If you are talking about precooked brats like Johnsinville then you only have to leave them in for two to three hours. They are already cooked, so the only thing you need to do is warm them up and get some smoke into them. I did some yesterday, along with some artichole and garlic sausages I got at Costco, while smoking a couple of eye round roasts. The sausages only took about two and a half hours before I took them out. The only thing you want to make sure to do is pierce the skin on each sausage with the tip of a knife a few times. I read about doing this to keep the sausage from splitting, or even blowing up, while in the smoker. I know that when I grill them they split all the time, but I don;t care then because I am just slapping them on a hotdog bun with mustard. Mine that I smoked yesterday didn't split at all.
I am new to this smoking stuff because even though I have been grilling and barbecueing for decades I just got my first smoker a week efore Father's Day. It was an early Father's Day present from my wife. She said it was a gift that would keep giving back to her in the form of good que. I have been reading a lot on the net and have learned a lot from it.
I actually do these all the time from fresh and I've found a 2-3 hours in the smoker and then I pull them and finish on the bbq or oven. Great smoked flavor. I would not poke them prior cause you will lose all the juice and they will have a tendancy to dry out.
This is the Man to talk to about Brats! Shane, I was waiting for you to get registered so you could interject your knowledge on this subject. If any members have any questions on Home Made Sausages......this is the Brother to turn to!
I actually smoke brats all the time as a lunch or snack item to have while I wait for something else like a shoulder or butt to finish. I usually choose fresh brats from my local butcher and pre-cook briefly by simmering in beer, laced with a little garlic and onion. Then I put 'em on the rack just above the main meat, so as to make good use of any drippins! Two to Two and a half hours at 225* usually does the trick. Then just toss 'em in a bun and smother with grilled onions & Peppers....mmm....mmm. Or slice 'em up and serve as an easy appetizer along side some mouth watering ABT's.
2 LEVEL TSP OF INSTACURE #1 IF SMOKING
2 CUPS WHOLE MILK COLD
3 WHOLE EGGS
2 CUPS SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE
1 TB GROUND WHITE PEPPER
1 TB MACE
1 TSP GINGER
1 TB NUTMEG
4 TB SALT
2 LBS BONELESS VEAL
8 LBS GROUND PORK BUTT
GRIND ALL THE MEAT THROUGH A Â¼ PLATE. YOU CAN RUN IT IN A FOOD PROCESSOR TILL EMULSIFIED BUT I LIKE IT WITHOUT DOING THAT. MIX ALL INGREDIENTS VERY WELL AND STUFF INTO 32-35 MM HOG CASINGS.
AT THIS POINT YOU CAN EITHER FREEZE AND LATER COOK FRESH OR YOU CAN PRECOOK SO ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS HEAT UP OR SMOKE.
IF SMOKING I RUN MINE AT 130-150 FOR A HOUR LETTING THE CASINGS DRY FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR. THEN I INCREASE THE TEMP TO ABOUT 175 AND HOLD AT THAT LEVEL TILL INTERNAL TEMP OF 152 IS REACHED. I HAVE NEVER TRIED GOING ABOUT 225 FOR BOX TEMP BUT I DONâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]T THINK IT WOULD HURT, JUST BE QUICKER. EITHER WAY WHEN INTERNAL TEMP IS REACHED TAKE OUT AND GIVE THEM A COLD SHOWER UNTIL THE INTERNAL TEMP REACHES 110. THIS WILL HELP YOUR CASINGS FROM SHRINKING BADLY. ENJOY AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT
it takes the place of wheat products basically ie. breadcrumbs
And, i boil my brats a little bit first in a good quality beer, not bud or coors for about 10 minutes to get the some of the grease out, grill or smoke to correct temp... serve on a good brat roll, good mustard, saurkraut....meal fit for a king