How Long To Boil Brats Before Grilling?

Published Categorized as Grills and Outdoor Cooking, Guide, Meat

Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

Bratwurst or brats is a kind of sausage. It’s a very popular alternative for hot dogs and has become a favorite during summer barbecues. Boiling brats before you grill them can infuse their flavor further. 

Likewise, it can help shorten their cooking time while ensuring the sausage has been heated sufficiently to eradicate any pathogens it may contain.

And if you want to achieve that nice, crispy char that truly makes this sausage a brat, you need to boil it before it touches your hot grill. So how long to boil brats before grilling? Keep on reading to find out the answer.

Table of Contents

The Right Way To Boil Brats

If you have fresh brats, they will need a different method of cooking. It is important to parboil your brats before grilling them. This will ensure that they are cooked thoroughly. Using a cast-iron skill to cook your brats is an excellent way to do it. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add water to the skillet, just enough to cover the bratwurst completely,
  • Let it boil for around 10 to 15 minutes or until they turn gray throughout.
  • Then, you can now transfer the sausages to your hot grill to crisp and brown them nicely.

If your brats contain ground pork, beef, veal, or lamb, check and ensure that their internal temperature reaches 160F. Meanwhile, the recommended temperature for brats with ground chicken or turkey is around 165F.

Additionally, if you want to add flavor to your brats, you can use beer instead of water when parboiling them. The best beer to pair with your brats will depend on what type of brats you’ll cook. 

For instance, if you want a sweeter flavor to complement a strong bratwurst, you may want to use a beer with a heavier malt. On the other hand, sweeter brats will taste even better with bitter lagers. Furthermore, you may consider adding onion when parboiling your brats if you want to enhance their aroma even more.

What’s The Difference Between Boiling And Simmering Brats?

There’s a little difference between simmering and boiling brats. The initial steps of simmering brats are similar to boiling them. You also use a skillet and pour water enough to cover the sausage. Likewise, you can use beer instead of water if you want your brats to have more flavor.

The difference is that once you bring it to a brisk boil, you have to turn the heat down right away to a very low boil. It’s actually more of simmering the sausage rather than actively boiling it. 

Let your brats simmer between 15 to 20 minutes. Then, place them on your grill for that beautiful crispy char and finish.


How long to broil brats before grilling is very quick and easy. It will only take you around 10 to 15 minutes before finishing them with a nice char on your grill. What’s more, doing this extra step will prevent your sausage from splitting. But keep in mind that not all bratwurst need to be boiled. For pre-cooked brats, you only need to heat them.