Homemade Spanish Chorizo Sausage Recipe

It's important to be clear that this homemade chorizo sausage recipe is for the Spanish chorizo rather than the Mexican version.

Homemade chorizo sausage

While they share the same name these two chorizo sausage recipes are fundamentally different and need to be prepared in different ways too.

The Difference Between Spanish and Mexican Chorizo

Spanish Chorizo

  • How it's made and sold: Spanish chorizo is a dried and cured sausage in a casing. It can be usually found with other ready-to-eat cured meat products like salami. These chorizos can be smoked or unsmoked, and may be sweet or spicy. You'll usually find Spanish chorizos with the other cured and smoked sausages like salami.
  • Ingredients: This chorizo sausage recipe is made of chopped pork and pork fat and seasoned with smoked paprika, which gives it its vibrant color. Other ingredients such as garlic and herbs may also be added. There are sweet and spicy varieties.
  • How to use it: Most Spanish chorizos can be eaten as is, casings and all, and are often served as tapas in Spain. They have a very dense and almost chewy texture and are often added to soups and stews for richness and flavour.

Here are some of the recipes where I've used Spanish chorizo

Chorizo Burgers

Asturian Baked Beans

Grilled Halibut with chorizo and serrano ham

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican Chorizo

  • How it's made and sold: Mexican chorizo is a spicy ground meat sausage that is most commonly sold fresh and uncooked, either loose or in a casing, although dried versions do exist. It is sold with other raw meats or sausages at the grocery store.
  • Ingredients: While it is usually made of pork, Mexican chorizo is a highly seasoned fatty sausage and can be made out of other meats like beef. Most versions are bright or dark red in color due to the seasonings, but there is also green chorizo, which gets its namesake color from chiles and cilantro.
  • How to use it: Mexican chorizo must be cooked before eating. Even though it can be sold in a casing, recipes usually call for the meat to be removed from the casings before being cooked and crumbled in the pan. It can be used in tacos, tortas, and is often served at breakfast with scrambled eggs in Mexico. Also gradely with refried beens.

This Is A "Spanish Style" Chorizo Sausage Recipe

True Spanish chorizo is dry cured and fermented in carefully controlled temperature and humidity. Traditionally this would have been done in mountain caves but we don't all have a mountain next door to us.

I've called this a Spanish style chorizo sausage recipe because it's going to be a semi-dry cured sausage with the tangy fermented taste coming from what sausage makers call "Fermento".

Yield:- 1.25Kg sausage (2¾lbs)

You will need to prepare approximately 2m (7 feet) of small diameter hog casing. Read my section on making homemade sausage to see how this is done.





  • 910g or 2lbs lean pork
  • 225g or ½lb back fat

Alternatively do the full weight in pork shoulder as this will have pretty much the right ratio of meat to fat. 


  • 60ml or ¼ cup Fermento
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mild chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup (corn syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Prague Powder #1


Dice up the meat and fat into cubes and grind using an 5mm plate or smaller, place the ground meat in a mixing bowl and return to the refrigerator.

Mix the dry seasoning ingredients together and then add the water and corn syrup to make a paste and place this in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

When everything is well chilled, mix the ground meat and seasoning together and knead the mix for a good 5 minutes to ensure that the seasoning is well dispersed.

Pack the sausage meat into your stuffer barrel, full your hog casings and make 12" links (approx). Tie the links together with twine to make a "horseshoe". Take one link and record the weight and use a market pen to colour the twine so you can identify which sausage you weighed at the end of the smoking.

When finished, place your sausages in the refrigerator on a bed of paper towel and allow the seasonings to be fully absorbed by the meat overnight.

The next day, set up your smoker with no smoke and a small amount of heat (about 60°C or 140°F), hang your sausage horseshoes and dry them until skin is dry to the touch. Next cold smoke for about 2 hours with the vents fully open and at the lowest possible temperature - you're looking to achieve between 15% - 25% weight loss and keeping the air flowing as much as possible will help.

Smoking my Spanish style chorizo sausage recipe

Take a third hour to slowly raise your smoker temperature to between 77°C - 79°C (170°F - 175°F) and continue cooking (and smoking if you wish) until the core temperature of the thickest link reaches 71°C (160°F). When done, take out the link that you marked with the pen and check for weight reduction. If you have achieved a weight loss of between 15% - 25% then you can stop smoking, if not, continue cooking and checking for weight loss every hour until you reach the desired weight loss. 

When you have achieved the desired weight loss take the sausage links out of the smoker and hand them out to dry in a cool ventilated area for an hour or so before returning them to the refrigerator. Your chorizo is now ready to eat, you can either slice it and eat it as is, use it to the recipes that I've listed above or simply add it to any stew for a different flavour dimension.

See Also:-

Making Homemade Sausage
Hand Linking Sausage
How To Cook Sausage
How To Smoke Sausage
Homemade Polish Sausage
Homemade Venison Sausage
Creole Chaurice Sausage
Bratwurst Sausage
Bockwurst Sausage
Wienies In Barbecue Sauce
Traditional Breakfast Sausage Recipe
Cumberland Sausage Ring
Italian Fennel Sausage With Chilli
Chicken Tikka Massala Sausage
Chicken Wiener Recipe
Homemade Summer Sausage

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