What Is A Gizzard?

Heard of gizzards, but aren’t sure what they are? What about how you can use them? We will cover everything you need to know about gizzards in the sections below. 

What Is A Gizzard?

Stick around and read what we have to say because the answers to all these questions could truly surprise you. You might just find one of your new favorite dishes!

What Exactly Is A Gizzard?

Gizzards are muscles that are found in the digestive tracts of a variety of animals, with chicken being the most popular. In chickens, all the grit and gravel that the birds peck at go to the gizzard, where it is slowly ground up and passed through. 

These muscles are small but powerful, and an amazing addition to many different recipes. They resemble dark chicken meat but are tougher and a little chewy (very chewy is prepared incorrectly). 

Gizzards Vs Giblets

It’s worth mentioning that gizzards are a part of the “giblets” umbrella term, which refers to the miscellaneous parts of a chicken. This includes other parts such as the liver and heart. You can usually find the giblets in a small bag that gets stuffed into the cavity of the chicken. 

However, you can also get the gizzards separately if you like. Prices are usually around $1.50 per pound, but prices will vary! 

Can You Cook Gizzards?

You can (and should) absolutely cook gizzards if you get the chance. These muscles are delicious and very versatile. They can be added to anything you can think of for some extra flavor – from tacos and lasagna to pizza and fried rice!

There is nothing you can’t do with a gizzard, and the rich flavor it adds will enhance the dish wonderfully. 

How To Cook Gizzards

So, you can cook gizzards, but how? There are a few different ways that you could cook gizzards, and we will go through the best right below. Unfortunately, this is not the type of dish that you can cook for a few minutes in a frying pan. Since this is a muscle, there is a little more to it. 

To get ideal results, you should always aim to cook your gizzards slowly over low heat. Make sure that there is moisture there, too, as you do not want them to dry out. 

If you try to cook gizzards on high heat, the connective tissues in them will quickly tighten. When this happens your organs will turn very tough and resemble leather. In turn, they will be difficult to eat, if you could sink your teeth into them at all! 

Aim to braise them over low heat instead. This will make the connective tissues melt away and result in the gizzards being tender and delicious. Try to keep the temperature between 180–205°F, and never boil them. 

Don’t be surprised if you need to allow the gizzards to cook for up to two hours on low heat. Once cooked, you could either serve them as-is or try something different.

Breading or battering them before deep frying is a popular choice, and you can serve it with your favorite condiments (we love garlic aioli here). 

You could also use a slow cooker to cook your gizzards, but exercise caution. Every model will have its differences, so refer to the manual for temperatures and cooking times – you can expect gizzards to take up to eight hours to cook at 210°F in one of these!

What Is A Gizzard?

Do Gizzards Taste Good?

Yes! Gizzards are known for their delicious dark-meat chicken taste. They have a very rich and dark flavor since they are muscles. 

While the idea of eating this kind of thing might not appeal to you if you are not used to eating other organs, we could argue that gizzards are among the best (along with hearts). They are absolutely worth trying out, even if you are not sure about it! 

Where Can You Get Chicken Gizzards?

You should be able to get chicken gizzards at your local butcher or poultry farmer. If you learn that you can purchase gizzards from either of these places, ensure that you ask if they have been cleaned out or not, as not all places will automatically do this. 

You may be charged an extra fee for the gizzards to get cleaned out, but it is worth the money unless you know exactly how to do it. Skipping this process, whether you do it yourself or not, is not an option. 

If you can find gizzards at your local grocery store, these will be cleaned out already. They should be located near the other organs such as livers or hearts. You may need to ask the butcher within the grocery store if you don’t see them, and they may be able to help. 

Make sure that any gizzards you get are cold to the touch, and try to get them last when doing your shopping. They should also be the first thing to be refrigerated once you get home. 

How To Store Chicken Gizzards

Gizzards can be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer. If you choose to refrigerate them, they should be rinsed and patted dry before being transferred into an airtight container or sealable bag. They should then be confused within 1–2 days. 

To freeze, follow the same instructions as above and ensure that they are kept at 0°F or below. Food that is frozen is kept safe indefinitely, but the quality will deteriorate over time. For the best results, use the gizzards within four months, but preferably before.

Final Thoughts

Gizzards are small muscles in a chicken’s digestive system that collect the grit and other things while the birds peck at the ground. While these organs are very useful, they are also excellent for cooking, and have a very rich and meaty flavor. 

You can prepare gizzards to enjoy as-is, or you can add them to a variety of dishes. Deep frying is also an option once the muscle has been cooked over low heat, especially when served with some garlic aioli or something similar.

Mark Williams
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