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How to Grill Brats to Perfection » Simple and Healthy Recipe! ✅

There are few ways to make a summer afternoon more enjoyable than a barbecue hosted by someone who knows how to grill brats to perfection. These tips will help you host your next barbecue like a pro!

Grilling brats can be deceptively difficult. Honestly, I think grilling as a whole is a mystery to many people, a mystery that most people try to subvert by cooking their own protein until it’s scientifically identical to lava rock. As delicious as it sounds, how about how to properly grill brats with this easy recipe?

There’s so much more to grilling perfect brats than just firing up the grill and putting them on the stove. The best grilled sausages are the result of a dance between the heat, the placement of the charcoal, and the temperature of the sausage. But don’t worry, it’s not that hard to master with my cooking method.

Grilled brats over charcoal

The most popular grilling method for sausages is the classic charcoal grill. If you don’t have one, I recommend a Weber Grill because it’s easy to use and has a durable construction. While these instructions focus on how to grill brats on this style of grill, you can use the same methods on other charcoal or even propane grill styles. You can also use the same cooking method for any German sausage or even hot dogs.

how to light charcoal

I have used many different methods of lighting charcoal over the years. I have used electric starters, lighter fluid, charcoal fireplaces and more. By far the best way to light charcoal is to invest in an inexpensive chimney starter.

The reason these are the best is the simple vent design that ensures all the coals that fill the fireplace are red hot within minutes of lighting a few crumpled pieces of paper under the base. Evenly lit coals equate to even cooking temperatures on the grill. The other benefit of using a charcoal fireplace is that they usually contain the perfect amount of charcoal for a full size grill.

How to roast brats

Once your coals are lit and ready to cook, the first step is to do it. pour them on one side of the grill. Yeah that’s right. You don’t want to spread the charcoal evenly across the grill floor, but you want to spread the charcoal evenly over one half of the grill and leave the other side free. This is called zone cooking. You can achieve the same result on a propane grill by lighting the burners on only one side.

This is the most important aspect of the perfect brat grill. Having zoned heating gives you a high heat area and a low heat area. If your sausages are cooking too quickly or too hot, simply push them off the coals to the side of the grill with a pair of tongs. If you spread the charcoal evenly over the entire grill floor, they will have no respite from the heat and are likely to burn.

The other danger of using too high a temperature is that the shell will burst, releasing all the delicious juice inside the previously salted brats. A perfectly grilled brat actually pulses as the juice boils inside the casing, without the casing breaking. If your wrapper bursts, it’s a sign that you need less heat. (If you look closely at my photos, my brat coats are well wrinkled without cracking or tearing)

Using zonal heating, grease the grill grates (prevents sticking) with olive oil, then place the raw brats directly over the coals on the hot grill in a single layer. Once the raw brats are on the grill, it’s important to stick around and monitor their doneness. The first few minutes of grilling will let you know how quickly the brats will cook and how often they need to be rotated.

Once the brats have changed color and developed a nice burn, you’ll want to give them a quarter turn. Continue turning until each side of the brat is a deep reddish-brown color. If the outside is cooked before the brats are done cooking, just move them to the opposite side of the grill, away from the coals, so they can finish cooking at a lower temperature than indirect heat without burning.

How to serve the brats

Your juicy brats should be served on a bun a little bigger and meatier than a traditional hot dog bun. Some purists will argue that bratwurst should simply be seasoned with mustard, but even in Wisconsin very few people adhere to this. In my opinion, no brat tastes better than when dressed in my personal Brat Sauce recipe. Top it with some beer soaked onions from your beer bath and homemade sauerkraut and you have the perfect brat!

All of your favorite picnic side dishes are perfect served with delicious brats. Then load up on the red potato salad, baked beans, and some grilled corn on the cob.

Grilled Brat FAQs

Should you boil brats before grilling?

No, boiling brats before grilling them is a crutch used by people who are afraid of serving undercooked brats. This allows them to precook the brats and then simply brown them on the grill. Others boil the brats in beer for flavor. The problem, however, is that the intense boiling temperature opens up the ends of the casings and squeezes a lot of delicious juice out of the sausages, resulting in a drier, less flavorful sausage.

However, there is a solution. Instead of boiling the brats, use a beer brat bath with a foil pan, also known as a beer hot tub. This has two functions. Most importantly, it keeps the brats warm after roasting so people can go get them when they’re hungry, and secondly, it infuses the brats with a delicious beer flavor, just like it’s boiling, except for the fact that it is cooked and a little more manageable temperature. If your brat bath is kept at around 160 degrees, the brats will be very hot, without drying out or overcooking. You can also substitute apple cider in place of the beer to make it non-alcoholic while adding extra flavor.

How long do you roast brats?

On average, it will take 15-20 minutes to properly roast a brat. However, the exact cooking time will vary greatly based on the thickness of the brats, how hot the coals are, and how careful you are to prevent the brats from burning when left on too high a heat.

How do you know when the brats are ready?

The easiest way to tell when brats are done is to use a meat thermometer. The core temperature needs to reach 160 for a fully cooked sausage. You’ll also notice that the brat firms up when fully cooked and doesn’t feel softer when gently pressed with your finger.

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How to grill brats to perfection

There are few ways to make a summer afternoon more enjoyable than a barbecue hosted by someone who knows how to grill brats to perfection. These tips will help you host your next barbecue like a pro!

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Course: Appetizer

American kitchen

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 5

Calories: 416kcal

  • Light the charcoal and spread it evenly across the bottom of the grill half. If using propane, light burners on only one side of the grill.

  • Place grill grates on top of charcoal and oil grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

  • Place brats on racks directly over charcoal and grill on each side until golden brown. If the casing bursts or burns, remove the groundhogs from the coals to lower the cooking temperature.

  • Flip the brats every two minutes to prevent burning, removing them from the coals if necessary, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Cooked brats are firm to the touch.

  • Keep sausages warm in a brat bath until ready to serve.

  • Serve on sandwiches with onions, sauerkraut, and runny sauce.

You’ll want to keep your brats warm in this beer brat bath. Be sure to make a batch of my Brat Sauce to serve as the perfect dip for your brats! Store leftover grilled chops in an airtight container and enjoy within five days. Leftover brats can be individually reheated in the microwave or wrapped in foil to prevent drying out and gently heated in the oven or on the grill.

Calories: 416kcal | Carbs: 34g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 11mg

This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com on May 22, 2017.

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