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How to Cook Deer Liver and Onions

Tammy is an online writer, website designer/developer, and a state home-care worker. She enjoys sharing her experiences online.

Deer liver and onions

Deer liver and onions

Organ Meats Are Nutritious

Deer liver is a very nutritious and healthy meat. Some people don't care for it because of its chalky and rich flavor, but my husband and I enjoy it.

This dish doesn't take very long to cook. You can fry your liver and onions on the stovetop or in an electric skillet.

Deer liver

Deer liver

Is Liver Good For You?

Liver is high in vitamin A, folic acid, iron, and zinc. Liver is the most nutrient-dense organ meat, and it is a powerful source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is beneficial for eye health and for reducing diseases that cause inflammation, including everything from Alzheimer's disease to arthritis.

— Tom Seymour, September 3, 2017

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

2 servings (plus leftovers)


  • 1 deer liver
  • 2 small yellow or white onions
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Cut up the yellow or white onions in slices. Keep the two onions separate. One sliced-up onion in one pile and the other onion in another pile.
  2. Place the one pile of sliced up onion on the bottom of the frying pan or electric skillet to create a layer of onions.
  3. Take out the deer liver and cut it up in 2-inch thick slices. Depending on the size of the liver, you may need to cut the liver in half and only cut and cook 1 half of it. Our deer liver was pretty big so we cut ours in half. However, there are just two of us eating. Half of the liver was plenty for two meals in total.
  4. Turn the skillet on and heat up the onions. With an electric skillet, we turned it up to 300 degrees. If using the stovetop, medium heat should work great for steaming the onions.
  5. Add about 1 tablespoon of water to the onions and cover with a lid. Let them steam for just 2-3 minutes.
  6. Squeeze or pour about 4 tablespoons of ketchup over the layer of steamed onions. Sprinkle 2-4 tablespoons of brown sugar over the layer of ketchup.
  7. Lay the slices of deer liver over the brown sugar and ketchup. Lay the rest of the onion slices over the liver meat.
  8. Cover the pan or skillet. If you don't have a lid for your pan, use a plate. Turn the heat up to 325 degrees or medium-high. Cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Uncover the pan and flip the slices of meat over. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  10. Turn the burner or skillet off so that the liver doesn't overcook.
  11. Spoon up a plate or bowl of liver and onions. Enjoy!

In the natural world, predatory animals are known to value the organs of their prey and, for example, to eat the liver first because it is so densely packed with nutrients.

— Medical News Today

Organ meats like deer liver are considered to be "superfoods" because they contain so many vitamins that are good for you. However, there are some downfalls to eating liver or other organ meats. If reheated the next day, liver can be very tough, chalky or have a "gamey" taste to it. Despite the amount of vitamins that organ meats have, they are not considered to be an important part of the dietary plan. If you decide to have the next day leftovers, try to reheat in a sauce or broth.

© 2020 Tammy Winters