How to Cook Bratwurst in a Pan

how to cook bratwurst in a pan

Learning how to cook bratwurst in a pan is simple and can produce brats just as tasty as grilled ones.

Some bratwurst devotees think it’s sacrilegious to even consider the question of how to cook bratwurst in a pan but access to a grill isn’t always possible.

We’d hate to see you miss out on tasty brats just because there’s no grill around.

And we’ll let you in on a little secret — most brat “experts” can’t tell the difference between a grilled brat and a pan-cooked brat in a blind taste test for most bratwurst recipes.


Grilling brats may be the preferred method for many but knowing how to cook bratwurst in the oven as well as how to cook bratwurst in a pan are great tools to have in your brat cooking arsenal.

A well-rounded brat chef can whip up some delicious brats in any environment they find themselves in — grill, stove, oven, or campfire!

Picking the Right Brat

buy brats online

WisconsinMade specializes in shipping genuine Wisconsin brats to every U.S. state.

Before we get into actual cooking instructions for how to cook bratwurst in a pan — which are dead simple — let’s start with your brats.

Kewauskum, Klement’s, and Usinger’s make some of the tastiest brats you’ll ever eat but they’re out to find outside of the Midwest.

Wisconsinmade.com is your best bet for buying brats online and they ship all across the country.

You can also sometimes get great brats locally from butcher’s or groceries that have their own meat counter.

Don’t be shy to ask if they’ll make brats for you as some have the equipment necessary and will make bratwurst and other sausage for custom orders.

You can also take the ultimate plunge and learn how to make homemade brats. You’ll need a good grinder and sausage stuffer but you’ll have a never-ending supply of some of the freshest brats imaginable!

How to Cook Bratwurst in a Pan

There are a few different ways to pan-fry bratwurst but they’re based on a pretty simple concept: cook your brats on medium heat in a large pan until they’re browned to your liking.

You’ll need to add a little liquid to the pan to help them brown up and stay moist. Some people add their brats then pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over them.

stone ground mustard for bratwurst

Inglehoffer stone ground mustard is the mustard of choice for many bratwurst purists.

We like the beer method — huge shock there — which is just as easy. Put your bratwurst in the pan and then add enough beer so that the bottom half of the brats are covered.

You’re not aiming to boil them so adjust the heat if necessary to keep them at a low simmer.

Once the beer cooks off we like to add a drizzle of olive oil, which helps them crisp and brown up nicely.

Cooking time will depend on whether you’re using pre-cooked or fresh bratwurst but basically cook them about five minutes on a side and then flip them over.

Cook bratwurst in a pan until they’re done to your liking. If you’re worried about temperature, most brats should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F to 170F.

When it’s time to eat your tasty brats, they’re best served on a hard roll with stone ground mustard — don’t commit the sacrilegious act of eating bratwurst on soft, flimsy hot dog buns with cheap French’s mustard.