Learn the best techniques for knowing when your brats are cooked to juicy perfection. From the touch test to the wiggle test, we've got you covered!

How To Know When Your Brats Are Done

Hey there fellow BBQ enthusiast!

Welcome to Barbemastery.com – your go-to source for all things BBQ. I’m so excited to share with you some of my tips and tricks for grilling the perfect bratwurst.

I mean, who doesn’t love a juicy, flavorful brat on the grill?

They’re the perfect summertime meal and a BBQ classic.

How To Know When Brats Are Done

Okay, now for the fun part – figuring out when your brats are cooked to juicy perfection. There are a few methods you can use to determine doneness:

The Touch Test

One way is the touch test. Simply press on the brat with a tong or a fork and see how it feels. If it’s firm and bounces back, it’s probably done. If it’s still soft and squishy, it needs more time.

The Cake Test

Another method is the cake test. Simply cut into the brat and see how it looks inside. If it’s fully cooked, it should be a pale pink color. If it’s still raw, it will be a brighter pink.

The Wiggle Test

Finally, there’s the wiggle test. Hold the brat with a tong and gently wiggle it. If it’s fully cooked, it will have a little give and wiggle easily. If it’s still raw, it will be stiff and hard to wiggle.

Cooking MethodInternal Temperature

About Bratwurst

Okay, let’s start by discussing what bratwurst is. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a kind of sausage that is made using ground meat, usually pork or beef, along with different spices. It comes from Germany originally, but it has become really popular everywhere. You can find many different kinds of bratwurst, so don’t hesitate to try different ones and see which you like the best!

Safety Considerations

Before we get into the deliciousness of grilling brats, we have to talk about safety. Handling and cooking raw meat can be risky business if not done properly. Make sure to thoroughly clean and maintain your grill to prevent contamination or illness. And of course, always follow safe handling guidelines for raw meat.

How Long To Grill Brats

Now that we know how to determine doneness, let’s talk about how long to grill your brats. It all depends on the size and thickness of the brats, as well as the heat of your grill. Typically, if you have thin bratwursts, they will need to be grilled for around 10 to 15 minutes on a grill set to medium-high heat. However, if you have thicker bratwursts, they will take a bit longer, more like 20 to 30 minutes.

To be extra sure, you can always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the brats. They should reach an internal temperature of 160°F to be fully cooked.

Brat SizeGrill Time
Thin10-15 minutes
Thick20-30 minutes

Other Tips For Grilling

In addition to knowing when your brats are done, there are a few other things you can do to ensure juicy perfection. Marinating or adding a sauce can add extra flavor to your brats. Just make sure to add it towards the end of cooking to avoid burning. Preheating your grill to the proper temperature is also important. This will help your brats cook evenly and prevent burning.

Do You Close The Lid Or Leave It Open When Grilling Brats?

This is a common question when it comes to grilling brats – should you close the lid or leave it open? It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you want to create a smoky flavor, closing the lid can help trap the smoke and infuse it into the brats.

On the other hand, if you want a nice char on your brats, leaving the lid open will allow the flames to directly contact the meat.

Other Methods

Grilling isn’t the only way to cook bratwurst. You can also boil or bake them. To boil brats, simply place them in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

To bake brats, preheat your oven to 350°F and place the brats on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Should You Parboil Bratwurst?

There’s a bit of debate among BBQ enthusiasts about whether or not to parboil bratwurst before grilling. Some people believe that parboiling helps to cook the brats evenly and prevents them from drying out on the grill. Others argue that parboiling removes some of the flavor and texture of the brats.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. If you want to try parboiling, just be sure to not overcook the brats in the boiling water, as this can cause them to become mushy.

How To Tell If Precooked Brats Are Done

If you’re using precooked brats, it’s still important to make sure they’re fully heated before serving. The best way to do this is with a meat thermometer. Simply insert the thermometer into the center of the brat and check the temperature. It should reach an internal temperature of at least 140°F to be fully heated.

You can also use the touch, cake, or wiggle tests to determine doneness, as described above.

Suggestions For Serving Bratwurst

There are endless possibilities when it comes to serving bratwurst. You can keep it classic and serve them with mustard, onions, and sauerkraut on a bun. Or, get creative and try them with different sides and toppings.

Some suggestions could include grilling vegetables to serve alongside the brats, or using the brats in a recipe like a bratwurst and potato casserole.

ClassicMustard, onions, and sauerkraut on a bun
Grilled vegetablesServe alongside the brats
Bratwurst and potato casseroleUse the brats in a casserole recipe

Tips For Storing And Reheating Leftover Bratwurst

If you have leftover bratwurst, it’s important to store them properly to ensure they stay fresh and safe to eat. Wrap the brats in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

They will keep for about 3-4 days in the fridge. When it comes time to reheat, the best method is to use a low heat setting on the grill or in the oven. This will help to prevent the brats from drying out or becoming overcooked.

Personal Anecdotes Or Stories

As a BBQ enthusiast myself, I have to share a personal anecdote about grilling bratwurst. One time, I was hosting a BBQ at my house and I was in charge of cooking the brats.

I was so excited to impress my friends with my grilling skills, but somehow I ended up overcooking them. They were dry and tough, and not at all the juicy perfection I was going for. It was a bit of a disappointment, but I learned my lesson and now I always make sure to use a meat thermometer to avoid a repeat of that incident.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, knowing when your brats are done to juicy perfection is essential for a successful BBQ. Use the touch, cake, or wiggle tests to determine doneness, and don’t forget to use a meat thermometer to be extra sure.

Grill time will vary based on the size and thickness of the brats, as well as the heat of the grill. Remember to consider safety considerations when grilling, and consider trying different methods such as boiling or baking for a change of pace.

When serving, get creative with sides and toppings, and be sure to store and reheat leftovers properly to ensure freshness.

Thanks for reading, and happy grilling! I hope these tips and tricks help you achieve the perfect bratwurst every time. Don’t forget to share your own experiences and tips in the comments below.

Until next time.