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Fresh Brats, Smoked or Grilled?

Hi everyone,
Doing some fresh brats tonight and have always grilled them in the past.  Saw some posts about smoking them on the egg.  I know it is probably just opinion but which way is better?  Raised at 350 or so direct to grill without breaking skin or smoked at 225 for about 2 hours until to temp?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Long Island, NY
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Comments

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,632
    I'd be very wary of smoking any type of sausage that doesn't have a type of cure in it. Could spend too long in the danger zone. I don't know for a fact that would happen at 225, but it could happen at lower temps and you would never know you had botulism till you died. Why not just smoke roast it? You can throw in some wood for smoke and still cook it at 350, direct or indirect.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,759
    I don't "smoke" them in the traditional sense but I grill them and then throw them into a pot of sauerkraut and cook indirectly with some apple chunks for around an hour. I don't see why it couldn't work. 
  • StellarEvoStellarEvo Posts: 74
    edited October 2013
    I did brats a couple weeks ago and was really pleased with how they turned out so I'll throw my take in.

    I cooked them in a cast iron beer bath with some onions and butter for a while then pulled them out and grilled them platesetter legs up for the grill marks.  It was the first time I had ever made brats and 1.) didn't burn them to a crisp and 2.) didn't break the casing.

    I really enjoyed them and made some people jealous around the office with the leftovers the next day.

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  • GaryLangeGaryLange Posts: 235
    Nothing like Brats boiled in Beer and Onions and the Grilled and served on crusty buns with caramelized onions and spicy brown mustard. Makes me hungry just thinking about them.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 2,736
    edited October 2013
    I'd smoke half of them, and grill the other half, and do a side-by-side.
     
    (I do this a lot, like using mustard under the rub on half the brisket, not on the other half (mark with a toothpick), or smoke two smaller meatloaves, one in a pan and one directly on the grill, etc)
     
    Yum, now I'm hungry for brats!  
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,632
    GaryLange said:
    Nothing like Brats boiled in Beer and Onions and the Grilled and served on crusty buns with caramelized onions and spicy brown mustard. Makes me hungry just thinking about them.

    And don't forget the tater tots!

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 6,062
    German DIL advises boiled then browned for color. She loves egged food, but draws the lines at brats, the sausage should speak for itself, it doesn't need smoke for the cook. Much of this depends I think on where you get your brats. There are some that probably would benefit from a bit of smoke. I always did a slow smoke then a quick brown, once she set me straight, now it is beer bath and brown. 
    We do the boiled in beer (mild beer - lager) with onions then pull them and brown for color only. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,632

    I've never quite understood the idea of boiling brats in beer (or ribs or hotdogs in water). It's not like I'm looking for sausage flavored beer (or rib or hotdog flavored water). Maybe I'm missing something here. My favorite way to do them is just on a bed of kraut (or kraut and onions, maybe just a touch of beer so the kraut doesn't dry out). Then direct on the grill to brown when they get close to done.image

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • WeberWho?WeberWho? Posts: 1,140
    Haven't tried smoking brats myself but would imagine it would have to absorb a good amount of smoke with the casing on them
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,697
    Griffin said:

    I've never quite understood the idea of boiling brats in beer (or ribs or hotdogs in water). It's not like I'm looking for sausage flavored beer (or rib or hotdog flavored water). Maybe I'm missing something here.

    Couldn't agree more. Can't think of any good reason to boil meat.  Grill em direct for 15 minutes and don't bust the skin, fantastic.  I grew up in the brat capital of the world and boiling brats just flat out isn't allowed.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • mokadirmokadir Posts: 114
    I also grill, usually raised grid to minimize chance of burning and breaking the skin. I don't like them nearly as much when they are boiled.
    Delaware Valley, PA Large BGE, CGS adjustable rig, iQue110, High-Que grate
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,984
    Pasta is boiled, meat is braised, there's a big difference where I'm at. Brats can be done bathed in beer and sauerkraut or direct and have fantastic results. Although I'd really like to try @Griffin's method a few posts up.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 1,054
    This is what I did and they were great. I cooked them direct to get some grill marks and tossed them in a pan with beer and some veggies. http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1154282/check-out-my-brats-and-veggie-sausage-k-bobs-like#latest
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,759
    I'm with @scottborasjr. I cook bratwurst in the traditional way by browning then braising because "Ich bin ein Berliner", or something like that. I brown the links then put them in a pot with the kraut, bacon, apple, onion, and spices. Add some mustard and Auf Wiedersehen sausages!
  • U_tardedU_tarded Posts: 1,220
    i learned this from a friend, but it works out fantastic, kinda a hybrid of sorts.  beer, onion garlic bath boil for about 10 mins.  smoke with apple at about 225-250 for a couple of hours.  amazing results every time.  
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 6,062
    Griffin said:

    I've never quite understood the idea of boiling brats in beer (or ribs or hotdogs in water). It's not like I'm looking for sausage flavored beer (or rib or hotdog flavored water). Maybe I'm missing something here. My favorite way to do them is just on a bed of kraut (or kraut and onions, maybe just a touch of beer so the kraut doesn't dry out). Then direct on the grill to brown when they get close to done.image

    Grif - you don't boil them. You bring the water /liquid to a boil and then drop in the brats. Bring 'em to 160º IT, measure through the end, never the side, until 160º. The idea is to cook them without losing any of the flavour juices. Dry heat, grill or broiler after the simmer, is strictly for colour
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Griffin said:

    I've never quite understood the idea of boiling brats in beer (or ribs or hotdogs in water). It's not like I'm looking for sausage flavored beer (or rib or hotdog flavored water). Maybe I'm missing something here. My favorite way to do them is just on a bed of kraut (or kraut and onions, maybe just a touch of beer so the kraut doesn't dry out). Then direct on the grill to brown when they get close to done.image

    Grif - you don't boil them. You bring the water /liquid to a boil and then drop in the brats. Bring 'em to 160º IT, measure through the end, never the side, until 160º. The idea is to cook them without losing any of the flavour juices. Dry heat, grill or broiler after the simmer, is strictly for color
    I must be missing something, because bringing water to a boil and dropping brats in sounds a lot like boiling brats.
    Justin in Denton, TX
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,393
    Is it me or does a beer bath sound kinky...and inviting?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • chainsaw19chainsaw19 Posts: 255
    henapple said:
    Is it me or does a beer bath sound kinky...and inviting?

    @henapple is this your tub? image
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    Large BGE Middletown, MD
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,393
    Hell yeah...
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 12
    Braising is not the same as a rolling boil. Big difference.

    Traditionally they are braised because it is a gentler cook and gives greater control. The wurst is not going to overheat and burst like it might if it gets away from you while grilled directly.

    Which type of braising liquid is irrelevant for the actual cook. No liquid is actually going to make it through the membrane and flavor the sausage, but some is left behind to a minor extent on the surface. If beer, there might be some flavor.

    Natural casings are waterproof. The romantic notion of beer infusing the sausage with additional flavor is more myth than reality, as is much of life. But there's no doubting it is crowd pleasing.

    I make brats, and since we usually cook them with birgers and hot dogs (home made), we skip the braise and go gently raised direct. Being careful to keep them from getting too hot too fast.

    Simmering in beer (par cooking) with a quick roll on the grill for color and to finish, always works for a great compromise

    Traditionally it doesn't need any smoke. But when you make ten pounds at a time, using cherry or apple smoke once in a while to mix it up is not exactly blasphemy.

    Aber, if you do anything to weisswurst other than simmer, you are a godless heathen. Souless. Without character, nor sense of decency, nor decorum. May god have mercy on your soul.
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  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,626
    Griffin said:

    I've never quite understood the idea of boiling brats in beer (or ribs or hotdogs in water). It's not like I'm looking for sausage flavored beer (or rib or hotdog flavored water). Maybe I'm missing something here. My favorite way to do them is just on a bed of kraut (or kraut and onions, maybe just a touch of beer so the kraut doesn't dry out). Then direct on the grill to brown when they get close to done.image


    It's a similar concept to the trick of cooking sausages in a shallow liquid, usually water, to even out the cooking, not breaking the casing and ending up with dry undercooked brats.  As Spring Chicken posted, it works well for bacon too.  
    "Our houses are protected by the Good Lord and a gun.
     And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son."--Josh Thompson

    Brandon
    Quad Cities


  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 6,062
    @coffeeguydenton - sorry for not saying it right, bring water to a boil, drop in the brats, remove from heat and cover. If you are doing lots, you may want to reduce the heat, but do not let them boil. 
    Cook the inside gently without the casing splitting. Then brown for colour only. 
    The key is where your brats are from. Johnsonvilles need some onions/kraut/beer then browning. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 879
    Griffin said:
    I'd be very wary of smoking any type of sausage that doesn't have a type of cure in it. Could spend too long in the danger zone. I don't know for a fact that would happen at 225, but it could happen at lower temps and you would never know you had botulism till you died. Why not just smoke roast it? You can throw in some wood for smoke and still cook it at 350, direct or indirect.
    That's what I would do, 350 indirect with smoke
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 12
    Hot smoked sausage is not an issue, uncured. It will not take so long that the sausage will be in the so-called danger zone for a dangerous period of time.

    Even if the meat went on the grill at room temperature (which it usually doesn't), and then took four hours to hit 140/150, there might be an issue. Might. But even then it would have been at 125-130 for an extended period, which is enough to pasteurize thoroughly.

    Do not let yourself become afraid of your meat, or overthink things.
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  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,393
    You guys know a lot about sausage. .. :x
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 12
    ^Penis joke, for the uninitiated.
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  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,393
    Or as I call it..As sexual inurendo
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 13
    In-you-end-o

    Excellent gameplan though. If you can't answer the question or add to the conversation, make a joke.
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  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 6,062
    @SenecaTheYounger - In henapple's case, it is not too much food that is the problem (if I remember my high school Latin) , it is often too much PBR…..
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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