How Long to Boil Bratwurst?

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This tutorial will teach you how to create beer boiled brats and sauerkraut simmered brats, as well as how long to boil brats before grilling or preparing pan fried brats.

Serve the boiled brats (after frying or grilling) with warm German potato salad, sauerkraut, stoneground mustard, and a pint of beer for a true taste of Germany.

Check out our other entries for recipes on how to cook brats in the oven, the air fryer, and the pressure cooker for even more bratwurst inspiration. Because my spouse is German, we take our bratwurst very seriously.

Why are Brats Boiling?

Before we get into the specifics of how long to boil brats, it’s important to note that we won’t be bringing the sausage to a full boil, but rather keeping it at a simmer or steaming it. The most common search phrase for this method of preparation is “boiled brats,” therefore we’ve renamed our product to reflect that.

One common technique for cooking bratwurst is to boil them first before grilling or frying in a skillet.

Reasons to boil sausages instead of eating them raw:

  • Some people like boiling brats before grilling or pan frying them.
  • By frying brats in beer, it adds depth of flavor to the sausages.
  • By locking in moisture and flavor, simmering sausage helps to keep bratwurst juicy.
  • Pre-cooking in liquid aids in the prevention of cracked brats.
  • Have you ever sliced into a slightly uncooked sausage? This is avoided by first boiling the brats.

What is a bratwurst?

A bratwurst is a kind of German sausage made from pork, beef, or veal. The name comes from the Old High German words “brat-“, which mean “finely chopped,” and “wurst”, which means “sausage.”

To make bratwurst, you have to put the meat and different sauces and tastes into a casing. It is usually grilled, but it can also be pan-fried or cooked. From one part of Germany to another, there can be big changes in the meats used, the size and thickness of the sausage, and the way the spices are mixed.

Bratwurst is popular all over the world, especially in places where there are a lot of German immigrants. It’s often served like a hot dog in a bun as a sandwich, and it’s a mainstay at many American parties and sports events. It is usually served with cabbage or mustard.

How Long to Boil Bratwurst?
How Long to Boil Bratwurst?

Ingredients of Boiling Brat

Simmering brats plain or boiling brats in beer just need a few essential ingredients, brats themselves are already pre-seasoned so you don’t need to add additional flavor unless you plan to cook the bratwurst in beer or sauerkraut.

Our recipe tells you how to make one small batch of bratwurst, but feel free to double or triple the sausages! Bratwurst are always delicious when serving a crowd.

To cook the best possible brats, we highly recommend cooking them in beer, broth, or sauerkraut, but water works in a pinch if preferred. But trust me, brats cooked in beer helps to bring out the natural flavor of the sausage and will not overpower the taste at all. Even our kids love beer brats!


  1. 4-6 bratwurst sausages
  2. 1 large onion, sliced
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed (optional)
  4. 1 bottle (12 oz) of beer (a lager or ale would work well)
  5. 2 cups of water
  6. 1-2 teaspoons of salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  8. 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (if grilling or pan frying afterwards)


  1. In a large pot, combine the bratwurst, onion, garlic, beer, water, salt, and pepper. The liquid should cover the bratwurst. If it doesn’t, add more water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This will cook the bratwurst through.
  4. Optional: If you want to give the bratwurst a nice sear, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat (or heat up your grill). Remove the bratwurst from the pot, pat them dry, and then brown them in the pan or on the grill for a few minutes on each side.
  5. Serve the bratwurst on a bun with your choice of toppings. Common choices include mustard, sauerkraut, or the onions from the pot


  • A deep skillet or Dutch Oven
  • Tongs

What beer pairs best with beer brats?

Beer boiled brats taste best with whatever beer you like best. Seriously!

I like lagers or ales from Wisconsin, like New Glarus Spotted Cow, Miller High Life, or PBR. I don’t think the lighter taste takes away from the taste of the brats themselves. If you like a thicker or darker beer, feel free to use whatever you like. Just keep in mind that stronger-flavored beers will give the beer-boiled brats a stronger flavor.

How to cook beer brats on the grill:

In general, grilling fresh sausage is a little tricky. If they aren’t grilled right, their shells can easily burst before the middle is cooked all the way through. Once that happens, their juices will drip down into the flames and cause flare-ups. This will make a big, burned mess. Not good.

I’ve been in your shoes, but I’ve learned how to avoid a lot of these usual problems. If you want to know how to make great beer brats every time, you’ve come to the right place.

Simmer the Brats in Beer:

  • In a large pot, combine the brats, onion, garlic, beer, salt, and pepper. Ensure the brats are covered with liquid; if not, add some water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This process cooks the brats and infuses them with beer and onion flavor.

Prepare the Grill:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Clean the grill grates and brush them with vegetable oil to prevent the brats from sticking.

Grill the Brats:

  • Using tongs, carefully remove the brats from the beer mixture and let any excess liquid drip off.
  • Place the brats on the preheated grill. Grill them for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until they’re nicely browned. Be careful to avoid flare-ups, which can burn the brats.


  • Once the brats are browned and have a nice crust, remove them from the grill. Allow them to rest for a few minutes, then serve on a bun with your favorite toppings. The onions from the beer mixture make a great topping, as does a good-quality mustard.

This recipe yields brats that are moist, flavorful, and have the perfect char from the grill. Enjoy your beer brats at your next barbecue or outdoor gathering.

How long to boil bratwurst?

To ensure that bratwurst are completely cooked, they are commonly boiled before grilling or frying. To boil bratwurst, throw them in a saucepan and cover them with liquid, typically a combination of beer and onions, though water also works. Reduce the heat to a simmer once the liquid has reached a boil. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the bratwurst. This method guarantees that the bratwurst are thoroughly cooked before being seared on the grill or in a skillet, resulting in a lovely, browned exterior. Your bratwurst should be juicy, delicious, and ready to eat after boiling and grilling.

How Long to Boil Bratwurst?
How Long to Boil Bratwurst?

Best beer-soaked brat toppings:

There are two types of people who eat fried brats: those who don’t put much on them and those who put everything on them.

Here A few of the toppings:

  1. Sauerkraut: This tangy pickled cabbage is a traditional topping for bratwurst and other German sausages. Its acidity balances the rich, fatty flavors of the brat.
  2. Grilled Onions: If you simmered your brats with onions, these can be grilled until caramelized and used as a sweet, flavorful topping.
  3. Mustard: A good quality mustard, especially Dijon or a spicy brown German style mustard, pairs perfectly with bratwurst.
  4. Relish: Pickle relish, or better yet, a German-style relish known as “Gurkenrelish,” can provide a sweet and tangy contrast.
  5. Cheese: A sprinkle of shredded cheese like cheddar or swiss can add a nice touch.
  6. Bacon: Crispy bacon bits add a salty, smoky crunch.
  7. Ketchup: Not traditional, but a favorite for many, especially in the U.S.
  8. Mayonnaise: Some people enjoy a bit of mayo on their brat, either on its own or mixed with other condiments.
  9. Curry Ketchup: Popular in Germany, curry ketchup adds a unique twist.
  10. Fresh Herbs: A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or chives can add a fresh flavor and nice color contrast.

Remember, the best toppings are the ones you enjoy the most. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to find your perfect beer-soaked brat topping.

What to Serve with Wisconsin beer-boiled brats?

A satisfying beer-boiled brat meal generally requires little more than a chilled drink and a couple of side dishes. Here are some summertime side suggestions for inspiration:

  1. Barbecued Veggies: These are my personal top choice!
  2. Shredded Zucchini Salad: A no-fuss, no-cook option that’s simple to prepare.
  3. Creamy Southwestern Pasta Salad: Always a crowd-pleaser, and completely dairy-free!
  4. Grilled Panzanella Salad: This is an easy-to-prepare dish that you can grill while the brats are boiling.
  5. Summer Berry Cheese Platter: Ideal for summer barbecues and festive gatherings!

How much time after cooking should the bratwurst rest?

Most recipes recommend letting the bratwurst rest for at least 30 minutes after taking them from the packet before boiling them. This eliminates excess moisture, allowing the flavors and spices in your brats to shine when cooked. It also ensures that they are cooked uniformly, ensuring that every bite is delicious!

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a great meal of perfectly cooked bratwurst in no time! Serve your bratwurst with some scrumptious sides for a complete meal.

Bratwurst resting time after boiling?

How Long Does It Take to Cook a Bratwurst? and why should you boil bratwurst? Boiling bratwurst before grilling is an excellent approach to ensure consistent cooking and flavor retention. Boiling allows the brats to be pre-cooked, resulting in a beautifully browned exterior when they go on the grill. It also helps them to absorb tastes from the boiling liquid, making them even more delicious! It should take 12-15 minutes for the water to boil, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). Once boiled, finish them on a hot grill for a few minutes, or until they attain your preferred crispiness. This approach assures that your bratwursts are always properly cooked and delicious!

You may simply have a great supper of precisely boiled and grilled bratwurst by following these simple procedures.

How Long to Boil Bratwurst?
How Long to Boil Bratwurst?

How to tell when Bratwurst are done boiling?

The most essential thing to remember while boiling bratwurst sausages is to avoid overcooking them. Overcooked brats can become tough, dry, and unpalatable, so keep an eye on the time! As a general guideline, we recommend cooking your bratwurst for no more than 10 minutes. If you’re not sure when they’re done, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be at least 165F (74C).

What is the best temperature for boiling bratwurst?

Medium-high heat is ideal for boiling bratwurst. This ensures that the brats are uniformly cooked while preserving their taste and softness. The brats’ interior temperature should be 160°F (71°C). Remove from the fire once they reach this temperature and serve with your favorite sides for a full supper!

How To Store Leftovers Boiled Bratwurst?

Rapid cooling is essential for storing any leftover cooked bratwurst in the refrigerator. Freeze them for up to a month if you won’t be eating them within three days.

You may reheat the sausages in the microwave for one minute on high, the skillet for two minutes on medium, or in a pot of boiling water for three to four minutes.

Conclusion: How long to boil bratwurst?

When asked how long to boil a bratwurst, the average response is between fifteen and twenty minutes. The sausage’s size and thickness will affect the cooking time, but 15-20 minutes should be enough to guarantee that it is cooked through and safe to consume. Make sure the internal temperature of your bratwursts reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) with a meat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can tell when the sausages are done by cutting one apart and seeing sure the inside is no longer pink. The bratwursts you cooked up look wonderful.

FAQs about How long to boil bratwurst?

How long should I boil bratwurst?

Bratwurst typically requires about 10 to 15 minutes of boiling. Ensure they are fully submerged and cook until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) for safe consumption.

Can I boil frozen bratwurst?

Yes, you can boil frozen bratwurst, but it may take a few extra minutes to cook. Adjust the boiling time accordingly and ensure the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).

Should I prick bratwurst before boiling?

It’s not necessary to prick bratwurst before boiling. Pricking can cause moisture loss and result in drier sausages. Boiling alone will cook them thoroughly.

Can I add beer to the boiling water?

Absolutely! Adding beer to the boiling water can enhance the flavor of the bratwurst. It infuses a delicious taste, but it’s optional and not necessary for cooking.

How can I prevent bratwurst from splitting while boiling?

To prevent bratwurst from splitting, simmer them gently rather than boiling vigorously. Avoid drastic temperature changes, such as placing frozen bratwurst directly in boiling water.

Can I boil bratwurst ahead of time and grill later?

Yes, you can boil bratwurst ahead of time and finish them on the grill for a charred flavor. Boiling helps ensure they’re fully cooked before grilling.

Should I season the water when boiling bratwurst?

It’s optional but recommended to season the boiling water with spices like bay leaves, peppercorns, or onions to enhance the bratwurst’s flavor. Experiment with your preferred seasonings.

How can I tell if bratwurst is fully cooked?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of bratwurst. It should reach 160°F (71°C). The sausage should be firm to the touch and not pink in the center.

Can I boil bratwurst in broth or stock instead of water?

Yes, boiling bratwurst in broth or stock can add extra flavor. Choose a broth that complements the taste of the sausages, such as chicken or vegetable broth.

How long should I boil pre-cooked bratwurst?

Pre-cooked bratwurst only needs to be heated, not fully cooked. Boil them for 5 to 7 minutes until they’re heated through.

Can I boil bratwurst without casing?

Yes, you can boil bratwurst without casing. They may lose their shape and be more prone to falling apart, so handle them carefully.

Should I slice bratwurst before or after boiling?

It’s generally recommended to boil bratwurst whole and then slice them afterward. This helps retain their juiciness and prevents them from drying out.

Can I boil bratwurst with vegetables?

Yes, you can boil bratwurst with vegetables like onions, peppers, or potatoes for added flavor. Boiling them together infuses the vegetables with the bratwurst juices.

Can I boil bratwurst in the microwave?

It’s not recommended to boil bratwurst in the microwave as it can result in uneven cooking and texture. Stovetop boiling is preferable for better results.

How can I incorporate boiled bratwurst into recipes?

Boiled bratwurst can be used in various delicious recipes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Grilled Bratwurst Sandwich: After boiling, grill the bratwurst to get a crispy exterior. Serve it on a bun with mustard, sauerkraut, and onions.
  • Bratwurst Skewers: Slice the boiled bratwurst into bite-sized pieces and thread them onto skewers with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. Grill or broil for a flavorful kebab.
  • Bratwurst Soup: Slice boiled bratwurst and add it to a hearty soup along with vegetables, beans, and broth for a satisfying meal.
  • Bratwurst and Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss it with sliced boiled bratwurst, sautéed onions, garlic, and your choice of sauce for a quick and tasty pasta dish.
  • Bratwurst Stir-Fry: Slice boiled bratwurst and stir-fry it with vegetables like cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots. Add soy sauce and spices for a flavorful and easy stir-fry.
  • Bratwurst Hash: Dice boiled bratwurst and sauté it with potatoes, onions, and bell peppers until golden brown. Serve it as a hearty breakfast or brunch option. Get creative and experiment with different recipes to enjoy the versatility of boiled bratwurst in your meals.

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