So, you've lived on this planet for a few years. You probably already know how to cook a brat, right? Or do ya? I mean, I’m a world-class (wannabe) chef and I didn’t know how to properly cook a brat. So, strap in and take this little ride with me.
So, you wanna cook a brat.
Let’s first talk about two different kinds you can buy: (1) cooked and (2) uncooked.
They are what they sound like. Cooked brats are like hot dogs. You can eat them right out of the package if you love yourself that little. Or – for the extremely culinary challenged – you pop them in a microwave for a quick snack.
Already-cooked brats are generally pale white and look like a liver-something-or-other your grandfather tried to feed you. They also come pre-smoked with caramel color added so they look right. They truly live up to their name as brat-WORST.
The second kind of brat is a raw one. This one relies on you and me for determining the level of deliciousness we want to achieve. These come in packages as girthy tubes of meat. These are the money. Buy these. Let’s chat about how I, and everyone I know, cooks them.
Here's what the wurst people do.
You take these tubes of sausage and most people
(a) put them directly on open flames (wrong),
(b) sear them in a pan and finish in the oven (wrong, too), or
(c) cook them in an air fryer (genius, but still wrong).
The Wannabe-World-Class Chef's Tip
Putting bratwurst in a pan or oven can dry out the meat and overcook the outside whilst you are trying to cook the inside. Putting them over an open flame will likely obliterate the casing and all the wonderful meat juices will escape and make a dry wiener. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So, the best way to cook a brat? Well, before we get there, lets determine what best means. This is where you can choose your adventure.
How do you take your brats to the next level?
I am glad you asked. First, julienne half an onion. Add the onion and a can of beer* to a disposable metal pan. Pop this on the grill with your brats and let those onions* flavor that beer. When your brats are completely cooked, transfer them to the beer pan and let them to soak up some of that liquid. Best beer brats ever.
*The cheaper and lighter the beer, the better (no stouts). Drink the good stuff.
*Onions are just giving the beer flavor. I normally discard the onions, so you don't have the let them cook at all. If you're an onion person, eat those bulbs!
Actual-World-Class Chef's Tip: keep building flavor with garlic and hardy herbs.