Chorizo is not well-known meat outside Spain, Portugal, and Mexico. However, people who taste Spanish and Mexican cuisine frequently might be aware of chorizo as delightful and versatile meat. So, it is natural for people to be curious and seek answers to questions about storing and preserving chorizo.
Can You Freeze Chorizo?
Any chorizo that has not been cured can be frozen. The process is simple but different for the various kinds of chorizo meat. Before we understand the chorizo freezing process, let us know the two primary forms of chorizo.
Chorizo is a pork sausage processed through a specific process involving putting them into intestine casings with blends of other pork sausages. Here are the two types of chorizo.
- The Spanish Chorizo is a cured chorizo that resembles pepperoni. Europeans love this chorizo as it is fermented, cured, and smoked to produce spicy and flavorful meat.
- The Mexican Chorizo is the more common ground chorizo made from chopped pork meat mixed with flavorful spices to give it a tangy taste.
Chorizo has a deep red shade compared to the light pink sausages because of the seasoning.
How Do You Freeze Chorizo?
Chorizo variants have different freezing methods.
The Spanish Chorizo
Spanish chorizo is fermented, cured, and smoked. It acquires a chili and garlic flavor making it irresistible. It can be soft or semi-dry, depending on the curing process. Generally, the cured chorizo does not require refrigeration.
Storing Spanish Chorizo is not an issue because the meat has a sufficiently long shelf life. The Spanish chorizo can last indefinitely if you have not yet opened the can. However, you can store it in the fridge for six months after opening it.
Storing Spanish Chorizo In The Fridge
- Wrap the chorizo using thick paper towels and place them in airtight packaging.
- Label the packets and store them in the fridge for six months.
Freezing The Spanish Chorizo
- Wrap loosely with paper towels to preserve the moisture content and place them into airtight containers or freezer bags.
- Remove excess air and seal the bags.
- Label the bags and allow the contents to freeze inside the freezer.
If you notice closely, the methods of freezing and refrigerating are not much different because the curing process has eliminated the moisture from the meat. So, the use of paper towels is to retain the residual moisture and prevent the chorizo from getting dried out. While the refrigerating method preserves the chorizo for six months, the freezing process extends its shelf life to twelve months.
The Mexican Chorizo
The Mexican chorizo is more versatile and allows you to use it in various recipes. It is the ground chorizo and presents the more popular ways to use them in the kitchen. It is generally sold in casings and resembles ground beef when removed from the casings.
Since ground chorizo is raw meat, it must be stored in the fridge or the freezer like other meat. It is not advisable to store ground chorizo at room temperature.
Storing Mexican Chorizo In The Fridge
- Store the chorizo in an airtight container to prevent exposure to moisture.
- Stick the date label on the freezer bag or airtight storage container.
- Please keep it in the fridge to last for two weeks.
If the chorizo is in its original packaging, it can last for two weeks. But, if you have sliced or removed it from the casing, the chorizo will last for one week in the fridge. So, freezing the ground chorizo becomes crucial.
Freezing The Mexican Chorizo
- The packing process is the same as how you do it for refrigeration.
- Remove the residual air from the freezer bags and seal them tightly.
- Label the bags and place them inside the freezer to last for 12 months.
So, you can see that the methods are similar, but freezing extends its life span from one week to one year.
How Do You Defrost The Frozen Chorizo?
Generally, the best way to defrost chorizo is to transfer the frozen chorizo from the freezer to the fridge overnight. Then, the chorizo is ready for consumption the following morning.
Alternatively, here is a quicker defrosting method.
- Transfer the chorizo to a leak-proof storage bag.
- Place the bag inside a bowl containing cold tap water.
- Keep changing the water every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Once the chorizo thaws completely, it is ready for cooking.
However, we do not recommend the fast defrosting method for thawing the frozen cured chorizo. Instead, it is better to follow the refrigerator defrost mode.
Can You Refreeze Chorizo?
We do not recommend refreezing raw meat. It can lose its flavor and taste. Instead, we suggest chopping the meat into small pieces before freezing them.
However, you can freeze the cooked chorizo dish prepared from previously frozen chorizo.
Can You Freeze Chorizo Jambalaya?
Chorizo jambalaya freezes well. Since it is a rice dish, it needs storage in an airtight container. Otherwise, the rice can become mushy.
Can You Freeze The Chorizo Ring?
You can freeze the chorizo ring as described here. However, if it is cured chorizo, we do not recommend freezing it.
Can You Freeze Chorizo And Eggs?
Yes, it is possible to wrap the chorizo and eggs and freeze them for later consumption.
Can You Freeze Chorizo Sausages?
Yes, you can freeze chorizo sausages the way described in this article.
Can You Freeze Chorizo Stew?
Yes, it is possible to freeze chorizo stew in the freezer for two months.
Can You Freeze Chorizo Slices?
You can freeze chorizo slices the way described in this article. However, we do not recommend freezing cured chorizo slices.
Can You Freeze Chorizo And Egg Burritos?
Yes, it is possible to freeze chorizos and egg burritos wrapped well in aluminum foil to prevent exposure to air and moisture.
Can You Freeze Chorizo Once Cooked?
Yes, it is possible to freeze cooked chorizo the same way you freeze other cooked meats.
People who have not tasted Spanish or Mexican cuisine might not have heard of chorizo. As it is a type of raw meat, you exercise care when storing it. However, freezing raw meat is possible, provided you wrap it well and prevent exposure to moisture. So, can you freeze chorizo? Yes, you can. But, we do not advise freezing the Spanish-cured chorizo. Instead, you can freeze the Mexican variety that is ground chorizo.