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How to Grill the Perfect Brats Every Time

Learn how to grill the perfect brats every time. Grilling is an art form that takes some time and practice to get right. Summer grilling season is in full swing and that means barbecuing all your favorite foods.

A simple, yet flavor-packed German sausage is a great choice for lunch, dinner, or a snack. This recipe works whether you are using fresh bratwurst or precooked brats. Pro Tip. For the best flavor, use uncooked brats.

How Long to Grill Brats on Gas Grill?

Brats are always a hit with family and friends, and they’re so easy to make.

If you’re a fan of brats, you’ll want to know how long to grill them on a gas grill or charcoal grill for that matter. This method works on both types of grills. The answer depends on the size of the bratwurst and the heat of your grill. Keep reading for tips on how to cook brats perfectly every time.

1) Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

2) Place the bratwursts on the grates to sear and get grill marks. Then grill your brats over medium-low heat (between 300 and 350°F) for about 15 minutes per side. Turning often to caramelize the outside of the whole brat.  The grilling time can vary depending on the thickness of the brats. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Grill the Perfect Brats Every Time

How to Grill the Perfect Brats Every Time

I have the best pro tips on how to grill brats for a tasty meal this season. Grill them too long and they’ll be dry and tough; grill them too short and they’ll be undercooked. Simply follow these steps to get the best brats.

Use medium-high heat. Preheat the grill to medium heat to medium-high heat (350˚F – 400˚F).

Do Not Prick the Sausage Casing. Resist the urge to prick the casing. It will result in a dry and overcooked brat. Keep the delicious juices in for the best taste and juiciness.

Sear brats over direct heat. Placing the brats over direct heat on a hot grill will create a nice sear. Take care not to over crowd the grill grates. Leave room around each one so they can sizzle and cook evenly.  

Get pretty grill grate marks on the brats. Place your brats at an angle onto the grill grate.

Move brats to indirect heat. Once they are charred out the outside with the grill grate marks, it is time to move them to the cooler side of the grill. They will continue to cook on all sides until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips for the Perfect Brats

Turn brats often during the grilling process. Turning them frequently will help them cook evenly with a brown exterior and juicy interior. Flip them every 3 to 5 minutes to ensure they cook uniformly and don’t burn. 

Grilled Brats and Beer

Simmer Brats in Beer after Grilling. Poaching your brats in beer after grilling them is a great way to keep them hot, juicy, and full of flavor. When serving a crowd, beer brats are a delicious way.  I add my beer, butter, and thinly sliced onion to a roaster. Add the cooked brats and keep them hot for hours as they soak up the beer flavor. Pro Tip. Try adding 1 cup of red wine to the buttery beer mixture. It gives a nice depth of flavor to the brats.

Brush the Grill with Oil. Coating the grill with just a bit of oil will prevent the brats from sticking to the grates. Use oils with a high smoking point such as canola, peanut, or sunflower oil. Soak a folded paper towel in the oil. Using a tongs to hold the paper towel swipe it on the grill grates to lightly coat with the oil.

Fresh Brats and Vegetables Ready for Grilling

How do you tell if brats are done?

The best way is to use an Instant-read meat thermometer. When the center has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit. They are done and safe to eat.  

Second, use the touch method.  Feel the fatty part below your thumb to compare how hard that part feels compared to pressing your finger against the brat.

Here is a quick guide.

Touch your thumb to your pinky and feel your flesh below the thumb. It is rather hard. Now feel the brat. If it feels hard, it is well-done.

Touch your thumb to your index finger. It is a bit soft. When touching the brat, if it feels soft like this, it is likely rare.

Next, touch your middle finger to your thumb and feel your hand below the thumb. It is slightly firm. Therefore, when you though the brat and it feels this way, that meals it is medium-rare.

Finally, touch your ring finger to your thumb. It will be a little less hard than your pinky and thumb was. The meat should be medium.

Wiggle Your Brats. Yes, that is a method. Just pick up the brat with the tongs and give it a slight wiggle. If they are bouncy and firm, they are ready to serve.

 Should I boil brats before grilling?

Experts recommend to not boil brats before being cooked on a grill. It depletes the flavors allowing them to seep out of the sausage during cooking.

How Long to Boil Brats Before Grilling?

While experts do not recommend boiling brats ahead of time for best flavor. If you prefer to boil your brats to make sure that there are no raw spots in the middle. Here is how. Add the brats to water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Bratwurst Toppings

11 Best Bratwurst Toppings

There are so many different ways to top this scrumptious bratwurst recipe. Here are a few of our favorites.

Stone Ground Mustard. This topping is a good mild grainy mustard goes well with these grilled brats.  

Yellow Mustard. Mustard is a popular topping for brats for a reason. They just compliment each other deliciously well. Other options to try in place of yellow mustard are Dijon or Spicy Brown mustard.

Sauerkraut. Heat this up in a skillet over the grill and add some tangy flavor to your next grilled bratwurst for a delicious flavor combination. French Fried Onions

Sliced Cheese. Top off your Bratwurst with a melty slice of cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, Gruyer, or Pepper Jack cheese.

Grilled Onions. Use a pan to fry thinly slices onions on the grill until they are caramelized.

Grilled Bell Peppers. In a fry pan, grill thin sliced peppers until they are a bit wilted. This is perfect for green bell peppers, red bell peppers, yellow or orange bell peppers too. If you are short on time, and love the taste of these on your bratwurst, use jarred.

Diced Onions. Any kind of onion that you enjoy will work. They add just a bit of heat and delicious crunch.

Ketchup. Yes, we top our brats with ketchup. It is a controversial subject when it comes to topping brats and hot dogs in some parts of the country. Where I come from ketchup is a must have condiment to have on the picnic table to top your bratwurst with.

Sriracha Mayo Sauce.  It just takes four ingredients, and you are ready to use this as a dip or spread. The creamy heat pairs surprisingly well with brats.

Pickle Relish. With its complex flavors of sweet, sour, and crunchy, it is the perfect topping.

Chili. If you have ever had a chili dog, you might just love the combination even more on a bratwurst.

Banana Peppers. If you like a bit of pickled heat and crunch, give banana peppers a try.

Grilled Bratwurst

Side Dishes Perfect with Bratwurst Sausage

Round out your picnic menu with side dishes so there is something special for everyone to dig into. Here are a few of our favorite sides.

Imitation Crab Pasta Salad

Three Bean Salad

Strawberry Spring Mix Salad with Oriental Dressing

Party Baked Beans

Southern Style Potato Salad

Grilled Brats and Beer
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Grilled Brats and Beer

Learn how to grill the perfect brats every time. Grilling is an art form that takes some time and practice to get right. Summer grilling season is in full swing and that means barbecuing all your favorite foods.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: 30 minute meal, Grilling Recipe
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 486kcal

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Ingredients

  • 3 Cans Beer Any kind or brand
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Large Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 10 Bratwursts
  • 10 Buns

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the bratwursts on the grates to sear and get grill marks. Then grill your brats over medium-low heat (between 300 and 350°F) for about 15 minutes per side. Cooking time can vary depending on the size of the bratwurst. Turning often to caramelize the outside of the whole brat. The grilling time can vary depending on the thickness of the brats. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For extra flavor, while your brats are grilling, mix the beer, butter, onions, salt, and pepper in a 9 X 13 aluminum pan. Put this over the grill over the indirect side of the grill and bring to a low boil.
  • When the brats are cooked through, add them to the simmering buttery beer mixture. Let them stay in the liquid at least 10 minutes to 30 minutes before serving. This will add a delicious flavor to your juicy brats.

Your Own Private Notes

Notes

If you are making a lot of brats for a large crowd place the buttery beer mixture in a roasting pan. Plug it in and heat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. When the brats are cooked through, add them to the simmering buttery beer mixture. Let them stay in the liquid at least 10 minutes to 30 minutes before serving. They will keep warm and be safe to eat for your guests.
Try adding 1 cup of red wine to the buttery beer mixture. It gives a nice depth of flavor to the brats.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1124mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 11mg

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