Smoked brats are possibly the easiest bratwurst to prepare. This method is almost full-proof, yet each juicy bite is completely soaked in delicious smoke flavor.
Honestly, I discovered this easy method of cooking brats because I was feeling lazy. I wanted to have a cookout but I didn't feel like tending to a hot grill. Instead, I just fired up my smoker and threw some fresh brats inside, and ignored them until they reached 160 degrees of smoky heaven. One bite of these tasty sausages and my taste buds were hooked!
What are they?
Smoked brats are gently cooked in a smoker, rather than on a searing hot grill. This infuses the entire brat with a deep smoky flavor, while the gentle heat prevents the bratwurst casing from bursting and all of the juice from running out, as is often the case when grilling brats over direct heat.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Bratwurst sausages - Any of your favorite uncooked brats will work well. Although, you can smoke hot dogs too.
- Wood chips for smoking brats - Apple wood and cherry wood are both great choices.
- Brat buns - Brat buns are larger than hot dog buns so they can accommodate larger fillings.
- Onions - Yellow onion, sweet onion, or white onion are my preferred choices.
How to smoke bratwurst
To smoke brats set your smoker at 225 degrees and add your favorite wood chips. Many smokers fluctuate in temperature, or are hard to set to a specific temp, but don't be overly concerned (an electric smoker has more consistent temps, while a charcoal smoker imparts the most flavor). As long as you are in the ballpark of 225 degrees you will be fine. Just try to keep the temperature below 275 degrees, but keep in mind if the temperature is running a bit high, your cook time will be reduced.
Once the wood chips are smoking, place your juicy brats on the grates and cook for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the bratwurst reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. The exact cooking time will vary depending on how much your smoker fluctuates the temperature.
How to serve them
Once your bratwurst is done smoking, the best way to keep them warm is using the classic Wisconsin beer brat bath. If you aren't familiar with a beer bath, it is basically a pan of beer simmering with onions that the brats linger in until served. You can set the pan over a warm grill, or it can be held on the stovetop instead. Keep it at a low temperature, too hot and your smoked beer brats will keep cooking.
Of course, your bratwurst isn't complete without all of the fixin's. For the best smoked brats, serve them with chopped onions, sauerkraut, and condiments of your choice, such as ketchup, mustard (yellow mustard, whole grain mustard, and spicy brown mustard are all great options), or my homemade beer brat sauce!
Can you do me a favor? If you enjoyed my post would you mind sharing it with your friends? You can see more of my recipes by liking me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. Otherwise, stay up to date by getting each new post sent directly to your inbox by subscribing today.
- 6 bratwursts
- wood chips for smoking
- 6 brat buns
- chopped onions
- condiments of your choice
- Heat your smoker to 225 degrees and add your favorite wood chips. (apple wood is a good choice if you are unsure what to use)
- Place the raw bratwurst inside the smoker and let cook until the internal temperature of the brats reaches 160 degrees. This should take 1 hour and 45 minutes - 2 hours.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.
This recipe was originally published April 1, 2019 here on FoxValleyFoodie.com.