Best Way to Make Brats Without a Grill

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It is very doable to get great brats without using a grill. I've got 3 ways!

It is very doable to get great brats without using a grill. I’ve got 3 ways!

Bratwursts are a summer staple. Of course, it doesn’t have to be summer to enjoy these deliciously flavored sausages.

The bratwurst is a type of sausage that originated in Germany and is seasoned with nutmeg, ginger, caraway, or coriander. And they are perfect for grilling.

But what if you want to cook your brats but can’t grill?

Today I’ll show you 3 different techniques that’ll give you awesome results without a grill. 

Ways to cook brats without a grill

  • Use a George Foreman grill (or a comparable one)
  • Cook them in the oven
  • Throw them on a cast iron grill pan on the stove top

All of these ways are extraordinarily easy and will give you the great sausage flavor that you’d expect from the famous bratwurst.

Method 1 – George Foreman Grill

This is a product that has been around for a very long time, and for a good reason. Not only does it make a surprisingly good substitute for an outdoor grill, but it cuts out a lot of the grease and fat that are in meats, and creates very little mess while doing it. 

If you’ve never tried using one, I really recommend you give a George Foreman a whirl. See the latest model on Amazon.

Pre-heat

The first thing you want to do is to preheat your grill to 350ºF (400ºF if you want to cook with more heat and less time, but I like to cook bratwursts a little slower).

Slice your brats

While it is preheating, cut the links in half, long way, and splash some olive or avocado oil on them, so they get a good sear. The reason we are cutting it in half is so that you can close the lid properly and get an even cook.

Thinking about getting an indoor grill? Read this first.

Cook

Now that the grill is preheated you can throw it on there for roughly ten minutes. The main thing you are looking for here is having a nicely browned skin. Once you have that, get out your spicy mustard and enjoy.

Minor drawback

There is a downfall to this method, and that is that cutting the brat in half will cause much of the natural juices to dissipate. It can cause a more dried out brat, but it still does taste pretty good.

Method 2 – Oven-Cooking Bratwursts

This is one that I got from friends who live in the part of the country where it snows hard enough that your grill is no longer even visible by January.

Pre-heat

Start by preheating your oven to 375ºF. Put your baking pan in the oven as soon as you turn it on to preheat. You want your baking sheet nice and hot when you put the brats on.

The higher heat is justified here because you do not have direct heat on the link the way you would with the Foreman grill. While you are waiting for the oven to heat up, drizzle the brats with your favorite type of oil. I would recommend you use one with a high smoke point (avocado or sunflower oil are both good choices) you don’t want the house filling up with smoke.

Bake!

Once the oven reaches the proper temperature, put the brats on your baking pan and let it cook for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Brats and broccoli with, of course, mustard.

Brats and broccoli with, of course, mustard.

Method 3 – Cast Iron Grill Pan (My favorite)

This is another recipe my friends for the north showed me (I, too used to only eat brats when I was grilling). It involves beer, cast iron, and high heat.

Not cooking with cast iron yet? Let me convince you. 

Beer

In a saute pan, simmer your brats in beer with some sliced onion, salt and pepper. (It’s up to you what beer you want to use, but a German beer would be fitting here.) It is important to note that I said simmer, not boil. Boiling them in beer, not only uses too much beer, but the brats also lose their seasoning. You only need about 1 inch of beer.

This All-Clad sauté pan will quickly become your favorite sauté pan.

Heat up your cast-iron

While your brats are simmering, put your cast iron grill pan on the stove at medium-high heat. You want it to be hot when you put the brats on. 

Caramelize your onions

After simmering for about 10 minutes, throw them in your grill pan and let the cast iron do the rest. You want a good browning on all sides. Continue to let the onions cook and caramelize in the beer pan, they’ll add to the flavor. This is my favorite non-grill bratwurst recipe.

Cold beer with that brat? I’ll show you my favorite beer mugs for the freezer.

Wrap – Up

Winter time isn’t really known for bratwurst unless of course, you are Green Bay Packers fan (I seem to remember Bears fans being giant bratwurst eaters also, but that may only come from a Saturday Night Live skit I saw once). But with these three cooking technique, you will be able to enjoy them at any time of the year, regardless of the weather or your access to a grill.

Making sausage at home? I recommend the best sausage stuffer here.

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Stu S. and Dave L.

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