With origins in Spain and Portugal, chorizo is a type of pork sausage that can be incorporated into several dishes. It brings spice, heat, depth and flavour. But a little often goes a long way, right? So what do you do with any you have leftovers?
Can You Freeze Chorizo?
Yes, you can freeze chorizo for up to 12 months. Fresh chorizo will freeze much better than a cured variety which can dry out and have an offputting taste.
Does Chorizo Freeze Well? Sometimes
Can You Refreeze Chorizo? No
How To Freeze Fresh Chorizo
Fresh chorizo can be stored in the freezer, and it doesn’t matter if you have broken the seal or skin or if have cut it up before freezing. Freezing fresh chorizo is similar to freezing other meats.
- Bag Up: Seal your chorizo in a vacuum-sealed freezer-safe storage bag or airtight container. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer then push out as much air from the bag as possible as you seal it up.
- Label: Date and label your bag or container. Make it clear what sort of meat is in the bag as, once frozen, it can be a little harder to tell.
- Freeze: Store in the freezer.
The process of freezing fresh chorizo is very simple.
But 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.
How to Freeze Cured Chorizo
Unlike fresh chorizo, cured chorizo simply doesn’t freeze as well as fresh chorizo.
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.
- Wrap and Seal: Wrap the chorizo in cling film then seal your fresh chorizo tightly in a vacuum-sealed freezer-safe storage bag
- Bag Up Again: Place sealed and wrapped chorizos into a larger freezer bag or airtight container
- Label: Date and label the bag or container
- Freeze: Store in the freezer.
Yes, cooked chorizo can be frozen for around 3 months. Once cooled entirely, it can be popped into a lined, airtight container, sealed and then frozen.
3 Tips for Freezing Chorizo
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing chorizo to have the best results:
Buy It Portioned
A lot of supermarkets now sell diced chorizo in portions suitable for one dish. They’re sealed airtight which makes them perfect for tossing into the freezer with no prep work.
Cook It In Dishes
Talking of prep work, you could instead cook the chorizo into a dish and then freeze this dish. For example, you can freeze paella.
Avoid Freezing Cured
Cured meats do not freeze well. Where possible, avoid freezing cured chorizo as the flavour changes will be noticeable.
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.
Once the chorizo has been cut up, it will keep for around 1 week in the fridge. A whole chorizo sausage will last for around 2 weeks.
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
- Bag Up: Put the chorizo in a leak-proof storage bag
- Place Into a Bowl of Water: Place bagged chorizo in a bowl and fill the bowl with cold tap water
- Change Water: Change the water every 20-30 minutes
- Check: 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.
Can You Refreeze Chorizo?
It’s rare that refreezing any food is a good idea and this is especially true with meat such as chorizo. We would strongly advise against refreezing chorizo. Instead, try to freeze it into portions.
The exception here is if you have frozen raw chorizo, defrosted it, cooked it into a dish and now want to freeze this cooked dish. This is safe to do.
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.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing chorizo or chorizo in general, then these may help:
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.
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.
Yes, chorizo ring can be frozen but bear in mind that you’ll need to use it all in one go as refreezing it is not a good idea.