Here’s a dirty little secret: there is no single method that’s the best way to cook bratwurst.
Like a lot of meats, bratwurst is pretty forgiving and tastes amazing no matter how you cook it.
Especially if you pair it up with some beer and traditional side dishes, good friends, and a Packers game!
So don’t stress out on finding the absolute best way to cook brats and try them all!
The Best Way to Cook Bratwurst
Most of your success or failure in any quest for the best way to cook bratwurst will come before you even fire up the grill or oven.
A great tasting brat starts with a great brat, so make a little extra effort to seek out the best brats you can possibly find.
Not everyone is lucky enough to live in the Brat Heartland of the U.S. (aka Wisconsin) but that’s no excuse for missing out on great brats.
Several different companies sell fresh brats online and many local butchers can whip up very fine brats.
If you do have to shop in your local grocery store aisle for your brats, fear not.
Even national brands like Johnsonville Brats will cook up just fine if you can’t find other alternatives.
Grill First or Grill Last?
Cooking brats isn’t rocket science, regardless of whether you’re grilling bratwurst, cooking it on the stovetop, smoking it, or throwing it in the oven.
You’re cooking sausage, which isn’t as demanding to get right as other cuts of meats or recipes and dishes that have no margin for error during the prep or cooking process.
The real dilemma you’ll face is one that has divided Brat Nation for many years: whether you simmer and soak your brats in a beer bath before grilling or finishing on the stove or whether you grill your brats first and then finish in beer.
To that eternal question, we have no definitive answer. But we do have a solution: go forth and experiment and try both!
Brats are relatively cheap meats so experiment with different methods and recipes in your search for the best way to cook brats.
Unlike most science experiments, you get to eat the tasty results and wash it down with beer. Embrace any “failures”, toast your successes, and keep experimenting, noble brat scientists!