How to cook brats in the oven? Cooking brats in the oven is a wonderful method if the weather is unfavorable and you are unable to grill if you don’t have a grill. Also, preparing brats in the oven has some added advantages. The best part is that it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare the perfect brats, and you can still get that lovely char line that the grill usually offers to you.
Also the other advantage is to enjoy grilled bratwurst throughout the year. This is especially relevant during the snowy winter, as you always have the oven in your kitchen ready and available. The best part about cooking your brats in the oven is that it is as plump and juicy as they get. This is why most people like this method better than grilling them.
The other great reason to use your oven is that you can add a bunch of veggies to roast at the same time. A big sheet pan full of potatoes, peppers, and onions is always good, too.
How to cook bratwurst in the oven? It is quite simple to start with, but you must get the right tools, ingredients, and equipment before that.
Bratwurst – To start with, all you need is bratwurst! This is a popular German sausage made using a natural casing. Bratwurst is available in a classic flavor but can also comprise cheese, jalapeno, or beer added to enhance the flavor.
- Start by Preheating the oven to 425 degrees F. Ensure that the oven rack is placed in the center of the oven.
- Nest, Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Add bratwurst sausage to the pan in a single layer, spreading it out on the pan.
- Now, you need to allow it to bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the sausages and cook for another 5 minutes or until the center is no longer pink and all the juices run clear. This is when the sausages are golden brown.
- Check for the Internal temperature of the brats to reach 160 degrees when using an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Finally, remove from the oven and slice the juicy brats before serving if required.
How to Make Beer Brats?
How to make oven-braised beer brats? Well, this is quite simple, too; here are the steps to prepare the Beer Brats:
- Start by browning the brats in a deep skillet on each side for a few minutes.
- Now, add one bottle of your favorite beer or just enough to completely submerge the sausages and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
- Next, lower the heat and simmer the bratwurst in beer for 10 minutes before transferring them to a baking sheet.
- Finally, place into the preheated oven and bake brats for about 10 minutes or till the sausages reach 160 degrees F when you check with a digital meat thermometer.
Choosing the Right Brats
Why should I cook bratwurst in the oven? To start with, it is a good idea to do so. But did you know that you also need to be able to select the perfect Brats for the right taste, as all great bratwurst recipes start with a great brat? It is recommended to always try to get fresh local brats, even if you are not blessed to live near some legendary bratwurst makers. Here are some Brats you should know about:
The most commonly found of all the German sausages is the bratwurst. This sausage type is prepared from meat that has been finely chopped and is made using meat from pork, veal, or beef.
2. Frankfurter Würstchen
Frankfurter Würstchen is a pre-cooked sausage that is commonly eaten across the world. Some of the most common versions of this sausage are the American hot dog, Vienna sausages, and Franks.
Leberwurst is made using pig or calf liver and is a thin, spreadable sausage that is used to make open-faced sandwiches. The sausage is seasoned using spices such as black pepper, thyme, ground mustard, and nutmeg.
Weisswurst is also a German white sausage prepared using bacon, minced pork back, and veal. Traditionally, it is flavored with parsley onions, lemon zest, ginger, cardamom, and mace.
Blutwurst is generally a blood sausage prepared from pig blood and pork rind. It is pre-cooked and usually served warm along with mashed potatoes.
6. Thüringer Rostbratwurst
This traditional German sausage is prepared using mixed pork, beef, and veal. It is grilled or roasted and served hot with a roll or in a sandwich.
Kochwurst is a unique sausage that is prepared from leftover ingredients like tongue, blood, and liver. These ingredients are cooked and seasoned, then they are put into a casing or jar and served in a day or two.
Knipp is prepared using pork head, pork belly, pork rind, oats, broth, and seasoned with salt, allspice, and pepper. This smoked sausage is usually served with sweet side dishes such as applesauce or sweet pumpkin.
Gelbwurst is a light-colored sausage prepared using pork, veal, ginger, and nutmeg. It is usually sliced thin and eaten on cold sandwiches.
Jagdwurst is yet another German sausage that is prepared using various cuts of pork, such as pork belly, pork sausage, and lean pork. Sometimes, beef is added, and it is seasoned using delicious spices and herbs. It can be eaten hot along with soups or cold on sandwiches.
Preparing the Brats
How long to cook brats in the oven? Well, now you sure do know. However, it is also important to know that you should know about the two most popular methods of preparing the Brats:
Bringing the Brats:
Start with the process of bringing. For this, you can use beer and suggest a nice Pilsner or ale; however, the best beers are the ones you drink. Do not opt for something exotic or new, as you might not like the flavor.
In case you wish to cook without alcohol, substitute one cup of apple cider vinegar combined with one and a half cups of water. Next, add a sliced onion. Adding a nice hot white or Spanish onion, salt, pepper, garlic, caraway seeds, and sage is preferred.
Add some of your favorite spicy fresh peppers or red pepper flakes to the mixture for a little bit of heat to their brats. Next, bring the brine to a boil and cool it by removing the heat and adding about four cups of ice. Boiling the brine ensures that all the flavors come together and are ready to impart big, bold tastes while cooking with brats.
To Boil Brats Before Grilling
After they are soaked in the brine, you need to remove onions and peppers, which can be set aside to be cooked with the brats later, or add the mixture to a pot on the stove. Add a pinch of salt before it is time to boil the bratwurst. Now, allow everything to a boil, and lower the temperature down to a simmer for five to eight minutes.
How Long Should You Grill Bratwurst?
Once the pre-cooking is complete, it is time to fire up the grill. Remove the brats from the brine and place them on the rack at a temperature of around 400 to 450 F for five to eight minutes.
The most important things to remember when cooking brat is to brine them and to just jump in and give cooking bratwurst a try without fear. But just before pulling the brats off the grill, you must add a pinch of salt and pepper and a last hit of flavor as the brats are done. Finally, Top them with the onion topping or a simple sauerkraut and mustard.
Preheating the Oven
Just like selecting the perfect Brats for good results, it is important to ensure you pre-heat the oven just right. For this, you need to take into account the following aspects in mind:
- Start by Preheating the oven to help the brats brown uniformly.
- Next, select a baking dish that will offer the brats plenty of room but will also contain any juices that come out as they cook. If you use a casserole dish, ensure it is ovenproof to 425 degrees.
- Line the baking pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Ensure the bratwurst is in a single layer.
- Cut brat sausages in half for even faster cooking.
- Add veggies to the pan if required, but add 10 minutes of cooking time.
- Add a little liquid (like beer, water, or broth) to the bottom of the dish to prevent the sausages from shriveling.
- Now, Season with your favorite herbs and spices to add more flavor.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil to contain the moisture.
- Finally, turn the oven on broil for the last minute if you would like the outsides a little charred. Serve with rolls with condiments, sauerkraut, or onions and bell peppers for a full meal.
Let us take a look at some of the main methods of preparation for the Brats;
The Smoked Brats
When smoking brats, be sure to smoke them for about 45 minutes to an hour at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Or opt for the Super Smoke setting on capable models.
Smoking your brats further adds an awesome smoky flavor. Once you are finished smoking them, turn the grill to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook them for a few minutes on each side to crisp up the casing for that perfect, juicy snap when you taste them.
Grill temperature: 225 or Super Smoke setting (depending on grill model).
Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Grilling The Brats
Once your brats are smoked/braised and ready to go, next up, it’s time to grill, giving your brats that caramelized Maillard reaction. For this, remove the brats from the grill and set the temperature to 375 degrees F. Once the grill heats up, you only need to place your brats back on the grill for the finishing touch.
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that happens when your meat reaches between 285 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, all the sugars and amino acids in your sausages will be released to create bold natural flavors and produce mouth-watering colors on the outside.
What to Serve with Brats?
You can enjoy your brats on a bun, like a hot dog, or you can do the traditional German meal and eat them without a bun, like the main entree. However, you will need some sides to go with them. Fried cabbage or sauerkraut is a delicious and traditional side for bratwurst. Also are potato pancakes and beer. You can stick to a barbecue concept and go with potato salad, roasted or grilled veggies, or freshly grilled corn on the cob. You can also have a German twist on your potato salad and make Kartoffelsalat. This is a German potato salad made using unpeeled red potatoes and a tangy vinaigrette. Another classic is baked beans. The sweet and savory flavor combo goes so nicely with the smoky, meaty brats. If you wish for a bigger contrast in flavors, go for a creamy cucumber salad.
Checking For Doneness
Once the pre-cooking is completed, it’s finally time to fire up the grill. For this, remove the brats from the brine and place them on the rack at a temperature of around 400 to 450 F for five to eight minutes. Here are some tips on how to recognize when the brat is grilled just right.
Allow the casings to get to a desired color, turning twice. The moisture from the brine should keep the brats juicy. However, be careful of temperature flair-ups on the grill that can cause the casings to snap. It is advised to continue cooking the brats til the casings are crispy and are just about to burst.
Following are some of the best serving suggestions to go with the Brats:
1. Hard Rolls
When selecting a vessel for your bratwurst, do not simply opt for soft buns that can get soggy in a matter of minutes. Instead, go for hard rolls.
This is an iconic side to bratwurst and is a classic tandem that traditionalists will love.
Also, here is a fun fact about the fermented cabbage dish, as it comprises the same type of good bacteria that is also present in yogurt.
Bratwurst is great when paired with spicy stone-ground mustard, and many purists accept it as the only acceptable condiment for the meaty mouthful.
Bratwurst and beer are classic, and you can not have one without the other. A cold pilsner or doppelbock is perfect; however, any brew will do.
How to Cook Brats in the Oven?: Conclusion
So, there you have it, people; these are some of the best tips, tricks, and facts to get that brat just right out of the oven. While the oven-cooked version is the best, trying out the version you like the best is recommended. Pair your favorite meat-ful with the best sides, and share your experience with us.
How to Cook Brats in the Oven?: FAQ's
Question 1. What are bratwursts made of?
Answer: A bratwurst is a type of German sausage that is generally made with pork, beef, or veal.
Question 2. What are the best buns for brats?
Answer: Pretzel-style buns are the best.
Question 3. What’s the best sauerkraut for brats?
Answer: The Tangy Sauerkraut is the best with the brats.