Internal Temp for Brats

What Internal Temp for Brats Should be? How to Cook.

What could be more satisfying than biting into a juicy, perfectly grilled bratwurst? Whether you’re at a backyard barbecue, camping with friends, or enjoying a summer picnic, brats are a staple that never fails to please. You can’t go wrong with this classic dish.

But to get the best flavour and texture in your brats, it’s important to cook them to the right internal temperature. I know it can be a challenge for newbie bbq lovers. So then I thought of making an article on it so that you can know what would be the perfect temperature for brats.

As well as I’ll share some valuable tips for cooking them to perfection every time.

What Is A Bratwurst?

First, we get to know a little bit about bratwursts. Basically, bratwurst is a type of sausage that originated in Germany and is also popular in many countries. It is made from minced or ground pork, beef, or veal, mixed with various spices like ground mustard seed, salt, pepper, garlic, and nutmeg.

The mixture is then stuffed into a casing made from animal intestines or synthetic materials. It has a distinctive flavour and texture, which makes it a favourite of many people. It is typically served grilled, boiled or fried.

Sausages come in different shapes and sizes, but remember not all sausages are bratwursts. Some are hot dogs, some are ring bologna, and some are Italian sausage. Unlike traditional sausages, bratwursts give a delicious flavour that can be served as a main dish or with other dishes.

Why Does Internal Temperature Matter?

When cooking bratwurst or any meat, it is important to keep the perfect internal temperature enough to kill harmful bacteria. The internal temperature of meat not only determines whether the meat is cooked but also plays a role in ensuring the safety of the food.

So, we should make sure that we cook our sausages to the right temperature so that they don’t pose any foodborne illness risks and also taste great.

So, What Internal Temp For Bratwurst Should Be Cooked To?

The right internal temperature for cooking bratwurst is 160°F (71°C). Remember, this is the minimum temperature at which you can safely cook pork and other meats. This ensures that sausage is fully cooked and free from harmful bacteria, making it safe for consumption.

Now a question arises, how can you measure the internal temp of brats? Simply you can use a thermometer to measure the exact temp. It is also very easy to use. Insert the thermometer in the middle of the bratwurst without touching the casing.

After cooking, it should not be higher than 190°F (88°C). And if you like juicer brat, 165°F (74°C) will be perfect. During grilling, make sure you turn the brats frequently.

How Long Do Brats Take To Cook?

The cooking time for bratwurst depends on the method you choose to cook it.

When grilling, it can take 15-20 minutes to cook but make sure you turn them frequently. When you fry the brats, it can take 10-15 minutes. Lastly, if boiling, bratwursts will take 15-20 minutes to fully cook.

It’s worth noting that cooking times will depend on the thickness of the bratwurst and the specific equipment being used. So, I suggest you use a thermometer to measure the right internal temperature.

How To Tell When Brats Are Done?

It is also an important question that how to determine when brats are done. As I said before, a meat thermometer is the best way to measure the exact internal temperature. When it shows 160°F (71°C), it means your bratwurst is ready to eat. 

But when you don’t have a thermometer, what do you do in this situation? Obviously, you will panic. But there is no need to worry because I’ll tell you some other ways that can help you to know when the brats are done.

So here is how to tell if brats are done without a thermometer.

First of all, you need to look at the appearance of your bratwurst. If it has golden brown colour on the outside, it means the brat is ready. But if the sausage is still pink or red outside, it needs more cooking.

The second is the smell test. The aroma of brat should be like fully cooked sausage. And if it smells like a bit of raw meat, cook more.

Third is the pressing test. When you press the bratwurst lightly with tongs or a fork, it should feel firm and resist pressure slightly. If it feels soft, it needs more cooking time.

Fourth is the juice test. When fully cooked, bratwurst should release clear juices. If the juices look pink or have a reddish tint, the sausages need more cooking.

Last, make a small cut in the middle of the brat. If it is not red or pink inside, it means your bratwurst is ready but if you find it pink or red inside you need to cook more.

Can You Overcook Brats?

Yes, you can overcook bratwurst. If you do it, the result will be dry, tough sausages that aren’t as delicious to eat. When you cook bratwurst for too long, the moisture inside the sausages can disappear, making them dry.

Remember that bratwurst continues to cook for a short time after it’s removed from the heat source due to its high internal temperature. It’s a good idea to remove bratwurst from the heat when they are slightly below the desired internal temperature, as they will continue to cook as they rest.

How To Cook The Bratwurst With Perfect Internal Temperature?

As I said before, there are three main ways to cook brats. Grilling, frying, and boiling. So let’s make the bratwurst recipe.

Grilled Bratwurst


  • Bratwurst sausages
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasoning (Salt and pepper)
  • Mustard, ketchup, or any other desired toppings


  1. First, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. This ensures that the bratwurst cooks evenly.
  2. Remove the bratwurst from its packaging, pat them dry with paper towels, and set them aside.
  3. To prevent the sausages from sticking to the grill, brush or wipe the grates lightly with oil.
  4. Place the brats diagonally on the grill grates. This positioning helps give your food a classic grilled look.
  5. Now cook them for about 15-20 minutes and make sure to turn them frequently.
  6. When the internal temp reaches 160°F (71°C), take it off the grill.
  7. Use any desired toppings on cooked bratwurst. You can also use seasoning like salt and pepper.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Fried Bratwurst


  • Bratwurst sausages
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasoning (Salt and pepper)
  • Mustard, ketchup, or any other desired toppings


  1. Preheat your pan to medium-high heat. If you are using a Blackstone griddle, the process is the same.
  2. Once the pan or griddle is hot, add some oil to the surface.
  3. Place the bratwursts on a hot pan or griddle. And cook them for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. When the color of the sausages becomes nicely browned, remove them from the griddle or pan.
  5. The internal temperature should be 160°F (71°C).
  6. Season with salt and pepper. You can also use desired toppings such as ketchup to enhance the taste.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Boiled Bratwurst


  • Bratwurst sausages
  • Oil
  • Water for boiling
  • Salt for water
  • Seasoning (Salt and pepper)
  • Mustard, ketchup, or any other desired toppings


  1. Fill a large pot with water along with some salt.
  2. Place the pot on the stovetop and turn the burner to high.
  3. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat. And add sausages to the water pot. Make sure they are fully submerged in the water.
  4. Let the bratwurst simmer in the water for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. After the recommended time, check the brats with a thermometer. If the internal temp reaches 160°F (71°C), your sausages are ready.
  6. Now remove them from the water and let them rest for a few minutes.
  7. Heat some oil over the pan or griddle and cook the boiled bratwursts until they look nicely browned. And then remove them from the pan or griddle.
  8. Season them with salt or pepper. You can also use your favourite topping.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Tips And Tricks To Cook The Bratwursts Perfectly

Always Choose Quality Bratwurst

Start with bratwurst sausages from a reputable source. Fresh sausages with a good meat-to-fat ratio will make for tastier and juicier sausage.

Preheat The Grill Or Pan

Before you cook the bratwursts, make sure your grill or pan is preheated to the desired temperature. This will help create a nice sear and ensure even cooking throughout.

Use Medium Heat

Whether grilling, frying, or boiling, it’s best to cook bratwursts over medium heat.

Rest Before Serving

After cooking, let the bratwursts rest for a few minutes before serving. This will result in juicier and more flavorful sausages.

Serve With The Right Accompaniments

Bratwursts are often served in buns or rolls, with different toppings and seasonings. You can use mustard, ketchup, grilled onions, salt and pepper as topping and seasoning.

Final Words

When cooking brats, it is important to ensure that you reach the proper internal temperature, as this will ensure a delicious and safe cooking experience. As I said, 160°F (71°C) is a perfect internal temp for brats to cook them. 

I have also added three main methods to cook the bratwurst perfectly and some important tips and tricks. Follow them and make your delicious brat today!

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