Chorizo is a flavorful pork sausage originating in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico. It is usually made from ground pork with red chili peppers, smoked paprika, garlic, salt, and other spices.
There are two types of chorizo: uncooked, and cured. Cured chorizo is like a summer sausage and does not need to be cooked before being eaten. However, with soft uncooked chorizo, you need to cook it properly before serving it in a meal.
If you don’t cook it well enough, consuming raw chorizo can lead to serious health issues. You need to learn how to tell when chorizo is cooked so that you can cook them perfectly for your next meal.
Is Chorizo Precooked?
Chorizo is a favorite type of sausage that you can find in Mexican and Spanish cuisine. Chorizo is similar to Italian sausages, made from ground pork and seasoned with pimento, paprika, salt, and garlic.
In the market, you can find a different type of chorizo from many parts of the world: Spanish chorizo, Mexican chorizo, Chilean chorizo, etc. They can be presented in various stages: fresh, semi-cured, and cured or dried versions.
Those semi-cured and dried chorizo in a can like Spanish chorizo semicurado, Spanish chorizo curado, and Chilean chorizo are precooked. They contain fermentation or smoked pork with spicy seasoning to enhance their savory taste.
Some chorizos like Spanish soft chorizo and Mexican chorizo contain raw pork fat, meat, garlic, and crushed red pepper. They are most common in Mexican paella, tacos, salads.
Can You Eat Chorizo Raw?
Chorizos are known for their vibrant and salty flavor. The cured, smoked, or fermented chorizo, like Spanish, Portugal, and Chilean chorizos, are precooked to be consumed raw alone.
The amazing seasoning combination of garlic and paprika offers an explosion of taste, which you can add directly into your dish without any salt and peppers.
Does Chorizo Need To Be Cooked?
However, for fresh or raw chorizos like Mexican chorizo, you cannot consume them directly. These pork sausages with soft and mushy texture should be cooked thoroughly before serving to avoid food poisoning.
As a result, it is ideal for breaking their structure apart and sautéing them for a delicious breakfast.
How To Tell When Chorizo Is Cooked
Cooking chorizo is a tricky task requiring some attention to detail, especially when they are fully cooked. So, how do you know when chorizo is done?
Fresh chorizo can take on a bright red and mushy texture, which can be hard to know when cooked thoroughly.
Thus, here are some tricks on how to know when chorizo is cooked. When cooking chorizo, the first element you need to consider is the texture.
1. Chorizo Look
Raw chorizo has a distinctively soft and mushy texture. The chorizo texture will become crunchier and firmer under medium-high heat when you break them apart on the pan.
2. Chorizo Texture
You can always learn how to tell if chorizo is fully cooked by the change of texture. If you find these small pieces of pork are semi-firm and sticky, which they can still form a structure together.
It is an indication that you need more cooking time so that they can be wholly separated and crunchy. The look of cooked chorizo would be similar to ground beef on a frying pan.
3. Chorizo Color
The second feature which shows you how to tell when chorizo is cooked is the chorizo’s color. Store-bought fresh chorizo has bright red meat, which can be difficult for some people to tell when they are fully cooked.
The key to telling if Mexican chorizo is cooked is the change of color: dark red or brown. After a while, red chorizo will turn its color into brown from the bottom with leaking grease.
With continuing stir motions, you can cook the chorizo until they are thoroughly browned.
4. Chorizo Temperature
Lastly, suppose you’re not good at spotting the color and texture difference or are afraid of overcooking chorizo. In that case, you can also know when chorizo is cooked by checking its cooking temperature.
The ideal temperature for cooking chorizo is around 161 degrees Fahrenheit. So, how to check the chorizo temperature?
The best way you can measure the cooking temperature is by using a meat thermometer. You can use it on almost any meat type like turkey for turkey burgers and chorizo for paella.
To measure it correctly, just insert the thermometer into the chorizo meat. Once the internal temperature reaches 161 degrees Fahrenheit, you can take them to the serving dish.
There are many ways you can tell if chorizo is cooked. Nevertheless, these methods, especially when looking at the texture and color of the chorizo, can take a few practice times before you can master them.
Once you have learned how to tell when chorizo is cooked, it is so much easier to control the cooking time and the chorizo’s quality.
5. How Long Does Chorizo Take To Cook
Cooking chorizo can be simple if you know how long it takes chorizo to cook. Let’s find out the details below.
How Long To Cook Pork Chorizo?
You can cook pork chorizo in various methods: oven, skillet, or microwave. Baking chorizo in the oven can take around 30 – 35 minutes.
For example, a fresh sausage needs 35 minutes to cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grilling chorizo might take only 30 minutes per chorizo when using a charcoal or propane grill.
With a skillet, it takes even less time with only 10 minutes with the whole chorizo link.
If you have some frozen chorizo, you can also reheat it inside a microwave for a quick breakfast. Usually, a whole chorizo sausage needs 4 to 6 minutes to be fully cooked.
How Long To Cook Ground Chorizo?
Ground chorizo is typical to use with scrambled eggs on a skillet. When cooking ground chorizo, you need to take the meat out of the casing and break them apart.
Then, you can put them on a stainless steel skillet on high heat for 5 minutes for them to be cooked thoroughly.
How To Tell If Chorizo Is Bad
Although many chorizos are precooked, they can still go wrong if you don’t store them in a cool place. So, how to tell if chorizo is terrible? Here are a few ways you can check for your chorizo tasting experience.
You can tell the quality of chorizo by its texture. Pre-cooked chorizos are pretty firm and bouncy. Therefore, you may notice mushy spots and stiffness to the touch, which can indicate a sign of spoilage.
Furthermore, you can look for any color change to spot spoiled chorizo.
The regular chorizo should have a bright red color of the meat. When it is affected by mold or spoilage, the meat color becomes lighter or darker than its usual color.
If you find out there is a color difference, it is best to get rid of them.
When holding the chorizo, if you find any leaking liquid from the package, it is a contamination sign which means you need to remove the sausage from the box right away.
When your chorizo starts to have a foul, sour, or off-putting odor, there is a high chance that the internal meat is spoiled. At this point, these tasty pork sausages are unsalvageable, and you need to throw them away.
How Long Does Chorizo Last?
As home cooks, we should always know how long our food can last to store them before the spoilage process starts. In the case of chorizo, if you wonder, “What is chorizo cooking time?” Here is what you need to know.
Chorizo is not always healthy meat for your daily meals. Therefore, it can be easy to leave them out too long.
Before remembering them out, they have possibly passed their expiration date. When leaving them at room temperature, your pre-cooked chorizo can last up to 3 days, counting from the best buy date.
Any fresh or raw chorizo should be kept in the fridge right after you buy them. Storing in the refrigerator would extend chorizo shelf life and slower the spoilage process.
How Long Does Cooked Chorizo Last In The Fridge
Cooked chorizo should stay in the fridge to prolong its shelf life. But, how long is chorizo good for in the fridge?
Fresh chorizo can be edible in 7 days when stored in the refrigerator. However, the longer you leave chorizo in the fridge, the dryer it will become, disrupting your tasting experience.
How Long Does Chorizo Last In The Freezer?
Chorizo can also be frozen to keep them fresh for a longer time. They have an excellent endurance for cold temperatures, which can leave them for up to 6 months.
After this time, the chorizo might change its flavor and texture gradually.