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Gizzards vs. Giblets: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 6, 2024
Gizzards are a specific digestive organ in birds for grinding food, while giblets refer to a variety of edible fowl viscera, including the gizzard, heart, and liver.

Key Differences

Gizzards are a specialized stomach found in birds and certain other animals, used primarily for grinding food. In contrast, giblets encompass a broader range of edible internal organs of a bird, typically including the gizzard, heart, liver, and sometimes the neck and kidneys.
The gizzard is a muscular, thick-walled organ, unique for its grinding function, aided by ingested stones or grit. Giblets, as a collective term, do not have a uniform function or structure; they vary in texture and culinary use, with each organ offering different flavors and nutritional values.
In culinary contexts, gizzards are often cooked separately due to their unique texture and flavor, requiring slow cooking to become tender. Giblets, however, are frequently used together to enhance the flavor of stocks, gravies, or stuffing, providing a rich, umami taste.
Gizzards are often cleaned and sold separately for dishes like gizzard stew or fried gizzards. Meanwhile, giblets are commonly found packaged together inside whole poultry, used by cooks to prepare various traditional dishes or as a base for sauces and broths.

Comparison Chart


Specific digestive organ in birds
Variety of edible fowl viscera


Single organ (muscular stomach for grinding)
Includes gizzard, heart, liver, and other parts

Culinary Use

Often cooked separately
Used collectively in stocks and sauces

Texture and Cooking

Tough, requires slow cooking
Varies; some parts are more tender

Nutritional Value

High in protein, low in fat
Varies, generally rich in nutrients

Gizzards and Giblets Definitions


Part of a bird's digestive system, containing grit.
Birds use gizzards to break down hard food particles.


The edible internal organs of a bird, including the gizzard.
Giblets are often used to make flavorful gravy for poultry dishes.


A muscular organ in birds for grinding food.
Chicken gizzards are a popular ingredient in Southern cuisine.


Packed inside whole poultry for culinary use.
The giblets were packaged inside the whole chicken.


Known for their tough texture and distinct flavor.
Gizzards need to be cooked slowly to become tender.


A combination of heart, liver, gizzard, and other parts.
The giblets were removed from the turkey before roasting.


Often cleaned and sold for cooking.
Gizzards can be deep-fried for a crunchy snack.


Used in cooking for stocks, sauces, and stuffing.
She added giblets to the stock for extra richness.


Commonly used in various global culinary traditions.
In some cultures, gizzards are considered a delicacy.


Offer a range of textures and flavors in cooking.
Giblets contribute a variety of tastes to traditional recipes.


A modified muscular pouch behind the stomach in the digestive tract of birds, having a thick lining and often containing ingested grit that aids in the breakdown of seeds and other hard materials by grinding them down before digestion.


The internal organs of poultry birds, used as food.


A similar digestive organ found in certain invertebrates, such as the earthworm.


The inmeats, or edible viscera (heart, gizzard, liver, etc.), of poultry.


Plural of gizzard


Edible viscera of a fowl


What is a gizzard?

A muscular organ in birds for grinding food.

What do giblets include?

Giblets typically include the heart, liver, gizzard, and sometimes the neck and kidneys.

How do you cook gizzards?

Gizzards are best cooked slowly, such as stewing or braising, to become tender.

What is the nutritional value of giblets?

Giblets are rich in protein and nutrients like iron and vitamins.

Can you use giblets in gravy?

Yes, giblets are often used to make rich and flavorful gravy.

Can you eat a chicken's gizzard?

Yes, chicken gizzards are edible and often cooked in various cuisines.

Are gizzards healthy to eat?

Yes, gizzards are high in protein and low in fat, making them a healthy option.

What are giblets?

Edible internal organs of a bird, including the heart, liver, and gizzard.

How are giblets used in cooking?

Giblets are used to enhance the flavor of stocks, gravies, and stuffings.

Is the gizzard the same as the stomach?

The gizzard is a specialized stomach for grinding food in birds.

Should giblets be removed before cooking a bird?

Yes, giblets should be removed if they are inside the bird before cooking.

Are giblets only found in poultry?

Giblets typically refer to the edible internal organs of poultry.

What does a gizzard taste like?

Gizzards have a distinct, slightly gamey flavor and a chewy texture.

Do all birds have gizzards?

Most birds have gizzards, as it's a key part of their digestive system.

What can you make with giblets?

Giblets can be used to make stocks, soups, gravies, and traditional dishes.

How do you clean a gizzard?

Gizzards are cleaned by slicing open and removing the inner lining and grit.

Can giblets be eaten raw?

It's not recommended to eat giblets raw due to food safety concerns.

Do supermarkets sell gizzards?

Yes, gizzards are often available at supermarkets, either separately or with giblets.

Are giblets used in vegetarian cooking?

No, giblets are animal organs and not suitable for vegetarian diets.

What's unique about a gizzard's texture?

Gizzards have a tough, muscular texture requiring slow cooking.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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