How Long to Smoke Uncooked Brats (Guide for Juicy Results)

Hey, is that the next BBQ guru I see there? I think it is…

Welcome to my ultimate guide on how long to smoke uncooked brats for the tastiest results. I owe a lot of my success in grilling to following this method, so in this review, I’ll show you the process that has worked best for me so you can make an informed decision.

I’ll be honest – if you don’t follow the procedure when cooking your brats, they won’t turn out as delicious as possible. But by using the correct techniques and tools, you can have amazing results every time.

In this barbecue extravaganza complete with sizzling facts and descriptions, we’ll cover:

  • The pros of smoking uncooked brats versus boiling them first
  • The most important details to consider when deciding how long to smoke brats
  • How to season your brats for maximum flavor
  • Tips on prepping and seasoning your favorite type of smoker or grill
  • A breakdown of helpful tools needed for achieving optimal smoked-brat perfection
  • And some complimentary puns that will leave you in stitches!

Are you ready? It’s time to get grilling!

Understanding the Basics of Smoking Brats

Smoking brats is a culinary delight that combines the flavors and textures of the sausage with the smoky goodness of your chosen wood.

Before we dive headfirst into the process, let’s cover the basics, shall we?

What are Uncooked Brats?

Uncooked brats, or bratwursts, are a type of German sausage made from pork, beef, or veal.

The name “bratwurst” comes from the German words “brät,” which means finely chopped meat, and “wurst,” meaning sausage.

Unlike precooked sausages, uncooked brats need to be cooked thoroughly before eating.

Since they are raw, they require more attention and care in terms of cooking time and temperature.

Why Smoke Brats?

One might ask, why smoke brats when you can simply grill them? Well, smoking imparts a distinct flavor to the brats that you won’t get from just grilling or frying.

It’s a slow, delicate process that tenderizes the brat while infusing it with the flavors of your chosen wood.

The Ideal Smoking Conditions for Brats

Now that we’ve covered why we smoke brats, let’s talk about the ideal conditions for smoking these meaty delicacies.

Why Smoke at 225F and How Long Does it Take?

Smoking brats at 225 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to be ideal because it’s a relatively low temperature that allows the brats to cook slowly and evenly.

This ensures that the brats are thoroughly cooked without risking any burnt exteriors.

In terms of smoking duration, uncooked brats typically take about 2 hours to smoke at this temperature.

How long to smoke brats at 250 degrees F?

If you’re in a bit of a hurry or simply prefer a slightly higher cooking temperature, 250 degrees Fahrenheit works just as well.

However, keep in mind that the cooking time will be a bit shorter—around 1 ½ hours.

As always, remember to check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches the safe point of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoking Brats on a Pellet Grill vs Other Methods

Smoking on a pellet grill is a popular choice due to its convenience and ease of use.

Pellet grills provide consistent temperatures and often come with adjustable settings for smoke intensity.

However, if you don’t have a pellet grill, a traditional smoker or a charcoal grill with a cover can also do a great job.

The key is to maintain a steady temperature and keep the brats away from direct heat to prevent burning.

Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Smoke Brats

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of smoking brats.

These step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.

Preparing Your Bratwurst for Smoking

Before you start, ensure your brats are thawed if they were previously frozen.

Do not puncture or score the brats, as this can result in a loss of juices during the cooking process.

How to Smoke Bratwurst Steps


Preheat your smoker or pellet grill to 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.


Arrange the brats on the grates, making sure they’re not touching each other.


Smoke the brats for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 160F.


If desired, you can finish them off on a grill for a minute or two each side for a nice char.

How Do You Smoke Brats On A Pellet Grill?

Smoking brats on a pellet grill follows the same basic steps as mentioned above.

The key difference is that pellet grills often have a ‘smoke’ setting, so simply set it up according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and you’re good to go.

Choosing the Right Wood for Smoking Brats

The type of wood you choose can greatly affect the flavor of your smoked brats.

Here’s how to pick the right one.

Best Wood for Smoked Brats

Some of the best woods for smoking brats include hickory, oak, mesquite, pecan, and maple.

Apple wood is also a popular choice due to its mild flavor that complements the bratwurst well.

Important Tips to Choose Your Wood for Smoking Brats

Choosing your wood depends on the flavor profile you’re aiming for.

Stronger woods like hickory and mesquite give a robust, hearty flavor, while milder woods like apple and maple result in a sweeter, subtler taste.

Try experimenting with different types to see which one suits your palate best.

Tips and Tricks for Smoking Brats

Here are some handy tips and tricks to help you achieve the best smoked brats.

High Heat Grilling vs Low and Slow Smoking

While grilling brats on high heat may be quicker, it often leads to brats that are burnt on the outside and undercooked on the inside.

On the other hand, smoking on low heat cooks the brats evenly and imparts a richer flavor.

How Do You Tell If Brats Are Done When Smoking?

The most accurate way to determine if your brats are done is by using a meat thermometer.

The internal temperature should reach 160F.

Alternatively, you can also use the touch test—if the brats are firm but bouncy when picked up with tongs, they’re likely done.

Best Tips For Cooking Smoked Brats

Remember to avoid puncturing your brats to retain juices and flavor.

Also, try experimenting with different woods to enhance the taste.

Don’t rush the process—good things come to those who wait.

Storing and Reheating Smoked Brats

If you’ve smoked more brats than you can eat, don’t worry.

Here’s how you can store and reheat them.

Refrigerating Your Smoked Brats

Allow your smoked brats to cool down before storing them in the fridge.

Put them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag and they should last for up to four days.

Freezing and Reheating Your Smoked Brats

For longer-term storage, you can freeze your smoked brats.

When you’re ready to eat them, thaw them in the fridge overnight and then warm them up in the oven or on a grill at a medium-low heat.

Serving Smoked Brats

Last but not least, let’s talk about serving your perfectly smoked brats.

How to Serve Smoked Brats

Smoked brats can be served in a multitude of ways.

A classic serving suggestion is to place them in a bun with sauerkraut, mustard, and onions.

Or you can serve them alongside some potato salad and pickles for a hearty meal.

Smoked Brats Recipes for Inspiration

Try experimenting with different toppings and side dishes.

Some popular options include cheese, jalapenos, or a tasty homemade beer sauce.


How do you smoke brats?

Smoking brats involves placing the sausage in a smoker, such as an electric smoker, charcoal smoker or pellet grill, and cooking them at a temperature of 225-275 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 2 hours. To add flavor and moisture to the brats, you can use wood chips such as mesquite or hickory. Additionally, adding chopped onions or submerging the bratwurst in a beer bath before smoking also adds moisture and flavor.

What is the optimal internal temperature when cooking smoked meats?

The optimal internal temperature when cooking smoked meats is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that harmful bacteria are destroyed while still preserving the juicy texture of meats like smoked sausage and bratwurst. During preparation, it’s important to check meat with a food thermometer often so that it does not overcook or burn on the hot grill.

What type of wood should I use for smoking my brats?

When smoking your brats, choose from any number of wood options including hickory, applewood and mesquite chips for added smoky flavor. Wood chips or chunks should be soaked in water before adding them to the smoker – this prevents them from burning too quickly on high heat during the preparation process. Choose whichever wood chip suits your desired flavor profile best!

What is an easy way to cook bratwurst?

An easy way to cook bratwurst is on a hot grill over medium heat until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 minutes). For extra added flavor, you can baste them with beer or other marinade while they’re grilling – just make sure they stay at least six inches away from direct flames so they don’t burn! You could also smoke your sausages using a charcoal smoker or electric smoker using higher temperatures (225-275 degrees) over indirect heat for 1-2 hours.

What are Johnsonville brats?

Johnsonville brats are pre-cooked, smoked pork and beef sausage links made by the Johnsonville Sausage Company. They come in a variety of flavors, such as original, Italian, cheddar cheese, jalapeno & cheddar, and beer.

How do you preheat your smoker for making smoked brats?

To preheat your smoker for making smoked brats, make sure the grill is clean and empty. Fill the pellet hopper with apple wood or hickory pellets and turn on high heat to reach an internal temperature of 225-250 degrees (Fahrenheit). Once heated up to temperature add in your brats or other sausages and close the lid.

How do you get great grill marks on your brats?

To get great grill marks on your Johnsonville Bratwurst sausages place them directly over hot coals or direct flame for about 3 minutes before turning them 45 degrees to allow for searing each side which will give that iconic cross-hatched pattern. It’s best to baste with yellow mustard during this step so that it caramelizes onto the surface of the meat giving extra flavor!

How long should you cook smoked brats and what is the best cooking method?

The exact cooking time for smoked bratwurst sausages depends on several factors such as how hot your smoker is running at (225-250 Fahrenheit), how thick they are sliced prior to cooking, if they were precooked or not beforehand etc., but generally speaking they should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit using either a single layer method over indirect heat with a foil pan underneath them or double layering technique where two racks are used (one lower rack + one upper rack) so that they cook evenly without burning. Serve when cooked through!

How Long Should I Smoke Brats?

Smoking brats usually take between 1 ½ – 2 hours at 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

This can vary depending on your specific smoker or grill, so always check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches 160F.

Can You Smoke Johnsonville Brats?


Johnsonville brats, or any other brand for that matter, can be smoked just like unbranded ones.

However, if the brats are pre-cooked, you only need to smoke them till they’re heated through—typically around 45 minutes to an hour.

There you have it—a comprehensive guide to smoking uncooked brats.

Remember, patience is key while smoking brats.

Follow these steps and tips, and you’ll be rewarded with a deliciously smoky and flavorful meal.

Happy smoking!

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