sealing the zipper top.
Store small bags of liver portions inside a larger freezer bag and push as much air out of the larger bag as well before placing in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Chicken Livers?
It is vital to properly date and label bags before they are placed in the freezer. This ensures that older livers will be eaten first and that all livers can be consumed before they are freezer burned and the flavor is unpalatable.
Chicken livers can be safely stored in the freezer for several months, and this is preferable to refrigerating the livers due to the quick spoilage of the delicate liver meat. This table shows how long chicken livers can be stored before they are unsafe to eat.
|State||Raw Livers||Cooked Livers|
|Frozen||3-4 months||4 months maximum|
|Refrigerated||1-2 days||3-4 days|
|Room Temperature||2 hours maximum||2 hours maximum|
Raw or cooked chicken livers that have been sitting at room temperature for two hours should be discarded. If the temperature is above 90 °F, the food is spoiled in one hour.
Cooked livers have a shorter storage life because of the delicacy of the meat. It degrades during cooking so that it is less robust when freezing. Cooked liver dishes are often unpalatable after freezing, thawing, and reheating. Best results come from freezing raw livers that are patted dry.
Can You Refreeze Chicken Livers Once Cooked?
They can be refrozen, but the result is usually less than desirable.
Chicken liver is delicate organ meat. It can not withstand repeated freezing and cooking without losing cellular structure and becoming unpalatable. Best results are obtained by freezing raw chicken livers in small portions then cooking and consuming them as desired.
Each time the livers are processed, they will lose freshness and structure. To keep the livers usable, the processing should be kept to a minimum, and they should be eaten within an hour of cooking.
How Long Can You Keep Raw Chicken Livers in the Fridge?
Sometimes chicken livers are purchased before they can be prepared and eaten. They should be purchased and then cooked or frozen within the same day.
Raw chicken livers should be stored in the fridge no longer than two days. If they will not be consumed within two days, they should be frozen raw in small portions and then thawed and cooked when they can be consumed immediately after cooking.
It is vital to keep track of how long the chicken livers have been in the refrigerator. Add any time that they spent in a cooler on ice on the way home from the store as refrigerated time.
How Can You Tell If Chicken Liver Is Bad?
A cooked or raw chicken liver that has been left out for two hours at room temperature should be discarded. Bacteria such as E Coli do not show signs as they grow.
- A bad chicken liver will feel slimy to the touch, even after it has been rinsed in cool water.
- Bad chicken livers may also have an off-putting ammonia-type smell.
- Do not try to cook the bacteria out. Discard the liver immediately.
Frozen livers that have gone bad will have a degraded texture or a freezer-burned flavor or smell. Cooked livers are more prone to this degradation.
Why Are My Chicken Livers Green?
The gall bladder is attached to the liver, and sometimes it ruptures during chicken processing which taints the liver.
- The gall bladder is full of bile which is a dark green fluid.
- When this fluid comes in contact with the liver, it turns the liver green.
- This bile is very bitter and should be removed by cutting off and discarding all parts of the livers that are green.
Green livers are usually rejected at the processing plant. Choose raw livers that are tan to deep red.
Raw chicken livers should be frozen in portions and consumed within two to three months for maximum freshness. They can last as long as four, but the flavor degrades quickly.
For more, don’t miss How Long Does Meat Last in the Freezer?
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