Can you boil chorizo? (3 Methods to cook)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you boil chorizo? We will discuss the reasons to prevent boiling chorizos and the common ways to cook chorizo including frying, grilling, and broiling. 

Can you boil chorizo?

The health concern about animal fat is related to the fat content and composition: should not exceed 10% of total energy intake and have the lowest content of saturated fat content as possible. In the case of sausages, the total fat content can range from 10 to 20 g/100 g and around 50% of total fat can be composed of saturated fat (1).

You can not boil chorizo. While some sausages are boiled before preparing them, chorizos become bland and flavorless. 

Chorizo is a dry fermented sausage with high regional diversity composed mainly of pork meat, pork fat, salt and Spanish paprika (sometimes garlic, additives and conservatives are also added) and is usually manufactured without the use of starter cultures. This results in a stable and safe product, which can be stored for many months, thanks to the decrease of pH resulting from sugar fermentation (2).

Boiled chorizos taste dry and bland as the fats melt away from the sausages. Fat imparts most of the flavor of chorizo, hence you do not want to boil and wash away the fat from chorizos. Chorizos are premium sausages that have a rich flavor owing to their fat content.

Studies showed that cooking losses in boiled meats are very high ranging from 28 to 50% as it uses high-temperature. Similarly, losses are expected when meat products are prepared by boiling in water. The losses in the fatty acid composition and also in the mineral content is also high by boiling. Cooking methods like boiling possess high water and cooking losses. Cooking losses are also increased with increasing temperature as water gets lost in the processing taking away many water-soluble compounds like salts, proteins, polyphosphates and many aromatic compounds (3).

If you want to boil chorizos, you are better off using hot dogs from the store. 

The fat can be used to saute and cook the chorizos. If you make a sauce and cook it with sausages added,  the fat makes its way into it and makes it tasty. You can even put the chorizo fat aside and use it to saute your vegetables.

On the other hand, if you want to boil chorizo as part of soup or stew, then you can allow them to boil for a few minutes. 

Some of the flavors of chorizo would be transferred to the liquid food without draining away any of the fat. The chorizo will disintegrate into the soup and become indistinguishable. 

However, you do not want the fat from chorizo to make your soup or stew too oily or runny.

What are some backed-up methods to cook chorizos?

Chorizos have chopped-up pork, pork fat, and some spices.  Chorizos belong to either of the Mexican or Spanish cuisines but go well with almost all kinds of food including burgers and pasta. 

Food outbreaks associated with chorizo have been reported in Mexico. This indicates that chorizo must be properly cooked before consumption. Studies support other reports indicating that chorizo can be considered a high risk food. Although all raw meat products should be fully cooked before consumption, this is not easy to determine when cooking chorizo as no juices are released during cooking that provide a visual indication. In addition, the red color of the product, as influenced by different spices, makes it difficult to judge whether the product is fully cooked based upon the color (4).

The first thing to do is remove the casing of the chorizos if they are raw or semi-cured. Use a sharp knife to get rid of the skin. If the chorizos are cured then you do not need to get rid of the skin.

To cook the chorizos you can either fry the chorizos in a hot pan or grill until the fat is rendered or bake or broil the chorizos. The chorizos can be sliced and eaten or made into any palatable dish of your liking. Some of the common recipes to include the chorizos in are Tex-Mex Migas where you wrap them in a tortilla and serve either as taco or burrito. 

Chorizo is also made into chili or melted cheese dip, they are also added to scrambled eggs or frittatas. 

You can also serve chorizos alongside brown beans, white beans, or rice. If you buy cured chorizos, you can directly add them to your salad, sandwich, or pasta.

How to pan-fry chorizos?

To pan-fry you can choose to either fry the chorizos whole or slice them up. Another way is to crumble the chorizos, and transfer the meat and grease to the pan and cook it like ground beef.

Let the flame burn at slow or medium heat to let the chorizos cook thoroughly.

You do not need oil, rather add a few tablespoons of water and the chorizo links. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid closed, turning the chorizos over every few minutes. 

Remove the lid off the pan and cook the chorizos for further 5 minutes to make them turn golden-brown. The chorizos are ready to be served.

How to grill chorizos?

Preheat your gas grill at a high flame. For extra smokey flavor, add charcoal. After the grill becomes hot, place the chorizos on the flame. Leave adequate space between the individual sausages to let them cook evenly.

Put the lid over the links and let it cook for 15- 20 minutes until they take on a golden-brown color. Use your tongs to flip the chorizos every few minutes and use a thermometer to check if the temperature reaches 160 Fahrenheit. 

How to broil chorizos?

To broil chorizos, start by preheating the oven on the broiler setting. Put the chorizos under the heating element leaving only 7-9 inches. 

Broil the chorizo for 13-15 minutes, flip to the other side and cook for further 13 minutes. 

You can also bake chorizo in the oven. Do not grease the pan when you bake chorizo. Chorizos will take around 10-20 minutes to bake on medium heat. The exact time will depend on if and how you choose to cut the sausages up. 

Other FAQs about Chorizo that you may be interested in.

Can you eat chorizo raw?

Can you Reheat Chorizo?

Can you eat cured chorizo without cooking it?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you boil chorizo? We discussed the reasons to prevent boiling chorizos and the common ways to cook chorizo including frying, grill, and broiling.

Citations

  1. Munekata, Paulo ES, et al. Functional fermented meat products with probiotics—A review. J Appl Microbiol, 2022, 133, 91-103. 
  2. Quijada, Narciso M., et al. Different Lactobacillus populations dominate in “Chorizo de León” manufacturing performed in different production plants. Food microbiol, 2018, 70, 94-102.
  3. Ayub, Haris, and Asif Ahmad. Physiochemical changes in sous-vide and conventionally cooked meat. Int j gastro food sci, 2019, 17, 100145.
  4. Escartin, E. F., et al. Prevalence of Salmonella in chorizo and its survival under different storage temperatures. Food Microbiol, 1999, 16, 479-486.