In Germany, the meat used is usually veal. Veal ones are the mildest-tasting. In North America, owing to high cost of veal, the meat used is usually all pork, or pork mixed with veal or beef. Some may be made all beef. The meat can be ground finely, or more coarsely.
The meat is highly seasoned. Spices can include caraway, coriander, cumin, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, paprika, and / or pepper. There is no standard recipe, each maker will have his or her own secrets.
Smaller Bratwursts called Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen are a style from Nuremburg, Germany. They tend to be more highly seasoned.
There are also smoked varieties. Smoked Bratwurst is generally both smoked and cooked before sale.
Some people say that Weißwürst are a form of Bratwurst, but it’s not: Weißwürst are meant to be cooked by simmering in water.
Bratwurst must be cooked before eating. The most typical way of cooking them in America is on the bbq grill, or by frying them.
Some people suggest boiling Bratwurst first in water or beer before cooking, but it’s not necessary and it’s not done in Germany, except when Thurigian Bratwurst are being prepared.
Boiling advocates say, though, that if the sausages are parboiled first for a minute or two until the outsides turn white, it helps them to cook and brown more evenly. Parboiling may help to make sure they are cooked well, because after that, such recipes then only have you grill them for about 5 minutes. Many people, especially those with less patience, like this shortened cooking time on the grill. Parboiling also makes the taste milder, by leeching out some of the salt and spices.
Some people actually simmer them for longer times, up to 20 minutes, in not just water, but beer or beer mixed with mustard and ketchup, then they grill them.
Others will brown the sausages first on a grill for 5 minutes, then simmer them in beer. Some say the simmering in beer does nothing for the flavour, except maybe weaken it, but admit that if you are cooking vast quantities at once for the masses, keeping them warm after grilling in simmering beer is better than holding them on the grill where they will dry out faster.
Some people simmer them in milk.
Some poke them as well will simmering, to get some of the fat out (though a good deal of the flavour can then flow out, too.)
Most people agree that as for all sausages, you shouldn’t poke holes in the skins of Bratwurst before or while cooking.
Cook raw Bratwurst sausages for 20 to 25 minutes until firm in a fry pan or on a grill. Low and slow is the best treatment on a grill.
Reheat smoked Bratwurst in simmering water, on a grill, or in a frying pan, or under your broiler / grill.
5 Bratwursts = 1 pound / 450g
“Wurst” means sausage.
Even many German speakers assume that the “Brat” part comes from the German word “Braten”, which means, depending on the context, to roast, bake, grill, broil or fry. Instead, though, it actually comes from the old High German word “brato”, meaning pure meat with no other ingredients.
Bratwurst is supposed to be pronounced “brahtwurst”, though most North Americans will say “braatwurst”. In familiar North American usage, the plural has become “Brats”.