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Beef Tongue Recipe

Pressure cooker beef tongue is tender, rich, and moist. This cow tongue recipe is also incredibly easy to cook. If you’ve never made it before, learn to cook beef tongue with only a few minutes of prep thanks to the Instant Pot.

If you don’t own a pressure cooker, no worries – you can cook it on the stovetop the same way, only cooking it longer.

Beef recipes using cow tongue. Image of tongue sliced with herbs and onion.

Looking for more beef recipes with the Instant Pot? You’ll love this Instant Pot Korean beef and rice, Instant Pot beef pilaf, and this pressure cooker beef stroganoff.

What does Beef Tongue Taste Like?

If you have never tried beef tongue before, you may wonder what it tastes like. It tastes like any other cut of beef but has a melt-in-your-mouth, soft texture. Of course, any flavor additives will add to the meat itself. However, once the meat is skinned, people compare the texture and flavor of boiled beef to super tender shredded beef.

What is cow tongue in beef recipes used for?

There are many ways you can consume cow tongue. I enjoy it sliced cold on top of fresh crusty bread and a thin spread of garlicky mayo, and sliced onion as an appetizer or light meal.

You can substitute this beef in many recipes, particularly those that call for shredded beef (tacos, anyone?).

Beef tongue sliced and styled on a platter, topped with onions and herbs.

Ways to try this Beef Tongue Recipe

Some specific ways you can try tongue include:

  • In a taco – Shred the meat and serve in a corn tortilla with cilantro, diced onion, and a drizzle of tomatillo sauce.
  • On top of a salad – There are many types of salads that this recipe would work well with – sub out the tongue for your normal protein.
  • Within a stew – Mexican Lengua (tongue) stew is rich, and you can customize it to add your favorite veggies like carrot, potato, and onion.
  • In a sandwich or wrap. Whether you eat the beef tongue hot or cold, it makes a perfect sandwich filler, especially with garlic mayo and onions.
  • Cold Cut tray: serve it and other cold cuts as appetizers.

Beef tongue recipe with tongue cooked on top of sliced bread with onion.

Is Cow Tongue Safe to Eat?

Beef tongue is consumed all around the world. It is perfectly safe to eat as long as it is properly handled and cooked, just like any other beef recipe.

Not only is it safe to eat, but it’s also full of nutrients that make it a healthy cut of meat. Beef tongue is high in B-12 and zinc. One 3-oz portion of the meat will give you your daily recommendation of B-12 and nearly half of your daily zinc needs.

Sliced beef tongue (cow tongue) on toast with herbs and sliced onion

How to Cook Beef Tongue Recipe

This is practically a no-fail method of cooking tender, tasty tongue. The Instant Pot is a phenomenal tool to have in your kitchen, especially when it comes to tougher meat in beef recipes.

To cook the tongue in the Instant Pot, you simply need to combine onion, carrot, salt, and pepper in an Instant pot full of water. Add the tongue and cook for about 90 minutes. After it de-pressurizes and the meat cools, peel it, and you are done—you’ve just created a beef tongue recipe in the pressure cooker.

Cooked beef tongue with sliced onions and herbs

How Long is Beef Tongue Good for?

Just like any other beef recipe, this meat will last about four days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Can you Freeze Tongue?

If you want to make your beef tongue recipe last even longer, you can freeze a portion. Put the tongue in an airtight freezer bag and squeeze all the air out. Freeze it flat and label the bag with the date—for best texture and flavor, consume it within 3 months.

How to cook beef tongue. Sliced tongue on a platter with herbs, sliced onions and toast

Here are some other Beef recipes you might like:

Instant Pot Beef Tongue

Sliced Beef Tongue on a plate with Onion and Herbs.
4.77 from 30 votes

Tender, moist beef tongue only takes minutes to prep thanks to a pressure cooker. Learn how to cook beef tongue the easy way.

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: beef, beef tongue, instant pot beef
Calories: 334 kcal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10



How to Make Beef Tongue in the Instant Pot

  1. Add the beef tongue to the pressure cooker, along with the salt, pepper, bay leaf, peeled onion, and carrots. Then add enough water to over it by 1 inch, about 4 quarts/adjustable]

  2. Cover the Instant Pot with a lid and turn the steam valve to "sealing". Turn the pressure cooker to "Manual" and "High" pressure for 90 minutes. Once the time expires, allow the Instant Pot to depressurize naturally for about 20-30 minutes, then open the lid.

  3. Remove the tongue from the cooking liquid and run it under cold water to cool it down slightly. Then peel off the skin, cut into slices against the grain and serve.

How to Make Beef Tongue on the Stovetop

  1. If you do not have an Instant Pot, you can make this recipe by adding all ingredients to a large stockpot. Keep it at a slow simmer for about 2.5 hours with the lid vented open slightly.

How to check the tongue for doneness?

  1. Pierce the tongue with a thin knife, if the knife goes in easily, remove it, run it under cold water for a minute, then peel and serve.

    If the tongue is not easily pierced with a knife, continue cooking until it is easily pierced with a fork or a thin knife. Add more water to the pot as needed to keep the tongue submerged at all times.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Beef Tongue
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 125mg42%
Sodium 1547mg67%
Potassium 638mg18%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 1045IU21%
Vitamin C 1.2mg1%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Thank you for useful information

    · Reply
  • Rekayasa Perangkat Lunak Aplikasi

    This recipe is a game-changer for me. Never thought I’d be so excited to try cooking beef tongue at home!

    · Reply
  • brett

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. We just followed your instant pot recipe and it came out great. We weren’t sure what to do with the water, onion, and carrots. Do you discard those or just eat those separately? We planned to use in tacos and carrots that are cooked like this don’t typically go into our tacos 🙂
    thank you again.

    · Reply
    • Dr. Fiorenza Albert-Howard

      I use those as a base for a soup, the following day.

      · Reply
  • Thanks for the great info. Keep up the good work!
    wow , i really imprassive and i like your post.
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    · Reply
  • thank you for the information

    · Reply
  • Allen

    I appreciate you promoting beef tongue but I have to say, you are making it virtually tasteless as well as you cut it in correctly.
    If I may, and please don’t be offended by my comments as I do not mean them rudely, let me give you some more options that will make it much tastier.
    If cooking in a pot, bring water to a boil, put in the tongue and turn heat so it is a very gentle boil. Cover and cook 1 hour per pound. In the Instapot, try 15 minutes per pound pressurized. When it is close to done, get a large bowl and add ice and water, enough to submerge the tongue. When your time is up, remove the tongue, slice the top from tip to end, just enough to get thru the rubbery layer. Place the tongue in the ice water and leave it for about twenty minutes. You will find that the rubber outer coat will peel easily. I see you left it on yours. Wait until you try it without!
    Once peeled, slice it similar to how sashimi is sliced. Combine some oil, I like sesame but any works, and some spices of your choosing. Saute slices in a VERY hot pan, adding the oil as you add the slices. It should be sizzling hot. After about 10 seconds, turn heat off and just keep the pieces moving so they don’t burn, being gentle as the tongue is going to be nearly falling apart. Toss for another 20-30 seconds, if you slices thick (over a half inch) add 10-12 seconds per quarter inch to cook time. Once time is up, dump into a bowl. If you used too much oil, dump into strainer then dump into bowl. A high heat bowl, Corning or such, pre-warmed will keep it longer but don’t heat it to the point it begins cooking again. If it is for tacos, get two forks and pull meat apart. It will nearly fall apart if you yell at it hard enough.
    Never, NEVER serve with the outer intertube rubber layer on it and pre-peeling gives that white, colorless pork loin color…. And no flavor. Boop, slice, ice, peel, saute, serve……. Good luck

    · Reply
    • Hi Allen,
      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate the time you took to share how you like making this delicious tongue.
      Many cultures have their ways of eating and serving this delicacy.
      Boiling it until tender is just the first step.

      In our culture, we serve it as a cold cut with a bit of horseradish or make it into an aspic. We also make it with a garlicky white cream sauce.

      P.S. step 3 describes removing the tough outer skin off the tongue (pictures show it with the outer layer already peeled off).

      · Reply
  • Kristina Swenor

    Love beef tongue!!! Thank you!!!

    · Reply
  • Natalia

    I love beef tongue. My mom used to cook it for me in Ukraine. I saw it in Sam’s Club once and decided to cook it by myself. The recipe is great because beef tongue was delicious, so soft and tender. I bought only two pounds and use the same instruction but a little less salt and only 1 hour in Power Cooker. Yum!

    · Reply
    • I have memories of eating it in Ukraine too, thank you for sharing yours 🙂
      Appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback, Natalia.

      · Reply
  • Dr. Fiorenza Albert-Howard

    I cook tongue very often. Your recipe is perfect . But this time the tongue is very hard! I don’t know why. What can I do now?

    · Reply
    • Hi Dr. Fiorenza Albert-Howard!
      Thank you for your feedback! If the tongue is still tough, I would just continue cooking it until it is softer. This doesn’t happen often here in the states, but I know back in Ukraine we always knew that meat that comes from older aged animal will be tougher. Not sure where you’re from, but may be that’s the case?

      · Reply
      • Dr. Fiorenza Albert-Howard

        Thanks, I think that probably that was the problem, the age the animal. I cooked it further and it did work.

        · Reply
  • Shannon Patti

    Does it have a strong smell while it’s cooking? I need to make it for my stepdad but my mom said I need to do it outside because it will stink up my condo. Now I’m worried.

    · Reply
    • Hi Shannon, when cooking in the pressure cooker there’s no smell during cooking. When releasing the pressure (at the end) the steam, together with the smell comes out. If you’d like to avoid any smell you can cook it outside so that you can open the steam valve outside and avoid any smell at all.

      · Reply
  • Jacob

    I want to try this recipe, but isn’t 90 minutes in pressure cooker a bit too much? I like a consistency where the tongue meat is soft but firm (doesn’t shred easily into pieces).

    · Reply
    • Hi Jacob, since the tongue is one solid piece of meat it takes longer for it to cook than if it was cut into smaller pieces. If you were to cook the tongue on a stove-top it would take about 3-4 hours to cook, so 90 minutes is the perfect amount where it is soft but does not shred into pieces at all.

      · Reply
  • qwerty

    I believe high is for pressure, not heat.
    I’ll try tonight and let you know !

    · Reply
    • You are absolutely correct. Thanks for catching that!
      Let me know how you liked the recipe 🙂

      · Reply
    • Wendy

      Can you use beef broth instead of water? Can you use your liquid into a gravy?

      · Reply
      • Hi Wendy!
        Yes you can use broth instead of water.
        Yes, the cooking liquid can be made into gravy, but I would reduce it quiet a bit before thickening it. If you’re going to use it for gravy, I would add less salt to the cooking liquid so that once reduced it’s not overly salted.

        · Reply
    • Karen C.

      Does anyone know why beef tongue would have a carb count?

      · Reply
      • When the nutrition label is created it’s created from all of the ingredients on the list. But, since the carrots in the recipe are not really eaten but just used for aromatics, there really isn’t any carbs.

        · Reply
  • John Seberg

    I did it in the Instant Pot. This was by far the easiest to peel tongue I’ve ever made.

    · Reply
  • What is the serving size for the “Nutrition Facts”? I am estimating something over 6 oz., based on 35 g. of protein.

    I’m trying this recipe, tomorrow, first time in the Instant Pot.


    · Reply
    • Hi John,
      with 4 lbs of beef about 2/3 to 1 lb will be the tongue skin. The rest, I estimated could be used for about 10 sandwiches or 10 tacos, but it would be between 6 to 8.8 oz. per serving. It really depends on how you’d like to use the meat.
      Hope this helps!

      · Reply
  • Wildwood

    I made this exactly as written and it turned out perfect- the meat is tender and the broth is sweet and flavorful. Thank you for this recipe! We just had a cow butchered and, of course, asked for the tongue, heart, liver, tail, and hanger steak. (Although I forgot about the sweetbread! Dang it!) The dough is rising now for the fresh crusty bread you suggest as an accompaniment. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    I love your “about” page and your love for the Lord. My relative were part of a Ukranian/ Russian church for a while (I know they aren’t the same, but the church had both Ukranian and Russian believers). The members of the church are such faithful, loving people. We were blessed to know them through our family! God bless you and your family!

    · Reply
  • Timothy Rumbinas

    Mmmm. I am anxiously awaiting UPS to bring my package pf tongue. Not only is tongue delicious, it is a bargain if you find the right source. I’ve found two places that offer grass-fed organic tongue for $5/lb, which is less than commercial grade ground beef in my area.

    It is a very versatile meat. Sliced about 1/4″ thick and pan fried for breakfast, it is a crispy, tender treat with eggs.

    It is easily brined or “corned,” and can make both decadent corned beef or pastrami/Montreal smoked meat if cooked in a smoker grill..

    Cooked together with beef heart, onions, mushrooms, and a little gravy inside a puff pastry shell, it makes a luxurious meat pie. I buy commercial puff pastry. Sometimes the easy way is hard enough.

    Enough of this. It used to be that oxtail was cheap and marrow bones almost free. Then they were rediscovered as delicious food, and the price went out of sight. In the last Bigos I made, the bones for the broth cost more than the pork shoulder. Can’t divulge all the secrets.

    Try some. I’d far rather skin a beef tongue than deal with a bunch of chicken skin. It’s really not that bad to prepare.

    · Reply
  • Sandra Amiethyst

    We used your recipe in a Cosori pressure cooker. Our tongue turned out perfect!! Thank your!!

    · Reply
  • Anna

    Beef tongue is my biggest weakness. If you, guys, have never tried it, just do it. It’s amazing!
    The beef tongue tastes much better than meat. I always add some bay leaf in the water, it gives an exquisite taste to the tongue (to all meat dishes, by the way). It’s so tender and moist… Mmm I’m drooling! Also, it’s really nutritious: it’s rich in zinc and vitamin b12.
    I’ve never tried to make it in a pressure cooker, but I’d like to try b’cause boiling it in a pan is so time-consuming (nearly 4 hours, brr)
    I usually serve it for Christmas dinner and New Year’s Eve one. Perfect appetizer!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, Marina! Sure it’s added to favorites!

    · Reply
  • Zachary

    How much time should I add if it is frozen? Thanks

    · Reply
    • I would may be add 10 more minutes. If after cooking you open the pot and try it, it’s still not as tender as you want, just close the lid and seal it then cook for additional 10 minutes. Make sure to allow at least 25 minutes if natural pressure release each time the timer goes off.

      · Reply
  • Zach

    Do you know how much cook time to add if the tongue is frozen? Thanks

    · Reply
    • Shampa

      Zach sorry if you did not get a reply, you see the answer is above your question.
      If you want to add frozen tongue …. just add a 10 minutes extra cooking time.
      shampa mum

      · Reply

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