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What Is Cow Tongue And What Does It Taste Like? 

The Cow Tongue is a very unique and special type of beef. It is made from the tongues of cows that are not treated with hormones or antibiotics, which means that this is a healthier choice for consumers.

The thought of What Does Cow Tongue Taste Like gives a healthier answer. The flavor of the beef tongue is described as a bit gamey and can taste like slightly sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors.  

Cow tongue is a type of meat that comes from the cow’s head. It is usually fried, but can also be used to make a beef-based sauce.

Cow tongue is not very popular and it tastes like savory rich, and earthy flavor. Only a few people like it.

Do Cow Tongue Taste Delicious?

Cow Tongues

You may wonder, what a is cow tongue? What does a cow’s tongue taste like and how is it eaten?

The cow tongue is a muscle, just like many other parts of the cow. Most agree that it tastes like beef, though they may not be able to identify the source of the beef. Cow Tongue can be very flavorful and full of nutrients.

While cow tongue can be delicious, especially when it is skinned, cooked, and shredded. In this way, it can be tossed in BBQ sauce and served on a bun.

There may be some difference in the taste of the cow tongue based on how it was fed. Corn-fed cows have more fat and a sweeter taste; grass-fed cows produce gamier-tasting meat and is leaner.

What Does The Cow Tongue Look Like?

Cow Tongues

A cow tongue is a long, thick muscle that can come in a variety of colors. It may be a soft pink color as well as dark brown, black, and even greyish.

It is covered with small papillae, which help the cow grip its food. It can be up to 18 inches long, depending on the size of the cow itself.

If you see a cow’s tongue in the meat case, you can tell that it is a tongue. This may be part of the reason that some people are steered away from eating it, because of its all too familiar appearance.

What Texture Does The Cow Tongue Have?

Cow Tongues

The texture of a cow’s tongue is rough and bumpy. The rough spots are papillae, which help the animal grip the grass and hay it eats.

Cows also use their tongues to groom themselves and other cows as well as bond with their babies.

A cow’s tongue is sensitive and full of nerve endings and taste buds. This enables the cow to taste the food it is eating. Because of the texture of the outside of the cow tongue, many people skin the tongue before they prepare it.

RELATED: What Should I Serve With Beef Stroganoff: 14 Delicious, Savory Sides

Types Of Cow Tongue?

Cow Tongues

The only type of cow tongue comes from cows. Though there are different breeds, the appearance and taste of the cow tongue doesn’t differ.

Smaller cows will have smaller tongues, just as larger cows will have larger and thicker tongues.

Where Do Cow Tongues Come From?

A cow’s tongue comes from the cow’s mouth. It is a thick muscle that is rich in nutrients. Many ethnicities believe that no part of the animal should not be wasted and include cow tongue in their meals regularly.

Is It Healthy To Eat Cow Tongue? Are There Any Dangers In Eating Cow Tongue?

Cow Tongues

Cow tongue can be healthy for you, but there are some concerns. The main concern is the high-fat content. In 100 grams of beef tongue, there are 22 grams of fat. This includes 8 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of trans fat.

Regularly consuming high amounts of saturated fats can elevate levels of LDL, which is bad cholesterol, while it decreases the levels of HDL, considered good cholesterol.

If eaten in moderation, like many other types of fatty meat, you should be fine.

How Do You Eat Cow Tongue?

There are numerous ways to prepare a cow’s tongue. To guarantee tenderness, most people boil, braise or slow-cook beef tender. This will result in a tender and moist beef tongue.


Add a teaspoon of salt and simmer until it comes to a boil and cook it for at least three hours.


Using this method, you will sear the meat and simmer it in its own juices or the added liquid.

Slow Cooker

This is the easiest way to cook beef tongue. Just rub it with salt and your favorite aromatics and you will have a juicy piece of meat that can be shredded or used in recipes.

Most people eat beef tongue:

  • Shredded in sandwiches
  • As a main course
  • Tossed cold in salads
  • In stews
  • As taco meat
  • In soups

Cow tongue can also be substituted for other meats in recipes.

Is Cow Tongue Good For You?

A three-ounce portion of simmered cow tongue provides the following nutritional value:

  • Calories: 241
  • Total Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0.7g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.6g
  • Cholesterol: 112 mg
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Potassium: 156mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Vitamin A: 0% Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin B6: 7% DV
  • Vitamin B12: 44% DV
  • Vitamin C: 1.8% DV
  • Zinc: 23% DV
  • Niacin: 15% DV
  • Phosphorus: 12% DV
  • Calcium: 0.3% DV
  • Iron: 12% DV
  • Copper: 6% DV
  • Riboflavin: 15% DV

How Can I Store Cow Tongue?

You should cook cow tongue as soon as possible to ensure freshness. When boiled, the tongue will stay good in your refrigerator for up to five days.

Preparing Tongue For Storage:

  • Boil the cow tongue for 60 minutes per pound. It should always be submerged as it boils.
  • Cook it low and slow to prevent overcooking. Never use high heat.
  • If frying or grilling, make sure all the pink is gone.
  • When cooking in the oven, add salt and pepper and cook at 450 degrees until done.

Can You Freeze Beef Tongue?

You can easily freeze your beef tongue. It should be washed, wrapped in plastic wrap, and immediately frozen, if raw. It may also be cooked.

In either case, the tongue will last for about three months in your freezer.

How Can You Tell If A Beef Tongue Is Bad?

The tongue may be bad if the expiration date passes.  Also, if it has a bad smell or is discolored, it is bad. Also, do not keep it in the refrigerator for more than five days.

Bad meat, including cow tongue, can have a strong rancid smell. It can also take on a greenish or dark brown hue. These are signs that the meat has gone bad.

In addition, while shopping you should always check the freshness date and not purchase food when the expiration date has passed.

If you cannot prepare meat within a day or two, freeze it. Fresh meat will only last for about five days in the refrigerator.

How Can I Pick A Fresh Cow Tongue At A Grocery Store?

There are several things you should consider when buying beef tongue.

Buy it fresh from your butcher, if possible. If you are purchasing it from the grocery store, check the expiration date, and make sure the color is light pink.

If you go home and the tongue has a bad smell, return it to the grocer and do not eat it.

If you purchase the tongue from an online outlet, make sure that you check the reviews. Be wary of any reviews that were not happy with this or other fresh meat purchases.

When buying cow tongues, also keep in mind that those that fed on corn will have more fat than those cows that were eating hay and grass.

How To Ripen Beef Tongue?

There is no need to do this as the beef tongue is ready to be cooked and eaten when purchased.

How To Open Cow Tongue?

The tongue should be packaged like any other fresh beef product so there is no opening necessary. Just remove it from the packaging it came in.

Can You Grow Beef Tongue?

Not unless you have a cow. If you are going to slaughter the animal, be sure to take care during the processing of the animal.

How Do You Cook Beef Tongue?

There are many methods used when cooking beef tongue. Some of the most popular ways to prepare it are to boil it, braise or put it in the slow cooker.

These methods will result in a tender, juicy beef tongue.

Some recipes also suggest cooking a cow’s tongue in the oven on high heat, so this is another method that can be used. You must be careful, however. When cooking beef tongue at a high temperature, it is very easy for the tongue to get tough, ruining the meat.

When overcooked, the tongue tends to get rubbery, which is not the way you want to serve any cut of meat.

How To Make Cow Tongue?

Here are several recipes for cow tongue, so you can try it for yourself if you haven’t had it before. If you are already a fan of this meat cut, perhaps you can add these recipes to your repertoire.

Remember, the tongue is beef, so many of the same recipes you have used for other cuts may translate well if you try them with the cow tongue.

Distinct Cow Tongue Recipes

Recipe CaloriesPreparation Time 
Beef Tongue Tacos1961 Hour 5 Mins
Braised Beef Tongue2405 Hours
Instant Pot Beef Tongue2041 Hour 38 Mins

1. Beef Tongue Tacos

This recipe uses a boiled beef tongue that has been seasoned with onion, thyme, and garlic. In just 30-45 minutes, the beef tongue will be finished cooking and ready to be cut up and served with your favorite taco accompaniments.

Calories: 196

Total Preparation Time: 1 Hour 5 Mins

2. Braised Beef Tongue

This recipe may take a while to prepare, but it is worth it. The tongue is braised for around five hours until the meat is firm. The tongue will need to be peeled after it is cooked.

The cooked tongue can be used for sandwiches, the main course, in salads, and served whole like beef tenderloin.

Calories: 240

Total Preparation Time: 5 Hours

RELATED: 15 Roast Beef Recipes That Are Easy To Make

3. Instant Pot Beef Tongue

Using an Instant Pot is a great way to prepare a cow’s tongue. This recipe treats the beef tongue as a beef roast by adding vegetables, thyme, beef broth, and parsley.

When using an Instant Pot, all you have to do is gather your ingredients, put them in the instant pot, and forget about it until done.

Using an instant pot is a great way to make beef tongue. As a result, it is typically a moist and tender tongue.

Calories: 204

Total Preparation Time: 1 Hour 38 Mins

Frequently Asked Questions

How Is The Beef Tongue Different From The Rest Of The Cow?

The tongue is still beef! While it has more fat than many other cuts. It can be made in many of the same ways you cook other cuts of beef. Broiling, frying, braising and roasting

Unlike lean cuts like tenderloin and filets, the tongue is a very fatty muscle. It should be eaten on occasion and not as frequently as other meats.

How Is Cow Tongue Served?

Beef tongue can be served in numerous different ways. There are numerous techniques for cooking beef tongue on the internet. You can explore different flavor combinations and choose the method and flavors you prefer.

Remember, beef tongue can get tough if overcooked. You will need to watch it closely if you are going to cook it on high heat or else you may find that your cow tongue has the consistency of rubber.

Is Beef Tongue Hard To Make?            

There are easy recipes for beef tongue and others that are more complex. The difficulty is up to the cook and the recipes they decide to use.

Many prefer simple braising recipes. The tongue can then be used in tacos, for lunchmeat, or for other uses. Some feature tongue as the main course, served with vegetables like you would serve a beef roast.

How Long Does It Take To Make It?

The best method for cooking beef tongue is to cook it low and slow. Therefore, many cooks use an instant pot or a slow cooker when preparing cow tongues. 

If braising beef tongue, you have to keep it covered with liquid and cook it for 4-5 hours to achieve the same result that a slow cooker would deliver.

Cooking a beef tongue on high heat may result in a rubbery cow tongue with a reduced flavor profile.

There are so many foods on the market that many people choose not to eat because of how they look. Years ago, lobster was considered pests on the east coast and fed to those in prison.

Today it is a fine delicacy. We also use pigs to search out truffles that are found underground. Many of our favorite luxury foods have had very dubious starts!

Don’t judge a food product before you try it, no matter how it looks. Give it a try; you may find that you have a new favorite food to present to your friends and family.

Cow tongue. It’s actually quite delicious, if you think about it.

3 Distinct Cow Tongue Recipes 

Cow tongue is a delicacy in many parts of the world. It is usually prepared by boiling the tongue in water, then peeling and chopping the meat off of the bone.


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith

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Friday 5th of May 2023

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