While enjoying a bratwurst slathered in spicy mustard and warm sauerkraut comes easy, cooking one is not so simple. Because of the delicate makeup of this traditional German sausage, it's easy for it to end up with a charred exterior and an undercooked inside if you're not careful. One of the biggest things to keep in mind to avoid this outcome is to steer clear of high heat -- one of a bratwurst's biggest enemies.
No matter how you choose to cook bratwurst, from boiling it in a pot to preparing it on the grill, scorching temperatures can cause a bratwurst's fragile casing to burst open. This makes its signature juicy and flavorful interior leak out and eventually ends in a virtually tasteless husk once it's ready to eat. To avoid this unsavory sausage explosion, cook your bratwursts on medium to low heat settings instead.
With a sausage as fragile and finicky as a bratwurst, there are some other things you should keep in mind beyond its temperature. Here are a few more things to avoid while cooking this popular sausage.
Other Sausage Blunders To Avoid
Having the casing of your bratwurst split open while cooking can easily lead to a ruined meal, so make sure you're patient while they're cooking and stick to those lower heat settings. Beyond temperature, patience is a virtue that extends to the rest of the cooking process for this sausage, too. Even one rushed movement can lead to an accidentally poked hole in a bratwurst's casing, which means more split skin and loss of flavor. Remember to use tongs when flipping your wurst, and keep any other sharp forks or blades away from the pan or grill.
Another habit to avoid when cooking bratwurst is putting too many sausages on the grill. Having too many wursts cooking at once means they won't finish heating at the same time and will come out uneven. To make sure every one of your sausages is cooked perfectly, only cook a few at a time.
Finally, once your wursts are cooked, serve them while they're hot to prevent any loss of flavor. Now that you know what to avoid when cooking brats, let's talk about how to heat them right.
How To Cook Your Bratwurst The Right Way
Making a delicious batch of bratwurst takes time. To properly start this process, you should precook your bratwurst on the stovetop before transferring them to the grill. This ensures that the inside of the wursts are fully cooked and the high heat of the grill won't shock their fragile interiors.
To boil your brats, simply place them in a skillet and cover them with water. For even more flavor, add beer or broth here instead, or combine the liquids. You can even add in other ingredients like minced garlic or cayenne pepper here, too. Now simmer this mixture until your bratwurst reaches a safe temperature, which FoodSafety.gov says should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Delay using a meat thermometer until the wursts seem very close to being done to prevent any loss of flavor. (Because yes, even poking just a tiny hole in a bratwurst can be the difference between a warm and flavorful dinner and an underwhelming sausage.)
Now it's time to grill those bratwursts for some extra smoky flavors. Because the sausage is already cooked, you only need to sear it for a few minutes. Any longer and you risk burning the brats, so flip them often and keep a close eye on your grill. After this short sear, your bratwursts should be hot and ready, so bring out the buns, mustard, some sauerkraut, and deliciously sweet grilled onions to pair.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.