Pan-Fried Bratwurst Recipe | How To Cook Brats On A Stove

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Cooking bratwurst on the stove is a simple and quick way to enjoy these flavorful sausages. This method ensures that your bratwurst is perfectly browned on the outside and juicy on the inside. With just a few ingredients and a nonstick pan, you can have a delicious meal ready in no time.

skillet fried bratwurst

Why You’ll Love How To Cook Bratwurst On A Stove

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a delicious meal in under 20 minutes. The simple stovetop method requires minimal preparation and cleanup.
  • Perfectly Cooked Every Time: Using a nonstick pan and a cover ensures your bratwurst is evenly browned and cooked through. The instant-read thermometer guarantees that your sausages reach the perfect temperature.
  • Juicy and Flavorful: Cooking bratwurst on the stove locks in their natural juices, resulting in sausages that are tender and bursting with flavor. Every bite is a delight!
  • Versatile Dish: Bratwurst can be served in various ways, making it a versatile addition to your meal rotation. Pair it with sauerkraut, potatoes, or simply enjoy it on a bun with your favorite condiments.
  • Kid-Friendly: This method of cooking bratwurst is straightforward and yields results that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. The sausages come out juicy and flavorful, making them a hit with kids and adults alike.

stovetop bratwurst


  • Bratwurst Sausages: These are the star of the dish. Make sure to choose high-quality bratwurst for the best flavor.
  • Oil: Just a little oil is needed to prevent the sausages from sticking to the pan. You can use any neutral oil, such as olive or avocado oil.

For the exact measurements of the ingredients, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

fried bratwurst recipe

Kitchen Tools You Need To Make How To Cook Bratwurst On A Stove

  • Nonstick Frying Pan: A nonstick pan is ideal for cooking bratwurst evenly and preventing it from sticking.
  • Cover for the Pan: Helps to cook the bratwurst faster and ensures even cooking.
  • Instant-Read Thermometer: Ensures that the bratwurst reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Paper Towel: Used to spread the oil evenly in the pan.
  • Tongs: For flipping the bratwurst and handling them safely.

bratwurst in a pan

How To Make How To Cook Bratwurst On A Stove

  • Prepare the Pan: Add a small amount of oil to your nonstick frying pan and use a paper towel to spread it evenly across the bottom.
  • Heat the Pan: Turn the heat to high and place the bratwurst sausages in the pan.
  • Initial Sizzle: Wait until you hear the sausages sizzling, then reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan.
  • First Flip: After 3 minutes, flip the bratwurst to brown the other side.
  • Cook Evenly: Continue to cook, flipping occasionally, for about 7 minutes total.
  • Reduce Heat: Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Check Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the bratwurst reaches at least 165°F.
  • Final Cook: If needed, cook the sausages for a few more minutes until fully cooked.
  • Serve: Remove from the pan and let rest for a minute before serving.

pan seared bratwurst

Serving Suggestions

bratwurst skillet recipe

Tips For Success

  1. Use a Nonstick Pan: A nonstick frying pan ensures that the bratwurst sausages cook evenly and don’t stick to the surface. This makes flipping them easier and prevents tearing the casing.
  2. Oil the Pan Lightly: You only need a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. The sausages will release their own fat as they cook, so a light coating is sufficient. Spread the oil with a paper towel to ensure even coverage.
  3. Monitor the Heat: Start cooking the bratwurst on high heat to get a good initial sear, then reduce the heat to medium and finally to medium-low as they cook through. This helps to brown the sausages evenly without burning them.
  4. Cover the Pan: Using a cover helps trap heat and moisture, allowing the bratwurst to cook more quickly and evenly. It also prevents the sausages from drying out.
  5. Flip Regularly: Turn the bratwurst every few minutes to ensure that all sides are evenly browned. This also helps in cooking the sausages evenly.
  6. Check the Temperature: An instant-read thermometer is the best way to ensure your bratwurst is cooked perfectly. They should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can cut one sausage open to check if it’s cooked through.
  7. Rest Before Serving: Let the bratwurst rest for a minute or two after cooking. This helps the juices redistribute within the sausage, making them juicier and more flavorful.
  8. Avoid Overcrowding the Pan: Cook the bratwurst in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Too many sausages in the pan can lower the temperature and result in uneven cooking.
  9. Be Patient: Don’t rush the cooking process. Cooking bratwurst too quickly on high heat can cause the outside to burn while the inside remains undercooked. Lower the heat if the sausages are browning too fast.
  10. Experiment with Flavors: While bratwurst is delicious on its own, you can experiment by adding a splash of beer or apple cider to the pan for extra flavor during the last few minutes of cooking.

stovetop cooked bratwurst

Variations And Substitutions

  1. Cheese-Filled Bratwurst: For an extra burst of flavor, look for cheese-filled bratwurst at your local grocery store. These sausages have pockets of cheese inside that melt as they cook, adding a rich and creamy element to each bite.
  2. Vegetarian Bratwurst: If you’re following a vegetarian diet, there are several plant-based bratwurst options available. These are typically made from soy, pea protein, or other meat alternatives. Cook them using the same method, but check the package instructions as cooking times may vary.
  3. Beer-Braised Bratwurst: For a traditional German twist, try braising the bratwurst in beer. After browning the sausages, add a bottle of your favorite beer to the pan, cover, and let them simmer until cooked through. This method infuses the bratwurst with a deep, malty flavor.
  4. Apple and Onion Bratwurst: Enhance the flavor of your bratwurst by cooking them with sliced apples and onions. Add these to the pan alongside the sausages and cook until the onions are caramelized and the apples are tender. This adds a sweet and savory dimension to the dish.
  5. Spicy Bratwurst: If you like a bit of heat, look for spicy bratwurst varieties or add your own heat with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce during cooking. This will give the sausages a nice kick without overpowering their natural flavor.
  6. Gluten-Free Bratwurst: Many bratwurst are naturally gluten-free, but it’s always good to check the label if you’re avoiding gluten. Ensure all other ingredients, like the oil and any accompaniments, are also gluten-free.
  7. Garlic and Herb Bratwurst: Add a burst of freshness by incorporating garlic and herbs. Mince a couple of garlic cloves and add them to the pan during the last few minutes of cooking. Sprinkle with freshly chopped herbs like parsley or chives before serving.
  8. Smoked Bratwurst: If you have access to a smoker, try smoking your bratwurst before finishing it on the stove. This adds a rich, smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with the juicy sausage.
  9. Low-Fat Bratwurst: For a healthier option, look for low-fat bratwurst made from turkey or chicken. These versions offer the same great taste with less fat and calories.
  10. Bratwurst with Peppers and Onions: Sauté sliced bell peppers and onions in the same pan as the bratwurst for a colorful and flavorful addition. This combination is great served on a hoagie roll or alongside some rice.

easy pan fried bratwurst

Storage and Reheating

  • Storing Leftover Bratwurst: Place any leftover bratwurst in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing Bratwurst: If you want to store bratwurst for a longer period, you can freeze them. Wrap each sausage individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating in the Microwave: For a quick reheat, place the bratwurst on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
  • Reheating on the Stove: To maintain the best texture, reheat the bratwurst on the stove. Place the sausages in a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally until heated through.
  • Reheating in the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the bratwurst on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
  • Avoid Reheating Multiple Times: To preserve the best quality and safety, try to reheat bratwurst only once. Repeated reheating can cause the sausages to dry out and lose flavor.

pan fried bratwurst recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook bratwurst without oil?

Yes, you can cook bratwurst without oil if you prefer. However, using a small amount of oil helps to prevent the sausages from sticking to the pan and ensures even browning. If you choose to omit the oil, make sure to use a good-quality nonstick pan.

How do I know when the bratwurst is fully cooked?

The best way to ensure bratwurst is fully cooked is to use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should reach at least 165°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can cut one sausage in half to check if it’s no longer pink inside.

Can I cook frozen bratwurst on the stove?

Yes, you can cook frozen bratwurst on the stove, but it will take longer to cook through. It’s best to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight for more even cooking. If cooking from frozen, start with a lower heat to thaw them slightly before increasing the heat to brown the sausages.

What should I do if my bratwurst bursts while cooking?

Bratwurst may burst if cooked on too high a heat or if overcooked. To prevent this, start with high heat to sear, then reduce to medium and medium-low as they cook. If they do burst, they are still safe to eat; they just might lose some of their juices.

Can I use other types of sausages with this cooking method?

Absolutely! This cooking method works well for many types of sausages, including Italian sausage, chicken sausage, and chorizo. Adjust the cooking time as needed based on the size and type of sausage.

How can I add more flavor to my bratwurst?

You can add more flavor to bratwurst by braising them in beer, adding sliced onions and apples to the pan, or sprinkling them with your favorite spices or herbs during cooking. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite.

Can I cook bratwurst on the stove and then grill them?

Yes, you can start cooking bratwurst on the stove and then finish them on the grill for added flavor. Brown them on the stove as directed, then transfer them to a preheated grill and cook for a few minutes on each side to get that delicious grilled taste.

What side dishes go well with bratwurst?

Bratwurst pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, potato salad, roasted vegetables, or a fresh green salad. You can also serve them in buns with your favorite condiments for a simple and satisfying meal.

How can I make sure my bratwurst stays juicy?

To keep bratwurst juicy, cook them slowly over medium to medium-low heat after the initial sear. Covering the pan helps retain moisture. Also, avoid piercing the sausages with a fork, which can cause the juices to escape.

Can I make bratwurst ahead of time?

Yes, you can cook bratwurst ahead of time and reheat them when needed. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat gently on the stove, in the oven, or in the microwave.

Try Other Sausage Recipe

Instant Pot Sausage Bratwurst: Enjoy juicy and flavorful bratwurst cooked quickly and effortlessly in your Instant Pot.

Air Fryer Brats – Easy Air Fryer Bratwurst: Crisp and perfectly cooked bratwurst made in the air fryer for a quick and delicious meal.

Oven-Baked Bratwurst: Oven-baked bratwurst that is tender, juicy, and evenly cooked to perfection.

Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs: Delicious hot dogs wrapped in crispy bacon, easily made in the air fryer for a savory treat.

Air Fryer Crescent Roll Pigs In A Blanket: Mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and air fried until golden brown and delicious.

Instant Pot Cooked Hot Dogs: Quick and easy hot dogs cooked in the Instant Pot, perfect for a fast and tasty meal.

Classic Pigs In A Blanket with Hot Dogs: Classic pigs in a blanket with hot dogs wrapped in flaky pastry, baked to perfection.

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How To Cook Bratwurst On A Stove

Learn how to cook bratwurst on a stove for a quick and delicious meal. With just a little oil and a nonstick pan, you can achieve perfectly browned and juicy bratwurst sausages. This easy stovetop method ensures your bratwurst is cooked to perfection every time.
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: bratwurst, easy bratwurst recipe, stovetop bratwurst
Cooking Method: Stovetop
Diet: Gluten-Free
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 12kcal

Recipe Video


  • 4 pcs bratwurst sausages
  • 1 tsp oil

Recommended Kitchen Tools (click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe)


  • Add a little oil to the nonstick frying pan and use a paper towel to coat the bottom.
  • Turn the heat to high and place the bratwurst sausages in the pan.
  • Once you hear the sausages sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan.
  • Cook for 3 minutes, then flip the sausages to brown the other side.
  • Continue to cook, flipping occasionally, for about 7 minutes total.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer; it should be at least 165°F.
  • If necessary, cook for a few more minutes until the bratwurst is fully cooked.
  • Remove from the pan and let rest for a minute before serving.


  • Make sure to flip the sausages regularly to ensure even browning.
  • If you don't have a thermometer, cut one sausage in half to check for doneness; it should not be pink in the middle.
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Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.03g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 3mg | Vitamin A: 0.1IU | Calcium: 0.3mg | Iron: 0.01mg
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