In days past, giblets were put to use on butchering day, being viewed as part of the meat source. Much like headcheese. Today, many of us don’t know what giblets are, much less how to prepare or make use of them! Though they are a valuable source of meat, these little nuggets are often overlooked.
What Are Giblets?
Have you ever remove the innards from a just-butchered chicken? If so, you’ve both touched and seen giblets! They are the edible organs found inside a bird and include heart, gizzard and liver.
In our home, we make use of heart and gizzard and only consume liver that comes from mammals.
Why should you put these internal muscles to use? Here are two primary reasons!
Reason #1: Giblets Are a Meat Source
When butchering more than a few birds, giblets are an excellent source of meat! The gizzard from a goose or turkey will provide a person with enough meat for one meal.
Reason #2: Make the Most of Your Birds
Saving these innards is not only frugal but also creates less waste. On butchering day, giblets can be placed in a bowl of cold water until you can attend to them.
Perhaps you don’t butcher your own poultry, but have a nearby friend who does? Ask them to save the giblets for you!
Neither of the options available? Clean gizzards are available in many grocery stores today. Check in the freezer section!
Why Pressure Can Giblets?
Giblets are hard-working muscles, which makes them very tough! Pressure canning is the fastest way to cook them to tenderness.
How to Prepare Giblets
Those taken from your own birds should be trimmed for aesthetic appeal. Gizzards should be cut open and the food pouch removed. Rinse well and peel off the lining of the inner wall.
Fats must also be removed for safe pressure canning. Here’s the simplest way to do it!
Dump the hearts and gizzards in a pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the fatty yellow tissue has cooked off. Stir a bit from time to time, until meat is gray-brown in color. This accomplished, pour off the broth and begin filling jars!
In our home, giblets are added to a 1 gallon zip loc freezer bag, until it is 3/4 full. I then pull the bag from the freezer and allow meat to thaw before canning with this recipe.
- a 1 gallon bag of giblets
- 1/2 tsp salt per pint jar
- 1/4 tsp paprika per pint jar
Directions: Wash your jars and lids. Wide mouth is recommended for pack purposes. Place 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp paprika in each one. After fats have been cooked off the meat, take salad tongs and begin filling jars.
Gizzards can be layer on top of one another, open side down until your jar is filled. Stacking them on end is also an efficient way to go. Fill in the cracks with tiny hearts.
Add hot water to each jar (1/3-1/2 of the way) after it has been packed. Because the meat was cooked down once, they won’t provide sufficient moisture without this addition!
Wipe the rims and put fasten lids with bands. Gently nestle them into your pressure canner and process according to your canner and altitude.
My All-American canning guide says to process both heart and liver for 75 minutes when using pint jars. Because I live over 2,000 ft in elevation, my weighted-gauge pressure canner must be set for 15 lbs.
They will be tender and delicious. Add to soups, meat pies or serve with cheese and crackers!
So udie says
Hi can I pressure can lambs liver with onion and stock?
To date, I don’t know of any tested and approved canning recipe that calls for lamb’s liver! So sorry!
How do I can chicken liver?I can’t find a university extension that talks about it. I did find this, which talks about gizzard: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_Files/Canning%20Meat,%20Wild%20Game,%20Poultry,%20&%20Fish%20Safely%20(B3345).pdf
It seems like if giblets are adressed, it’s the gizzard and heart, but not liver. I’m really nervous about this!
I’ve never been able to find information for chicken (or any type of) liver. The only thing I know is that they don’t recommend pressure canning it with other giblets because of the strong flavor liver carries. For this reason, I would recommend freezing liver to preserve it instead. Hope that helps!
Can you raw pack if you’re just doing hearts
Yes, you can just raw pack hearts. However the meat is lean and may not release enough juices in the jar to keep things moist. So you may want to slightly cook hearts in a bit of broth and hot pack both broth and hearts in jars, leaving 1″ headspace.
Rebecca A Woosley says
Can giblets be dry canned?
No, only dried goods (dried beans, dried fruit, etc) should be dry canned. All meat (unless dehydrated) must be pressure canned for food safety reasons!