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What Are Gizzards?

Gizzards are actually stomachs – or actually, the second stomach of birds. Since birds don’t have sharp teeth, they need to break down their food with small stones that they ingest and then store in their gizzard.

Gizzards are used in cooking, and is grouped along with beef tripe and pork intestines and hearts in the category of “offal.” The thought of eating an animal’s stomach may not sound that appetizing in the beginning, but there are many cuisines that make use of this tender and very flavorful cut.

Gizzards are frequently sauted deep fried or boiled. They can also be included with neckbones and used to make soup stocks. In Asian cuisine gizzards are often cooked in soy sauce and served with vegetables as a rice topping. They are also used in making noodle dishes. Many people, especially those who are economically underprivileged, will use gizzard as an extender, substituting half of the meat required in the recipe with it, in order to save on the cost of the meal. In the United States gizzards are deep fried and served with honey mustard sauce. There are also dishes that call for barbecuing gizzards, which enhances their interesting texture.

Gizzards have an interesting chewy texture and can be seasoned with salt and pepper and a little garlic. Marinating them prior to cooking also helps enhance the flavor. Gizzards must be cleaned well and the membrane removed. Many supermarkets will sell pre cleaned gizzards. They can be bought in packs and are measured by the gram.

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