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Cook them gently and they wont burst. Poking them lets out fat. Fat is flavor. I add a pound of pork fat to my brats on purpose. Just go 325 and let them get to 150-160 max. They wont pop. Unless they are overstuffed homemade ones maybe
I just smoked some brats. 250 with hickory for 50 minutes. This will probably be the only way I ever make brats again
I believe most people over-think grilling brats, all the poking and par boiling.
A good brat should be grilled slowly over a low fire turning often using BBQ tongs for bare hands. Poking holes in the skin just lets the juices and flavor leak onto the coals, even covered in brat juice charcoal doesn't taste very good. I do mine on a raised grate, dome temp of about 350. I put them on close the lid for a few minutes open lid and turn sipping my Schlitz as I go. Brats are done when firm to the touch, I do it all by feel. Dress with some nice crisp kraut and spicy brown mustard, maybe some sliced onions.