Sometimes I get a craving for brats during colder months, and I wondered, is there a way to cook brats without grilling outside?
The short answer is, yes! You can cook up your brats in the oven and they will be just as delicious, moist, and amazing as your favorite grilled brat.
Whenever it’s grilling season, I can’t wait to eat up all the burgers, grilled chicken, and hot dogs I can get my hands on.
But my absolute favorite meat to grill is brats. They are so juicy and flavorful, and I can never resist them.
Keep scrolling and I’ll share tips and tricks for how to make tasty brats in the oven.
Why Should I Cook Bratwurst In the Oven?
Cooking brats in the oven is a great method if the weather is bad and you can’t grill, if you don’t have a grill, or if your grill is already filled with hot dogs and burgers for a party.
Plus, making brats in the oven has some extra perks. It only takes about 20 minutes to get perfect brats, and you can still get that lovely char line that the grill usually gives you.
Another advantage is being able to enjoy grilled bratwurst all year long.
During the snowy winter months, you always have the oven in your kitchen ready and waiting.
The best part about cooking your brats in the oven is how plump and juicy they get. I almost like this method better than grilling them!
Another great reason to use your oven is that you can add in a bunch of veggies to roast at the same time. A big sheet pan full of potatoes, peppers, and onions is always good.
How to Cook Your Bratwurst in the Oven
Cooking bratwurst in the oven is actually simple.
First, make sure your oven rack is in the center position, then preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Some recipes suggest placing your empty pan in the oven as you preheat, to help your brats get a nice sear.
Next, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also use tin foil or a smaller pan if you prefer.
Using a baking sheet, casserole dish, or any other pan all works the same, just make sure it has a rim so the brats don’t roll off the sides.
Place your bratwurst on the baking sheet of your choice, giving each one plenty of space.
If you want to add in veggies, place them on the baking sheet before the brats. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and mix them around a bit.
Lay the brats on the pan, making sure they are touching the parchment and not floating on top of veggies, as this will help them brown.
When you flip your brats, also give your veggies a stir. Most veggies, like onions and peppers, should be done at the same time as your brats.
Potatoes and other thick veggies may take a little longer.
How Long to Cook Brats in the Oven
Let your brats cook for 10 minutes on one side. Then you’ll want to use tongs to flip the brats over. This side should cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Use a meat thermometer to check that they have cooked through. They should have an internal temperature of about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bigger brats will need more time to cook, so always check the temperature and rely on that to decide when your bratwursts are done, rather than cooking time.
After they are done, let them rest for about 5 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the whole brat. This will result in super yummy, tender brats.
How to Make Oven Braised Beer Brats
Beer brats are especially delicious and add just two steps to the process.
You can always buy brats already marinated in a variety of beers and flavors. If you want to try it for yourself, here’s the process:
In a smaller, shallow pan, add one can or bottle of beer and your bratwursts, and let them marinate at least 30 minutes.
After they have marinated, remove them from the beer pan, transfer to your baking sheet, and cook as directed above. So easy!
What to Serve with Bratwurst
You can eat your brats on a bun, like a hot dog, or you can do the traditional German meal and eat them without a bun, as the main entree. But you’ll need some sides to go with them!
Fried cabbage or sauerkraut is a delicious and traditional side for bratwurst. So are potato pancakes and beer!
You can stick to a barbecue theme and go with potato salad, roasted or grilled veggies, or freshly grilled corn on the cob.
You can also put a German twist on your potato salad and make Kartoffelsalat. This is German potato salad made with unpeeled red potatoes and a tangy vinaigrette. Yum!
Another classic is baked beans. I think these go marvelously with bratwursts. The sweet and savory flavor combo goes so nicely with the smoky, meaty brats.
If you want a bigger contrast in flavors, go for a creamy cucumber salad.
It’s a simple recipe. Just mix fresh cucumbers, sliced red onions, sour cream, white vinegar, fresh dill, a little bit of sugar, and of course some salt and garlic powder.
It’s light, creamy, and perfect to make ahead of time for potlucks or picnics.
Don’t forget to have a variety of tasty mustards to top your brats! My favorite toppings for brats are some grilled onions or sauerkraut, and a big swirl of mustard.
Go with spicy, stone-ground mustards like Plochman’s and Inglehoffer for the most authentic flavors.
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