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smoking bratwurst? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
I have 5 Johnsonville Brats on my smoker right now. Just followed the directions in Jeff's book. We will know soon.... I have found Jeff's book to be fantastic for lots of things. Going to do the chicken breast and thighs tomorrow. They have been great in the past.

Great book with some fantastic recipes and good smoking advice.
post #22 of 42

Threw a half dozen or so fresh in the smoker with the chicken.  Figured why not.  So, although they were at a relatively high temp, 250F, needed for the chicky, still got nice smoke flavor (perhaps could be more) and a nice smoke ring.

Next time gonna' try the rising temp method to maximize smokilciousness.

Thanks for the tips guys.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post

Unless i missed it, i think we should explain fresh brats smoking method and smoking brats.  Smoking fresh brats at low temps such as 120 for an hour and slightly higher for another hour is risky with no cure..  To me if your going to put a fresh brat in a smoker you should do them at 225 deg right away. You could do them at a lower temp such as 190 or so but 225 is my preffered temp for fresh brats. 

 

The grill though is my preffered method for "fresh brats".  Simmer them in beer and onions till they get that white color and then brown them on the grill.

 

"Smoking" brats generaly is done with the meat mix, seasonings, and insta cure #1. There is a lot of info on this site on meat/fat ratio's , recipe's, and more.  Once cured the brat's then can be put in the smoker at lower temps initialy at lower temps to help the links dry and the smoke is better absorbed this way. Then you finish it out to the proper internal temp.

 

So, in general, my opinion is to prepare a "fresh" brat and a "smoked" brat appropriatly.  There is a difference.  Reinhard


I'm in agreement with Reinhard. While the times involved are probably too short to cause any problems, we are talking about ground meat here.

I'm probably in the minority, but I think it's a waste of a good bratwurst to smoke it. I like smoked sausage, and I like bratwurst, but they're 2 different things in my eyes. Bratwurst has a delicate subtle flavor which in my opinion is best when either simmered or indirectly grilled. I've made fresh bratwurst and then smoked it and was really kinda disappointed. I went to all that trouble to get the spice mixture just right, and after 2 hours in the smoker all I could taste was smoke. Again, I really do like smoked sausage, but I also REALLY love the flavor of bratwurst. Sausages like Kielbasa or Chorizo, which are designed to be smoked, have big bold flavors that will stand up to the smoke.

Everybody has their own opinions though, and that's what makes this world fun.

post #24 of 42

Holy Lazarus thread! I just realized this one was started in 2010! Still a good discussion.

post #25 of 42

Good Q never goes out of style!

To speak to your earlier post, however, I too agree that brats have a subtle flavor that is probably best enjoyed simmered and grilled.

All I can say is that the Boss (come on, you KNOW who I mean) gave the smoked fresh Johnsonville brats two thumbs up and DID NOT SAY A WORD until hers was ALL GONE.

Next day, I modified my usual bathe-n-grill.  Brought the smoked and refrigerated brats up to temp by simmering in cheapass beer while sauteing onions and peppers in butter/olive oil mixture.  Combined the two, reduced the now muy flavoroso beer to a few tablespoons, added it back in.  Voila!  Another round tripper.

Let's just say she was very happy.  And appreciative. icon_redface.gif

post #26 of 42

I just did some brats and they are great!  All I have is a little Brinkman Electric, having had some good practice in on it the past year. For first-time smokers, I doubt there is better value for money than this smoker.  Let's you figure out what woods you prefer, water or not, brines, marinades & rubs, etc., without investing very much money.  And the results are pretty damn good!

 

Anyway, got some fresh mild brats from Publix.  I think these are much better than Johnsonville products, without all the package-food preservatives and stuff.  Not as good, I'm sure, as making your own, but how much time do we all really have??

 

I read the posts about starting at lower temps and gradually ramping it up.  For me, that isn't possible, and from my results (so sorry guys - no pics), totally unnecessary.  These brats went on once the smoker temp was up and the LWS flowing.  Started with Hickory, and finished with Mesquite.  About 2 hours on, at the average temp on the BES of 235.  No splitting, turned once, and kept sprayed with the same solution I was using for a little pork butt, half & half tropical juice (mostly apple) and Captain Morgan's.  Guy's, these brats are the best I've ever made.  Ala Nike,....Just Do It!

post #27 of 42
I always throw on a few brats no matter what I am smoking. A few hours and done. I always use fresh not pre cooked but hell anything smoked is good so throw on the pre cooked ones if you got them. They take smoke well and any type of smoke works well.
post #28 of 42


Took advantage of low priced Johnsonville Brats from Costco (4.97 per 3 pack) I stocked up! I've been reading about smoked brats for awhile and figured since I had the coals burning for burgers, I couldn't let the heat go to waste! They just hit 150° after 2 hours so it won't be much longer! I'm just using the Lazzari lump mesquite in the fire box. Next time I'll add some apple wood to the mix.
post #29 of 42

I started smoking brats on Thanksgiving 6 years ago.  I had space above the turkey and wanted to experiment. 

 

After five years, the following smoked brat appetizer has been tweaked and perfected.  It's always a hit! 

 

Smoke Beer Brats in Apricot Mustard Glaze:

 

The smoked pork flavor combined with the sweetness of the glaze makes for a great appetizer.

 

This recipe is loose but you will get the idea:

 

- Soak brats overnight in beer.  Any beer works but I have found that fruity beers work best.  I also poke holes in the brats to let the beer in through the skin.  Critics may argue the juice will run out while cooking but this has never been an issue and definitely adds flavor.

 

- Smoke 'em for two to three hours.  Use best judgement or meat thermometer.  I use a mix of Hickory and Apple Wood.

 

- Pull from smoker and let sit for a bit.  Slice them diaganolly and throw in bowl to toss in the Apricot Mustard Glaze (see below)

 

- After tossing in glaze serve as an appetizer with tooth picks.  Optionally add a mustard dip or the leftover glaze but they really do stand alone.

 

Mustard Glaze

 

- Bring a mixture of apricot jam and Dijon mustard to a boil.  I always wing the proportions to taste but I recommend 4 parts jam to 1 part mustard.  Simmer and reduce to about 1/2. 

 

- Smoke glaze further in small foil tin to add more smoke flavor.

 

 

Bonus:  If you are smoking a turkey, place brats above turkey.  The dripping brats add a little extra flavor to the bird.

post #30 of 42

Do you need to boil the brats before smoking them?

post #31 of 42

No, you start with fresh brats. 

 

But be mindful of how long it takes to get them up to cooked internal temp.  You cannot smoke ground meat that does not use cure, for hours like you would meat with cure, and consider it safe.  But a hour or so of smoke on brats then crank the temp up to get them above the 140* mark in well under 4 hours and you should be good.  It's not really any different that any other ground meat that is smoked, meat loaf for example.  Just make sure to get the internal meat temp up past the "danger point".  With brats that increase should not be hard as the meat is not super thick.

 

I have not tried smoking for the initial cook (to at least 152* internal) and then plunging in ice bath to refrigerate/freeze and grill later, but it sounds like a good idea (just smoke and then fully cook the brat first).

 

(yes, I know it's an old thread, but it was brought back to "life").

post #32 of 42

Hi All I'm looking for a good bratwurst recipe  to make at home..Fell in Love with bratwurst while I was stationed in Germany, many years ago.I've tried a few of the package mixes, didn't come close to what I had in Germany.

Thanks Dan

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdboatbum View Post
 


I'm in agreement with Reinhard. While the times involved are probably too short to cause any problems, we are talking about ground meat here.

I'm probably in the minority, but I think it's a waste of a good bratwurst to smoke it. I like smoked sausage, and I like bratwurst, but they're 2 different things in my eyes. Bratwurst has a delicate subtle flavor which in my opinion is best when either simmered or indirectly grilled. I've made fresh bratwurst and then smoked it and was really kinda disappointed. I went to all that trouble to get the spice mixture just right, and after 2 hours in the smoker all I could taste was smoke. Again, I really do like smoked sausage, but I also REALLY love the flavor of bratwurst. Sausages like Kielbasa or Chorizo, which are designed to be smoked, have big bold flavors that will stand up to the smoke.

Everybody has their own opinions though, and that's what makes this world fun.

Hi Care to share your homemade bratwurst recipe?

Thanks Dan

post #34 of 42

Im putting some on now

post #35 of 42

Hi All I'm still looking for a good Bratwurst recipe?

Thx Dan

post #36 of 42
Dan I've used this standard brat recipe for a few years now and it's very popular with my family and friends.

http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/bratwurst-recipe-1.html

Using a typical pork shoulder for the meat, I've found that adding about 1 part extra pork fat to 5 parts shoulder, by weight, is needed to ensure proper juiciness; modern pork is leaner that it looks, at least for this application.

Also, this recipe gives a mild flavor profile and you could go a little heavier on the seasonings if you like a little bolder taste.

I mostly just grill the these on my Char-griller, but I have also smoked them a few times on the MES30 and my wife loves them that way. Do need to be careful not to overlook, and they do lose a fair amount of fat and moisture when I've done them that way.
post #37 of 42
Interesting.. that recipe Grillius linked to is almost exactly the same as Shooter Rick's Attitude Brats. I will confirm they are real good as just an anytime go-to grilling sausage, but not exactly what i think of when i think of german bratwurst.
post #38 of 42

Mickey Jay, I see you're just across the sound from  me - hope your power stays on today and no trees falling on the roof, etc.  :icon_rolleyes:   Seems like the usual Thanksgiving Day weather event here in the PNW.   I just put a 14# Pops brined turkey into the MES for the family festivities later today, but had to move the MES to the north side of the house to avoid the nasty south winds - just the opposite of what we usually get here.

 

Back to brats:  I'm curious what you're referring to as more classic German bratwurst  flavor?   I agree the recipe I use makes a great all around wurst, but I'd like to try something more "old country" if there is such a thing. 

post #39 of 42
Ah yes..! We're getting poured on but no wind to speak of; one more reason to be thankful today! As you know, us PNWer's smoke rain or shine and I'm currently nursing a Bearcarver Double Smoked Ham due at 3pm. Take care out there because yes it's nasty.

Regarding brats:

I pulled a recipe from the following post which you might be interested in. I'm also honestly unsure what exactly an old country brat would taste like, but this recipe says 'German brat' to me.

Bratwurst Seasoning HELP!!!

This is based off biemer19's recipe from the above stated post, along with Danbono's recommendation for adding some onion (plus some NFDM).

5 pounds Pork Butt
3 Tablespoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground marjoram
2 teaspoons dried ginger
2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 cup NFDM

If you find any other brat recipes that fit the bill for 'old country', I would love to see them!
post #40 of 42
That looks like a recipe worth trying - it will be the one for my next batch, though that's probably 3-4 months away given the stock on hand.
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