Most people use the grill for cooking bratwurst. However, smoking bratwursts takes the flavor to a different level.
Figuring out how long and at what temperature to smoke tri-tip can be difficult. Smoking bratwurst at 225°F is the ideal temperature. The brats will take an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours to smoke.
Can I Smoke Bratwurst at 225?
Yes, you can smoke bratwurst at 225°F. It is the perfect temperature for smoking brats.
If the smoker’s temperature is too high, the casings will burst. While a ruptured casing may not seem like a big issue, the bratwurst will become dry and flavorless.
In contrast, if the temperature is too low, the bratwursts will take forever to cook. Some bratwurst lovers suggest smoking the brats at 100°F for 1 hour.
They then increase the smoker’s temperature to 125°F then to 150°. The idea is to slowly increase the smoker’s temperature until the sausages have a temperature between 155°F and 160°F.
However, if you cook the raw, uncured brats below 200°F, it could cause a safety issue. You could contract food poisoning. Therefore, most food safety experts strongly recommend cooking brats above 200°F.
225°F is the perfect temperature for smoking brats because it is not too high or too low. It’s the perfect happy medium.
How To Choose the Right Bratwurst
You can’t pick up any bratwurst and throw it in your smoker. You’ve got to choose the right bratwurst.
Bratwursts can be cooked or raw. Cooked bratwursts are usually boiled.
Cooked bratwursts are easier to smoke since they take less time to cook. However, the bratwurst’s natural flavor is not as potent due to the boiling before. Therefore, smoking won’t do much in the way of flavor.
Always buy raw bratwurst. Uncooked bratwurst has a better flavor than its cooked counterparts.
Additionally, choose bratwurst that has the perfect meat-to-fat percentage. Fat is the main ingredient in quality bratwurst. The fat renders as the bratwurst smokes, creating a moist, juicy texture.
Choose a bratwurst that has a 70/30 meat-to-fat ratio. In other words, the sausage should consist of 7 percent lean meat and 30 percent fat.
Ultimately, the best bratwursts are seasoned yet juicy. Therefore, make sure you use bratwursts made from high-quality meats.
The bratwursts should also be a light pink color with white fat. If they are discolored or have yellow fat, do not purchase them. These bratwursts have been sitting in the display case for a few days.
How Long to Smoke Brats at 225
How long to smoke bratwurst depends on the size of the sausages. The average bratwurst is about 15-20 centimeters in length. This translates to about 4-5 ounces.
The type of smoker you use could also affect the cooking time of bratwurst. Your smoker’s temperature will fluctuate.
Therefore, every time you open the smoker, its temperature will drop. It could take up to 15 minutes for the smoker to come back up to temperature.
Nevertheless, the average bratwurst takes about an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours to smoke at 225°F.
Should I Boil Brats In Beer Before Smoking?
The theory behind boiling brats in beer is that it enhances the sausage’s texture and flavor.
In addition to this, boiling the brats in beer helps the meat cook evenly. It gives the sausage a tangy taste that enhances the smoky flavor.
However, this only applies to grilling brats, not smoking them.
Sausages can have a pink center which gives the impression that they are not cooked. However, brats can be pink even though they are fully cooked due to the nitrates used to make them.
For this reason, always test the brat’s temperature before removing them from the smoker.
Boiling the brats before smoking them dilutes the flavor. The casings can easily be pricked, which causes the bratwurst to absorb too much beer and ruins the flavor of the meat.
How to Smoke Brats
Smoking bratwurst is not the same as grilling, baking, or searing them in a hot cast-iron skillet.
Slow-cooking bratwurst takes longer than the cooking methods mentioned above.
Smoke the bratwurst to 160°F-165°F. The brats are officially cooked when they have a temperature of 165°F.
You can remove the brats from the smoker at a temperature of 155°F. The brat’s temperature will rise to 160°F as they rest for a few minutes.
To smoke your bratwurst, set up your smoker. Preheat it to 225°F.
Place the brats onto the smoker using a pair of tongs to prevent your fingers from getting burned.
Ensure you do not tear the brat’s casing while placing them onto the smoker. If you pierce the casings, the moisture will evaporate, leaving you with a dry sausage.
Smoke the bratwurst for an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours until it has a temperature of 140°F.
When testing the brats for doneness, you must be extremely careful. You will have to puncture the casing to insert the thermometer probe.
Insert the probe into the end of the sausage. This will minimize moisture loss if the sausages are not cooked.
Alternatively, you can use an infrared thermometer to measure the brat’s internal temperature. You do not have to pierce the sausage’s casing. You can point the thermometer at the sausage to see the meat’s internal temperature.
How Do You Crisp up Brats
Since the brats will be seared, remove them from the heat a few degrees before they reach 160°F. When the sausages have a temperature of 160°F, remove them from the smoker.
Place a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet and set over medium-high heat. Cook the brats for 3-4 minutes per side until they are golden brown and have a temperature of 160°F.
Let the bratwurst rest for a few minutes before eating them.
Smoking bratwurst is very easy. When smoked properly, you will have a juicy, delicious sausage.
Remember to smoke your brats at 225 for an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, and you will have the most delicious sausages.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.