Chorizo or Sausage? Help a newbie!

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I-am-Chorizo

Fire Starter
Original poster
Apr 5, 2024
57
116
Colombia
Hi Everyone!

I am totally newbie to the forum. Started making fresh chorizo a year ago with nice and tasty but felt there was something missing. Randomly looking for information so that I could improve, I found this forum and after a few days of careful reading I tried following a several of your suggestions that were totally unknown to me (such as the existence of cure#01, curing time, smoking temp and times, ice-cold bath, blooming...etc) and the difference in the final product was inmediate.

I would like to share what I consider to be my current status as a truly amateur sausage maker/smoker and humbly ask you for feedback, recomendations or a path to follow in order to step up the quality of my chorizos.

Grind and stuff with a kitchenAid and its attachments
Use natural casings I get from a butchery
Had no idea of the existence of cure#01
Don't really know when a chorizo becomes a sausage
Do not have a professional smoker...I built a DIY one out of cardboard, wood and a thermometer

I attach a few pictures (Sorry for not organizing them well) of my artisan smoker, my cooks before reading the forum and my first attempt following some of your suggestions.


Thanks in advance!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240330_113812759.jpg
    IMG_20240330_113812759.jpg
    162.7 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG-20240411-WA0141.jpg
    IMG-20240411-WA0141.jpg
    163.5 KB · Views: 34
  • IMG-20240411-WA0125.jpg
    IMG-20240411-WA0125.jpg
    145.1 KB · Views: 34
  • IMG-20240411-WA0118.jpg
    IMG-20240411-WA0118.jpg
    89.2 KB · Views: 35
  • IMG_20240411_193518144.jpg
    IMG_20240411_193518144.jpg
    92.2 KB · Views: 35
  • IMG_20240411_193511875.jpg
    IMG_20240411_193511875.jpg
    92 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_20240406_201940563.jpg
    IMG_20240406_201940563.jpg
    118.6 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG_20240406_200608375.jpg
    IMG_20240406_200608375.jpg
    100.8 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG_20240330_142041707.jpg
    IMG_20240330_142041707.jpg
    162.9 KB · Views: 41
Welcome to smf,i wont be much help with your chorizo, I never made it but yours looks really good. You just proven you dont need expensive equipment to make a quality product. I'm sure someone will jump in and help with your question. Lots of great pe6on this site.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chopsaw
Your pictures all look pretty good.
What are you trying to improve on? Tell us more about what you don’t like or are having problems with.
 
Your pictures all look pretty good.
What are you trying to improve on? Tell us more about what you don’t like or are having problems with.
Thanks a lot.

I'll try to summarize it all:

-Hot dogs aside... Are there any formal diferentes between chorizo and sausages? What I got after following some the forum directions seems to me a rather sausage-like product.
- I'd love some suggestions for choosing a budget friendly smoker since My cardboard friend Will certainly die soon.
- Never used binders before and feel insecure about using poder milk. Is it really a must?
- Don't usually add liquid to My mixtures...am I missing something?
- Is there a Book or document that I should Read in order to get solid Foundations on sausage making?
I Ask this because up until this moment I have cooked mainly by instinct and observation.
- If there are any observable flaws in My product, I'd feel grateful if You guys point them out.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
Never used binders before and feel insecure about using poder milk. Is it really a must?
I rarely use binders. They have uses in some cases, but mostly they are not necessary with proper protein extraction.
Is there a Book or document that I should Read in order to get solid Foundations on sausage making?
Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by Adam and Stanley Marianski is one of the best.
Don't usually add liquid to My mixtures...am I missing something?
The only time I add liquid is if the recipe calls for something other than water, or if the batter is too stiff and needs loosened up, I will add a bit of water.
 
Thanks a lot.

I'll try to summarize it all:

-Hot dogs aside... Are there any formal diferentes between chorizo and sausages? What I got after following some the forum directions seems to me a rather sausage-like product.
- I'd love some suggestions for choosing a budget friendly smoker since My cardboard friend Will certainly die soon.
- Never used binders before and feel insecure about using poder milk. Is it really a must?
- Don't usually add liquid to My mixtures...am I missing something?
- Is there a Book or document that I should Read in order to get solid Foundations on sausage making?
I Ask this because up until this moment I have cooked mainly by instinct and observation.
- If there are any observable flaws in My product, I'd feel grateful if You guys point them out.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
First off, “chorizo “ is Spanish for “sausage “ generally. So in the end we are all making a form of “chorizo “

Now down to specifics. I really don’t know the flavor profile of Colombian “chorizo “ but I do know how to make sausage very well. Follow along because you are just making a specific sausage.

Just to start, I think you are not getting good protein extraction by the look of your finished product. This requires, salt and mixing until the meat is sticky. Are you doing that? Let’s just start there.
 
-Hot dogs aside... Are there any formal diferentes between chorizo and sausages? What I got after following some the forum directions seems to me a rather sausage-like product.
- Is there a Book or document that I should Read in order to get solid Foundations on sausage making?

A great answer to two of your above questions would probably be one of the Marianski books. I'm thinking "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages", but possibly another one as I don't see Chorizo listed in that one. However, it is listed on the Marianski website: https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes/chorizo

In short, Chorizo is a sausage. The key seems to be pork, pimentón paprika, oregano and garlic.

- Never used binders before and feel insecure about using poder milk. Is it really a must?
- Don't usually add liquid to My mixtures...am I missing something?

I hate binders! The more binders I add, the more my meat tastes like a hot dog. It's totally possible to make great sausage without binders (as they've done for centuries). I think the key there is to have a proportion of the grind as rather fine (binding will be easier with the fine grind). If you can make good sausage without them, then that's great! From your pictures, it looks like you're doing fine without them, so I'd say keep it up!

However, trying something with a little binder in it also can help point out flaws you didn't know you had (e.g., I had some casing issues and adding a little binder helped me figure out the root cause).

As for water, I need it for my snack sticks to help with wrinkle formation and getting the material into a 15mm tube. If you're doing fine without additional water, I think you will be fine to continue as is, but I'd listen to the other sausage pros on this one.

Congrats on the sausage, it looks great! I'm impressed you've got as far with your ad-hoc smoker!
 
Last edited:
Just to start, I think you are not getting good protein extraction by the look of your finished product. This requires, salt and mixing until the meat is sticky. Are you doing that? Let’s just start there.

Maybe... I looked at the images and thought: "This looks like chorizo to me" as I expect it to be somewhat crumbly, and even a bit greasy (because I'm used to Mexican chorizo). However, when I look at the Mariansky chorizo, it definitely looks more consistent throughout (spanish chorizo).

Fortunately, I see that two-guys-and-a-cooler have a recipe specifically for Columbian chorizo! So I think this is a good starting point: https://twoguysandacooler.com/colombian-chorizo/

If you look at a cross section of their version, it also looks similar to I I-am-Chorizo images:
1712963257515.png

So it's hard to say. I'll point out that the 2guys recipe doesn't use a binder, so this appearance might be an intentional regional characteristic of the recipe...
 
Last edited:
Maybe... I looked at the images and thought: "This looks like chorizo to me" as I expect it to be somewhat crumbly, and even a bit greasy (because I'm used to Mexican chorizo). However, when I look at the Mariansky chorizo, it definitely looks more consistent throughout (spanish chorizo).

Fortunately, I see that two-guys-and-a-cooler have a recipe specifically for Columbian chorizo! So I think this is a good starting point: https://twoguysandacooler.com/colombian-chorizo/

If you look at a cross section of their version, it also looks similar to I I-am-Chorizo images:
View attachment 694269
So it's hard to say. I'll point out that the 2guys recipe doesn't use a binder, so this appearance might be an intentional regional characteristic of the recipe...
If you want to learn how to make sausage, I will help you. If you want to make a post about how your not satisfied with your sausage results here then post back about a YouTube recipe, that’s fine, pick what you want. Eric is great over on YouTube but he isn’t active here. So either ask here or watch YouTube.
 
If you want to learn how to make sausage, I will help you. If you want to make a post about how your not satisfied with your sausage results here then post back about a YouTube recipe, that’s fine, pick what you want. Eric is great over on YouTube but he isn’t active here. So either ask here or watch YouTube.
I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. Maybe you have me confused with someone else? Like many of us, I use multiple sources to try to make the best product available. The best results can often involve cross referencing those sources to find the best parts of each.

You mentioned uncertainty about the flavor profile of Columbian choritzo, and I found sources to help on that topic to help I I-am-Chorizo .
 
Last edited:
Welcome to Smoking Meat Forums (SMF)

There are hundreds of sausage recipes from around the world on the web and G geostriata pointed out 2 of the better sources to begin your journey.
...
Fortunately, I see that two-guys-and-a-cooler have a recipe specifically for Columbian chorizo! So I think this is a good starting point: https://twoguysandacooler.com/colombian-chorizo/

If you look at a cross section of their version, it also looks similar to I I-am-Chorizo images:
View attachment 694269
So it's hard to say. I'll point out that the 2guys recipe doesn't use a binder, so this appearance might be an intentional regional characteristic of the recipe...
...
However, it is listed on the Marianski website: https://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-recipes/chorizo
...
Your Kitchen Aid is good for grinding meat, but get a decent and dedicated sausage stuffer to make it easier for you.

...
- Is there a Book or document that I should Read in order to get solid Foundations on sausage making?
I Ask this because up until this moment I have cooked mainly by instinct and observation.
...
The Marianksi book "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" is good for a second book.
For a first book I highly recommend Rytek Kutas "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing".
My wife found an internet source to read it on-line
The sausage recipes are a great starting point to develop your own, but his instructions on sausage making are well written and very informative. His instructions for smoked sausage is pretty much the bible for what the members here will repeat.

Your smoke house is great. Replace the cardboard with plywood and you have a solid smoker.
How do you heat it?
 
Welcome to Smoking Meat Forums (SMF)

There are hundreds of sausage recipes from around the world on the web and G geostriata pointed out 2 of the better sources to begin your journey.


Your Kitchen Aid is good for grinding meat, but get a decent and dedicated sausage stuffer to make it easier for you.


The Marianksi book "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" is good for a second book.
For a first book I highly recommend Rytek Kutas "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing".
My wife found an internet source to read it on-line
The sausage recipes are a great starting point to develop your own, but his instructions on sausage making are well written and very informative. His instructions for smoked sausage is pretty much the bible for what the members here will repeat.

Your smoke house is great. Replace the cardboard with plywood and you have a solid smoker.
How do you heat it?
Thanks a lot for the book recommendation.
I place the smoker on top of a grill, light some charcoal and when it is done, I progressively add sticks of lumber. The Challenge is to manage vents in a way that temperature remains between 70°C and 80°C during 2-3 hrs...It's crazy. I have noticed that You guys use F° and I am started to learn so that I can speak the same language.
 
Thanks a lot for the book recommendation.
I place the smoker on top of a grill, light some charcoal and when it is done, I progressively add sticks of lumber. The Challenge is to manage vents in a way that temperature remains between 70°C and 80°C during 2-3 hrs...It's crazy. I have noticed that You guys use F° and I am started to learn so that I can speak the same language.
We are very much adapted to using grams and kilograms for weighing all the ingredients instead of pounds and ounces, but I don't see that temperature changeover happening soon.
 
I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. Maybe you have me confused with someone else? Like many of us, I use multiple sources to try to make the best product available. The best results can often involve cross referencing those sources to find the best parts of each.

You mentioned uncertainty about the flavor profile of Columbian choritzo, and I found sources to help on that topic to help I I-am-Chorizo .
No,,,, I’m not confused. I know how to make sausage and I post that experience here on this site. I don’t need YouTube or any other resources to make my sausage great…… if you have a question then ask it,,, but do not drag the world wide internet into this site. It’s absolutely not needed.

I fix more internet screw ups than I can count.
 
  • Like
Reactions: indaswamp and DougE
Your pics look GREAT and your "homeless joe" smoker sure does the job. Listen to these guys about how to make great sausage. I have learned a ton since I started several months ago.
 
  • Like
Reactions: I-am-Chorizo
No,,,, I’m not confused. I know how to make sausage and I post that experience here on this site. I don’t need YouTube or any other resources to make my sausage great…… if you have a question then ask it,,, but do not drag the world wide internet into this site. It’s absolutely not needed.

I fix more internet screw ups than I can count.
Nah, I'm going to keep doing that for reputable sources when I feel they apply. Mariansky is a great internet resource, and I see no problem sharing it. The 2guys and a cooler recipes I feel are also pretty sound, especially since I found one that was relevant. Most of what I reference has been A/B tested and validated by myself with the results posted on this site.
 
I I-am-Chorizo I did just get my copy of "1001 Greatest Sausage Recipes" from Marianski (which is well regarded over here) and was pleased to find a Columbian chorizo recipe in it. In that he recommends doing a pork meat grind at 10mm and a beef grind at 3mm. If your chorizo only uses one protein, I'd still recommend two or three grind levels since you're probably not using a binder. I like to do always have a portion that's fine grind with the fattier meats.

As an aside, his recipe also doesn't utilize cure #1.
 
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
Clicky