Why Does My Steak Taste Like Liver? [Causes & What To Do]

Nothing is worse than smoking a big juicy steak on the pellet grill, only to realize that it tastes like liver. The experience may be so bad, you may never want to cook steak again. If you’ve ever experienced this problem, you’ve likely asked yourself “why does my steak taste like liver?”

Well, here’s what I found after experiencing this issue myself and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

why does my steak taste like liver

Why Does My Steak Taste Like Liver?

If your cut of steak has a liver flavor, it could be due to the following; myoglobin, age of the meat, marbling, doneness, type of cut, as well as your taste buds.

This may not mean a whole lot, especially, if you’ve never experienced this problem before. I this article, we’ll discuss this issue in further detail as well as some tips you can use to ensure it doesn’t happen to you.

After all, with the high cost of meat, the last thing you want is to have the flavor ruined with it tasting like liver.

*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

What Causes Steak To Taste Like Liver?


Steak as well as all meats have myoglobin which is an iron-rich protein that gives meat its reddish color.

It’s also how consumers choose meat at the grocery store. The truth is that color is not an indication of freshness, here’s how to pick a good steak.

You’ve likely seen it when you cut into the steak ad see a red juice that looks like blood.

It’s actually myoglobin and it turns red when it is exposed to oxygen.

The more red the beef is in color, the higher concentration of iron, in the cow’s muscles. It also means there’s a higher chance of the steak having a livery taste.

Beef has a higher concentration in myoglobin than lamb and pork, which is why most people experience this issue when eating steak.

Aging Process

Most of us buy our steaks when they are on sale and vacuum pack them until we are ready to cook them. Vacuum-packed beef allows bacteria to grow lactic acid, which causes a reaction between the proteins of the meat.

The lactic acid in meat causes it to become tough, tasteless, and high in pH levels. One of the reasons you shouldn’t leave your steaks vacuum packed for too long. According to Amazing Ribs, flat iron steaks shouldn’t be aged for more than 14 days.

Quality of Meat

Most people tend to shop for the cheapest meat possible in hopes of trying to save money, especially, if you have a large family. However, if you’re constantly having to deal with this problem, it’s likely you’re choosing the wrong type of meat.

Instead of choosing the cheapest meat, opt for a higher grade of beef because it tends to have more marbling, such as USDA Prime, USDA Choice, or Wagyu. Also, look opt for grass-fed beef that is raised free of added hormones and antibiotics.

Other Causes


The level of doneness the flat iron steaks will play a huge role in whether it tastes like liver or not. When the leaner steaks are cooked rare, or medium-rare, it increases the chances it will taste like liver.

A well-cooked steak will have less myoglobin (the red stuff) when you cut into it, therefore it won’t taste like steak. The downside is it may be tough to chew because of the doneness and cut of beef.

Taste Buds

If you’ve never experienced a steak tasting like liver, you’re lucky. Some people (like myself) have sensitive taste buds. Meaning we’re likely to notice the liver flavor while even though others don’t.

Where You Bought the Steak

While not always the case, it could be due to where you purchased the beef.

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Types of Steak Most Likely To Taste Like Liver?

All cuts of beef are prone to having a liver taste. However, leaner cuts such as petite tenders, filet mignon, and flat iron steaks are more prone to this issue.

The chuck gets exercise, resulting in more connective tissues making it less tender than other cuts such as the ribeye.

How Do You Get The Liver Taste Out of Steak?

The best way to ensure your steak doesn’t have a livery taste is to choose a more marbled cut of steaks such as ribeye or strip steaks.

If you already have some flat iron steaks in the freezer that need to be cooked, follow these tips to keep them from tasting livery.


One of the best ways to ensure you end up with a flavorful steak is to cook it thoroughly. Use a handheld thermometer and don’t remove it from the grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

Dry Brine It

Salt both sides of the steak and place it in an air-tight container and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before grilling. This will pull out a lot of the excess myoglobin and will give the meat better texture, flavor, and more juiciness.

Use a paper towel to remove any excess salt from the beef before grilling it.

Cooking Temperature

If you’re like me, you don’t enjoy eating tough, well-done steak. This is where a pellet grill shines because it allows you to cook the meat at a low temperature of 135°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F or so.

Then you can sear it on the pellet grill over an open flame until it is medium-rare or 130°F. It will also give the steak those nice grill marks that everyone strives for.

It won’t take more than a minute or two to sear the steaks over a high open flame. The amount of time it takes for them to sear will depend on the thickness of the steak.

If you don’t have a pellet grill, you can transfer the meat to a hot cast iron or carbon steel skillet and sear it over a gas stove.

Don’t forget to use a small amount of peanut oil or canola oil, as it will prevent the steaks from burning and sticking to the pan.

If you’re cooking a skirt or flank steak, you’ll get the best results by cooking it at a high temperature and fast.

Final Word

Flat iron, petite tenders, filet mignon are leaner cuts of beef and have higher concentrations of myoglobin, increasing the chances of it tasting like liver.

To ensure you end up with a flavorful steak, choose high-quality meat, cook it properly and thoroughly. If you’re constantly experiencing this issue, the tips above can help you prepare a more flavorful steak.

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