When it comes to the best type of food to serve your family during the summer or even just on a casual day hanging out with friends, grilling brats is one of the best ways to go.
They take less grill time compared to grilling brisket or pork shoulder so it has always been a go-to. However, it is not exactly as easy as it seems.
You may wonder how to grill brats perfectly every single time since it often gets either overcooked or undercooked. No need to fret though because you are not alone in this.
What you may not realize is that there is way more to grilling brats than to basically firing up your grill and simply placing your brats over it. There are times when you think of boiling it first before grilling or maybe skip that step overall.
You would have to consider the quality of the brats as well. So to help you out here is a simple walkthrough on how to grill brats perfectly all the time.
The very first thing you should consider is the quality of the brats you will be cooking. Keep in mind that grilling fresh and local brats taste different than packaged frozen ones you get at the stores(not that they are bad). Although these fresh brats might be slightly pricier, the quality and taste make it all worth it. There are most likely a lot of kinds to choose from such as the ones with cheese in or the ones that contain so much spice. This will also give you a chance to support your local butcher.
How To Grill Brats Perfectly
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
1 ¼ pound of brats
Hot Dog buns
Optional ingredients for toppings:
Onions – sliced and caramelized
Bell peppers – sliced and sauteed
Pickles – can be served as a whole or chopped into tiny pieces
Wire grill brush
Meat thermometer (optional)
Step 1 – Clean the grill
Before anything else, you must first make sure that you clean your grill using your wire grill brush. This will help scrape off the leftover charcoal drippings from your previous one. Cleaning the grill will avoid the brats from sticking to the grill.
If there is a lot of leftover char on your grill, you can always try to heat it up before brushing it all off. The heat will help melt off thick leftover char that got stuck on your grill.
Step 2 – Fire up the grill
Once the grill is all clean, you can now fire it all up. Make sure that the charcoals are not wet or else it will not light up. It is very important for you to warm up your grill before you place your meat. It is ideal to have your grill at medium-low heat or at 300-350F.
Note – You can also heat up only one side of the grill at a higher temperature. The other side will then serve as the cooling zone to prevent your brats from cooking too fast.
Step 3 – Brush it up
Brush the grill using just a bit of canola oil so that the brats do not stick.
DO NOT add too much oil since it will drip onto the coals and will most likely produce thick smokes that can burn your brats.
Step 4 – Place Your Brats and let it grill
Once your grill is now nice and hot with the oil on, you can now arrange all of your brats. You might want to arrange them vertically so that there is enough space between each one. The brats usually take about 15 minutes to cook overall. However, larger and thicker brats may take longer to cook.
Note – If you buy pre-cooked brats, they do not need to be cooked for as long as the raw ones. They just need to be heated up on the grill for around 5 minutes depending on their size.
Step 5 – Turn for even cooking
It is perfectly okay if you want to have nice grill marks on your brats. However, it is best to frequently turn them using your tongs every 3-5 minutes to ensure that they are all equally cooking. If you do not turn them every once in a while, they will end up getting crispy with the other side being raw.
Note – Always use tongs when grilling brats. Using a fork will simply ruin your brats since it will stab into them that will cause all the juiciness to come out. The juice has all the flavor and you do not want your brats to end up being dry and bland.
Step 6 – Check it with a thermometer
When your brats finally got its reddish-brown color, you can now get your thermometer to check if it has been cooked all the way through. Simply stick the thermometer into the middle of the brats. It should be around 160F for it to be done because anything lower than that is an indication that it is not cooked yet.
Note – No need to worry if you do not have any meat thermometer. You can always try and slice into one of the brats to see if it is already cooked. Just be sure to not cut it all the way through so that when it is still raw, you can keep grilling it and not let it lose all the juice.
Step 7 – Remove from the grill and serve
Once the brats are done, remove them from the heat and let them cool off a bit. You can serve them in a bun along with some toppings of your choice that you prepared beforehand.
And there you have it, the perfect way to grill brats. You no longer have to worry about undercooking or overcooking them the next time you have a cookout. You can even share this step-by-step guide with your friends and family. Let us know in the comments what kind of brats you used and how it all turned out after following this guide.
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