Grilled Mexican Chorizo With Spicy Tomato Caper Sauce

The Food Lab

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Grilled Mexican Chorizo With Spicy Tomato Caper Sauce

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The key to perfectly cooked sausages on the grill is to start them in a moist bath of flavorful toppings, slow cooking them to infuse them with flavor and get an even cook, then finishing them off over the hot side to crisp and char them.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained, broken up by hand into rough chunks
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 chopped green or black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh raw Mexican chorizo sausages


  1. 1.

    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  3. 3.

    Transfer tomato mixture to 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan. Alternatively, construct a tray out of a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, 10 inches square, with sides about 2 inches high. Nestle sausages into mixture.

  4. 4.

    Place tray on hot side of grill and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Slide to cooler side of grill. Cover grill with vents over the sausages. Cook with all vents open until sausages register 140° to 145°F on an instant read thermometer, about 20 minutes, turning once in the middle.

  5. 5.

    Remove lid. Using tongs, remove sausages from sauce and place directly on cooking grates over hot side of grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Return to sauce. Serve immediately, garnishing with extra cilantro, lime wedges, and tortillas is desired.