Should Chorizo Be Peeled Before Cooking?

Andrew Wilkinson
  • Should Chorizo Be Peeled Before Cooking? Andrew Wilkinson

    For years I've been chopping up Chorizo and cooking it, with no other preparation. I've recently been told that I've been doing it wrong and should peel the Chorizo first. It's pain to peel, and I've not noticed any difference.

    What is the skin of a Chorizo sausage made of, and should it be removed before cooking or not?

  • It depends on what chorizo you're using. If you're using soft (i.e. uncooked) chorizo then no, you don't need to remove the skin, because it should cook with the sausage. If you are using the cured, ready to eat chorizo you should take the skin off as it will be tough.

    This may well vary by brand, incidentally.

  • Certainly, no chorizo skin is going to poison you. On that basis, if you're happy with your results, then carry on.

    I have used chorizo where the papery skin peels off quite easily -- but I have never seen a need to remove it.

  • The cured chorizo available at my local grocery store actually has a plastic skin so obviously that must be removed in order to make it edible. It also has metal clips holding the ends closed, so it's pretty clear that you're not supposed to eat it.

    So, if you do choose to eat the skin, make sure it's not plastic. Again, it should be pretty obvious.

  • Personally, I keep it on; it tends to lose its form if you remove it, and it's just a matter of personal taste.

  • When talking about chorizo, it's worth specifying Spanish (papery skin, fairly dense, often cured) or Mexican (often plastic skin, loose, usually uncured). Same name for two very different products. Mexican should be peeled, Spanish usually shouldn't.

  • It's not only extremely difficult to remove the soft casing, but it mushes up the chorizo. It really depends on what you're cooking with it. If it's going to be ground up, as in an egg dish, then squeeze it out. But the dish I make with it (my kids' #1 favorite meal!) is pasta with chorizo "balls" (more like mini sausage patties, than meatballs). It's ruined if it gets mashed up...btw, they've NEVER noticed the casing or had an issue with its taste. If it's not harmful, I'm sticking with my method!

sausages chorizo
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