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How Long to Boil Brats

This is how long to boil brats in water or beer perfectly before grilling or served immediately with mustard and sauerkraut. If you tried our Instant Pot Brats with Beer, but want to try cooking your Johnsonville bratwurst on the stove this time, we have instructions for you.

How Long to Boil Brats

Boiled brats in beer or water are easy to make for a fast meal and speak to my German heritage. 😉 I remember enjoying these at Octoberfest every year with spicy mustard in a hoagie roll. If grilled isn’t possible, this is a simple way to cook bratwurst on the stove. (affiliate links present)

Boiled Brats

So you have always loved Smoked Brats on Traeger but it cold and wicked outside so indoors is how the cooking is happening tonight. Don’t worry, we have you covered. The biggest thing you need is to bring the raw pork to a safe internal temperature which you can do in a pot full of liquid.

The differences between these instructions and How to Cook Bratwurst in the Oven are a few. For one you will not get the outsides to brown cooked in hot liquid. You could sear at the end in a pan though if you wanted. Another is that baked requires poking the outsides with a fork, when boiling bratwurst you shouldn’t. We will talk about that more below….

Boiled Brats in Water

How Long to Boil Brats in Water

Cook time will of course vary slightly depending on how hot your water is and how large yours are. In general though you are looking at about 15 minutes. How to Make Quick Sauerkraut is close to the same so you could get them both done near the same time and enjoy together!! A great duo as you know.

How long do you boil brats before grilling?

Boiling brats before grilling is a common method used to ensure that they are fully cooked and to impart some flavor before finishing them on the grill. So you don’t overcook them you should boil for about 10 minutes and then continue on the grill for the last 5 minutes or so to reach a golden brown exterior.

How long do you boil brats in beer?

It doesn’t batter whether you boil brats in water or beer, it takes the same amount of time to get the insides to a safe temperature of 160 F. You want the liquid to reach a consistent rolling boil before adding the links, and then return to a boil before starting your fifteen minutes for best results.

Don’t want to waste the liquid you used? Or just want to use the same pot for a side? This is How Long to Boil Brussel Sprouts to serve with it!

How long should you boil Johnsonville brats?

The brand name won’t make a difference really, unless they are much much larger. Most are the same size as we use to make our Johnsonville Italian Sausage Air Fryer style, which is great too by the way if you like the casing to become super crispy with a real SNAP to it!

Boiled Brats

What can you boil brats in besides beer?

These different liquids aren’t just great unique choices for boiling pork, you can use different ones when making Boiled Fish too. Each one will give your dish a different tweak of flavor.

  1. Water is literally the simplest option for any brats recipe. While it won’t add any additional flavor, it will still effectively cook the brats and can be a good choice if you prefer a neutral base.
  2. Broth or Stock is a better choice. You can use chicken, beef, or vegetable broth to help add flavor while they boil. Broth or stock adds richness and depth to pork links and can complement various seasonings and spices.
  3. Apple Cider can infuse pork with a subtle sweetness and fruity flavor. It’s a popular choice for fall-inspired dishes and pairs well with pork brats.
  4. Apple Juice is similar to apple cider but sweeter without the alcohol content. It’s a milder option but still imparts some fruity flavor.
  5. Garlic Infused Water is where you can add sliced onions, garlic cloves, and other aromatics to the boiling water to infuse boiled meat with additional flavor. This creates a flavorful broth that can enhance the taste.
  6. Herbal Teas such as chamomile or peppermint, can add unique flavors too. Be sure to choose teas that complement the flavors.

Should you poke holes in brats before boiling?

NO, it is not necessary in this case, or How Long to Boil Hot Dogs either. If you were microwaving or baking at high heat you would need to do that or they may explode. Cooked in water is different and it will actually make them less flavorful if you poke with a fork because the juices will seep out and the meat will overcook. Skip that step in this case, believe me.

Boiled Brats in beer

Is it better to boil or grill brats?

I mean that is personal preference but you can in fact do both to cut down on the grilling time. You can start in the boiled water and finish off with your burgers if you want to get that rich caramelized color on the casing. OR you get the same results as they (really steam vs. boil) to make Crockpot Brats.

How do you get brats to snap when you bite into them?

You need to brown the outside casing to get this to happen. If you lifted them out of the liquid this way and bit into them you would get just a bit, but not as much as if you threw them into a pan with a bit of olive oil or on your grill. If you brown like you see here below you will get the casing to give you that rich loud snap you want.

How to save leftover brats

Always allow food to cool to room temperature before transferring into an airtight container, or better yet a freezer bag for these. Suck out all the air and then keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. With your leftovers Sauerkraut Recipe with Meat as a whole new meal the next night!

how long to boil brats before grilling

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How Long to Boil Brats
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How Long to Boil Brats

This is how long to boil brats in beer or water on the stove. What cook time will get the safe internal temperature for raw bratwurst.
Course Entree
Cuisine german
Keyword boiled, brats, bratwurst
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 220kcal
Author The Typical Mom


  • 1 pot
  • 1 pan if you want to brown when done


  • 4-5 brats
  • 6-8 c water or beer, enough to cover them


  • Add water or beer to large saucepan, about halfway full, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it reaches a consistent boil add your raw brats.
  • Allow it to reach a low consistent boil again once meat is added, lower heat to medium and then cook for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • Remove one at a time, allow moisture to drip off and put into a bun to top with mustard and sauerkraut.
Nutrition Facts
How Long to Boil Brats
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 220 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 49mg16%
Sodium 576mg25%
Potassium 230mg7%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 4IU0%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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