The Best Bratwursts

LAST UPDATED: Sep 09, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Sep 03, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Bratwurst are a classic, delicious and indulgent way to do dinner. They’re perfect in the summer and fall on the grill or in the oven, and they’re so easy to customize for the ultimate weeknight meal or game day party food!

Recently, a lifelong friend and I were talking about how we both enjoy cooking, but that it doesn’t always have to be an elaborate recipe. Just good, simple, fresh ingredients and a great combination. That’s exactly what a classic bratwurst is!

A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

We love a simple meal while we’re at the lake on the weekends, and burgers and brats are where it’s at! In fact, they’re great during any season, and once you know a few tricks for cooking them and adding the right toppings, you’ll be amazed at what a crowd pleaser these are.

Add this simple bratwurst dinner into your line-up this week, and I bet the whole family will be thrilled!

A white rectangular tray filled with cooke bratwurst sausages.

Why You’ll Love These Brats

  • Family friendly
  • Easy to customize to individual tastes
  • Super Fast for a weeknight dinner
  • Bursting with juicy flavor
  • Perfect for parties and cookouts
A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

There are several methods to cook your bratwurst, making them one of the most flexible dinner options around! You can broil, bake, steam, fry, grill, and even parboil your brats!

In fact, there are a lot of friendly arguments around the best methods to cook bratwurst. It’s fun to try new techniques!

Parboiling is a method where you actually immerse your bratwurst in liquid in a pot on the stove. You can include flavor enhancers like onions, garlic or butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then complete by browning on the grill or in a frying pan.

Brat beer baths are another way of keeping them warm and juicy, by simmering in a pot on the stove in beer and onions. You can also do this in a pan on the grill.

A white rectangular tray filled with cooke bratwurst sausages.

Ingredients

  • Bratwurst – choosing a good quality bratwurst will take this simple dinner to a whole new level. We like to grab brats from our local German deli.
  • Hot dog buns – any kind of bun will work, but you can use a pretzel style bun or bakery versions for another delicious upgrade.

Variations

  • Mix up the toppings on your brats for a whole new flavor profile
  • Buy brats from a local meat market for high quality options
A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

How to Make

  1. Preheat grill to medium-low (300°F) in 2 zones.
  2. Put bratwurst on indirect side and grill for 8 minutes. Turn and grill for 8 additional minutes. Internal temperature should reach 155°F
  3. Transfer bratwursts to direct heat and grill 1 minute.
  4. Add buns and top.

Topping Suggestions

A white rectangular tray filled with cooke bratwurst sausages.

Recipe Tips

  • Warm your buns for a minute on a pan on the grill, or in the microwave.
  • If you’d like to make your bratwust ahead of time, let them simmer in a sheet pan with a little beer and onions. It keeps them warm and moist!

Recipe Short Cuts

  • Slice raw onions, no need to grill or sauté.
  • Use Sauerkraut! It’s not fancy but many people love the flavor and it can be purchase pre-made.
  • Add sliced pickles or relish for another topping shortcut.
A grilled bratwurst in a bun on a white plate.
How is bratwurst different from sausage?

Sausage is ground meat that’s found in fresh or dried casing links. Bratwurst is a specific variety of fresh sausage link, made with pork (and sometimes beef or veal)

How do you cook brats indoors?

Use a grill pan or a simple frying pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Add bratwurst and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes, turning frequently until evenly browned.

What does brat in bratwurst mean?

It’s quite simply a short nickname for bratwurst!

What does bratwurst taste like?

This German sausage has a strong flavor profile! Depending on the style you purchase, there are notes of garlic, pimentos, spices, seasonings, and smoke.

A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Do not leave out for more than two hours maximum.
  • Refrigerate – Leftover bratwurst can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Unopened, uncooked brats can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks after purchase.
  • Freeze – When stored in a freezer, pre-cooked sausage can last up to two months. Also consider the use-by date on the food packaging as well.

What to Do with Leftovers

Bratwurst make excellent leftovers, with so many ways to slice and dice to your heart’s content.

  • Add to soup
  • Add to pasta
  • Make a casserole
  • Fry slices in a skillet with veggies or stir fry
  • Scramble with eggs
  • Add to a frittata

How to Serve

  • Bratwurst are traditionally served on a hotdog style bun.
  • They also work beautifully sliced for a low carb, Keto friendly meal.
A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

QUICK TIP: While grilling your bratwurst, open your bun and add Brie to both sides. Put the buns on the grill with cover for a minute or so to allow the Brie to slightly melt. Add diced Granny Smith apples to the melted cheese, then place your brat and top with mustard. It’s the most incredible combination!

A white rectangular tray filled with cooke bratwurst sausages.

Best 10 Sides to Serve with Brats

  1. Cabbage Salad
  2. Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
  3. Bow Tie Pasta Salad
  4. Street Corn
  5. Veggie Pasta Salad
  6. Homemade Creamy Potato Salad
  7. Firehouse Green Beans with Bacon
  8. Crispy Brussel Sprouts
  9. Cheesy Corn Casserole
  10. Healthy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

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Game days, tailgates and backyard barbecues will never be boring again! What’s your favorite way to enjoy bratwurst?

More Easy Grilling Recipes

A white tray filled with bratwurst sausages in buns.

Bratwurst

Julie Blanner
Bratwurst are a classic, delicious and indulgent way to do dinner. They're perfect in the summer and fall on the grill or in the oven, and they're so easy to customize for the ultimate weeknight meal or game day party food!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 17 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 338 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 bratwursts
  • 6 hot dog buns

Instructions
 

  • Preheat grill to medium-low (300°F) in 2 zones.
  • Put bratwurst on indirect side and grill for 8 minutes. Turn and grill for 8 additional minutes. Internal temperature should reach 155°F
  • Transfer bratwursts to direct heat and grill 1 minute.
  • Add buns and top.

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • Warm your buns for a minute on a pan on the grill, or in the microwave.
  • If you’d like to make your bratwust ahead of time, let them simmer in a sheet pan with a little beer and onions. It keeps them warm and moist!

Recipe Short Cuts

  • Slice raw onions, no need to grill or sauté.
  • Use Sauerkraut! It’s not fancy but many people love the flavor and it can be purchase pre-made.
  • Add sliced pickles or relish for another topping shortcut.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Do not leave out for more than two hours maximum.
  • Refrigerate – Leftover bratwurst can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Unopened, uncooked brats can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks after purchase.
  • Freeze – When stored in a freezer, pre-cooked sausage can last up to two months. Also consider the use-by date on the food packaging as well.

Nutrition

Calories:338kcalCarbohydrates:23gProtein:13gFat:21gSaturated Fat:7gCholesterol:49mgSodium:771mgPotassium:284mgFiber:1gSugar:3gVitamin C:1mgCalcium:92mgIron:2mg
Keywords cooking bratwurst, how to cook bratwurst
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
Disclosure

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped