When we bought the 1/4 cow, the butcher gave us a bunch of extra livers. He had them sitting around, and people don’t generally love eating cow liver, so when I was willing to take everything he had, he seemed elated. The friends that we split the meat with also have dogs that love tasty snacks, so they took their half of the liver that was given to us, and all was well.
Now that the weather has cooled down, I am in gear to start dehydrating things. We haven’t run the heat this season so far, so running a device that blows warm air all over the house is kind of pleasant too. I love dehydrating apples. When I decided to dehydrate liver, I didn’t count on just how intensely the house would smell of liver. Luckily Craig was out hunting, so his super-smeller self wasn’t put through the kind of hell that I went through. I started the liver in the evening when I got home from work, and ran the dehydrator through the night. I actually woke up partway through the night and was certain that one of the dogs had pooped, eaten it, and thrown it back up. It was just the liver. My dehydrator is an orange and ivory colored beast from the 70’s that I got as a hand-me-down from my parents. The brand is Marvelizer. Because why not. It comes with 2 types of tray liners. The “nonstick” grate type, and then a nonstick plastic sheet that is designed for fruit leather type applications. I used the grate type and it was a mistake. Liver goo went down through the grates and got into all the tiny cracks in the racks. I had to soak the racks all day, and scraped the crap out of my fingers trying to scrub it all out.
Here is my advice if you decide to dehydrate liver as dog treats – my dogs, and the dogs at work lose their minds for these treats, they’re probably worth it.
*Set the dehydrator up in a room that has airflow that doesn’t reach the rest of the house. Think laundry room, bathroom with the fan running constantly, garage, what-have-you.
*Use the fruit leather liners. The liver will likely take longer to dry, but believe me, the time payoff is worth it when it comes to cleanup.
*Make sure the liver is very dry if you want to store it at room temp. If not, keep it in the fridge.