Chorizo is a type of pork sausage from the Iberian Peninsula. Sometimes it is fermented, cured, and smoked and eaten without cooking, or added as an ingredient to dishes such as paella, pilaf, chorizo and eggs, or soup.
Other chorizo sausages are sold without being fermented and cured and require cooking before eating. However, a little chorizo goes a long way so you might have leftovers. Is it a good idea to freeze it so that you can enjoy it at a later date?
The answer is yes but be aware that fresh chorizo will freeze much better than cured and smoked chorizo which can dry out (see also How To Freeze Smoked Salmon). In this article, we will tell you how to freeze chorizo and how to defrost it.
How To Freeze Fresh Chorizo
It is very simple to freeze fresh chorizo (see also Is Freezing Pepperoni Worth It?) but if you have opened a packet of chorizo and intend to eat it within a week, you can keep it in the fridge.
An unopened packet of fresh chorizo will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. However, if you want to use it after these times, this is the way to freeze fresh chorizo.
1. Put the fresh chorizo in a freezer bag or airtight container.
If you have a vacuum sealer use this to get rid of the air in the freezer bag. If you don’t, squeeze out as much air as possible from the freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of food.
It can also change the color of your chorizo and get rid of some of the nutrients. When you have done this, put a label on the bag or container with the date frozen and the contents.
2. Put the bag or container in the freezer.
How To Freeze Cured Chorizo
Cured meats don’t freeze that well and chorizo is no exception. The freezing process can damage the fibers of the sausages and the powerful flavors can diminish.
If you don’t open a packet of cured chorizo it can be kept for around three months in a cool and dark place. If it is opened, you need to keep it in the fridge. However, if you are determined to freeze your cured chorizo, this is the way to do it:
1. Wrap the cured chorizo in cling film.
2. Bag it up twice.
To ensure that air doesn’t get to the chorizo and dry it out, it is a good idea to put the chorizo in two freezer bags or a freezer bag and then an airtight container.
Be sure to squeeze out the air from the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Put a label on the bag or container with the date you put it in the freezer, and the contents.
3. Put the bag or container in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Chorizo
- Squeeze all the air out of the freezer bags to avoid freezer burn.
- It is better to freeze fresh chorizo rather than cured chorizo.
- You can freeze chorizo dishes such as paella, stew, pilaf, and soup. Divide them into meal-size portions so that you defrost just as much as you need and don’t waste any.
- Some stores sell diced chorizo in vacuum packs. You can freeze these just as they are if you don’t open them.
For How Long Can You Freeze Chorizo?
You can freeze both fresh and cured chorizo for up to a year. With the fresh chorizo, you will find that it retains its flavors, even if you keep it in the freezer for 12 months. However, cured chorizo may lose some flavor and texture. It could end up dry and not nearly as tasty as it was when you put it in the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Chorizo?
The best way to defrost chorizo, whether it is cured or fresh, is slow and steady in the fridge overnight. This helps the chorizo to retain its taste, texture, and nutrients. However, if you forget to take it out of the freezer there is a quicker way of defrosting chorizo but we advise that you only do this with fresh chorizo. This is how to do it:
- Place the chorizo in a leak-proof bag.
- Put the bag in a bowl of cold water.
Change the water every half an hour until the chorizo has thawed out. It should take a couple of hours.
If you want to defrost a dish containing chorizo, it is best to thaw it out in the fridge overnight.
Can You Refreeze Chorizo?
No, it’s not a good idea to refreeze chorizo as it increases the chances of bacteria forming, as well as changing the taste and texture of the meat. There is an exception to this rule, however. If you defrost fresh chorizo and then cook it in a dish, you can freeze the dish.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Chorizo?
Fresh chorizo freezes very well and keeps its taste and texture. However, cured chorizo doesn’t freeze that well as it does lose taste and texture. It keeps for a long time in the fridge so there isn’t really that much point in freezing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing chorizo but in case you are still curious, we have answered a few questions here.
What other foods go well with chorizo?
Chorizo goes well with eggs and bell peppers. The sweetness of the peppers compliments the heat of the chorizo and the eggs soak up the fat of the meat. This is great served in a wrap for breakfast. Chorizo also pairs well with salmon and codfish. Use citrus flavors to cut through the fatty flavor of chorizo. Mix chorizo with other meats. They will take on the flavors of the chorizo. Chorizo mixed with shellfish like clams and mussels is classically Mediterranean. The mildness of the shellfish combines well with the smokiness of the chorizo. Shellfish and chorizo are often added to paella.
Can you freeze sliced chorizo?
You can freeze sliced chorizo but the slices have a large surface area meaning that you might get freezer burn and a loss of flavor. It’s probably best not to freeze slices if you can help it.
Can you freeze diced chorizo?
Diced chorizo is useful for adding to dishes. You can freeze it but flash freeze it first. Get a baking tray and lay out the chorizo. Make sure that the pieces aren’t touching each other. This will ensure that they won’t stick together when you bag them up. Put the tray in the freezer and freeze until the chorizo is solid. This should take two to three hours. When this is done, put it in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the air to avoid freezer burn. You can then take out as many pieces as you need for a dish.