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Mexican Style Chorizo Sausage

Today we are doing something a little different. We are talking a look at popular internet sausage recipes to see if they are everything that they claim. In today’s post we are taking a peek at a Smoked Mexican Style Chorizo Sausage.

Mexican Chorizo is a very heavily spiced crumbly sausage that is incredibly delicious when mixed with other meals. By itself it’s a little intense. The idea behind this sausage is to make a well bound together sausage (similar to a Polish Kielbasa) in the style of Mexican Chorizo. This may sound like an easy task but trust me when I tell you that there are lots of moving parts here and it’s not as simple as it looks.

The original recipe, posted by the You Tube Channel Smokin Joes Pit BBQ tries to accomplish this. In this post we set out to see if his recipe is a MUST or a BUST!! If it’s a BUST, then we will rewrite the recipe to make it work. Both recipes will be posted below

Follow basic smoked sausage preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F) at all times
  3. Any liquid that is added to the mince needs to be ice cold
  4. Mix your very chilled meat and seasonings till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Stuff the mince into sausage casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Refrigerate your sausage overnight to allow the cure to work
  7. The next day follow a low and slow smoking schedule.
  8. Cook sausages low and slow to an internal of 145f
  9. Once the internal temp has been reached place the sausages in a cold-water bath to cool down and let them bloom at room temperature for 3-4 hours

Here are a few things you might find useful when making a smoked sausage

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away.

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Print Recipe
4.34 from 3 votes

Mexican Style Chorizo Sausage (verified recipe)

This recipe has been rewritten and all of the inital issues have been fixed
Prep Time1 day 30 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams

Ingredients

For the chili sauce

  • 15 g Ancho Chili stem and seeds removed
  • 6 g Chili Arbol stem and seeds removed
  • 6 g Guajillo Chili stem and seeds removed
  • 60 ml hot water from rehydrating the chilis
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

Prepare the casings

  • Rehydrate your casing the night before you need them. Rinse off the salt and flush the casings with some cool water. Place the cleaned casings in some fresh water with some baking soda in it (I use 1 tsp per quart of water) and place in the refrigerator. If you let your casings soak for at least 12 hours, they will be nice and tender by the time you use them.

Prepare the Chili Sauce

  • The weight of the peppers in the recipe above is without seeds and stems. So, once you remove the seeds and stems, weigh the dried peppers and place them in a bowl. Add enough HOT water to cover the dried peppers. Cover with cling film and set to the side. After 30 – 45 minutes, place the rehydrated peppers into your blender with some of the hot water (exact measurement listed above). Blend until you form a thick chili paste. Mix in the baking soda and set to the side to cool. This chili sauce makes roughly 3x what you will need

Prepare the Meat

  • Clean meat from any silver skin and arteries. Chill the meat and the fat so that the temperature is below 34f (1.1c)
  • Grind chilled meat and fat on a course plate (8mm-10mm). Rechill. Keep the temp under 34f (1.1c)
  • Combine the salt, spices, biner, chili paste, and beer to the meat (DO NOT ADD THE ENCAPSULATED CITRIC ACID YET). Mix till the meat turns into a sticky batter. Once this happens add the encapsulated citric acid and mix for another 10-20 seconds. The meat mixture will stick to your hand when you grab a small handful of it and turn your hand upside down.
  • Stuff mixture in your casings and link them to your desired size. If you notice any air pockets, be sure to prick them out
  • If you used encapsulated citric acid in the recipe you will need to cook these sausages immediatly after stuffing (ECA is a cure accelerator so you don't need to let the sausages rest overnight). If you chose to omit this ingredient then you must let the sausages rest in the refrigerator overnight so that the cure can do it's job.
  • Smoke the sausage using incremental adjustments in temperature to slowly bring the sausage up to a core temperature of 150F (65.5c).

If you have a digital smoker this is a great cooking schedule:

  • 1.5 hours at 100f (37.7c) – this dries out the sausage (leave the dampers wide open)
  • 1.5 hours at 125f (51.6c) – this is when I start applying smoke
  • 1 hour at 155f (68.3c)
  • 1 hour at 175f (79.4c)
  • then I bump up to 200f (93.3c) until I reach an internal of 145f (62.7c)

If you are cooking on a pit or offset here’s a different way:

  • on indirect heat start smoking sausages while the pit is at 150f (65.5c) and smoke for 1.5 hours.
  • Increase the temperature to 175f (79.4c) and cook for another hour.
  • Finally bump the temp up to 200f (93.3c) till you reach an internal of 150f (65.5c)
  • Cool in an ice water batch and leave at room temperature for several hours to allow the sausages to bloom.
  • Refrigerate and enjoy.

Below is the original recipe. The original recipe produced a very spice heavy sausage with the same crumbly texture as Mexican Chorizo. As a standalone sausage it doesn’t work so well, but if you were to make this and add it to other ingredients like rice, beans, or eggs, it would be better off.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Mexican Style Chorizo Sausage

This sausage produces a texture that is very similar to Mexican Chorizo. If you are looking for a standalone sausage with balanced flavors then check out the "Revised Version" of this recipe. Posted above
Prep Time1 day 30 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams

Ingredients

For the chili sauce

Instructions

Prepare the casings

  • Rehydrate your casing the night before you need them. Rinse off the salt and flush the casings with some cool water. Place the cleaned casings in some fresh water with some baking soda in it (I use 1 tsp per quart of water) and place in the refrigerator. If you let your casings soak for at least 12 hours, they will be nice and tender by the time you use them.

Prepare the Chili Sauce

  • The weight of the peppers in the recipe above is without seeds and stems. So, once you remove the seeds and stems, weigh the dried peppers and place them in a bowl. Add enough HOT water to cover the dried peppers. Cover with cling film and set to the side. After 30 – 45 minutes, place the rehydrated peppers into your blender with some of the hot water (exact measurement listed above). Blend until you form a thick chili paste.

Prepare the Meat

  • Clean meat from any silver skin and arteries. Chill the meat and the fat so that the temperature is below 34f (1.1c)
  • Grind chilled meat and fat on a course plate (8mm-10mm). Rechill. Keep the temp under 34f (1.1c)
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients to your meat (spices and chili paste) and mix till the meat turns into a sticky batter. The meat mixture will stick to your hand when you grab a small handful of it and turn your hand upside down.
  • Stuff mixture in your casings and link them to your desired size. If you notice any air pockets, be sure to prick them out
  • Place the sausage in your refrigerator overnight so that the cure can do its job
  • The next day, smoke the sausage using incremental adjustments in temperature to slowly bring the sausage up to a core temperature of 145F (62.7c).

If you have a digital smoker this is a great cooking schedule:

  • 1.5 hours at 100f (37.7c) – this dries out the sausage (leave the dampers wide open)
  • 1.5 hours at 125f (51.6c) – this is when I start applying smoke
  • 1 hour at 155f (68.3c)
  • 1 hour at 175f (79.4c)
  • then I bump up to 200f (93.3c) until I reach an internal of 145f (62.7c)

If you are cooking on a pit or offset here’s a different way:

  • on indirect heat start smoking sausages while the pit is at 150f (65.5c) and smoke for 3 hours.
  • Increase the temperature to 200f (93.3c) and cook till you get to an internal of 145f (62.7c)

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16 thoughts on “Mexican Style Chorizo Sausage”

  1. 5 stars
    Another Great video.

    So the acidity of the pepper sauce killed the protein bind in Smokin Joe’s sausage, making it crumbly. How did you get away with the addition of acidic red wine in your Lenguica Calabresa recipe? In that recipe, is the acidity offset by the powdered milk binder or did one of the other ingredients neutralize the PH?

    I’m trying to sort this out because my favorite store bought Linguica lists vinegar in the ingredient list, and other than being coarse, it’s not very crumbly.

    Regards,

    1. Great question. In this video I oversimplify the issue to make it easier to understand by everyone, but the truth is that acidity in a sausage is quite complex. There are lots of factors at play like types of acid, quantity of the acid being added, the steps when they are added, how much salt is in the recipe, and so on. In the case of Joe’s sausage there were multiple factors hurting the sausage. The first was the low protein extraction due to minimal salt, the next was the acidic chili sauce and the third was the quantity that he was adding. If he would have increased to salt level to 1.5+%, reduced the amount of chili sauce to 5%, and added a binder he might have been better off. I recommend neutralizing the chili for home sausage makers so that they can have 100% success, but technically you don’t have to if you know how to overcome that issue other ways.

      As for the Portuguese sausage, we let the garlic soak in the wine which is naturally going to slightly raise the ph and we only added 5% to the recipe. This coupled with 1.95% total salt and a 2% binder overcomes the acidic issue. Commercial sausages that add vinegar can use powdered versions of vinegar; they could dilute it with water prior to adding it to the recipe which will bring the ph up, or they can compensate with additives like binders, phosphates. It’s a very interesting subject!!

  2. Kevin Cogliandro

    5 stars
    In the video, you mentioned about the fact that the original recipe is not a true cold smoke, and therefor cure #1 is not really needed. Could you expand on that? I’ve watched a lot of videos on sausage by Joe and also Chud’s BBQ and both seem to use cure #1 and smoke around 150. I’d love to see you put a full video out just on this topic as I think there are a lot of people who would benefit from a more in depth discussion on this subject.

    1. Hey Kevin. If you listen carefully, I just pointed out that Joe’s use of the phrase “Cold Smoking” was inaccurate. The more accurate description of how he cooked these sausages was low and slow which still requires th euse of a curing salt. With that being said I will do a video specifically about this topic.

    1. It’s a “to taste” ingredient. I love cumin so for me it was perfect but you can always start lower like 2 or 3 grams and see how you like it.

    1. ECA give the meat a tangy flavor. If that is what oyu are after then ECA is the answer. If you just want to speed up nitrite conversion, then any cure accelerator would work

  3. Just premade the chili paste for this recipe. I tried a blender and food processor and there are still pretty good sized flakes in it. Is there a method to get smoother paste or are the flakes ok? Should I strain them out or should they be there?

    1. If you make a large enough batch, the sauce should blend up nicely (maybe with an immersion blender). Either way, if you have flakes in it, it’s ok

  4. 5 stars
    I just made up a batch of the new version of the chorizo and love it. I did make one mistake when I forgot to add the baking soda to the chili sauce, but the binding of the meat still did very well. It looks exactly like Eric’s did in the video. It seems that the addition of the milk powder binder (I used potato starch) is more important than changing the ph of the sauce with baking soda. My other note is that these are fairly spicy, though luckily I love spicy food. Many folks might want to scale back the arbols a bit. Perhaps the chili arbols are more potent where I live in Michoacán, Mexico than what you find up north. This morning I made a chorizo y huevo taco for breakfast (using some of the bulk sausage not smoked) and found I did not need to add any salsa to give it a kick – it was all built-in. Muy rico.

  5. 5 stars
    This may seem like a simple question, but what wood was used for the smoke? Since I have yet to make anything with the flavor profile of Chorizo, I’d like to know what wood would best pair up with it? I am chomping at the bit to give this a try!

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