A bratwurst is a type of German sausage that is pre-seasoned and made of pork, beef, or veal. Want to know what gave rise to these sausages? During harsh winters, people tried to conserve every piece of meat. Hence they would mince them and shape them like sausages to prevent wastage! Well, that is what gave rise to the concept of frozen brats!
In this article, we will cover a variety of ways to prepare meals with these frozen brats. Yes, it is possible to cook frozen brats in an oven, air fryer, microwave, stove, or grill.
Can You Cook Brats Frozen
Yes! You can cook frozen brats. These sausages can be quickly transformed into a delightful feast.
But because we all want our meals to taste incredible, these brats must be handled carefully to ensure that the taste and texture remain unchanged after being frozen for an extended period.
The instructions will vary depending on the cooking method you choose. Therefore, as soon as you choose your recipe and the procedure, you can scroll down to that specific section, and you are already halfway there!
Why are the Brats Soggy After Cooking?
Many complain that frozen food is soggy even after being cooked thoroughly. The main issue is that frozen items need to be thawed to release excess ice generated during the freezing process.
If brats are not thawed before cooking, it will turn them mushy. Furthermore, avoid poking the brats while cooking. It can result in the juices oozing out and the moisture entering in.
How to Cook Frozen Brats
Different recipes call for a different method. Like any other food item, these brats can be cooked in multiple ways to add that unique taste and flavor.
Some methods are time-consuming, whereas others are as quick as possible. Hence, keeping all these factors in mind, you can take your pick!
Boiling Frozen Brats
Boiling is one of the easiest and the fastest methods on this list to prepare these sausages. Even if you are not a good chef, you can still prepare delicious and juicy brats using this method. I like to call this an easy man recipe.
Boiling is heating something with liquid at boiling temperatures. Different liquids boil or shimmer at different temperatures. Boiling brats can make them soft and helps in enhancing their natural flavor.
Since boiling tenderizes the flesh, adding additional taste and aroma while shimmering them is relatively simple.
However, it is advisable to thaw frozen sausages before boiling them; however, if you are in a time crunch, you can toss them in the boiling fan and keep them for an additional 5 minutes.
Let’s quickly look at the two cult favorite liquids used for boiling frozen brats.
1. Water Boiling
How can we talk about boiling without mentioning the universal solvent? Water is a great medium to cook any meal and enhance any pre seasoned food item.
Since water does not particularly have a taste of its own, it will help in cooking the sausages without altering their original flavor. With that said, you can amp up the flavor by adding onions, butter, garlic, etc., to the water while boiling these sausages.
Step 1: Remove the frozen brat from the freezer and let it thaw for 30 minutes. If you are pressed for time, you can speed up the thawing process by microwaving the frozen food or keeping it in warm water.
Step 2: Take a saucepan and fill it with water until the halfway mark.
Step 3: At this point, you can add whatever flavoring agents you want to add to your preparation. I prefer to add onion and paprika!
Step 4: Keep the saucepan on the stove and turn the gas on at a high flame. Allow the water to get heated until you notice bubbles. It is an indication that the water is ready.
Step 5: Toss your sausages and let them simmer for 15 minutes at a low flame.
Step 6: Pick a sausage and cut it in half to check the texture and the color. If you are satisfied, you can begin plating them.
2. Beer Boiling
Beer and sausages is an age-old combination that never fails to impress. Beer adds its unique flavor to these sausages, making them more savory. Hence, why not boil brats with beer?
Step 1: Thaw the frozen brats so that it reaches room temperature.
Step 2: In a skillet, add the sausages.
Step 3: Feel free to add onions, lemons, mint, etc., to add the extra zest!
Step 4: Slowly pour beer into the skillet. Once the sausages are submerged in the beer, you can turn on the stove.
Step 5: Allow the beer and sausages to boil for 15-20 minutes on a high flame.
Step 6: Poke a sausage to inspect the texture and flavor. If you like it, you can plate it and enjoy this match made in heaven!
Grilling Frozen Brats
Grilled brats with those charred marks can make the food look more appealing. Grilled brats are stiff outside but very tended in the core.
Since grilling generates heat on the surface of the sausage, it gives it a distinctive scent and flavor. However, a common complaint about grilled brat is that it is too dry and bland. I got you! A step-by-step method to give your palate a party with the juiciest grilled brat is listed below.
In contrast to boiling, thawing frozen brats is necessary if you want to grill them. If the meat is not adequately thawed, it will dilute the flavor. Excess water in the meat will be released during grilling, and it could cause the sausage to burn.
Step 1: Remove the frozen brat from the freezer and thaw in a refrigerator for 1 hour or at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Set up the griller. The best temperature to grill sausages is 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Grease a skillet or a saucepan with butter or oil before placing the sausages on it.
Tip: Make sure there is room between the sausages when you arrange them to avoid having them adhere to one another. It makes it possible to cook the sausages evenly.
Step 4: Put this on the griller and allow it to be cooked for 8-9 minutes on both sides. The time may vary if the thickness of the sausage is more.
Step 5: Move these sausages from the saucepan onto the grill or the wire rack. Let it sit there for 2 minutes on each side before flipping it.
Step 6: Plate these juicy sausages and enjoy!
Cooking Frozen Brats in Oven
If you are in the mood to have baked sausages, let me help you create an artistic oven brat. However, let me give you a heads-up, baking takes time.
Just like Grilling, it is imperative to defrost them before baking them. Too much moisture in the brat can ruin the taste and dilute the overall experience.
Step 1: Turn on the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: In a tray, place aluminum foil on it. It will act as a base to avoid sticking the meat pieces on the tray. At the same time, it will keep the entire process clean and protect the oven from leaking oil and flavors.
Step 3: Place the sausages on the tray; however, place them at an equal distance to avoid them from mingling.
Step 4: Once the oven is preheated, put the tray in it and let it bake for 20 minutes.
Step 5: The best part of oven baking is that you don’t have to flip it back and forth since it cooks for all sides.
Step 6: Once the timer is over, remove it from the oven using hand mitts. Place the tray on a heat-resistant mat. Do not place it directly on the countertop unless it is granite. Since the tray will be hot, it can damage and crack the countertop.
At this point, you can consume it right away. However, if you want a grilled-like texture from an oven, you incorporate the following steps.
Step 7: Place the tray on the top rack, closer to the heat, to get the beautiful brown texture. Allow it to be there for 5-10 minutes.
Step 8: Baked and broiled brats are ready to be devoured!
Cooking Frozen Brats in Air Fryer
An air fryer is a perfect option if you care about your health. This technique doesn’t use any oil! Don’t worry, though; the flavor is still there.
Besides being healthy, it is also a quick method since you do not necessarily need to defrost this method.
Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Place the frozen brats in the fryer. Ensure the sausages are placed at equal distances and cooked uniformly.
Step 3: Let it sizzle for 15 minutes on one side. Remove the fryer and flip the sausage and let it cook for another 15 minutes.
Step 4: I like to add some capsicum and onion slices along with the sausage in the air fryer. The flavors oozing out of the sausage get entrapped in onions and capsicum, giving it a juicy crunch.
Cooking Frozen Brats in Microwave
If you don’t have an oven or air fryer, you can make a satisfying meal from brats by microwaving them. Brats can be microwaved for a soft and tasty texture rather than a charred or grilled one.
Even though thawing is not crucial when cooking in a microwave, I highly recommend doing it to curate a luscious sausage.
Step 1: Place the brats on a microwave-safe plate. I recommend using a dish that has some depth to facilitate better cooking.
Step 2: Pour water into the dish to submerge all the sausages. You can also add beer to it if you want the extra punch.
Step 3: Wrap the dish with cling wrap before microwaving. It will help retain the flavors released from the sausages while cooking.
Step 4: The settings may vary depending on your microwave model. If you are not sure about it, you can try setting it on high for a timer of 3 minutes to cook on either side.
Step 5: Keep repeating the process unless you are satisfied with the final product!
Step 6: Plate it and enjoy these freshly microwaved sausages!
Cooking Frozen Brats on a Stove
Nothing beats brats that are cooked on a traditional stove. The flavor and taste are a fusion of oven-cooked and grilled brats.
Step 1: Place the skillet on a stove on high flame. Add a spoonful of butter and let it melt until brown.
Step 2: This step is optional, but I like to add some pieces of ginger and garlic to the butter to amplify the flavor.
Step 3: Now, carefully place the sausages on the skillet. Allow it to cook on a low flame for 3 minutes on every side.
Tip: To ensure the sausage is cooked from all sides, keep flipping it regularly.
Step 4: Once the brats are golden brown, add a cup of water and cover the pan.
Step 5: Put the flame on high once all the water has evaporated, then let the sausages roast and sizzle.
Importance of Thawing
Anything frozen needs to be thawed systematically to ensure that the taste, smell, and odor are not altered.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is crucial to thaw the brat before cooking it. To thaw frozen poultry, you can place them in cold water or microwave them to melt the ice crystals formed during the freezing process.
Additionally, if the frozen food has been out of the freezer for more than one hour, eating it could be harmful and risky.
Keeping the brat on the counter warm for more than two hours can grow microbes and bacteria. It may cause the iron and nutrients in the meat to deteriorate, changing the color of the flesh.
Cooking and consuming such meat can cause food-related infections. Hence, be mindful not to over-thaw the brat. Remove it out of the freezer only when you are ready to cook it.
FAQ 1: Do you have to boil brats?
Answer: Boiling brats is the easiest way to cook frozen brats since thawing is unnecessary if you boil sausages. Boiling brats before grilling or air frying them can help speed up the cooking process.
FAQ 2: How do you keep brats from splitting?
Answer: Most of the time, if the brats are separating, you are overcooking them. Although many of us like to probe and poke the meat while it cooks, I don’t recommend it. Additionally, it can cause the sausage to fall apart and release its flavorful juices.
FAQ 3: How long do you grill frozen brats?
Answer: Place the brats on a griller and allow it to sizzle for 10 minutes on each side. To add the charred texture, you can put the brats on the wire and subject it to direct flame.
By the end of this article, I am sure you may have found a method that fits your cooking style. If you want a quick fix, boiling is the best way to cook these sausages.
However, grilling them or putting them in the oven can work well if you like to enjoy your food and like to make it look presentable. Lastly, try air frying if you’re seeking a healthy and sustainable cooking method.
Irrespective of the method you plan to use, don’t forget to thaw them to prevent flavor loss.
I hope you found this article helpful. Let me know if you have any other queries.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.