Is Chorizo Red Meat- All You Need to Know

Chorizo is a type of sausage originating from the Iberian Peninsula. It is a spicy type of sausage that is usually sealed in a casing that is made from the intestines of animals. The casing is made up of edible materials therefore it is also edible and many people prefer it to the other sausages.

So is chorizo red meat?

Chorizo is usually made from pork which is red meat; one may get confused whether chorizo is red meat or not. However, chorizo is technically considered as processed meat and not red meat because it is a type of sausage.

People keep wondering if chorizo is red meat because it is made from pork and has almost the same red color as red meat. This article will therefore explain why chorizo is not considered as red meat, what it is composed of and how to make a simple chorizo. It also shows the similarities between chorizo and red meat.

Comparison table of chorizo and red meat

ChorizoRed meat
Made from red meatUsed to make chorizo
Has spicesDoes not contain spices
Its color is obtained from spicesIt is naturally red in color

Why is chorizo red in color and it is not considered as red meat?

is chorizo red meat

Chorizo is processed meat and is made from red meat. Spanish chorizo is red because of the paprika that is added which is bright red in color. Mexican chorizo is prepared by adding red chili peppers to add spicy kick and in the process make chorizo red.

How to make chorizo

How to make chorizo

Chorizo is prepared using pork meat that is properly chopped and pork fat. It is seasoned with paprika and garlic which are all then stuffed into a natural gut.

This paprika used is a special one called pimento which gives the chorizo its characteristic red color.

Chorizo is stuffed into the pork gut such as the small intestines or the large intestines.

Qualities of chorizo

Qualities of chorizo

i. The best component is made of pork meat with a reasonable amount of bacon and has a traditional curing process, produces a natural product with the highest value of calorific and high biological amount of proteins and special organoleptic characteristics.

ii. It is spicy

iii. It is seasoned with vinegar and peppers. Some people make it using garlic and pimento which gives the chorizo its red color.

iv. Chorizo is available both fully cooked and sometimes semi cured.  Depending on the manufacturer, you may find either fully cooked or semi cured chorizo in the market.

Making chorizo

Making chorizo

Ingredients include;

a) Pork meat

b) Pork bacon

c) Paprika

d) Garlic

e) Salt.

Below is the traditional way of making chorizo. It is very simple and it is in phases as discussed below;

Phase one

Chop the meat and bacon

Phase two

In this phase, the chopped meat and bacon is mixed with all the other spices.

Phase three

In this phase the cook is supposed to take a break of 24 hours

Phase four

A natural pork gut is used to make sausage in this phase.

 Phase five

 This phase is also known as the curing phase. The sausage is exposed to air. The area should be thoroughly checked in terms of temperature and humidity. Traditionally, it used to be fire and smoke in order to protect from insects.

Phase six

This is the maturation phase. It includes drying to make sure the sausage acquires texture that helps to develop natural flavor.

Types of chorizo

The types of chorizo vary depending on the type of meat used and the spices used in the production process.

Types of chorizo by pork meat

Types of chorizo by pork meat

1. Chorizo Iberico Bellota.

It is made using the Ham of an Iberian Pork.

2. Chorizo Iberico

It is made using the meat of an Iberian pig.

3. Chorizo traditional home

Made using pork and takes the shape of a horse shoe.

Benefits of chorizo

Benefits of chorizo

a) Chorizo provides proteins of high quality

Chorizo sausage provides approximately 24.10g of proteins. Tissue repair and the breakdown of food are made possible by the presence of amino acids present in the meat used in making chorizo.

b) It acts as a source of thiamine

Presence of thiamine in the body helps in the breakdown of food to release energy. Chorizo is more helpful to pregnant women and beast-feeding women because they require more energy.

c) Helps in the intake of vitamin B-12

Consumption of vitamin B-12 in the body is made possible by eating chorizo. It helps in nerve functioning.

d) Chorizo boosts the intake of selenium

Selenium helps in treating prostate cancer therefore chorizo should be taken frequently especially by people who have a high risk or are suffering from prostate cancer.

Disadvantages of consuming chorizo

Disadvantages of consuming chorizo

1. Heartburn

Eating chorizo can lead to severe heartburn.

2. High risk of cancer

Sausages have very high salt content and fat concentration. These two combinations increase the chances of being exposed to cancer diseases. All red meat has a red pigment known as harms which is broken down into N-nitroso compounds which are known to cause cancer.

3. It is not a healthy food

Chorizo contains high fat, calories, and sodium. Too much accumulation of these substances is not healthy for the human body.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Question 1: What is the difference between chorizo and Longaniza?


Longaniza and chorizo are all sausages that almost look alike. The only difference between the two is that Longaniza is made out of minced meat while chorizo is made of ground pork.

  • Question 2: What are the casings made of?


Chorizo casings are mostly made from beef; they have over two year life span and do not need to be stored in the fridge. They should be stored under room temperature. They are natural and therefore edible.


For many years, it has been very difficult for people to know the difference between red meat and chorizo. They have the same color. Chorizo is made from red meat and is usually enclosed in a casing that is edible.

Just like red meat, chorizo has almost the same nutritional value as red meat. They are both protein in nature, and the meat used to prepare chorizo is usually ground pork. Taking direct red meat can be of greater danger than taking chorizo.