Fall-Off-the-Fork Tender Beef Liver Made Easy in the Instant Pot

As a busy mom who loves feeding her family nutritious meals, I’m always on the hunt for quick and tasty ways to cook up liver. Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. It’s chock full of protein, iron, vitamins A, B12, and other goodness. But I get that not everyone is a fan of its distinctively strong flavor and texture. That’s why the instant pot has become my go-to for cooking fork-tender beef liver to perfection each and every time.

The instant pot takes the guesswork out of cooking beef liver. No more overcooking or undercooking! With just the press of a button the instant pot steams the liver gently and evenly until it’s irresistibly tender. I’m excited to share my simple, foolproof method for how to cook beef liver in the instant pot. In just 25-35 minutes you can enjoy melt-in-your-mouth beef liver that’s delicious and nutritious. Let’s get started!

Why Cook Beef Liver in the Instant Pot?

Here are some of the biggest benefits of using the instant pot to prepare beef liver:

  • Tender and juicy – The instant pot steams the liver, keeping it incredibly moist and fork-tender.

  • Intensifies flavor – The sealed instant pot environment concentrates the flavors of the liver beautifully

  • Quick and hands-free – With no need to monitor during cooking, the instant pot saves time in the kitchen.

  • No smell – Unlike pan frying, the sealed pot contains odors. Your kitchen won’t smell like liver!

  • Easy cleanup – No splattering oils or simmering liquids means very easy cleanup.

  • Foolproof – The instant pot takes the guesswork and precise timing out of cooking liver properly.

With those excellent benefits, it’s no wonder the instant pot is my preferred way to cook beef liver for the entire family to enjoy.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Beef Liver

Cooking beef liver in the instant pot requires minimal ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef or calf liver, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth or water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Additional seasonings (optional)

That’s really all you need for easy instant pot liver! Now let’s get into the simple steps.

How to Cook Beef Liver to Perfection in the Instant Pot

Here is my easy 3-step method for how to cook beef liver in the instant pot:

1. Prep the Liver and Pot

Rinse the liver and pat it dry with paper towels. Trim off any membranes or discolored spots. Cut the liver into 1/2 inch thick slices. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Coat the inner pot of the instant pot with olive oil or avocado oil. Add 1 cup broth or water. Insert the steamer tray or trivet.

2. Add Liver and Pressure Cook

Place liver slices in a single layer on the steamer tray or trivet. Lock the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing. Pressure cook on high for:

  • 8 minutes for thinly sliced or chopped liver
  • 10 minutes for 1/2 inch slices
  • 12 minutes for 3/4 inch slices
  • 15 minutes for 1 inch thick slices

Once cooking completes, quick release the pressure.

3. Finish and Serve

Carefully remove the steamer tray. Blot liver slices dry with paper towels. Serve liver warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

I love serving instant pot liver with caramelized onions, bacon, mushrooms, or a tangy mustard sauce. Enjoy this superfood your whole family will love!

It’s that easy! Now let’s get into more details and helpful tips for instant pot beef liver success.

Prepping Liver for the Instant Pot

Proper prep is key to getting the best results when cooking liver in the instant pot. Here are my tips:

  • Select young, tender liver – Calf or lamb liver is most tender. Look for pale pink to red color.

  • Trim – Cleanly trim off any membranes or discolored portions with a sharp knife.

  • Cut evenly – Slice the liver into uniform 1/2 inch slices or cubes for even cooking.

  • Dry thoroughly – Pat the liver very dry with paper towels before adding to the pot.

  • Season well – Flavor the liver slices generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.

  • Don’t overfill – Cook in batches for even steaming and prevent overcrowding.

With proper prep, the liver cooks gently and consistently in the moist instant pot environment.

Choosing an Instant Pot Cook Time for Beef Liver

Beef liver cooks quickly in the pressurized instant pot. The timing depends on the thickness of the slices:

  • Chopped or thin sliced liver – 8 minutes
  • 1/2 inch slices – 10 minutes
  • 3/4 inch slices – 12 minutes
  • 1 inch thick slices – 15 minutes

For chopped or thinly sliced liver, opt for the lower 8 minute cook time. For thicker cuts, increase time to allow the center to cook through.

I recommend using natural pressure release after cooking to allow the liver to continue gently steaming. Quick release works too if you’re in a hurry.

Tips for Keeping Instant Pot Beef Liver Tender

The great thing about the instant pot is how it keeps boneless meats like liver tender and juicy. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t overcook – Stick to recommended cook times for each thickness.
  • Natural release – Allowing a natural pressure release prevents overcooking.
  • Slice thinner – Slices under 1/2 inch cook evenly with no chance of drying out.
  • Add liquids – The broth or water creates steam to keep the liver moist.
  • Avoid sautéing – Browning liver before pressure cooking can cause drying.

Following those tips will give you fork-tender results every time.

Flavoring Your Instant Pot Beef Liver

While plain instant pot liver is tasty, adding flavors can take it to the next level. Consider mixing in or topping with:

  • Onion powder and garlic powder – These basic spices complement liver’s richness.
  • Herbs like thyme, sage, rosemary – Fresh or dried herbs pair wonderfully.
  • Smoked paprika – Adds delicious smoky flavor.
  • Mustard – Spicy mustard, whole grain, or Dijon make great sauces.
  • Sautéed onions – Caramelized onions sweeten liver’s flavor.
  • Bacon – Crisp cooked bacon crumbles put anything over the top.

Feel free to get creative with your favorite seasonings! Sauces, dressings, compounds butters also work nicely.

Helpful FAQs About Cooking Liver in the Instant Pot

If you’re new to preparing liver in the instant pot, here are some common questions:

Is beef liver safe to eat less than well done? For food safety, instant pot liver should reach an internal temperature of 160°F which is well done.

Can I pressure cook frozen liver? It’s best to thaw liver completely before pressure cooking to ensure even cooking results.

What happens if I overcook the liver? Overcooked liver will turn gray and become dry or rubbery in texture. Stick to recommended cook times.

Can I bread or batter liver before pressure cooking? Pre-breading is not recommended as the steam will make the coating soggy. Simply season before pressure cooking.

Can I cook a lot of liver at once in my instant pot? It’s better to work in batches to prevent overcrowding so the liver cooks evenly.

Enjoy Tasty, Tender Beef Liver from Your Instant Pot

Now that you know the ins and outs of how to cook beef liver in the instant pot, I hope you’ll add this nutritious ingredient into your regular recipe rotation.

The instant pot does all the work to transform liver into fork-tender, succulent bites your whole family will savor. Plus, you’ll love how easy it is to prepare!

Next time you come across good quality calf or beef liver at the store, grab it and use this simple 3-step instant pot method. Customize with your favorite seasonings and sides. Enjoy liver as an occasional part of a healthy, balanced diet. Here’s to happy, foolproof pressure cooking!

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