Chorizo is a favorite in Mexican and Spanish cuisine. It is full of wonderful flavors, and it is highly seasoned, so it always packs a punch. Chorizo is typically made from ground or chopped up pork, and will often include a type of pepper in it.
With that being said, chorizo can vary quite a lot depending on where you get it from. Recipes might be vastly different to one another, so this is something to consider when buying it!
If you have been wondering how to properly cook chorizo, or if chorizo even needs to be cooked at all, keep reading. We will cover everything you need to know in the sections below.
How To Cook Chorizo
If you have found yourself with chorizo, and you aren’t sure how to cook it, you will be glad to hear that there are three fantastic ways to cook this ingredient to perfection!
These methods include pan frying, broiling, and grilling, and the option you choose is completely up to you.
Method 1 – Pan Frying
1. You can pan fry any kind of chorizo, including your classic links. To do this, follow the below steps, and you will get the best results you could hope for:
2. Heat up your pan over a medium heat and put your chorizo sausages in there. By using a medium heat, you will give the sausage enough time for the flavor to fully develop.
If you are short on time, you could use a high heat, but the results might not be as tasty as they could be, and you could easily burn them.
3. As the chorizo links are cooking, add in about six tablespoons of water in the pan. This water will immediately boil, and help to cook the chorizo.
4. Place the pan lid on, and leave everything to cook for anywhere between 10–12 minutes. Make sure you turn the links often so they do not burn on one side.
5. After 10–12 minutes have passed, remove the pan lid and leave it to keep cooking. You will leave the links for about 7 minutes, or until they turn a beautiful golden brown.
6. When the links reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to plate up and enjoy!
Method 2 – Broiling
Broiling is an effective way to cook chorizo without having to worry about it too much. However, doing this can take away from the flavor of the sausage, so it isn’t the tastiest option.
If you want to broil your chorizo, follow these steps:
1. Preheat your oven to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Add the chorizo links to the broiler rack (at least 7–9 inches away from the element at the top)
3. Broil for 13–15 minutes on either side until the chorizo is golden brown and the internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Method 3 – Grilling
1. Finally, grilling is a fantastic option if you have the chance to cook chorizo links outdoors. Just follow these simple steps to get amazing results:
2. Prepare and preheat your favorite grill
3. Place your chorizo on the hot grill 1–2 inches between each one
4. Place the lid over the grill to trap the head inside
5. Cook the links for 15–20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chorizo links reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, or until they are golden brown.
Be sure to rotate the links every couple of minutes to allow the cooking to be even. Use a thermometer to get the internal temperature of the links.
6. Allow the chorizo to rest for about 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy!
Which Option Is Best?
This depends entirely on you and your preferences! Pan frying might be the fastest depending on how the chorizo is prepared. For example, if you have removed the meat from the casing, then pan frying it like you would ground beef (see also: How Long Is Ground Beef Good In The Fridge?)would work well.
However, if you are cooking chorizo sausages (like the ones in the link), then grilling or broiling them would be a great option. This will ensure that they are cooked more evenly, and you do not need to stand around turning them every few minutes.
Of course, if you would like that classic grilled taste, then the answer is obvious. However, other than that, there is no “best way”.
Does Chorizo Have To Be Cooked?
Not all chorizo has to be cooked! Since there are three types of chorizo to choose from (depending on the area you live in), there are different preparations. Let’s take a quick look at these types of chorizo here:
- Smoked and cured chorizo (usually comes in a firm sausage) – the chorizo that comes in a firm sausage does not need to be cooked, as this form is smoked, cured, and dried. This can be enjoyed as it is and cut into slices or cubes to be used however you like.
- Soft cooking chorizo – soft cooking chorizo is also likely to come in the format of a sausage, or a link of sausages. However, this must be cooked before eating, much like a regular sausage. You can leave it whole, or slice it up, or even remove it from the lining.
- Sliced chorizo – sliced chorizo should be ready to eat as-is. Just make sure you check your individual chorizo packaging for guidelines, as this could vary depending on where you are. Generally, this type of chorizo is enjoyed as part of tapas and finger food with other snacks.
Chorizo is a delicious and spicy meat that can be used in a variety of ways. As such, there are a number of ways you can cook and enjoy this ingredient, too!
Some chorizo does not need to be cooked at all, but the soft cook links must always reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe to eat.
Once you figure out how to prepare this ingredient, you will start to experience a whole new world of food possibilities. Try every method and see which one is your favorite.
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