Are you ready to take your tailgating game to the next level with the best Smoked Brats recipe? Nothing beats the taste of juicy, smoky bratwurst straight off the grill. The combination of savory spices, tender texture, and a hint of smoky flavor is sure to impress even the pickiest of taste buds.
This recipe is perfect for tailgating events, family gatherings, or any occasion where delicious food is a must. Smoking brats is a great go-to for tailgating, picnics, and camping because it’s simple and doesn’t require a ton of equipment. All you’ll need is a reliable pellet smoker or grill, a few pantry staples, and your trusty meat thermometer.
Don’t be intimidated by the process, this recipe is designed to be straightforward and easy-to-follow, even for the novice BBQ enthusiast. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a beginner just starting out, you’re sure to love the amazing flavor of these mouth-watering smoked brats.
So fire up your pellet smoker, grab your tongs, and get ready to become the hero of your next tailgate!
Overview: Smoked Brats
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’ll find all the information you need to make delicious and juicy smoked brats in this post. Here’s an overview.
- Preheat the smoker to 275°F and let it stabilize before adding brats.
- Smoke brats for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 140°F.
- Increase heat to 350°F until brats reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Let brats rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy with a cold beer for the ultimate taste experience and feel like having smoked brats in a beer bath.
What Is Bratwurst?
Bratwurst is a type of German sausage that has been enjoyed for centuries. Made from groud or finely chopped meat of pork or veal, it is seasoned with a blend of spices that typically include nutmeg, coriander, and ginger.
This combination of ingredients creates a rich, savory flavor that is loved by many people around the world. Bratwurst is a versatile food that can be grilled, boiled, fried, or roasted and served in a variety of ways.
In Germany, bratwurst is often served on a roll with mustard and sauerkraut, making it a staple food at sporting events and festivals.
But, one of the best ways to enjoy bratwurst is by smoking it. The smoky flavor that develops when it is slow-cooked over wood chips adds a depth of flavor that is simply unbeatable.
Whether you’re a fan of bold, smoky flavors or just love the taste of juicy, succulent sausage, you’ll find that smoked bratwurst is a treat that you won’t soon forget.
How To Make Smoked Brats
Step 1: Prepare Your Smoker/Grill
Gas Grill: Set your gas grill for indirect cooking by turning on one side of the grill and leaving the other off. Once your grill has reached a stable temperature of 250°F – 275°F, place your wood chips in your pellet tray on the hot side of the grill and leave it there until it starts smoking. Once you have a bit of smoke going, place your brats on the other side (non-lit side) of your grill for indirect cooking.
Pellet Grill: Make sure your pellet grill is full of pellets (we recommend maple or hickory for smoked brats) and set the temperature to 275°F. Once your pellet grill is stable at 275°F for at least 5 minutes, you’re ready to put your brats on the grill.
For any charcoal grill, use about half a lit charcoal chimney and store it on one side of your kettle, with the top and bottom vents open. Get your charcoal grill up to a stable 275°F and then place your brats on the opposite side of the hot grill where you placed your hot charcoal (indirect heat). Since brats are fast-cooking meats, I like to use a solid wood-like hickory to season the food as much as possible.
Step 2: Smoking Bratwurst (Brats)
Smoke the brats at 275°F for about 60 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 140°F. Start checking the brats’ internal temperature after about 45 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook them.
Using a digital thermometer, insert it into the end of the brat through the small natural opening in the case. Make sure to slide the thermometer as close as possible to the center. By inserting the thermometer into the end of the brat, you will not need to pierce the case and create a hole for the juice to escape.
Step 3: Crank Up The Heat
Once your brats reach an internal temperature of 140ºF, it’s time to increase the heat of your smoker to 350ºF. This higher temperature will help to crisp up the outside of your brats, giving you that irresistible texture.
It’s important to monitor the temperature of your brats during this step and make sure they don’t get overcooked.
Step 4: Remove From the Smoker
Finally, when your brats reach an internal temperature of 160ºF, it’s time to pull them off the smoker. When the pork is at 160°F, the cooked brats have been safely cooked and still have all the juices.
If you’re cooking brats and the temperature rises above 180°F, then the fat will separate from the pork, the casing will split, and the brat will not be as good.
Step 5: Serving the Brats
Serving the brat is something that people will argue about until the end of time. Even the choice of mustard, whether to use bright yellow mustard or spicy brown mustard, is a hot topic. One thing that is generally agreed upon is that putting ketchup on brats is a cardinal sin. Though somebody like to have chopped onions with brats.
Best Beer To Pair With Smoked Brats
When it comes to pairing beer with your delicious smoked brats, there are a few styles that stand out as the perfect match. Not only do these beers complement the rich, smoky flavor of the brats, but they also bring their own unique flavor and texture to the table.
A crisp and refreshing pilsner pairs perfectly with the rich, smoky flavor of smoked brats. The light, hoppy flavor of a pilsner balances the intense smoky flavor and helps to cut through the richness of the brats. Plus, it’s a classic pairing with a German-style sausage like bratwurst!
Amber ales have a slightly sweet, malty flavor that complements the savory smoky taste of the brats. The caramel notes in the beer bring out the natural sweetness of the brats, making for a truly delicious combination.
Hefeweizens are light and effervescent, with a distinct wheat flavor. This type of beer is a perfect match for the rich, smoky flavor of the brats. The wheat flavor in the beer helps to balance the intense smoky taste, while the bubbles add a light and refreshing touch to the meal. Plus, it’s just a fun and quirky beer to enjoy with your smoked brats!
Other Sausage Recipes
- Smoked Pork Sausage Recipe
- Smoked Beef Sausage Recipe
- Smoked Turkey Sausage Recipe
- Smoked Hot Dogs Recipe
Smoked Brats Recipe
- Your preference of grill or smoker (I recommend a pellet smoker)
- BBQ Tongs (Tongs)
- 1-2 packages of uncooked bratwursts
- brat buns
- BBQ Sauce (optional)
- Start your smoker and get the temperature stable at 275ºF.
- Place your brats on the grill and make sure there's at least half an inch of space between them.
- Close the lid and let your brats smoke for 1 hour
- Once your smoked brats reach an internal temperature of 140ºF, increase the heat of your smoker to 350ºF
- Once your smoked brats reach an internal temperature of 160ºF, pull them off the smoker and let them rest for 5 minutes.
- Crack a beer and enjoy the best-tasting smoked brats you've ever had!
Smoked Brats FAQs
What is the best temperature for smoking brats?
The ideal temperature for smoking brats is 275ºF. This temperature allows for a slow and even smoke, resulting in perfectly cooked, juicy brats.
How long should I smoke brats for?
It is recommended to smoke brats for a total of 90 minutes. Smoke for one hour at 275ºF, or until they reach an internal temperature of 140ºF. At that point, you should increase the heat of your smoker to 350ºF and continue cooking until they reach an internal temperature of 160ºF.
Can I use any type of brats for this recipe?
You can use any type of brat you prefer, but it is recommended to use high-quality, uncooked brats for the best results.
What type of smoker is best for smoking brats?
Any type of smoker will work for this recipe, as long as you can maintain a stable temperature of 275ºF. Popular smoker options include charcoal, electric, and pellet smokers.
How do you grill Johnsonville brats?
According to the Johnsonville company, you should first preheat your gas grill to a medium temperature. Add the Johnsonville Brats and cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the brats are browned and the internal temp is 160°F. They recommend turning the brats as possible.
Is it OK to eat brats that are a little pink?
The United States Department of Agriculture issued new recommendations for preparing pork, and that includes how you smoke bratwurst. As such, the department now recommends that, like beef, veal, and lamb, the whole piece of pork should be cooked to at least 160°F and then let stand for 3 minutes.
What temperature do you cook brats on a pellet grill?
Start smoking your brats on your pellet grill at 275°F for one hour. When the internal temperature reaches 140°F, increase the temperature of your pellet grill to 350°F until the internal temperature of the bratwurst is 160°F.
What is the best wood to smoke brats?
The best wood pellets or wood chips for smoking brats are Competition blends or Maple.
Can I reheat smoked brats?
Yes, you can reheat smoked brats. The best method is to wrap them in foil and place them in a 350ºF oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the brats warm through.
What should I serve with smoked brats?
Smoked brats are delicious when served on a bun with your favorite toppings. The most traditional toppings are mustard and sauerkraut. They also pair well with sides like coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans.