Can You Eat Chorizo Raw?

There are a lot of different types of chorizo.

You either have to cook it or eat it straight out of the package when you get it from the store, depending on the kind you buy.

Is there any chance that chorizo can be eaten raw? It depends on the variety, that’s what the short answer is.

Chorizo is a type of spicy sausage that originated in Spain. 

It is a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine and can be eaten raw or cooked. 

It is safe to eat, but since chorizo is spicy, it may require some cooking to neutralize the spiciness.

The spicy pork sausage is usually semi-cured, meaning it is safe for consumption. 

Some varieties, like Mexican chorizo, are only sold raw and have to be cooked before you eat them.

To help you understand which type of chorizo you can eat without cooking it, I am going to discuss the different types of chorizo and how they are made and consumed.

What is Chorizo?

Chorizo is a pork sausage that dates back to the Iberian Peninsula. The flavor and preparation method can be vastly different in the region.

Most of the time the dominant smell comes from a type of pepper. Along with a spicy kick, the Spanish paprika gives chorizo its vivid, reddish hue.

The sausage is wrapped in natural idiosyncrasy, but some artificial idiosyncrasy also does the trick.

There are different types of Chorizo, from pork or beef to chicken or turkey.

Exotic meats like iguana or ostrich can be included in the mixture in some parts of the world.

There are two types of sausage: raw chorizo, which requires further preparation and is fully cured, and dry chorizo, which can be eaten immediately.

Types of Chorizo

Spanish Chorizo

Spanish chorizo is seasoned with a blend of smoked paprika, spices, garlic, and white wine, and is considered to be the most authentic.

The meat mixture is shaped into links that vary in size by packing it into natural or synthetic shells.

Spanish chorizo is cured and thoroughly smoked, which helps protect the meat and adds the signature flavor.

The sausage is air-cured for several weeks after that. If you have ever eaten in a Spanish bodega, you will most likely have seen this delicious dry-cured sausage.

The popular finger food, chorizo, is an ingredient in many traditional Spanish dishes, including the famous paella.

Spanish Chorizo

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican chorizo is sold raw, meaning you need to cook it before consuming it.

Since it will be easier to prepare, make sure you don’t remove the skin before adding it to your dish.

Mexican chorizo is usually made with freshly ground pork. Traditionally, the meat is infused with pork fat and various herbs, spices, chili peppers, and other seasonings.

The final product is usually packed into short links and air-dried for a few days. Chorizo can be used to enhance the taste of Mexican dishes such as frittatas and tortillas.

Mexican Chorizo

Portuguese Chorizo

In the United States, the Portuguese chorizo is not as widespread as it is in Portugal.

It is somewhat similar to Spanish chorizo, with a few notable distinctions.

Chorizo has a different smoked taste than other chorizo sausages because of the unique cooking process.

The seasoning ratios are vastly different from one another. In comparison to other varieties, paprika isn’t the main ingredient in the blend.

The unique taste of chorizo can be made by adding a shot of Portuguese red wine with pepper reduction.

The sausage is dark red and almost orange. In the U.S., chorizo is relatively uncommon.

It can be found in counties with a strong Portuguese community, such as Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.

It is a welcome addition to the chorizo family because it has a distinct flavor profile.

Can We Eat Chorizo Raw?

All you have to do is slice it up and eat it because the typical Spanish chorizo is either smoked or cured.

Although it is not as common as raw chorizo, it can be eaten raw. The Portuguese sausage is typically cut into slices and cooked with aguardiente in a unique pot.

Mexican chorizo is the only variety that can be eaten raw, therefore needs to be cooked.

Since the meat is mostly pork, there is a risk of contracting bacteria or parasites if you eat it raw.

How can you tell if the chorizo you bought is cooked before you buy it? Several tell-tale signs can be seen.

The density of the sausage is a good indicator of whether or not the sausage has been pre-cooked or cured.

Don’t hesitate to take a bite if you can slice it without it breaking apart. If the texture is rough and dry, that is a sign of curing.

There is a package that you can also look at. It is not meant to be eaten raw if there are cooking instructions written on the back.

Do you remember where it was placed in the supermarket? It is probably good to go to the cheese or deli section if you found it there.

You would have to cook it first if it was kept in a refrigerator.

How Can I Cook Chorizo?

So, what is the best way to cook raw chorizo?

It depends on what variety is used. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the spicy sausage, it is a pretty versatile ingredient.

There are a few tips on how to make a mean chorizo dish. Since fresh chorizo is greasy, you don’t have to add oil to cook it.

Extra fat can be used for a variety of purposes. You can keep the slices from sticking to the pan by adding a little water.

Adding water doesn’t need to be used if you’re cooking Mexican chorizo. Since it is all ground pork, you will know it is ready when it begins to tan.

If you want to avoid burning, stir constantly and then remove the fat. It is not a good idea to substitute Mexican chorizo for Spanish chorizo in a particular recipe.

And, of course, the same goes for recipes with Mexican chorizo in them. These two kids have different flavor profiles because of the cooking process.

Shelf Life of Chorizo

chorizo can last for a couple of weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Will it be possible to prolong its shelf life?

The answer is yes, and you should just move it to the freezer. The consistency of chorizo can be maintained for up to ten months if it has been frozen.

Even though it might not taste as good, it will still be safe to eat.

Chorizo Dishes


Either Spanish or Mexican chorizo can be used for this dish. If you want to eat the Spanish sausage raw, slice it and arrange it on the plate.

Fry the chorizo before you cut it if you want to go for a more Tex-Mex flavor.

It’s possible to pre-roast some chorizo in the oven for a more gourmet experience.


It makes for a filling breakfast even though it isn’t very healthy. Mexican chorizo is an excellent topping that works well with eggs and potatoes.


It’s possible to make a soup for a delicious dinner.

A thick, spicy soup made with chopped chorizo and fresh vegetables is as delicious as it is filling.

If you are using fresh chorizo, make sure to cook them separately to cut down on grease.


Is it possible that chorizo can be eaten raw?

The raw Mexican sausage and fermented cured sausage are the two available types of meat.

It is safe to eat the latter right away because it is pre-cooked. Some manufacturers forget to point out if the chorizo is fully cured or sold raw.

After being removed from the packaging, raw meats of any type are usually soft and squishy.

The cured chorizo has a hard texture that doesn’t change its shape.

Cook it for 5 to 10 minutes if you can’t tell from the packaging. It is better to be safe rather than sorry.

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