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cooking chorizo

I've been cooking chorizo for 5 years now and I think my skills have diminished over that period of time. What I usually do is heat up a frying pan and throw it on there and then it burns and i stir it around and add eggs and onions (or something else.) But I'm at the point now where I think there is something fundamental i don't understand about either chorizo itself or how to cook it that is making all my dishes with it a tat unsuccessful.

What is the simplest way to cook it when all you want is a little breakfast?

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  1. mexican or spanish chorizo?

    1. Mexican chorizo comes in 2 forms: cured with a texture similar to pepperoni OR raw, totally uncooked. My guess is that you've been using the cured chorzio perhaps? The raw kind cooks up a little on the oily side but offers great flavors.

      1. One of the few cooking areas in which I am an expert having eaten 23 Mexican chorizos since July of this year.

        Lowest heat possible. Be patient. It is usually ready in about 15 minutes, sometimes less.

        The good thing about cooking chorizo on low heat is that it doesn't loose too much fat, keeping it juicy. I never preheat the pan and don't even use oil ... chorizo & pan that's it.

        I froze alot of chorizo and actually it microwaves nicely if you are using it for just mixing in eggs. Throw it frozen into the microwave and nuke it for a minute or two depending on microwave, crumble and add to eggs or whatever.

        Actually I've learned slow cooking any sausage seems to be a good way to go.

        Were you looking for how to cook it without burning or other ways to use it?

        My qualifications:

        6 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          excellent - thank you rworange. I really just want to be able to cook it. And i was probably making it hard by adding either pam or oil, and then keeping the heat high. (I'm using raw mexican style.) It always turned out somehow both burned and oily.

          thanks for the tips: low heat; no oil.
          and great crawl rworange!

          1. re: mr mouther

            A little oil or pam to coat the pan wouldn't hurt, I just didn't bother. Initially because I was doing the high heat and burning the chorizo while all the fat it it leached out. There was so much fat that putting oil seemed pointless.

            Play with the low heat. I'm to the point right now where I know the exact point to turn the dial on the stove for best results.

            1. re: rworange

              Sometimes you want the fat to leak it out... like when you are making Chorizo hash... use the fat to fry up the potatoes then reintegrate the Chorizo... it will be fine.

          2. re: rworange

            I am making Mexican chorizo for the first time. I thought it was like sausage. I froze it then microwaved it for about a minute to thaw it. When I took it out I realized it had a thick casing that was split and the meat mixture was oozing out so I just removed it. It was obvious I wasn't going to be able to slice it. Is it supposed to be like a mushy meaty substance? I was going to mix in with Zatarains black beans and rice. Hmmmm. Should be interesting. Appreciate your wisdom...you seem experienced with it.

            1. re: Robynznest

              It is almost always taken out of the casing before cooking or simmered in water till cooked and then removed from the casing

              1. re: Robynznest

                Yes, that's the exact consistency of Mexican chorizo. It needs to be removed from the casing, as it is usually made of plastic. It will firm up and form crumbles as it cooks.

            2. I cooked some Mexican chorizo this morning. I always pierce it with a knife, and put it into a small or medium non-stick skillet with a lttle water, then cover. I bring the water to a boil, then turn it to a lower heat. After several minues, I check to see if the chorizo is firm and nearly cooked. Then I discard all the water and grease. I usually continue cooking to brown it, or remove from heat, slt open the casing and crumble it for other uses.

              This morning's use was in a large piperade scramble with eggs and potatoes and sauteed sweet and hot peppers. It was tasty.

              1. Cooking any raw sausage to combine wirh eggs, I first cook the sausage separately in a small cast iron pan at low heat, breaking it up with a fork from time to time. Then I drain it before combining with eggs for a scramble.

                1. The Mexican people I know cook their chorizo out of the casing in a frying pan on not too high heat--and keep cooking it until it gets brown and crunchy.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: escondido123

                    Really? I cooked mine slowly on low heat for nearly half an hour and it got really greasy looking (oily) and the color never changed nor did the texture. Mushy not crumbly. Maybe I should add more heat...thank you.
                    I appreciate your input!!

                    1. re: Robynznest

                      I do it as escondido123 suggests. I remove the casing, crumble the meat and then cook it medium-low and it only takes a few minutes to get good and brown. I sometimes buy bulk chorizo when I can or I make it. It is easy to make if you want to leave it bulk and not stuff it into casings. I cook it exactly the same way. I drain on paper towels after cooking to get rid of any extra oil.

                      1. re: travelerjjm

                        I must have purchased an odd brand because it never gets brown unless I cooked on high and it remains mushy. I'll try cooking it in the casing and see how that works. Thanks!!

                        1. re: Robynznest

                          Do not fry it in the casing. Only boil in the casing. Most chorizo casings are plastic.

                      2. re: Robynznest

                        I think most people are use to traditional breakfast sausage and are expecting chorrizo to cook like that and it simply doesnt turn out like regular breakfast sausage. That was my biggest mistake when first using chorrizo. I never could get it to look the same and I finally realized it ain't gonna happen lol (or I am jist doing it wrong still)

                      1. For my favorite breakfast burrito I remove the casing and fry up a package of chorizo, mix it with a tub of Country Crock garlic mashed and roll it up in a tortilla. Optional ingredients include egg, onion, cheese and serrano chilis.

                        1. I make my own homemade loose meat Mexican chorizo and fry it in an iron skillet.

                          Homemade Mexican Chorizo

                          1 lb ground lean pork, ground turkey can be substituted
                          1/4 cup cider vinegar
                          2 tablespoons chili powder
                          1 tablespoon sweet paprika
                          1 teaspoon ground cumin
                          1 teaspoon table salt
                          1 teaspoon garlic powder
                          1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
                          1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
                          1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
                          1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
                          1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

                          Combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, garlic powder, coriander,
                          oregano, red pepper flakes, ground cloves and black pepper in mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

                          Add cider vinegar and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
                          Add ground meat and knead until spice mixture is well incorporated into the meat.

                          You can use the chorizo immediately, but for best flavor development,
                          place chorizo mixture in an airtight container and store overnight in fridge.

                          Form chorizo meat into small patties or just scramble and fry the meat in a skillet until done.

                          Use within 2 or 3 days. May be frozen.

                          1. I have been chorioz obsessed lately.. I too remove it from the casing and cook it slow like ground beef. if it is too oily i toss an ice cube in to grab some of the grease and take it out again... I have boiled it in natural casing then cut into coins to use in a pasta dish