Chorizo is perhaps one of the most underrated and unknown meats on the market. With origins from both Spain and Portugal, chorizo is a delicious and versatile type of pork sausage that can be incorporated into a number of dishes. Best of all, chorizo is available as fresh or cured and each is different in storage options. The big question of the day: Can you freeze chorizo? The answer is both yes and no.
With an answer like “yes and no” you must be wanting to know the whats and whys. So let’s break it down a bit more. As mentioned before, chorizo comes in two distinct varieties, that being cured and fresh. The answer of ‘yes and no’ comes from the requirements of storing these different chorizo options.
Fresh chorizo is a raw pork sausage wrapped within a casing. This fresh option goes through a special blending process filled with pork meats, fats, and flavourful spices that give the chorizo its unique spicy flavour. This chorizo needs to be cooked before consumption.
Use the table of contents below to navigate through this article to answer some of the most common questions people have when it comes to freezing chorizo:
How To Freeze Fresh Chorizo
Fresh chorizo can be stored in the freezer and doesn’t matter if you have broken the seal or cut it up prior to freezing. Freezing fresh chorizo is similar to freezing other meats.
- Seal your chorizo in a vacuum-sealed freezer-safe storage bag or airtight container.
- Date and label your bag or container.
- Store in the freezer.
The process of freezing fresh chorizo is very simple. If you prefer to store it in the refrigerator, an originally packaged chorizo can last up to 2 weeks, while chorizo that has been opened or has had the casting cut into or removed will only last around 7 days.
Can You Freeze Cured Chorizo?
Unlike fresh chorizo, cured chorizo has some strict recommendations that say freezing is a big no. Cured chorizo in its original packaging can last up to 90 days when stored in a cool dry place. The packaging will ensure the cured chorizo stays preserved and fresh. Once opened, cured chorizo can be kept in the refrigerator.
The reason it is NOT recommended to freeze cured meats is that the cold can damage the fibres and significantly alter the flavours.
If you prefer to freeze your cured chorizo, however, be sure to follow these instructions for the best results.
- Seal your fresh chorizo tightly in a vacuum-sealed freezer-safe storage bag
- Loosely wrap in paper towels for preserving the moisture content
- Place sealed and wrapped chorizos into a larger freezer bag or airtight container
- Date and label the bag or container
- Store in the freezer
How Long Can You Freeze Chorizo?
When properly packaged and sealed, fresh chorizo can remain in the freezer for a solid 12 months! The flavours will remain with the fresh chorizo and not be altered when you are ready to cook with it.
Cured chorizo can also be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months, though despite precautions taken, you may still experience some change in flavours.
You Can Freeze Chorizo for up to 12 Months
How Do You Defrost Chorizo?
Once you’re ready to cook with your chorizo it’s time to defrost. For both cured and fresh, defrosting is best done overnight in the refrigerator. However, if you forget to pull your chorizo out the night before you plan to cook it, you can quickly defrost your fresh chorizo by following these instructions
- Put the chorizo in a leak-proof storage bag
- Place bagged chorizo in a bowl
- Fill the bowl with cold tap water
- Change the water every 20-30 minutes
- Once thawed, you are ready to cook!
It is not recommended to ‘fast defrost’ cured chorizo so make sure you allow them time to thaw it out fully.
Does Chorizo Freeze Well?
Fresh chorizo, whether still in its original packaging or sliced with the casting broken; does freeze very well and maintains its delicious spicy flavours. Cured chorizo on the other hand, is not recommended for freezing as even with the best precautions, freezing cured meat will alter the flavours and make the cured chorizo taste “off” and not fresh at all. So it’s best to store cured chorizo in a cool dry place before eating.
Other Questions about Chorizo
Below are a few of the other common questions we have come across when it comes to chorizo – some related to freezing and some not. If you’re still sat there with a question or two about chorizo then drop a comment at the bottom of this article and we’ll aim to help out as much as possible.
Can You Freeze Sliced Chorizo?
Sliced chorizo will freeze but with so much of the surface area being exposed, there is a greater risk of freezer burn, oxidation and flavour degradation. That’s why, when it comes to sliced chorizo, we’d actually recommend not freezing it.
Can You Freeze Diced Chorizo?
Freezing diced chorizo is certainly possible. You will want to flash freeze it first. This will avoid the chorizo clumping. Once flash frozen you can store it in a bag so you can grab a handful whenever you need to cook with it.