When it comes to properly cooking your sausages such as bratwurst, it’s a harder job than you first think.
Even though it may look like your bratwurst is cooked on the outside, when you cut into it, the meat can sometimes be raw.
Especially if you’ve been trying to cook your bratwurst sausages over a higher heat, as this causes the outside of the sausages to cook quicker than the inside.
Because your bratwurst sausage features ground meat that has a higher fat content, this makes it trickier to know when it is done.
To get the right results from cooking your bratwurst sausages, you will want to achieve a beautifully browned sausage that is still juicy on the inside.
But how can you get these tasty results if you’re not sure whether your sausage has finished cooking?
There’s no need to panic. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to give you everything there is to know about cooking your bratwurst sausages correctly.
We’ve covered everything from the ideal internal temperature for your sausages – 160F – as well as the best methods to use for cooking your bratwurst sausages.
We’ll also cover how to know when your bratwurst has reached the ideal internal temperature.
So let’s take a look at everything that you need to know about cooking bratwurst sausages!
So What Makes Up A Bratwurst Sausage?
Before we even start to think about cooking our bratwurst sausage, we will need to understand more about how it is made and what it is composed of. This is a classic sausage that originates from Germany.
It was originally conceived around the 15th century, and there are actually several variations on the classic bratwurst sausage. It can be made with veal, beef, and of course the classic pork.
Pork is of course the mouse common version of bratwurst sausage that you are likely to find in your local grocery store.
The average pork bratwurst has a much higher fat content than you might think. It can contain as much as 32% fat compared to other sausages.
So because of this higher fat content, the bratwurst sausage is actually a little trickier to cook. This is also in combination with the fact that the sausage casing itself tends to shrink when it is cooked.
So it will be imperative to ensure that you know the correct methods for cooking your bratwurst sausage so that you can achieve those tasty results that you are after.
The Optimal Internal Temperature For Cooking Your Bratwurst Sausages
You will know your bratwurst sausage has finished cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 160℉. You will then need to keep this internal temperature the same for several minutes so that the pork has a chance to cook thoroughly.
The best way to work out what this internal temperature is during the cooking process is to use a high quality digital meat thermometer.
This will help to accurately display the internal temperature of your bratwurst sausage so that you can avoid any unwanted food poisoning or harmful bacteria.
Ultimately you will want to avoid cooking your bratwurst sausages over a higher, more intense heat, as this can cause your sausage to dry out.
Instead we’re going to cover the best methods for you to use to efficiently cook your bratwurst without having to sacrifice on quality.
How To Cook Your Bratwurst Sausage On A Charcoal Or Propane Grill
It will be even easier to cook your bratwurst sausages than you first think once we have covered our best recommended methods.
These will ensure that your bratwurst is able to reach the correct internal temperature to cook properly, without drying out and becoming a chewy mess.
So let’s take a look at what the best method to use for cooking your bratwurst sausage to perfection is, how to cook it on both a charcoal and propane grill, as well as how to cook them on your stove top or in your oven for the best results.
We’re going to cover in detail how to cook your bratwurst sausages on your grill to prevent it from drying out and from that juicy sausage meat from bursting through the casing.
Why You Should Poach Your Bratwurst Sausage On Your Grill
Now this may sound like a strange method to use at first, but there is of course a method to this madness. When you expose your sausage to the intense heat of this grill, this causes the casing to shrink. So this is where poaching will actually come in handy.
All you need to do is ready a foil pan for the poaching. This can be either a disposable aluminum one, or you can even create your own using aluminum foil.
Place your bratwurst sausages inside the pan, and then add enough water to the pan so that the sausages are partially covered. This should come up to around half of the sausage.
You can also use beer if you would prefer this to water. It can also be a great way to add additional flavor to your bratwurst sausages. You could even use chicken stock if you wanted to. The key will be to choose something that won’t be too salty.
This will help your bratwurst sausages to reach the optimum internal temperature without them cooking too much on the outside.
Once you have reached the internal temperature of 160℉, you can then place your sausages on the grill as normal to brown them.
Voilà! You will now have beautifully browned bratwursts that are still lovely and juicy inside.
How To Cook A Batwurst Sausage Using A Charcoal Grill
When it comes to cooking your bratwurst sausages on a charcoal grill, you will need to create a two part cooking zone. This will mean having one zone that is wonderfully hot, and has around three quarters of the hot coals in it.
You will need to cook your bratwurst sausages on the cooler part of your grill. Make sure that you keep the lid down on this section either until the sausages measure 150℉ as an internal temperature, or for around 15 to 20 minutes.
Next you can move your sausages over to the hotter portion of the grill. You will only need to cook them in here for 1 to 2 minutes so that they can brown up, and so that the pork can reach an internal temperature of around 160℉.
How To Cook A Bratwurst Sausage Using A Propane Grill
When it comes to cooking your bratwurst sausages on a propane grill, we will use much the same theory as you would on a charcoal grill.
This will mean using two separate cooking sections, with one being hotter than the other. On one side of the grill, make sure that the heat level is between medium to high.
On the second side of your propane grill, you will need to have the heat on low.
You will also use the aluminum foil pan method for cooking your sausages on a propane grill. Place this pan with your bratwursts and chosen to poach liquid into the cooler side of the grill.
Allow them to cook for around 15 minutes, and then use your digital meat thermometer to check when they have reached 150℉.
Once your bratwurst sausages have reached an internal temperature of 150℉, you can then move them to the hotter portion of your propane grill.
This will help to finish off the bratwurst sausages, and brown them up more so that they will be ready to eat. You will only need to cook them on the hotter portion of your propane grill for between 1 and 2 minutes.
This will help them to reach the key internal temperature of 160℉.
So Why Should You Opt For Poaching Your Bratwurst Sausages?
Now poaching may seem like an odd approach to cooking your bratwurst sausages. However, this method allows the meat of your bratwurst to evenly cook, instead of just the outside of the sausage.
When it comes to standard methods that don’t make use of poaching, the outside of the sausage will be cooked before the inside.
So using the poaching method allows you to properly cook your bratwurst sausages without having to worry about them being overcooked on the outside.
You could of course try to cook your bratwurst sausages over a lower heat, however, you will run the risk of the sausage becoming shriveled up. It will also take longer to cook all the way through.
Another factor to consider is that if you are cooking for a party, using the poaching method can help you to only cook as many sausages as you need at any one time.
When someone needs a bratwurst sausage, you can then place it on the hotter side of the grill for the final step of the cooking process to only cook as many sausages as your guests require.
How To Approach Cooking Your Bratwurst Sausage Using The Stove Top Method
If you prefer to use a stove top method for cooking your bratwurst sausages, then you will need to use a slightly different cooking method.
This will require using a single skillet, as well as a steaming and poaching method. You will then finally brown the sausages as normal to finish them off.
The first step you must take is to place your bratwurst sausages into a cold pan. Similar to the poaching method that we have covered in more detail above, you will then place roughly half an inch of water into the skillet.
This should be up to half the height of the sausages.
Then you will place a lid over the pan so that the dissolved water can steam your bratwurst sausages. Turn up the heat to a medium to low heat, then allow your bratwurst sausages to cook for around 12 minutes.
It’s important to note that if you are using a metal or cast iron skillet, then you will need to keep the heat down low.
Once 12 minutes have passed, you can then check the internal temperature of your bratwurst sausages using the digital meat thermometer.
This should be between 145℉ to 150℉. 12 minutes should also have been more than enough time for the water to evaporate and poach your sausages.
You can then leave the sausages uncovered and brown them as normal in your cast iron skillet. By the time this has finished, your bratwurst sausages should have reached an internal temperature of around 160℉.
The Best Method For Cooking Your Bratwurst In Your Oven
Have quite a lot of bratwurst sausages to cook and don’t have the time or suitable weather to set up the grill? Then you can cook them in your oven using the best method for cooking bratwurst sausages.
First, you will need to preheat your oven so that it reaches 350℉.
Next, you will need to prepare a baking sheet. Cover this in a sheet of either parchment paper or aluminum foil, then arrange your sausages along the prepared baking sheet.
When the oven has reached the optimal temperature of 350℉, you can then place the baking sheet inside, ready to cook your sausages.
When your bratwurst sausages have been cooking for around 10 minutes, you can then turn them over so that you can cook the other side. Allow your sausages to cook for a further 5 to 7 minutes.
You will then need to remove the sausages from the oven and use your digital meat thermometer to check their internal temperature.
If they have not reached 160℉, then you will need to leave your sausages in the oven. Make sure to turn them so that no one side is browner than the other.
The moment they reach an internal temperature of 160℉, the bratwurst sausages will be ready to enjoy.
Using A Digital Thermometer To Check The Internal Temperature Of Your Bratwurst Sausage
So we now know that your bratwurst sausages will need to reach an internal temperature of 160℉. But we can’t tell this from just a glance – we will need a high quality digital meat thermometer to work out what the exact internal temperature of our bratwurst sausage is.
But how do you use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your chosen bratwurst sausage?
The best place to test the internal temperature is of course the very center of the sausage itself.
This is where a probe style meat thermometer will come in handy, as you can simply insert it into the very end of your sausage and push until the probe has reached the middle portion of your sausage.
Remember that your sausage is likely to be very hot if it’s just been removed from the oven, stove top, or grill. So it will be best to use a pair of tongs to hold your sausage instead of your hands while you use your free hand to work the meat thermometer.
Another method you can use is to insert your digital thermometer probe into your sausage at a 30-degree angle. This allows you to measure the temperature of your sausage from the outside towards the middle.
This can help to give you a more accurate representation of the internal temperature of your sausages.
If you are using an oven temperature probe that will measure the temperature of your sausage while they cook, then it will be best to place this in the center of your sausage. This makes it easier to turn your sausages over part way through cooking.
So there you have it! You now know everything there is to know about how to cook your bratwurst sausage to perfection.
If you are cooking your bratwurst sausages on a grill, then you can use the poaching method for even better results. This will help your sausages to reach an internal temperature of 150℉ without overcooking the outside.
You can then transfer your bratwurst sausages over to the hotter side of the grill to brown up and reach that crucial internal temperature of 160℉.
If you are cooking your bratwurst sausages on the stove top, you can use the poaching and steaming method to achieve the best results.
This will then allow you to brown your sausages at the end so that they reach the optimal temperature without becoming overcooked.
You can also use your oven to cook your sausages as normal, making sure to measure the internal temperature so that you don’t overcook them.
Now that you have all the key information that you need, you can cook your bratwurst sausages to perfection!