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How to cook bratwurst

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    How to cook bratwurst

    I have never had a bratwurst. I want to change that. I plan to buy some Johnsonvilles from the supermarket. I'd like to get some suggestions for the best way to cook them. Anybody?

    #2
    Me personally I cook them on the high side of low, so let's say 275-325, I personally don't think an actual temp matters a hill of beans so I don't chase one. But indirect definitely, at least for the main 'cook'. They can explode and split if you try to direct-cook them too much. Others have mentioned SVing them first, then searing the snot out of them. In any case, they should be taken to 165 but I like 'em a bit more well done (inside, not burnt outside) musself.

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      #3
      I’ve had my best success cooking them in a beer bath with onion slices. After they’ve taken on a different color, I put on the indirect side of the grill, like Huskee I don’t really worry too much about temp. Just a quick sear before pulling off so I don’t pop the casing.

      The amount of beer and type is up to you, I tend to go a little low on beer, maybe 6-8 oz. I’ve cover them before to let them braise. Also a neat trick is to pull onions out and sauté them, do this after pulling the brats from bath. Get your favorite mustard and a Martin’s roll, it’s money!
      Last edited by au4stree; July 14, 2021, 03:26 PM.

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      • Murdy
        Murdy commented
        Editing a comment
        "The amount of beer and type is up to you"
        In Wisconsin, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to use a lite beer.

        Seriously, this is the classic way to do it, boil in beer and onions (some add butter, but I always thought this was superfluous) and grill to brown up to taste.

      • au4stree
        au4stree commented
        Editing a comment
        Murdy haha!😂 Here in AL the good old boys think Bud Light hung the moon….🙄

      • RickyBobby
        RickyBobby commented
        Editing a comment
        What Murdy said!

      #4
      I'm sure others in the brat part of the country will have better methods. With that being said, here is mine. I like to get some cheap pilsner beer, sliced onions, a half/full stick of butter and the brats together. Place it all in an aluminum pan and make sure the beer tops off the brats. Place the pan in the smoker on indirect side at around 250-275. Now, all you are trying to do is simmer the brats in the beer/onion/butter bath until they are cooked but not cracking the casings. When done, roll them on the hot side quickly not letting them rest on the grates so get some color, again without cracking. Now place back in the beer bath to keep warm and load them up on a roll the way you want. I like kraut, onions and brown mustard (even horseradish mustard!). One thing I'm sure most everyone will agree is NOT to pierce them prior to cooking. That will only dry them out. Now I want brats for dinner...

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      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
        This…..👆

      #5
      I used to try the methods above, but I've taken to liking them smoked the whole way. The cases never pop or crack, all the juices stay inside, and they are amazing (at least with Johnsonvilles). I recommend going the traditional boil methods first (they sear after the liquid evaporates), but try them smoked with no sear after. You can sear/brown 'em up without busting the case but it takes more attention and I ain't got time for that

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      • MarkN
        MarkN commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm originally from Wisconsin and I think I have tried making brats about every way possible (with beer, without beer, SV, smoke, etc.). On the smoker anywhere from 225 to 275 for about 40 minutes is now my absolute go-to for brats. No need to sear. No bursted brats. Just watch out for all the juice on that first bite.

      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        +1….. I never sear any type of sausage anymore. Makes the skin tough and sometimes dried out. Always off the heat with smoke for me too. It gets plenty crispy.

      • Old Glory
        Old Glory commented
        Editing a comment
        This is how I do it. Indirect roasting them.

      #6
      First - buy the uncooked sausage looking Johnsonville brats. NOT the precooked ones that look almost like hotdogs. Then cook them hot and fast until they are about 165 IT and have a nice char. They will start to split open, and don't sweat it. Good stuff! They usually take 20-30 minutes tops at grill temps of around 350 (for me).

      They are also good smoked for a couple of hours at 225, but dry out and shrivel a little when doing that, but have a nice smokey taste.

      Comment


      • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
        ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
        Editing a comment
        I always forget Johnsonville has precooked when I mention my fav way of doing them

      #7
      I'm making them tonight. I'll put the brats in a foil pan and slice an onion, put it on top, then crack a beer and pour it in the pan. When the brats are close to temp maybe 130f I'll take them out of the liquid and grill until nicely charred and fully cooked.

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      Last edited by Attjack; July 14, 2021, 04:43 PM.

      Comment


      • gcdmd
        gcdmd commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice job.

        BTW, what's in that great looking stuff on the right?

      • Attjack
        Attjack commented
        Editing a comment
        Cauliflower-potato salad.

      #8
      On a related note, if I wanted to make 'em crispy, I assume the best approach is sous vide, chill, then sear?

      Comment


      • Murdy
        Murdy commented
        Editing a comment
        I can't really see how sous vide would give you a significantly different result than simmering in beer, as far as crispiness goes. You sous vide in a bag, so they are not going to dry out.

      #9
      Just don’t overcook them. Nothing worse than a a dried out, overcooked brat. When they hit 165 IT they are done! Pull them off.

      Comment


        #10
        Grilled to get the outside nice then nestled into a foil pan with your sauerkraut and covered right over the heat until 165, maybe a granny smith apple, or onions sliced up in there too. Little side of a few kinds of mustard.

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          #11
          I like them simply smoked. I rub a little EVOO on them, small toothpick pricked in a few places, then ;smoked at 250 for about 1.5 hours. I like the IT 160-165*. I use the very tip of my Thermapen to check. Cherry or applewood pellets.

          Comment


            #12
            Probably not the recipe you're looking for but here's how my wife and I make them sometimes.

            First brown them on the grill
            Then take a bread loaf pan and put in a generous amount of pizza sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese
            Add the brats
            Cover them with more of the pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese mixture
            Put the pan on the grill for about 20 minutes

            The result is a cheesy gooey mess that can be used on anything after using some of it on the brats.

            Comment


            • Dewesq55
              Dewesq55 commented
              Editing a comment
              Actually, that sounds really good. But I'd like to start with something a little more main stream to see if I actually like them (I totally expect that I will. Barbara, however, meh😕)

            • Murdy
              Murdy commented
              Editing a comment
              Very interesting. I'd be inclined to try it with an Italian Sausage though.

            #13
            i;m a smoked brat fan.

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            • Dewesq55
              Dewesq55 commented
              Editing a comment
              Richard Chrz - what have you topped/dressed them with in that top pic?

            • Richard Chrz
              Richard Chrz commented
              Editing a comment
              @Deweq55 plocmans mustard, green onion, and white onion.

            #14
            100% on the beer soak, minimum 24 hours in a Red Beer or dark lager of some kind.
            Cook em in the gasser until they split open.
            Served on a poppy seed bun with Oktoberfest or honey/sweet mustard.
            No ketchup, mustard or relish.
            Sadly no one else here like sauer kraut or fried onions but sometimes will go the extra mile and splurge.
            Attached Files

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            • Attjack
              Attjack commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm using Upheaval IPA tonight because I have some left over here from before covid.

            #15
            Thanks for all of the great responses!

            Now (an)other question(s): How do you suggest I serve them and/or what do you recommend I top/dress them with and/or suggestions on sides?

            Comment


            • Murdy
              Murdy commented
              Editing a comment
              A good quality bun is important. I would have mustard, kraut, onion, and ketchup available (I know ketchup is controversial, but some like it; and it's not a Chicago hot dog).

              For sides, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans -- take you pick.

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              On a nice bun, with whatever toppings you prefer. I only use mustard these days, and last time I made brats, had one with pimento cheese on it that was quite tasty.

            • MarkN
              MarkN commented
              Editing a comment
              On a bun with mustard-with-horseradish and sauerkraut. The most important "side" that no one seems to have mentioned was a bottle of cold beer. You need nothing else.

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