It’s not always feasible to break out the grill when you want brats. Maybe it’s the weather, or maybe you just don’t have time to tend to a grill.
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Whatever the reason that you need an alternative, don’t fret, because you can serve up scrumptious bratwurst straight from your oven.
I start in mid-spring, and I don’t stop until it gets too cold in the fall. Yes, I’m talking about grilling season. I grill hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, chicken, salmon, bratwurst, and much more, but I have figured out that I can get delicious-tasting meats when grilling season is over, too.
Let’s talk sausage, more specifically — bratwurst. When you think of bratwurst, your mind automatically goes to the grill, but after you try these techniques for cooking brats in the oven, you may never put your sausages on the grill again.
Why Cook Brats in the Oven
There are several good reasons why you may have googled “brats in oven.” Even in the middle of summer, the weather can be bad, but the Independence Day celebration must still go on.
Maybe you haven’t purchased a grill yet, or maybe there is simply no room on it for the brats. Maybe you forgot to clean it after its last use, and now, you don’t have time to, or maybe you just don’t have time to stand and turn the sausages constantly to keep them from burning.
Surprisingly enough, these aren’t the only reasons you may want to consider a “bratwurst in oven” recipe. You can prepare beautifully charred brats in the same amount of or less time than it takes to grill them.
They plump up but retain their juice, and they will go great in all kinds of “brats in oven” recipes. You can cook baked brats with a couple of side dishes. You can roast a sliced bell pepper and strips of onion with your brats to fill a German roll, or you can make sheet pan brats with potatoes, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and onions.
How to Cook Brats in the Oven
If you’re excited to learn how to cook brats in the oven, that’s wonderful, and you’ll be even more excited to find out that it’s not hard at all.
The first thing you’ll need to do is go ahead and preheat your oven to 400° F. You will want your rack to be in the center slot.
Next, cover your sheet pan (baking sheet) with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. You can use a casserole dish but consider two things.
One, use a sheet pan with a rim or a baking dish with sides so that your sausages don’t roll off onto the floor. Two, a metal dish will give you a better sear on your brats.
Here’s a hint — For a better sear, preheat your sheet pan before adding brats (and veggies).
Now, you need to prepare your veggies. It doesn’t matter which vegetable or vegetables you choose. If you’re using a German roll or a hot dog bun, you can do just bell pepper and onion, or you can go with no veggies at all and serve with sauerkraut.
For a sheet pan meal, you will want hearty vegetables, like peppers, onions, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. Cut the Brussels sprouts in halves. Cut the potatoes into pieces about the same size as the sprouts. You can cut the peppers and onions into strips or chunks. It doesn’t matter since they don’t have to fit on a bun.
Next, add your veggies to the baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on them lightly. After seasoning with salt and pepper, mix the veggies to disperse oil and seasonings evenly.
Then, add your raw brats. For a good sear, your bratwurst needs to rest on the bottom of the pan instead of on top of the vegetables, so you’ll need to nestle them in between the vegetables.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Brats in the Oven
Place your prepped sheet pan brats into a preheated oven. Your bratwursts need to bake (or roast) for around 10 minutes.
Then, they will need to be flipped over with a fork or tongs. When you flip your sausages, stir your veggies, too. Cook on the other side for around 7 minutes.
Bratwursts are done when there is no longer any pink in the center of the sausages or when a meat thermometer reads 160° F.
This is for an average package of average-size bratwurst. When using larger-size brats or cooking many bratwursts at once, you will need to add to the cooking time.
When your baked bratwurst is done, it needs to rest for around 5 minutes. Otherwise, all the juices will run out when you cut into one.
What About Beer Brats Indoors
You can buy beer brats, but what if you want to make your own? You’ll be thrilled to know that it’s simple. You make them the same way as the others, but you add two easy steps.
In a pan with sides that’s just big enough to lay your brats flat in the bottom, pour in one bottle of your favorite beer and lay your brats in the beer.
Marinate your brats for 30 minutes or more. Then, remove them from the beer and follow the instructions above.
What Sides and Condiments Work With Brats Indoors
As I said earlier, you can serve your brats on buns with sauerkraut. Traditional sides are fried cabbage, grilled onions, potato salad, potato pancakes, or baked beans.
Another favorite is Kartoffelsalat, which is German potato salad. It is made with skin-on red potatoes in a tangy vinaigrette.
A great choice for summertime is cucumber salad. It’s a blend of fresh cucumbers, red onions, white vinegar, sour cream, fresh dill, a dash of sugar, and salt, and pepper to taste. This adds a light, garden-fresh flavor.
Lastly, mustards are a must. It’s best to offer a choice, like stone-ground, Dijon, hot, beer, or German mustard. They make all kinds of mustards.
Here’s to delicious brats from your oven!