How to grill Brats? 4 Steps to Delicious Bratwursts!

How to cook bratwurst sausages correctly?

With the arrival of summer comes the grilling season, and grilling season signifies three things, the company of family & friends, warm weather, and juicy, hot, freshly grilled brats. Anyone with experience of grilling needs to know how to grill brats, since there is no better way of preparing it!

But, do we know how to grill brats? Cooking brats is sometimes deviously challenging. It is a mystery to a whole lot of people. Even I was one of them until I found out the perfect method to grill the brats.

If I were to answer the question in a few sentences, then this how it goes. Preheat the grill. Place the brats on the indirect heat side of the grill. Let them cook for 15 to 20 minutes or till the temperature reaches 155-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Shift the brat to the direct side and grill until the exterior of the brat turns crispy.

This was a short description, but now lets dig deeper in the art of it.

How to grill bratwurst sausages?

Step 1: Pre-heat the grill

My first step involves cleaning the grill properly. We do not want any left-over dripping to change the taste of our brats. Next, preheat the grill. It is ideal for heating the grill with a medium-low flame at 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have been quite confused about what type of grill should I use for grilling my brats. Though we can use any type of grill, charcoal grills can impart a smoky flavor to the brats. Also, keep in mind to maintain the low temperature of the grill to heat the brats correctly.

After the grill is sufficiently heated, brush the canola oil to prevent brats on the grill from sticking. Never apply too much oil as it can drip down into the burners or coals.

Step 2: Grill the brats

Once the oil is heated, arrange the bratwurst sausages along the grate vertically. Also, keep the space between the brats even so they won’t end up bumping into one another. If the grill is wide enough, we can arrange all our brats together to monitor their progress easily.

For the brats to reach adequate internal temperature, it requires at least fifteen minutes. Because we don’t have an accurate timeframe to grill the brats, it is advised to leave them for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

We don’t want our brats to end up burning from one side and crisp from another. Therefore, keep turning the brats after every three to five minutes. We can use tongs to flip the brats as they won’t hurt them while turning.

Lastly, keep checking the color of the brats as it indicates if they are perfectly cooked or not. When the brat turns reddish-brown, it means they are perfectly cooked. However, if they become gray and are becoming shriveled, we may have overcooked the brats.

Step 3: Check if the brats are cooked through

Pick a thermometer and place it in the center of any of the bratwurst sausages. If the temperature has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you can take them off the grill or let them grill for a more crispy finish. Usually brats are made with pork, for this reason I recommend you to check out my articles about on how to tell if pork is done and how to tell if pork is bad.

Most of us don’t have a thermometer, then how do we check if the brats are cooked or not? Don’t worry; I have an amazing solution for that too. Take any sausage and cut it from the middle to check the color. After that, we will know how long do we need to grill the brats more.

Step 4: Serve the bratwurst sausages

Once all the brats are cooked properly, you can remove them from the grill and transfer them to the serving plate. Bratwurst sausages are best enjoyed with a steamed bun topped with ketchup or mustard. For the Midwestern style of bratwurst, we can use caramelized onions and sauerkraut as dressing.

Bratwurst also seems tempting to eat when paired with baked beans, potato salad, chili, onions, grilled peppers, and deviled egg sides.

Trick: make your bratwursts way juicier

Now that we know how to grill brats (Bratwurst sausages), it’s time to apply some tricks to make them juicier from the inside.

Give the brats a deluxe bath before grilling.  It is known as parboiling; this step makes the sausage ready for grilling. A bratwurst sausage is a mixture of seasoned and ground meat filled in pressure stuffed casing. When we heat the mixture, the fats inside the ground meat release and render the casing juice.

If the juice begins to expand rapidly, the pressure stuffed contained can burst anytime and all the flavors along with it. So, even when we cook the sausage on low flame, the grill can burn the brat’s exterior even before the brats reach midway through the cooking.

Thus, the solution is to cook the sausage in liquid at a slower and lower flame. This way, the liquid mixture will cook the sausage evenly. We can use any liquid, including water, broth, or beer, for a sausage bath. Put the bratwurst sausage in a pan and fill it up with the liquid until it covers three-fourth of the sausages. Slowly cook the brats and simmer the flame.

Tips on how to grill brats perfect every time

Grilling is a form of art that requires practice and patience. But with our tips and trick, I am sure we can together master the art of grilling brats to perfection.

Never prick the bratwurst sausage casing

Pricking the Bratwurst sausage might seem a good idea as we might think it will enrich the smoky flavor in the brats. But, pricking the bratwurst sausage casing can result in overcooked and dry meat.

While we prick, the juices might spill on the grill, and what we are left with is a dry brat. So, allow the juices to remain inside and provide the flavor it is intended to do.

Never purchase cheap brats

The quality of brats dramatically affects the taste and flavor of the meat. If we purchase a cheap quality brat, it will not taste the same as high-quality meat with delicious juice and flavor.

Perfect time to grill brats 18-20 minutes

The medium heat grill offers the ideal temperatures for the brats to cook perfectly. Also, it will prevent them from overcooking and undercooking. Cook them for at least 20 minutes.

We will know when it is done when the temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and there isn’t any sign of pink color inside the sausage.


As we lack time and patience, we prefer to have pre-cooked food. They save our grill-time but don’t produce the taste as the freshly grilled ones. That’s the difference between pre-cooked and freshly cooked brats. It loses its essence.

Some pre-cooked brats contain artificial smoke flavor, which negates all the hard work of grill and art of grilling.

Never buy mass market brats

Apart from cheap and pre-cooked brats, we should avoid purchasing brats sold in plastic-wrapped foam trays or cardboard containers.

We should always purchase the brats from a local butcher, and they should only be packed in butcher paper. Additionally, artisan’s brats are the most delicious, and no doubt, they will taste amazing with apples, jalapenos, or cheese.

Poach brats in beer – you will be surprised

After cooking the brats on the grill, poach them in beer to induce a juicy flavor. Transfer the grilled brats to another pot of buttery beer and allow sitting for approximately ten minutes. Make sure that they are placed at indirect heat. It will prevent them from overcooking.

For a more flavorful kick, we can even let them stay that way for 30 minutes.

Brushing the grill with oil

As I mentioned before, brushing the grill’s grate will not allow the brats to stick. However, we shouldn’t apply more oil as it will lead to unwanted smoke. Always use oil equipped with a high smoking point, including sunflower, peanut, or canola oil.

Final Thoughts

When I host a summer BBQ in your backyard, I know that there is no better option than having perfectly grilled brats. Grilling the brats to perfection is no more than heating the grill, placing the brats, and cooking them to the right temperature.

Make sure to utilize the tips and tricks I have mentioned in the article to avoid any mistake while grilling and especially while purchasing. Now, I believe I have explained how to grill brats? (bratwurst sausage) with the best of my knowledge to help every chef out there.



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