Is Chorizo Red Meat?

Most of you know that chorizo is a deliciously spicy pork sausage. Pork is considered red meat, so since chorizo is made from pork, is chorizo red meat too?

While chorizo is made of red meat, it’s actually considered a processed meat because it’s a sausage. Sausages are put into a category separate from red and white meat. Read on to learn more.

chorizo slices on a plate

Is Chorizo Considered Red Meat?

Meat products are often categorized as either white meat, red meat, or processed meat.

Meats that aren’t red, are considered white meat, and include chicken, turkey, duck, goose, game birds, and rabbit.

Red meats include pork, beef, lamb, venison, goat, and veal.

Processed meat is meat that’s been altered in some way, usually to preserve them or it can also be to change the way they taste. Processed meats include smoked, cured, or salted meats. This includes bacon, ham, beef jerky, deli meats, pate, sausages, salami, pepperoni, and the star of this article, chorizo.

Because chorizo is usually made with pork, which is a red meat, people often wonder if chorizo is considered red meat. However, chorizo is technically considered processed meat and not red meat because it’s a sausage (and if we’re talking about Spanish chorizo, also because it’s dried and cured).

What Kind of Meat is Chorizo Made Out of?

Chorizo is broadly known as a spicy pork sausage.

There are many different types of chorizo out there, but the two most popular are Spanish chorizo from Spain and Mexican chorizo.

Spanish chorizo, which is dried and cured (and sometimes smoked) is usually made with pork. Mexican chorizo, which is made fresh, is also usually made with pork. However, you can also find it made with beef or even turkey or chicken.

On the topic of what’s actually in chorizo, many people wonder if chorizo has salivary glands and lymph nodes from the animal in it – click here to learn more.

Is Chorizo Supposed to be Red?

Now that we’ve established that chorizo is considered processed meat and not red meat but is still made with red meat, let’s talk about the red color of chorizo.

Most meat products made with red meat aren’t actually red, like ham and bacon which are pink or beef sausage or venison sausage which are brown.

So, is chorizo supposed to be red? Yes! Chorizo (both Mexican and Spanish) is supposed to be red.

Then why is chorizo red? Mexican chorizo gets its red color from the dried red chili peppers (usually ancho chili, guajillo, or New Mexican peppers) that go into it to give its spicy kick. On the other hand, Spanish chorizo gets its red color from paprika, which is bright red.

In Summary

Now you know that while chorizo is made with red meat (usually pork), it’s actually considered processed meat because it’s a sausage and not a cut of meat from an animal.

Furthermore, while meat products made with red meat aren’t typically red in color, chorizo usually is because of the additional ingredients that go into it – chili peppers in Mexican chorizo and paprika in Spanish chorizo.