How Long Does it Take to Cook Chorizo?

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Chorizo is a heavily spiced sausage link that you can cook in many different ways. Because of the strong flavor of the sausage, it goes best with cooked vegetables, eggs and bread. Due to the several ways you can cook chorizo, the length of time for each method will vary.

Beginner Cooking Tips
Beginner Cooking Tips

How Long Does it Take to Cook Chorizo?

Chorizo is commonly scrambled with eggs and vegetables on a stainless steel skillet. When cooked this way, you should squeeze the meat out of the casing if using Mexican chorizo and finely chop it if using Spanish chorizo. This technique allows it to cook quickly. Ground chorizo meat typically takes around 5 minutes to cook.

Chorizo are among other small bites of food that are offered in tapas restaurants

You can also grill chorizo and bake it in the oven. Baked and grilled chorizo sausage links usually take about 20 to 30 minutes. This time length is focused on the whole sausage in its casing. Learn more about cooking times for each method below:


  • Whole chorizo sausage link – 10 minutes
  • Sliced chorizo – 5 minutes
  • Ground or chopped chorizo – 5 minutes

Baked in Oven

  • Whole chorizo sausage link baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit – 35 minutes per pound
  • Sliced chorizo baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit – 30 minutes per pound 
  • Ground or chopped chorizo baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit – 20 minutes per pound 

For grilled chorizo, 30 minutes per sausage link is a standard time on either propane or charcoal grills. This includes glazing the casing. 

With charcoal grills, it may take a bit longer for the grill to reach the desired temperature. You will probably have to add about 20 minutes to your grill time. 

Can I Cook Chorizo in the Microwave?

Cooking chorizo in the microwave is very common and easy to do. Cooking time is very short and there is no prep needed. 

Chorizo on a wooden board

You can leave your chorizo to thaw out in the sink or place it in the microwave under the thaw setting. To fully cook your chorizo in the microwave, place it on high for 4 to 6 minutes for every 4 ounce sausage. 

How Long Does it Take for Chorizo to Defrost?

Chorizo takes about 30 minutes for every pound to defrost which can be much longer than common cooking times. To speed up the thawing process, place your chorizo in a freezer bag. 

Then place it in a bowl filled with cold water (letting it defrost in hot water can start the cooking process, which won’t allow whatever you’re cooking it with to soak up the flavor). Change the water often, about every 30 minutes and cook the chorizo as soon as it has completely thawed out. 

You can always save time by letting it thaw in your microwave. Use the thaw option on your microwave and set the time to 6 to 8 minutes for every 1 pound of chorizo.

Another tip would be to let it thaw in the refrigerator. This is especially time-saving for a quick cooked breakfast in the morning. Thawing your chorizo in the fridge will take about 24 hours so put them there during the day if you’d like them to defrost overnight.

If you plan on not using them for breakfast, don’t worry, you can always put them back in the freezer. Just make sure not to open the packaging. 

How to Know Once Chorizo is Cooked?

The best and most accurate way to check if any meat is cooked is to use a cooking thermometer. When fully cooked chorizo should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Chorizo hanging on a market stall

If you don’t own a cooking thermometer, make sure to follow cooking instructions and times. For whichever method you’re using, always set a timer to ensure your chorizo is cooked thoroughly. 

Eating uncooked meat is harmful and can make you very sick. Don’t risk eating undercooked meat; either purchase a cooking thermometer or precisely follow cooking times. 

Does All Chorizo Need to be Cooked?

No, not all chorizo has to be cooked. There are a lot of prepackaged Spanish chorizos that are smoked and ready to eat. Just make sure you read packaging labels to be sure about how safe they are. Usually, if it’s packaged along with cheese, it’s precooked and you can eat it just like that.

Even though the chorizo is precooked, you can still sear it in a pan. The cooking time for this method is about 2 minutes. This will give the sausage a nice crisp to it. You don’t have to be exact with the length of time because it is already cooked. 


When cooking chorizo be mindful of how quickly they cook. Be sure not to cook them longer than stated on a recipe because this could dry out the juices and meaty flavor. Cooking times are not always accurate depending on how you’re cooking so invest in a cooking thermometer to ensure you don’t under or overcook your chorizo.

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. With inspirations like Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey, Nathaniel focuses on simple processes to make amazing food.

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