How Long Does Chorizo Last In The Fridge?

If you’re seeking to enhance your Spanish or Mexican dish with a touch of spicy, savory goodness, chorizo is an excellent choice. However, if you’ve had it stored in your refrigerator for a while, you might be questioning its edibility. So, how long can chorizo be stored in the fridge?

The answer is more intricate than anticipated, as there are various types of chorizo with significantly different lifespans. In a nutshell, cured chorizo has a fridge life of up to six months, while raw chorizo can only be stored for four days.

To determine the type of chorizo you have and other ways to gauge its safety for consumption, continue reading.

What is Chorizo?

Chorizo, a sausage originating from both Spain and Mexico, can be prepared in various ways, resulting in diverse appearances and flavors. Most chorizo is bright red with a hint of spiciness.

Spanish chorizo is cured and shares similar taste and texture characteristics with other cured meats like salami and pepperoni. Its production process allows it to be preserved for an extended period under the right conditions.

Mexican chorizo, on the other hand, consists of raw pork mixed with spices. It is intended for direct cooking, typically with eggs and vegetables. As it’s not cured, Mexican chorizo should be treated like any other raw meat and consumed within a few days of purchasing.

How Long Does Spanish Chorizo Last in the Fridge?

To comprehend the longevity of Spanish chorizo, it’s essential to recognize its various forms. Cured and semi-cured chorizos have distinct shelf lives and storage requirements. Let’s examine each type.

Cured Chorizo

Similar to pepperoni, cured chorizo is a sausage that has been salted, smoked, and dried, allowing it to remain fresh for months, even at room temperature. It can last up to three months at room temperature, six months in the fridge, and a year when frozen. However, note that freezing may alter the flavor and texture of the sausage.

Semi-Cured Chorizo

Semi-cured chorizo is a variation that hasn’t been cured as extensively as the fully-cured version. With a shorter drying time, it has a softer texture akin to uncured sausage. Instead of being dried, it undergoes fermentation, which enables it to outlast raw sausage but not fully-cured chorizo.

Semi-cured chorizo can be stored for one month at room temperature, up to three months in the fridge, and as long as a year in the freezer.

How Long Can Mexican Chorizo Be Stored in the Fridge?

While Mexican chorizo shares some similarities with its Spanish counterpart, it is essentially a distinct food. Made from raw pork and spices, Mexican chorizo has a shorter shelf life in the fridge compared to Spanish chorizo.

Always refrigerate Mexican chorizo unless you plan to cook it immediately. If left at room temperature, it can only last for about four hours before bacteria growth begins. When stored in the refrigerator, it should remain fresh for approximately one week.

Freezing Mexican chorizo is an option, but be aware that this may negatively impact its taste and texture. Fresh storage is generally preferable. If frozen, Mexican chorizo can last up to six months before it must be discarded.

Chorizo Storage Tips

Since chorizo is a meat product, it requires careful storage. Keep the following tips in mind when storing chorizo in your fridge or freezer:

Monitor Moisture Content

Cured chorizo’s longevity can be attributed to the reduction of moisture content in the meat. However, this doesn’t mean storing it in the fridge or freezer is ideal, as the chorizo may become dry. To avoid this, consider wrapping it in paper towels to help maintain moisture.

Keep an Eye on Cooked Chorizo

If you’re concerned about your chorizo spoiling, it’s best to cook it sooner rather than later. Leftovers can then be packaged and stored in the fridge for a few more days. However, remember that even cooked chorizo has a limited shelf life; discard leftovers after 2 or 3 days.

Label Your Storage Containers

Regardless of the chorizo type you’re storing, always label your containers with the date. This practice helps you identify the contents when you eventually open the package and ensures you don’t consume spoiled meat.

Avoid Refreezing

Freezing chorizo may prolong its lifespan beyond what’s achievable in the fridge. However, once thawed, it should be used immediately or discarded. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles can result in a mushy, flavorless meat that won’t enhance your meal.


In conclusion, the shelf life of chorizo in the fridge largely depends on the type of chorizo—Spanish or Mexican—and its curing process. Spanish chorizo, available in cured and semi-cured forms, can be stored in the fridge for up to six months and three months, respectively.

On the other hand, Mexican chorizo, made from raw pork, has a shorter fridge life of approximately one week. Freezing is another storage option, but it may affect the flavor and texture of the chorizo.

To ensure the best quality and safety, proper storage practices should be followed, such as monitoring moisture content, keeping an eye on cooked chorizo, labeling storage containers, and avoiding refreezing.

By paying attention to these factors, you can enjoy delicious and safe chorizo dishes throughout its intended shelf life.






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