Bratwurst sausages that are cooked to perfection are the show stopper of any barbecue, but it can be difficult to get them just right. If you overcook them, they will get dry. Don’t risk food poisoning by not cooking them thoroughly.
How do you know when to stop cooking brats? You can test if the brats are done in a few different ways. It is recommended to check the internal temperature of the brats to see if they are done. The sausages can be sliced open, pierced, or touched to determine quality.
Read on for a discussion of these five methods, as well as cooking advice and the possible consequences of eating undercooked brats.
What Are Brats?
Brats, often known as bratwurst sausages, are pulverized or finely chopped meat-based German sausages. Although beef and veal can also be used to make brats, pork is the most frequent. Fresh link sausages with a natural casing called brats. Additionally, brats may contain a variety of herbs and spices.
You can cook bratwursts in the oven, on the stovetop, on the grill, or in an air fryer. The boiling of brats in water or beer is a common cooking method.
How Long Should You Cook Brats?
The cooking time for brats varies according to the size of the sausages and the technique of cooking. Brats should be cooked in boiling water for around 12 minutes. It takes around 20 minutes to cook brats in the oven or on the grill. When pan-frying brats, cook them for 4-5 minutes per side. Cook brats until they reach a safe internal temperature, regardless of cooking method or recipe.
How To Tell If Brats Are Done – 5 Ways
It might be challenging to perfectly cook brats. Brats, which are made from freshly ground beef, must be properly cooked before consumption. However, brats should not be overdone as doing so results in dry brats. Here are five methods for judging when brats are done.
1. Use A Thermometer
The internal temperature of brats that makes them safe to consume, regardless of cooking method, is 160°F. To determine the internal temperature of the sausages, use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer tip at an angle into the end of the bratwurst sausage. Hold it there for a few seconds before taking the temperature.
If the thermometer registers 160°F or greater, the sausages are done and can be removed from the heat. “Well-done” is the degree of doneness you should aim for with brats; anything less requires more cooking. If the thermometer reads less than 160°F, continue to cook the bratwurst sausages.
2. Inspect The Color
The hue of properly cooked pan-fried, grilled, and oven-baked brats is uniformly golden brown. Even boiled bratwursts change color. Depending on the type of meat used, sausages may turn bright pink or gray.
Due to the unpleasant appearance of boiled brats, they are frequently briefly pan-fried to give them a lovely char. This also cooks the sausages further! If your brats were boiled for approximately 10 minutes before being pan-fried, they are likely fully cooked. Consequently, the outer hue of brats may be deceiving.
If you pan fry or grill the sausages over high heat, the exterior will soon become golden brown while the interior will stay uncooked. Don’t rely solely on the color of the sausages to determine whether they are properly cooked.
3. Feel The Texture
To check if the brats are done, simply touch them. The trick is to keep in mind the sensations associated with each stage of completion. It’s easy: just run your fingertip over the bratwurst.
The sausage is done when your pinky can be touched with your thumb without giving any resistance. If the sausage is softer than that, it has not been cooked well and will need to be recooked.
The ability to conduct successful touch tests is a talent that may be honed with experience. Pressing the sausage with your finger is the best way to determine if it’s done every time you check the internal temperature. You’ll get to know the sensation of being done at various stages.
4. Pierce To Check The Juices
This is not the optimal way for determining the doneness of brats, since it causes the sausage to lose its fluids and may lead to a dry texture. Nevertheless, if you lack a thermometer and cannot assess the doneness of brats by observing their color and texture, pierce the sausage with a knife or fork.
If the liquid dripping from the sausage is clear, then it has been properly cooked. If the fluids are pink or scarlet in color, the sausage is uncooked. This procedure is only appropriate if you will be consuming the brats yourself and not presenting them to visitors.
5. Cut Into The Sausage
If none of the preceding ways work for you and you still aren’t sure if the brats are cooked through, your final choice is to cut through them. This is not the finest way for determining when brats are done, but it is one of the most accurate.
How To Tell If Grilled Brats Are Done?
To cook the brats, preheat your grill to 300°F if you don’t have a meat thermometer. The brats should be thoroughly cooked after 20 minutes of medium heat grilling on all sides.
To check the fluids, you can either touch the sausages or stab them with a knife. Cut one of the grilled brats open to check the inside if you’re still unsure.
Before grilling the brats, parboiling them is a fantastic approach to make sure they’re properly done. Before grilling, parboiling bratwurst sausages helps keep their casings from exploding.
How Do You Know If Boiled Brats Are Done?
When brats begin to float, they are done; nevertheless, this is not the most precise way to determine whether boiled brats are fully cooked. Check the doneness of boiled brats with a meat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, cook the brats in boiling water until they float, then check the texture to ensure they’re cooked through.
When boiled brats are done, press them with your finger to see whether they are done. If you can’t do this because the sausages are too hot, use tongs to take them up. The bratwurst sausage is done when it is firm. Allow the sausage to simmer for a few minutes more if it is still mushy and wiggly.
Is It Okay For Brats To Be A Little Pink Inside?
Even when well cooked, ground beef or pig may retain a pinkish hue. Therefore, the tiny pink hue within the bratwurst does not signify anything negative. A bratwurst is undercooked if it has a prominent pink-red hue.
What Happens If You Eat Undercooked Brats?
All ground meats should be thoroughly cooked before eating. Because brats are made of ground raw pig, beef, or veal, they must be cooked to at least 160°F to avoid any potential health risks. Trichinosis can be contracted by eating raw or undercooked meat. This is a foodborne sickness caused by Trichinella roundworms in beef.
While trichinosis is not very frequent these days, it is always advisable to be safe and avoid eating uncooked bratwurst sausages. Nausea, upset stomach, headache, lethargy, and fever are some of the symptoms of eating undercooked sausages. The symptoms may occur several days after consuming an undercooked bratwurst sausage.
Tips For Cooking Brats Perfectly
Brats are notoriously easy to overcook, especially if you’re worried about serving them raw. If you want perfectly cooked brats, follow these three guidelines:
Heat to medium constantly. Use a medium heat setting regardless of how you’re cooking the brats.
If brats are being cooked in a skillet, turn the heat on low and work up to medium.
Bratwurst sausages are best cooked over indirect heat on the grill. Move them to the grill for a few minutes to obtain a beautiful char.
The spoiled children need some downtime. Wait a few minutes after taking brats off the grill or removing them from the pan to allow the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute. The sausages will retain their moisture and taste after being refrigerated.
It’s important to handle the packaging with care. Take caution when handling the sausages so as not to break the skin. Sausage meat is fairly dry if the casing is broken because the liquids seep out.