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How to Cook Bratwurst (Fresh Brats) Recipe

Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Makes 6 bratwursts
In this Recipe

We’re well known for our incredible fresh bratwurst creations, so naturally we’re often asked how to cook brats.

This bratwurst recipe gives you step by step directions on how to cook fresh brats on your grill at home. Please note that these instructions are for fresh bratwursts that come wrapped in white butcher paper at LGCM. If you have precooked bratwursts, you don’t need to follow these instructions, just warm them back up!

The first step in grilling brats is usually done inside or on a grillside burner, not directly over the grill’s heat. We recommend parboiling our fresh brats before putting them on the grill This makes sure that they’re cooked all the way through so you don’t have an unpleasant cold spot or raw spot in the middle of the bratwurst.

Many customers want to boil their brats in beer, but we do not recommend doing this, just boil them in water. The beer will change as it boils and the brats can take a bit of an acrid flavor while they’re cooking. We don’t want that! If you’re looking for beer brats, cook the brats using this method, then put them in a beer bath after cooking. We show you how to do that in the recipe video or you can check out this Wisconsin Stadium Beer Brats recipe.

It is also possible to just grill your bratwursts directly. We wrote our how to cook bratwursts directions with parboil and then grill directions because it’s easier, but if you’d like to just grill your brats, and not parboil them, we recommend putting them over medium-low heat, and turning every minute or so to promote even cooking. The texture of these brats will be slightly less bound together on the inside, but you’ll need to pay close attention to not overcook the brats!

If you’re not outside grilling (in Wisconsin it’s grilling season year-round) just finish cooking your bratwursts under a broiler or in a frying pan. We prefer a broiler over a frying pan, but both are good methods for cooking bratwursts if you don’t have access to a grill.

Now that you know all of our tips on how to cook bratwursts, you need to get into Lake Geneva Country Meats and stock up on brats! You can check out check out a listing of our Leahy’s Sausage flavors by clicking here and visiting our sausage page. You’ll get more details about what’s in each bratwurst and also find a video showing you a behind-the-scenes glimpse on how we make our bratwursts!

What do you think of our how to cook bratwurst instructions? Do you have a preferred way of cooking bratwursts? Let us know by leaving a comment below. We’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!


  • 6 Leahy’s Fresh Bratwursts (any flavor!)


  1. Place your sausages in a large pot and cover with water. The pot should not be more than three quarters of the way filled.

  2. Bring the water and brats to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes. You can boil and simmer the liquid and brats either inside on a stovetop or outside over a grill. This parboil step helps cook the brats evenly throughout so you don’t have any raw spots in the middle!

  3. After parboiling, remove the brats from the liquid and dry off. Place the sausages over medium direct heat. Be careful to not put the sausages over anything higher than medium heat to avoid having the casings crack open. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the casing is browned.

  4. Once brats are browned, they are ready to eat. Remove from grill, let cool, and serve with your favorite fixings. Enjoy!

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19 Reviews for How to Cook Bratwurst (Fresh Brats)

    I can’t say why I bought bratwursts without any idea of how to cook them – maybe because I’ve had them at other places and thought they were great!
    This recipe saved me – it is 100% clear and very simple. I like that there are options included at each step. Those options are not complicated either. I’ll be using the choices to change it up because I’ll be cooking bratwursts regularly from now on. My whole family enjoyed them!

      5, 5

      We’re so glad you found our how to cook bratwurst / best brat recipe helpful, Regina, thank you for the feedback!

    great recipe thank you…xoxo came out perfect…


    Perfect! The pre-boiling is time-honored. I might add that they can be refrigerated at that point and later finished grilling outside on a grill, or inside in a well-seasoned iron-skillet (-on blustery, inclement days…or evenings.)

      That’s a great point! Having them boiled and ready to finish off is a great meal-prep trick!

    Crock pot with beer after the grill

    I too thought the recipe was easy to follow. Much better than just throwing them on the grill………it will be my go-to for brats. I probably would cook them less next time.

    5, 5

    Great video! After the brats are grilled, how long can you keep them in the beer bath in case folks don’t want to eat right away?

      Thanks Scott! You’re good to keep them for 4 – 6 hours. Just keep topping off with fresh beer / water to make sure they don’t scorch. Eventually the brats will get mushy from their time in the bath, but they’ll be fine for several hours!

    When I cook brats inside instead of grill. What temp in the oven broiler for.

      Hi Kris, ideally you can use the broiler on low and keep flipping the brats every few minutes until they are cooked through. If you’re in a hurry, you can use high, but try and keep the brats toward the bottom of the oven so the heat doesn’t burst the casings. We use the broiler all the time at home and it works great!

    3, 3

    There must be many ways to cook brats. My family always grilled than braised in Miller High Life (maybe because it was cheap and brewed in WI) until slightly softened and topped with condiment of choice. When my dad passed and my mother remarried he to used this method. Our Stepdad would actually travel to Germany frequently and spoke the language fluently. Personally as an adult I perfer our traditional approach stuffed with kraut and good German mustard.

    Beginners Luck
    Cover brats with water and bring to a vigorous broil. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Grill until brats turn brown, then turn every couple minutes until they are as charred as you like them. Perfect. Thanks for the help.

    Great advice thanks

    4, 4

    Back in the 1970’s we would cook brats over direct heat but we would always have a beer in hand to put out the flare-ups that would occur if the fire was too hot. My dad created a method to check by holding his hand directly over the grate and if he could hold it there for a 3 Mississippi count, the fire was perfect. I must admit that for the last 20-30 years I have changed over to a gas grill and find that cooking them indirect with the middle burner of is completely fool proof and they turn out fantastic every time. I am not a fan of pre-boiling but I am not averse to tossing the cooked brats into a beer bath with onions.


    5, 5

    Lots of good ideas how about preparation and final cooking —very well done

    Excellent way to cook bratwurst it’s a winning recipe and simple to do.