How to Cook Bratwurst


Learn how to cook the perfect bratwurst each and every time.

We try to keep things simple here at Brats and Beer.

If you’re looking for lots of different ways to cook amazing bratwurst, you’re in the right place.

We have tons of detailed tips for cooking bratwurst including how to cook bratwurst in the oven and in a pan as well as bratwurst recipes and many “How To” guides.

But we also serve up tons of other great content for brat lovers, including our Battle of the Brats contest, our Bratwurst Hall of Fame, and guides to making your own bratwurst.

Picking the Best Brat

The real secret to how to cook bratwurst doesn’t lie in any technique or secret tip; it’s in starting with a fresh bratwurst made the old-fashioned way.

RJ’s, Klement’s, Carles, Usinger’s and all the brat makers listed in our Hall of Fame make some of the finest bratwurst in the land but can be hard to find outside the Midwest. is a good option to buy genuine Wisconsin bratwurst online for those poor souls living outside of prime brat territory with Glenn’s Market providing most of the brats that sells and ships.

Many local butchers and meat counters can make fresh brats to order, letting you select your own mix of pork, veal, or beef.

If your only option for bratwurst is the pre-packaged meat aisle at the grocery store, Johnsonville brats are likely your best bet, along with ALDI’s Roseland brat line.

How to Cook Bratwurst

Once you’re armed with a great brat, it’s time to get cooking. Bratwurst can be cooked in many different ways, so you’ll have plenty of options whether you want to serve up brats Sheboygan style or try your own approach.

Many people prefer to cook grilled bratwurst but you can make perfect brats in the oven or on the stove in a pan if you don’t have access to a grill.

You can also smoke brats in your smoker and make sure you don’t forget the side dishes.

One of the great things about learning how to cook bratwurst is that there’s no one “correct” way — despite what some people from the heart of brat country in Wisconsin may tell you!

You don’t need any specialized equipment to experiment in your quest for a great brat.

All you really need is a grill or a stove and a love of bratwurst.

How to Make Bratwurst

If you’re more hands-on, you can also easily make your own homemade bratwurst, including interesting twists such as venison bratwurst.

It’s not difficult to learn how to make your own bratwurst and it can save you a ton of money over time once you buy the right equipment.

You likely will need to invest in a quality meat grinder and a sausage stuffer but you’ll be able to use them for many years to crank out some amazing homemade brats.

Making your own brats not only lets you tailor your recipe to your own tastes and incorporate only the freshest ingredients but it can be cost-effective as well.

Homemade brats cost a fraction of what you pay at retail and you’ll be the envy of all your friends when they learn that you’re a master of both making and cooking bratwurst!

Bratwurst History

Bratwurst has a very long tradition in Germany — stretching back to the 1300s — but American-style bratwurst came into its own relatively recently in the early 1900s.

Sheboygan, Wisconsin was ground zero for the bratwurst explosion in the U.S., with German immigrants putting their sausage-making expertise to work in new ways.

Bratwurst were traditionally made with veal but American bratwurst makers gravitated towards primarily using pork, with their brats generally much larger than German-style brats — many of which are the size of a pinkie finger and intended to be eaten by the dozen.

Wisconsin is still prime brat country in the U.S. and home to all of our Hall of Fame bratwurst makers. Sheboygan is considered by many to be the bratwurst capital of the world but Bucyrus, Ohio holds a big bratwurst festival of its own each year.