What Do Kidneys Taste Like? – Flavor Discovery For New Cooks

You have heard about eating animal kidneys, and you wonder, “Can you eat kidneys?”. If so, what do kidneys taste like? Are there any differences between the different kidney types? Besides, you want to know about the possible cautions when eating kidneys and how to prepare and cook kidneys properly to bring out flavorful dishes.

We will provide all the answers to your questions in the article below. Thus, you can pick the suitable kidney for your taste and create a yummy and flavorful dish.

Wait no more! Let’s jump right into the parts below for more detailed information.

Brief Introduction About Kidneys

Brief Introduction About Kidneys

Before getting into details about the taste of kidneys, we had better discover some fast facts about this type of organ meat along with its effects on our health. Let’s discuss the scent of kidneys first.

Uncooked kidneys often deliver a pungent urine smell. This scent might be a little weird for those who first feel it. Fortunately, this scent becomes much milder when kidneys are fully cooked. 

What about the nutritions in kidneys?

You might have already known that organ meat is sometimes referred to as “super foods” as it is rich in vitamins and nutrients. And kidneys are no exception. So what nutrients do kidneys contain?

Kidney meat provides a large amount of omega 3 fatty acids along with B12, riboflavin, and iron. Besides, you can opt for kidneys to get lots of protein with a tiny amount of animal fats.

Is there any caution when eating kidneys?

Despite kidney health benefits, this type of organ meat might pose several risks to those who have some health issues.

For instance, people with gout should limit their kidney meat intake because it contains purine, a molecule associated with gout flare-ups.

Moreover, those diagnosed with an iron overload disease should only have a moderate amount of kidneys because they are rich in iron.

What Do Kidneys Taste Like?

So, what does kidney taste like? Generally, fresh kidney meat tastes pretty similar to a metallic taste. However, when cooked properly, kidney meat will come with a flavorful taste and a little chewy texture. 

Now, it is time to check out the different tastes of different kidney meat available in the market.

Veal Kidney

The first name on the list is the veal kidney (also known as calf kidney). It ranks among the topmost expensive kidney meat because of its distinctive flavor. It features a mouthfeel flavor, tender texture, and a gentle aroma, especially when grilled.

Lamb’s Kidney

Lamb kidney (or mutton kidney) marks a significant resemblance to the gentle taste of veal kidney and the low amount of fat. However, the lamb kidney flavor is a little bit gamier than that of the veal.

So, how to cook kidneys?

There are tons of ways to cook and bring out the delectable flavor of lamb kidney, such as lamb kidney pie, grilled lamb kidney with crispy sage, and so on.

Beef Kidney

What about beef kidneys?

When served rare, beef and ox kidney (ox is a castrated bull) come with a stronger flavor than lamb’s kidney. It is also a little tougher than the mutton and veal kidney.

So, how to cook beef kidney for a milder taste? If you prefer a milder flavor and tender texture, it is a must to soak beef kidneys in saltwater or buttermilk before cooking beef kidney.

Pork Kidney

Compared to beef kidney, pork kidney (or pig kidney) features a stronger and earthier flavor. For those who first try organ meat, they might not like this assertive taste.Fortunately, you can soak them in cold water for hours to make their flavors milder. This way, you effortlessly cook and serve it well with other ingredients, such as mustard or ginger-sesame sauce, to create a fantastic kidney dish.

Chicken Kidney

The chicken kidney is considered one of the cheapest among different kidneys. The reason is that it is quite chewy and less flavorful compared to the others.

The good news is that there are plenty of cooking methods that help bring out the tasty flavor of chicken kidney, such as frying or stirring with mushrooms.

How To Cook Kidneys Properly And Bring Out Fantastic Dishes?


How to prepare kidneys before cooking? Here are the steps to follow.

  • Step 1: Trim the fat off of the kidney.

You can either use kidney fat for cooking or discard it.

  • Step 2: Get rid of the membrane from the center of the kidney.
  • Step 3: Soak the kidney in saltwater or buttermilk for hours to avoid any bitterness.

In case you use veal or lamb kidney, salt it for a few minutes, then rinse and dry.

Kidney-cooking Methods

How do you cook kidneys to create a yummy dish? In this part, we will show you the best way to cook kidneys.

Grilling kidneys

  • Step 1: Slice the prepared kidney in half.
  • Step 2: Marinate the kidney slices in a mixture of olive oil, herb, and seasonings.
  • Step 3: Let the kidney rest in the marinade for around 2 hours.

During this period, toss the kidney slices in the marinade often.

If you want to marinate the kidney for more than 2 hours, you need to put them in the refrigerator to avoid bacteria growth.

  • Step 4: Place the kidney slices on a hot grill.
  • Step 5: Cook each side of the kidney for around 2 minutes.

Depending on the kidney type you use and the slice size, you can cut down or add up the cooking time.

  • Step 6: Serve the cooked kidney with your preferred side dishes, such as salads or potatoes.

Sautéing kidneys

  • Step 1: Use a sharp knife to cut the kidney into half or small bite-size pieces.
  • Step 2: Prepare veggies to sauté with kidney slices.

We suggest using onions and mushrooms because they complement the kidney flavor so well. 

  • Step 3: Melt a small amount of butter in a skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Step 4: Add the kidneys and veggies to the skillet, then cook for 3-4 minutes.

During the cooking process, season the mixture with salt and pepper, and toss it often to ensure all the ingredients are fully cooked.

  • Step 5: Put the mixture on a serving plate and garnish it with some herbs.

The Bottom Line

Now you discover the answer for your wonder – what do kidneys taste like.

You really want to buy healthy kidneys, such as beef kidneys, and follow a beef kidney recipe and create a delicious dish immediately, right?

Go ahead, our friend! We hope you will have such a joyful cooking time. In case you still have any questions, such as “Where to buy beef kidney near me?”, “Are there any other recipes for beef kidneys?”, leave your comment below. We will support you as soon as possible.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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