Nothing can beat the aroma of meat on a grill, especially during the grilling seasons when you have lots of meats sizzling from pork to ribs, from chicken to brats. Yes, brats.
Brats which are short for bratwurst, are a German kind of sausage, it is so flavourful and delicious and can be quite irresistible, and this is because they are made from ground meat mixed with spices and herbs.
But sometimes, as you grill your brat, you don’t know when it’s done except you use your thermometer, but what if you don’t have one? Just come along, and we will show you how.
Tips On How To Grill Your Brat Properly On A Grill
There are a few tips that you will have to keep in mind when grilling your brats, including:
1. It is not a good idea to prickle the casing of your brat; this is because it will lead to dry and overcooked meat when it is done.
2. Never use very high heat for cooking your brat. Medium heat lasting for at most 30 minutes will cook your meat to perfection.
3. Buying a pre-cooked brat will indeed save you a lot of cooking time. However, they do not hold all that flavor that you get from cooking a raw brat by yourself.
4. To prevent the brat from sticking to your grates, coat your grill with oil like sunflower oil, canola, or peanut oil. Be moderate in the quantity of oil you apply because too much oil will cause a lot of smoke that can be pretty annoying, and you do not want that
Useful Link: How to Defrost Ribs Quickly
Is it OK to Eat Brats that are a Little Pink?
The United States Department Of Agriculture USDA stated that it is OK to eat brat that is just a little bit pink. Most sausages, including brats, are high in Sodium nitrate, which can give a distinct pink color to them, and so it is common to be done and still be a little pink.
Even though brat and other minced meat can stay pink when cooked, you, however, have to be careful before you eat pink brat. You must ensure that it has been cooked for a while because undercooked meat portends a lot of trouble for your health.
Undercooked meat usually contains pathogens that cause disease and so can expose you to sicknesses. Trichinosis is a disease linked to eating undercooked meat that contains the larvae of a worm.
The more undercooked meat you eat, the more severe the symptoms, including fever, muscular rigidity, and digestive disturbance.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Brats on the Grill?
The amount of time spent grilling your brat will depend on how hot your grill is and how dense the brat is. On average, it will take 15 to 30 minutes for a brat to grill properly in medium heat.
Grilling your brat propel is an art; you need the right heat, too low a heat will mean you will have to spend a lot of time in the grill to get your brat done, and there is also the possibility that the inner meat will become overcooked.
You do not want to cook your brat on very high heat because it can burst the brat casing, and then you will lose some of the juices of the delicious neat. Secondly, the high heat will also char the outside of the brat while the inside is still raw or undercooked.
How to Tell When Brats Are Done on the Grill
When you grill your brat, watch out for the color as this will help you know when the meat is done, but before that, ensure that you keep turning the brat so that each side becomes reddish-brown.
However, your best option to knowing when your brat is perfectly cooked on a grill is to use a meat thermometer that tells the internal temperature of the meat.
While poking your brat is not recommended because of the chances of their rich juices oozing off from the hole made in the meat, but you have to do if you must use the thermometer to check if your brat is done.
If the color of your brat looks reddish-brown, check with your thermometer to be sure the inside is well cooked.
There are different meat thermometers in the marketplace, but the ones with tiny needlework effectively, and you should get one.
How to Tell if Brats are Done Without a Thermometer
There are a few ways you can tell if your brat is done, even if you don’t have a thermometer. You could use your cake tester to check if your brat is properly grilled. The device is so small that when you poke the meat, it will not leave a mark.
So poke the meat at an angle with the cake tester and then touch your wrist with it: if the tester feels hot, your brat is done, but if it is warm, you have a medium-rare brat. This is a simple hack that works.
The wiggle method can also be used to know if your meat is done. It is a slightly funny method, but you pick the meat with a thong and then wriggle it gently. If the brat is bouncy and firm as you wiggle it, then it is cooked.
You could also use the Touch method to determine if your brat is fully done: all you need to do is check out the brat’s feel on your finger.
So, press the tip of your thumb finger to your pinky finger if it feels bouncy and yet quite firm, then your brat is perfectly cooked.
Ensure that it is your thumb and pinky that you feel the brat with because you feel it with other fingers, because professional chefs check for medium-rare meat with their thumb and the middle finger, and they use their thumb and ring finger is used for medium cooked meat’s firmness.
The feeling between the index finger and your thumb is used to check for rare cooked meat. This is just the science of meat cooking.
Do You Boil Brats Before Grilling?
This is a very controversial topic because there are schools of thought who have two conflicting opinions on the issue of boiling brat before cooking.
Many believe that boiling your brat in any form of liquid, be it in water or beer, before grilling it is not good for the meat.
This is because boiling brats actually leaches flavor from the meat, and hence it leaves you with a meat that is not rich in flavor. However, you can steam your brat with simmering beer and onion slices in an aluminum pan to keep them warm and juicy.
You don’t want to parboil your brat because they need to cook in slow heat that increases gently. Hence the grill should be kept at about 300°F; at this temperature, the proteins in the meat begin to unfold and then bind with the fats, pepper, seasonings, and salt to give a rich flavor and texture.
But when you are parboiling the brat, you end up with rubbery meat, which separates from the casing and has a mushy meat texture.
The other school of thought who see nothing wrong in boiling brat before cooking believe it is a way of ensuring that you don’t end up with an undercooked brat if you grill them alone. They also think that boiling keeps all the juices of the meat intact even as you grill the brat later.
So, without getting into this debate of to boil or not to boil your brat, allow your taste bud to choose for you.
Are Bratwurst Already Cooked?
Some bratwurst comes pre-cooked while others come raw; before you buy any, ensure that you know if it is raw or pre-cooked to know what to expect.
The pre-cooked bratwurst is the most common one you find around, and this is because they are faster and easier to cook and have a longer shelf-life. Their appearance is stiff and pale, you need to brown them for a few minutes, and then you can eat them.
Raw bratwurst, on the other hand, has a pink color, and depending on your school of thought you subscribe to on the issue of boiling or not boiling brat, you can boil the brat in hot but not boiling water for about 5 minutes before grilling, or you can go straight up to grilling your brat.
So, grill your brat in low heat, and every often do, spritz beer or water on the bra’s skin to keep it from getting charred. If you cook them for a while and feel they are cooked, then remove them from the grill and leave them covered for some minutes so that the heat will keep cooking the brat as it is covered,
How Do You Check The Temperature of Brats?
To check the temperature of your brat, get a meat thermometer and then test to see if it is functioning properly by placing it in a container of water and ice and letting it sit for the 20s, then take the reading.
If the thermometer reads 0°C or 32°F; it means the device is working perfectly. If the reading is wrong, then you will have today recalibrate it using the instructions that must have been provided in the user’s manual.
Taking the temperature of the brat while it is cooking, removing the meat from the heat source, and taking it before taking the temperature will result in an inaccurate result.
As you insert the thermometer in the brat, ensure that you place it in the thickest part of the meat and avoid putting it in any part with fat, gristle, or bone. Leave the thermometer in the meat for about 10 seconds so that the temperature can be measured correctly.
Then read the temperature and remove the thermometer from the meat. Gauge the temperature on a digital thermometer. For the analog thermometer, the small hand on the display dial will give the reading.
Brats are very delicious meat to eat because of their richness and how tender they are if they are well cooked.
If you cook your brat properly and it gets done, you will end up with reddish-brown sausage-like meat full of flavor. If you have a thermometer, then use it to know when your brat is done.
If, however, you don’t have a meat thermometer, then use any of the techniques that we highlighted earlier to see if your brat is done or not.
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We trust this article helped you know How to Tell if Brats are Done on Grill. You may also want to check out: What is a Pre Basted Turkey? (Does it Differ with Brined Turkey?)
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