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