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Spanish Chorizo – Smoky, Red, Delicious Sausage

In this article I will show you how you can make a Spanish Chorizo yourself. 

Depending on the region, it is also called Chouriço in the Portuguese region or Xoriço in the Catalan region.

It is an air-dried raw sausage and is prepared with pork, paprika and garlic. It typically has a coarse consistency. If you want to use the chorizo as a raw sausage (Bratwurst) without the drying process, it will also work.

The chorizo tastes heavenly and is very versatile. It is excellent in fine slices on bread. 

Alternatively, you can use the chorizo in almost all dishes that are normally prepared with ham, diced ham or salami. It is definitely not to be missed at a Spanish tapas party.

You can find the complete Chorizo recipe as a video or read it.

Have fun and good luck making it! 

Making Spanish Chorizo at home – What you need

Spanish Chorizo- all

Meat for 1 kg Chorizo:

  • 70 % pork shoulder (700 g)
  • 30 % pork back fat (300 g)

Spices per 1 kg meat:

  • 21.5 g salt
  • 2.5 g Cure #2 (if you want to eat it fried directly as a sausage, do not use Cure #2)
  • 22 g Pimentón de La Vera (this paprika powder is smoked over holm oak wood and is actually indispensable for a real chorizo taste) 
  • 2 cloves of garlic (7 g)
  • 50 ml dry red wine

You like your chorizo spicy? 

Then you can use 8g of chili flakes, a little pepper or alternatively the hot version of the Pimentón de La Vera.

Equipment you need to make Chorizo

Meat Grinder

You need a meat grinder to “grind” the meat. The meat is chopped into small chunks and can then be mixed.

Sausage stuffer

You need a sausage stuffer to get your meat mass into the casing. In the beginning you can also add a filler to your grinder or use a modified plastic bottle or funnel.

Sausage casings

Chorizos are traditionally filled into natural pork casings caliber 28/30

Sewing needle or sausage picker

You will need the needle if air got into the sausage during filling.

Homemade Chorizo – Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Cut the meat into strips or cubes. You can vary the size depending on how big your meat grinder is.

Spanish Chorizo- cut meat

2. Chop the garlic into small pieces and process it into a paste Add some salt and press the garlic firmly onto the board with a knife. Then cut again and press again. This way the garlic becomes a fine paste.

Spanish Chorizo-garlic

3. Add the spices and garlic to the meat and massage them in. The salt and cure gets added later on.

Spanish Chorizo-garlic 2

4. Put it into the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help your grinding process later and make sure that the mixture does not get too warm.

Spanish Chorizo-freezer

5. Now you can grind the meat. I used the medium perforated disc (4.5 mm). You want to grind the meat coarse.

Spanish Chorizo-grind meat

6. Now add the red wine, salt and Cure #2.

Spanish Chorizo-red wine

7. Mix the meat mass for 2-3 minutes. You can either knead the meat with a food processor with a kneading attachment or mix it vigorously by hand. This ensures that the sausage meat will bind well and the sausage will not be crumbly later on.

Spanish Chorizo-mix

8. Now put the casing onto your sausage stuffer and fill the mass into the casings. Make sure that there is trapped as little air as possible.

Spanish Chorizo- casing

9. Now it’s time to link the sausages. You can decide for yourself how big your Chorizo should be. Put the sausage between your thumb and forefinger. Rotate the sausage away from you then move to the next link and rotate it toward you.

Spanish Chorizo-link

10. Take a needle and prick the sausage to open any air holes.

Spanish Chorizo-needle

11. Cut the individual links in pairs apart so you can hang them in the next step.

Spanish Chorizo-cut

12. Now it is time for the drying process. Hang the sausage in a dark place for one day. The place should have about 18-20 C° (65 – 68 °F) and 70 – 80 % humidity.

Tip: If you do not have a place with such humidity hang them in the bathroom and spray with water from time to time.

Spanish Chorizo-20C°

13. After 24 hours the reddening has taken place and you can hang it up in any cool place. The air humidity should be about 70%. For me the cellar worked out. For the first week I moistened the chorizos once a day and hung a damp cloth next to it to get the humidity.

Spanish Chorizo-after 24h

14. After the first week, you can dry the chorizo without further ado until it has lost about 35% of its weight. This usually takes between 2 and 3 weeks (depending on the caliber).

Spanish Chorizo-after 1 week

15. Your chorizo is ready. If you want it even harder, you can let it dry even longer.

Spanish Chorizo-ready

How long does the Chorizo keep?

The chorizo can be kept for several months. 

When cut, however, you should consume it quickly. 

The longer it is open, the more it dries out.

Chorizo as “Bratwurst” without curing and drying

You can also make my chorizo recipe as bratwurst.

For this you simply have to not use the Cure #2. 

After filling it, you can throw it directly onto the grill or into the pan.


Bratwurst, Cured Sausages

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