Even though I don’t like to consider myself an expert on cooking-related matters, I have a passion for testing and trying new stuff whenever the situation permits. Also, answering my readers’ queries is definitely something that I want to keep continuing. How to smoke brats in an electric smoker is such a question that I received numerous times in my inbox, particularly in the last couple of weeks.
If you are one of those who want to know How to smoke bratwurst in an electric smoker, I’m happy you are here to read my piece. Let’s get started.
What is Bratwurst?
Bratwurst is a sausage variant from Germany. Usually, it is a product of veal, beef or pork, and different types of seasonings. Even though it is originated in Germany, as of now, it is a commonly found sausage type in many regions across the globe, and its immense popularity has provided different variants of bratwurst.
Picking the Right Brat for Smoking
Yes, putting sausage in an electric smoker is not a huge task to worry about. However, buying the right type of brat is essential to get the best results, and it is not the most straightforward job in the world. When you are at the market for brats, make sure you grab raw brat that has a good lean-to-fat–ratio.
The issue with pre-cooked brat sausages is that there are already boiled; thus, the taste might be kind of diluted even before you cook. On a side note, smoking store-bought brats is easier as well.
How To Smoke Brats In An Electric Smoker – Step By Step Guide
If you are still haven’t smoked brats in electric smoker, I strongly recommend you to do so. The main benefit I have received is, smoking brats in electric smokers is more or less a “set it and forget it” process. This is really beneficial, especially if you are new to the subject.
In addition, the problems and procedures are far more convenient compared to a charcoal smoker.
All you have to do is turn it on, add your preferred wood and let the electric smoker do the work for you. Now, one would find that it is easier said than done, and I can totally understand it. That is why I thought it would help my readers if I let them know how to smoke brats in electric smoker via a couple of easy steps.
However, before we dig deep into smoking brat patties, let me guide you through some important factors.
Do You Have To Boil Brats Before Smoking?
All the experts would agree with me, saying it is essential to provide the brats with some sort of cooking before you place them in the smoker, preferably boiling. By doing that, it will help you keep the authentic taste of brats intact during the smoking process.
Ideally, it will be enough to let a simmering time of 15 minutes in boiling water. I have seen some people pricking the brats when boiling, but that is something that you need to stay away from as it will lead the brats to absorb water unwantedly which can hamper the smoking process.
That said, boiling is not the only form of pre-cooking. Barbecuing also is a good option that helps keep the unique taste of brats. If you prefer this method, it is important to wrap the brats with foil before you place them in the hot barbecue. The time should not be more than 15 minutes, and avoid pricking the brats.
Now let’s see how to make smoked brats
As the first step, you have to heat the smoker to 225° (it is considered safe temp for bratwurst). Then add the wood chips you like; I will let you know some of my favorite wood choices later in the article.
Now, put the brats in the smoker. Smoking pre cooked brats have to happen until they reach 160° of internal temperature.
Once the meat probe identifies 160°, you can take them out from the smoker. For better taste, it is advisable to serve immediately with your favorite toppings.
So, what do you think? It sounds so straightforward to try a smoked brats recipe, isn’t it? Yes, it is, but there are more valid points to be discussed. Let’s move forward.
What Color Should Brats Get After Smoking?
Well, this is a grey area of cooking brats in smoker—some people like when they are pinkish, and some don’t. However, the color shouldn’t be a talking point as far as I’m concerned.
The main reason is bratwursts are made of pork, and as we all know, raw pork has a pronounced pinkish outlook compared to most other meat sorts. This tells, it is essential to cook brats adequately before you consume them. So, relying on color alone won’t be good, especially in terms of the health side of things.
I would rather refer to the internal temperature in place of the outlook of brats. Let’s see the temperature levels you need to keep an eye on.
What Temperature for Brats?
As I mentioned earlier, the temperature should be at 225° for best results. I know some smokers like to play with the temperature, and some find it very difficult to set a specific temperature. If you fall into the second bracket, don’t try to stay bang on 225° and waste your valuable time.
As long as you are on and around 225°, you shouldn’t be facing many problems to get the intended results.
However, exceeding the temperature levels drastically above 250° means you need to reduce the cooking time. If you find all these confusing, the easiest method is to stick with an internal temp of finished bratwurst at 160°. You just can’t go wrong if you are in the ballpark of 160° for sure.
OK, I know the next question is how long to smoke sausage in electric smoker (brats). Let me answer.
How Long To Smoke Bratwurst in an Electric Smoker?
Usually, it will take no more than one hour and forty-five minutes to properly get cooked, given you maintain a precise temperature of 225° throughout the process. The cooking time may change depending on the temperature fluctuations. It’s time for smoked bratwurst temp levels and times.
How Long To Smoke Brats at 180?
If the temperature is at 180°, it will take about three hours.
How Long To Smoke Brats at 225?
225° is the ideal temperature level, and as said, you can expect a smoking time of one hour and 45 minutes.
How Long To Smoke Brats at 250?
The more temperature you allow, the less cooking time it will demand. When the temperature is at 250, your job will get done around in one hour.
How Long To Smoke Brats at 275?
It takes around 30-45 minutes at 275°. Also, keep in mind to toss the brats now and then to provide even heat.
How To Keep Brats Warm And Moist After Grilling?
Perhaps, you are not ready to consume or serve the brats right after you finish the cooking. If you have grilled the brats and want them to retain the moisture, there is an easy method you can execute. That is to submerge the brats in a simmering beer batter right after you take them out from the grill.
Also, there is a big advantage of keeping brats in a simmering batter; by doing so, it will help you blend more flavors to the brats quite easily.
What to Serve With Bratwurst?
Well, if you can put the thinking cap on, the opportunities are endless with bratwurst. In fact, smoked bratwurst sausage recipes vary from one region to another. However, here I have compiled a list of dishes you can try with great results.
- Hard rolls
- Grilled corn
- Sweet and sour cabbage
Best Wood for Smoking Brats in an Electric Smoker
Here are some of my favorite wood types for smoking brats in a smoker.
This is not just a favorite of mine, but it’s the go-to option of most regular smokers for obvious reasons. The flavor of oak works magnificently with the taste of brats. Since it goes well with most other meat sorts, you should find it very easy to cook brats along with a few other meat variants.
In addition, this is the ideal option for those who have no considerable experience in smoking brats. Simply because oak leaves little to no opportunities to overpower the meat, and I find it very easy to deal with oak when smoking brats, and it should be the same with you, I guess.
This is another popular wood type among meat-crazy people and a versatile wood variant as well. It is well-known for its sweet and savory flavors that tend to complement brilliantly with bratwursts.
However, if you are a newbie, using hickory has to be done delicately. If you happen to overuse it, there is a potential risk of ending the process with bitter-tasting brats.
Other than the above two, maple, cherry, apple, and pecan are also considered good for smoking brats.
Best Tips for Cooking Smoked Brats
Already I have revealed some tips in the article, and I have summarized them and added a few in order for you to experience hassle-free smoking of brats. Let’s see
For Best Results, Boil The Brats Before You Smoke
Boiling the brats for around 15 minutes will help you get maximum taste from the brats. When boiling, do not add salt into the water, and it is important not to prick them during or before the boiling.
Eye For An Internal Temperature Of 160°
As I mentioned, brats can be smoked at various temperature levels, although 225° is considered ideal. Whatever the temperature you are using, make sure you reach an internal temperature of 160° before you take them out from the smoker.
Use The Right Type Of Wood
This is another important factor and can be a game-changing one as well. Oak is my number one pick, and as said, I strongly recommend you to use it, especially if you are new to the matter. Pine, cypress, elm, and eucalyptus are some wood types that you should avoid at all costs.
Toss The Brats
This step is super important if you are smoking brats at higher temperature levels. Whatever the temperature you are using, it would help if you turn them over every now and then to provide even heat on brats.
Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding smoking brats in smokers.
Should You Boil Brats Before Smoking?
Yes, boiling brats before you smoke will help you get more flavorful and authentic tasting brats. Other than boiling, you can consider them barbecuing for about 15 minutes as well to get the same results. When boiling, do not add salt or prick and when barbecuing, make sure you wrap the brats using foil paper. The goal of boiling is to retain and enhance the flavors of brats.
Are Smoked Brats Fully Cooked?
Generally, brats are sold fresh and require cooking before you consume them. However, smoked brats are fully cooked, and you can eat them without further cooking. If you are want to relish the true taste of smoked brats, try to consume them when they are hot. Also, you can use cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, or frying for more flavorful smoked brats.
In this article, we have discussed literally every important point regarding smoking brats; Smoked brats time, bratwurst smoking type of wood, temperature levels, and times to name a few. All in all, the fate of smoking brats heavily depends on the temperature and time you are using.
Other than that, the type of wood, boiling before smoking, and selecting the right brats also significantly affect the final result. If you have more queries, the below comment section is open for you. Have a great day!