How to Make Your Own Dry-Cured Chorizo

Spanish chorizo
Miki Duisterhof / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 160 servings
Yield: 20 pounds
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
165 Calories
11g Fat
2g Carbs
14g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 160
Amount per serving
Calories 165
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 396mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 256mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Families all over Spain make their chorizo, as it is a staple of the Spanish diet and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. If you have visited Spain or eaten in a Spanish bodega or restaurant, you have probably tried this pork sausage seasoned with paprika and garlic. It is made with coarsely chopped pork meat and pork fat and is traditionally encased in pig intestines. 

This particular recipe calls for 20 pounds of meat, which makes a large quantity of chorizo, so feel free to use less and adjust seasonings as needed. You will also need a meat grinder for not only grinding the meat but also for filling the sausage casings. Finally, make sure to plan ahead because you will need to hang the chorizo to dry for two weeks.


  • 20 pounds pork butt, the weight of the meat with bone removed

  • 1/2 cup salt, or to taste

  • 3 heads garlic, peeled and mashed

  • 8 ounces freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves

  • 3 1/2 cups ground red pepper

  • 1/4 cup cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 cup paprika

  • Sausage casings, cleaned

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grind the meat in a meat grinder.

  3. Put the meat into a large tub. Add all other ingredients in order, a little at a time, starting with the salt. Add cayenne and just enough paprika to get the desired color.

  4. Knead the meat as if you were making bread. Fry a few tablespoons of the meat mixture and taste test it. If you think it needs more of seasoning, add it now. Remember it is easy to add something, but you cannot remove once it is mixed in.

  5. Using the appropriate attachment on a meat grinder, fill the already cleaned casings with the meat. Leave about 1/2 an inch of the unfilled casing on each side to tie the openings (you can fold sausage in half and tie ends together) or tie bottom end of casing before filling. Use a strong string and double tie each end.

  6. With a straight pin, prick the sausage several times all over. This will help them to dry faster.

  7. Hang the chorizo to dry in a very cool, dry place for 10 to 14 days or until they harden. They should get some ventilation but never a draft. They are ready to eat when they are solid all the way through and firm to the touch.

Curing Meat Warning

Curing meat requires specific expertise and failure to cure meat properly may result in sickness or death. If you have no experience in this area, we advise you to consult an expert to teach you proper techniques and applications.

Great Resources on Curing Meat

Since curing meat requires such a specific skill set, otherwise, it can lead to illness or worse, we highly recommend consulting with an expert to teach you proper techniques. We found that the following four publications are super helpful guides and go in-depth about just such processes, procedures, and techniques:


  • In step 2, if possible, one person should be mixing the meat with their hands while another person adds the ingredients.
  • If they get too much exposure to air, they may dry too quickly on the outside, which would prevent them from drying on the inside. If the casings begin to form a white coat, moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil and rub them to remove the white. After you have rubbed them with oil, dry them with a paper towel.
  • For a truly authentic taste, find pimenton de la vera, a type of Spanish paprika with a characteristic smoky flavor.

Recipe Variations

  • Fresh chorizo: Instead of letting the chorizo dry for 10 to 14 days, use it immediately in a recipe. Treat it like ground beef by crumbling and sauteing the meat in oil in a pan.
  • Mexican chorizo: Use a combination of fatty pork sausage and ground beef. Eliminate the garlic, red pepper, cayenne pepper, and ground cloves and season the meat with chili powder, ground paprika, and dried oregano.