Skip to Content

How To Cook Brats

How To Cook Brats

There are so many methods to cook brats: grilling, stovetop, oven, smoking or air frying.

The method you choose truly depends on the taste profile you’re after.

Here you’ll learn about all of these methods.

brats being cooked on grill inforgraphic

How To Cook Brats On A Grill

Cooking brats on a grill is incredibly easy.

The first thing to do is make sure your brats are at room temperature. This helps with cooking evenly.

If you’re cooking on a gas or propane grill, get your temp up to about 325 degrees, and let the grill itself get hot. Some say anywhere between 300-350 degrees is fine. You do you, Boo.

Once properly preheated, place the brats on the grill, making sure not to crowd them, as that will steam them more than sear them, and then shut the cover.

At the lower end of the heat range (300-350 degrees) closing the lid to the grill will help keep your brats intact – no bursting!

How Long To Cook Brats On Grill?

Depending on your grill, and the heat it’s imparting, the entire cook time may take 20 minutes or less.

Brat Internal Temp

~ Head’s up, my lovelies: I use affiliate links at no cost to you! ~

Personally, I rarely grill by time, instead cook by temperature. This ensures tender sausages.

You want the internal temps of each sausage to be 160 degrees to make sure no one gets the sicks. This is the meat thermometer that we use: LINK

I would check brats half way through the process and turn for those fun grill marks!

Once thoroughly cooked, take them off the grill and let rest about 5-10 minutes before serving.

How To Smoke Brats

Not like a cigarette, while wearing a beret, silly!

Smoking brats is our favorite way to make them.

If you have a off-set smoker, you will only use the heat and fire from the smoke box. Ideally, you do not want a flame underneath them, as that cooks the outsides quickly, but not so much the insides, so by time the insides are done you’re left you with dry brats.

No one wants that.

Basically, you prepare your brats and cook them the same way as on a grill.

How Long To Cook Smoked Brats

If you are using a smoker, you probably are using a thermometer just like on a gas grill. Keep the temps within range and turn them halfway through.

Again, you want the internal temp of brats to rise to 160 degrees on each sausage, then take off smoker and let rest.

Smoked Brats

If you have only had grilled brats, I would encourage you to try smoked brats. The smoke imparted by whatever wood you are using (we prefer mesquite, but oak is amazing too), deepens the flavor of the sausage to ~Chef’s Kiss~ nirvana.

How To Cook Brats In Oven

Again, so easy! Don’t you love easy?

Here’s what I use in the summer when I don’t want to heat up the kitchen:

Countertop electric oven

I just noticed that splotch on the oven!

As you can see, I set the Gourmia on 325 degrees  (Side Note: I use this thang ALL THE TIME – what a life saver!)- disregard the time – I would never ever cook brats in the oven that long. I think that was A preset setting.

Cooking Brats In Oven

  1. Let brats come to room temperature.
  2. While you’re waiting, you can either place foil on baking pan, which is what I do for easy clean-up – OR – you can use the rack with the pan underneath.
  3. Preheat to 325.
  4. Place brats on cooking surface, without crowding.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, but disregard timing once your brats reach 160 degrees when checked with a meat thermometer.
  6. Take out and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  7. Eat and enjoy!

Oven cooked brat links on foil

Brats in the oven are one of the easiest ways to go! In the summer use the coolest method, and in cooler temps crank that oven!

How To Cook Brats On The Stove

I’m going to confess right here that I do not own any non-stick pans other than my perfectly seasoned, after years of use, cast iron pans. Heirlooms, I tell ya!

If you don’t have any cast iron pans, are we really even friends?!

Cooking Brats

FYI, this works easiest on a gas flame, because you can immediately adjust heat, but an electric cooktop is fine, just watch those beauties.

  • Get bratwurst to room temp
  • Set your flame to a medium-high heat and heat your pan.
  • Put a generous amount of fat or oil into pan. If you want an eye-rolling flavor enhancer, use bacon grease! (don’t tell me you don’t have a jar of this cooking gold in yer fridge – DON’T TELL ME!)
  • Place brats in and sear 2-3 minutes on each side until browned.
  • At this point you can add some onion and cook down until yummily caramelized, but I do this ahead of time in, you guessed it, bacon grease.
  • It is also at this point that some folks add a bit of beer to the pan, especially if they are adding onions. Again, you do you, darlin’.
  • Cook to that eternal temp of 160 degrees, then take off heat and serve.

The reason I insist on cast iron pans? When you cook in one, it will give you a delightful crispy crunch to the brats. I use cast iron for everything – we even have a cast iron wok!

Bratwurst In Air Fryer

Welp, this is one method I have never tried, but because I know how popular air fryers are, I thought I’d find a recipe for ya!

How To Cook Brats In Air Fryer

  1. Set temp for 350 degrees.
  2. Place brats in single layer in pan.
  3. Cook for 12-15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  4. Cook to what eternal temp?! 160 degrees!
  5. Take out and let rest 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

Bratwurst lovers of the world, get to cooking your brats! 

WAIT! Before you go, I want to leave you with some side dishes ideas to make your brats even more enjoyable!

Beer Boiled Brats

This method involved boiling the brats in beer with onions and spices. They will be cooked through (need an internal temp of 160 degrees! Always!) and there is no need to do anything else to them, but as a variation, you can throw briefly on grill or in pan to crisp up a bit.

  1. Fill pan with enough liquid to cover brats.
  2. Add sliced onions.
  3. Add your seasonings: garlic and onion powder, some pepper.
  4. Bring to boil.
  5. Add brats and reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook until internal temp is 160 degrees, about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove and serve!

What To Serve With Brats

Let’s get some side dishes, shall we?

slice of corn fritter casserole on plate

Self-Dressing Salad in a yellow bowl on blue background

Easy Roasted French Green Beans

  • Sauerkraut
  • Cole Slaw

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry! I know you have a favorite side and I’m all ears. Tell me!

DOUBLE WAIT!! Before you really bug out and start making yer brats, I want to leave you with a few dessert ideas to go with your lovely meal.

Slice of a Pink Lemonade Bar bar on a red plate

A cut piece of The Best Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

slice of slutty brownie

a Streusel-Topped Apple Pie on a platter

slice of Easy Cheesecake Pie on a white plate

I think that covers everything.

TRIPLE WAIT!!! Yer going to need the perfect drink for your brat meal. Southern Sweet Tea, Y’all. Trust

Tea in a glass on a table

Alright, I think I’m done. Thank y’all for coming and spending time here with me. I hope you learned how to cook brats, or at least a new method that you’d like to try.

If there’s anything you’d like to add, comment away!

Happy cooking!

Share It!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.