Have you ever just craved for some smoky, juicy brats but the weather is not making it possible to fire up the grill? Frustrating, right? But worry not, we have found ways how you can eat your favorite brats at the comfort of your kitchen, rain or shine.
BRATWURSTS – What is it and where is it from?
Brats are sausages made in Germany, literally meaning “finely chopped meat sausage”, they are mostly made from veal, beef or pork. There are about 40 different variations of bratwurst depending on which region in Germany it originated from, some examples are: coburger, kulmbacher, rote wurst and Fränkische. The difference is usually with the spices and meat used in making them, mostly dependent on the region’s specialty.
- NEVER cut or poke a hole on your sausage. You might see some cooking tutorials or cookbooks telling you to cut or poke holes on the brats for it to better absorb whatever marinate or sauce you cook it into, but that’s the last thing you want to do. It will cause its natural juices to come out while you cook it, thus losing a lot of its flavor.
- DO NOT BOIL your brats. Unless you’re making a soup stock out of brats, you have no reason to boil them. It will not do anything for your sausages but to make them bland.
- DO NOT THAW the sausages outside the fridge before cooking, especially for raw brats, as this may cause bacteria to spread both on the food and your counter. Instead, take them out of the freezer and move lower into the fridge the night before you plan on cooking them.
How to Cook Brats Without a Grill:
This is probably the simplest and easiest way to prepare your brats at home.
- Preheat your oven until it reaches to 400°F (200°C). While waiting, line your baking pan with foil, so that the brats will not roll around or stick to the pan while they are cooking later.
- Once the oven reaches 400°F, take your brats out of the fridge and into your pan and put it in the oven.
- Leave the sausages in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning them halfway to even the browning after 20 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, take them out and check the internal temperature of the brats using a meat thermometer, if it shows 160°F (70°C) then they are cooked through.
- Rest for 5 minutes and serve. Oven baked brats are best paired with potato salad.
This is the quickest way to cook brats without a grill, while still have that semi-charred, grilled taste.
- Preheat your broiler for about 10 minutes. Note than when broiling sausages, move your oven rack as close to the broiler as possible. Some have it at the top most part of the oven, while some are located at the oven floor.
- While waiting, line the brats on your broiler pan, then put it inside a baking or saute pan to catch the juices that will most likely drip from the sausages – you can use it later for gravy or sauce.
- Once it is preheated, put the broiler pan in and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, making sure to turn the brats every 5 minutes for equal browning.
- After you take it out, check if the internal temperature reaches 160°F (70°C) to ensure it is cooked through.
- Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Broiled bratwursts are best served with cold beer and sauerkraut on the side.
Cast Iron Grill
This is by far my favorite method as it really brings out the flavor of the brats, and it compliments well with the beer and the vegetables as well.
- Heat up a sauce pan and pour a bottle of beer (best to use German beer like Aecht Schlenkerla – Rauchbier or Andechser for a more authentic taste).
- When the beer starts to simmer, put the brats in and leave on low heat for 10 minutes. Remember: You are SIMMERing them, not BOILing. You don’t want the brats to lose a lot of its flavor.
- When the brats are about 5 minutes in to the simmering beer, put your cast iron on medium heat to prepare for the sausages after. Once the skillet is hot, put some bell peppers (or jalapeños if you like a little spice) , onions and a pinch of salt and let it caramelize for about 3 minutes.
- Take the brats out of the beer, and add to your skillet with the vegetables, turn them occasionally for even grill marks until they are cooked through at 160°F (70°C).
- Rest for 5 minutes and serve on top of sandwich rolls with a side of sauerkraut or mustard.
And there you go! Nothing can stop you now from having beer and brats, no matter if its raining or snowing outside. Problem solved. 😉