Asking how long to boil brats is a very common question for those just starting their brats cooking journey, so don’t feel shy for asking.

There are several different ways to cook brats — on the grillin the ovenand on the stove top — and bratwurst recipes often call for brats to be simmered or boiled at some point when cooking them.

Brats usually aren’t just boiled — you need contact with a hot grill or pan to get that nice, crispy char that really makes a brat a brat.

Simmering brats — especially in beer — is a great way to add extra flavor and to keep the meat moist and juicy as they cook, letting you then grill or pan-fry brats without fear of them drying out.

Simmer, Don’t Boil

We use the term “boil” here but it’s important to note the difference between boiling and simmering.

A great basic bratwurst recipe such as our How to Cook Brats in Beer  guide provides more details but here are the basics, as far as how long to boil brats.

You’ll add your brats to a pot or large skillet and add equal parts liquid — either water and beer or just water — until the brats are covered by liquid.

How Long to Boil Brats

Bring them to a brisk boil but then immediately turn down the heat to a very low boil, more of a simmer than an active boil.

Simmer your brats for about 15 to 20 minutes, then finish off on the grill or in a pan with just your brats and a little olive oil to get a nice crispy char and finish.

Here are our frequently asked questions-answers to clear your doubts and queries about how to boil your brats with perfection.

How Long To Boil Frozen Brats?

The boiling time will be longer than the thawed brats (10 to 15 minutes in water).

Freezing is the best way to keep brats for long term storage. Until it is sealed in a freezer-safe package, the brats’ flavor and texture will remain intact.

While freezing is simple storage, it makes the cooking process a bit more complicated. However, no noticeable difference is once boiled.

The defrosting of brats placed in the refrigerator takes about six hours, difficult in these conditions to improvise a meal on the go.

Luckily, we have a way to speed up the process:


Allow the brats to thaw in the refrigerator or a bowl of cold water for as long as possible without removing them from their sealed packaging.

As water is a much better conductor than air, your meat will be ready to boil or cook in just 50 minutes.

Remember, you don’t have to thaw them before cooking.

The less frozen the brats are, the faster they will boil. But, when you are in a hurry, you can also boil the brats wholly frozen.

How Long to Boil Brats if Grilling First

Some people recommend that you grill your brats first and then poach or simmer the brats afterwards.

The cooking times here are about the same but the order is reversed; 5-10 minutes on the grill first then 20 minutes or more simmering.

The grilling first method is often used when cooking huge amounts of brats for festivals or celebrations.

Brats are grilled first then left to simmer in warming pans or trays with onions, garlic, and other seasonings.

Boiling bratwurst is pretty forgiving so don’t stress too much about nailing the exact timing when it comes down to how long to boil brats.

Once they’re done, the traditional way to serve up your brats is on a hard roll with plenty of stone ground mustard.

No mayo, no ketchup. Just mustard…and leave the French’s yellow mustard in the fridge as brat aficionados insist on a good stone ground mustard such as Inglehoffer or Plochman’s.

How Long To Grill Brats After Boiling?

The per-boiled brats take roughly 5 to 10 minutes to be grilled.

How Long To Grill Brats After Boiling

The brewed-brats for grilling have the benefits that they are quick and easy to make. It is grilled hot and briefly and usually does not need extra seasoning.


Preheat the grill over medium-high heat. You can increase heat to medium and grill brats, turn them frequently until browned, around 5 to 10 minutes more.

Important: Before you grill brats, the charcoal should be completely burned out before you place the brats on the grillage.

In addition to the constant grill temperature, the grill rack’s height is also essential. If it is adjustable, you should grill the brats about a hand’s breadth above the embers.

How To Boil Brats Without Beer

If you don’t want to use beer, it is possible to boil brats without using it.

You may simmer the brats in apple juice or apple cider or non-alcoholic beer, and you can even try chicken or vegetable stock.

Boil Brats Before Grilling

Blanch the brats in boiling water about 10 to 15 minutes before grilling.

It is recommended because this method reduces the time the brats have to go on the grill and simplify boiling.

Boil Brats Before Grilling


Preheat the grill up to medium to high heat. Then, add the brats, onion, and your favorite beer in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Decrease heat and bring to a boil, and simmer until brats are well boiled through roughly 10 to 12 minutes before grilling.

Boiling Brats Without Grilling

Can you cook brats without a grill? Yes, you can!


Boil the brats in beer or water or a mix of each. However, the pan only needs half to cover them in the liquid.

Then begin the boiling for around 10 to 15 minutes or enough to pre-cook them completely.

Then fry with oil or butter or olive oil, or whatever medium you like. In this way, you will achieve the browned outer casing in a pan.

Can You Boil Brats The Day Before?

Yes, you can boil brats a day before then refrigerate them!

Because the boiled brats have a shelf life of around two weeks if properly vacuumed or preserved.

Should You Boil Brats Before Grilling

Of course. It would be best if you boiled your brats before grilling.

Because boiling the brats before grilling assure that they will be cooked wholly.

Plus, it also allows all the juices to stay inside while the casing gets brown and crispy on the grill.

How To Tell When Brats Are Done On The Stove

It all depends on the meats that make up the brats.

Brats are judged in particular by their juiciness. On the other hand, there are necessarily two cooking phases, heating and browning, which can be linked in one direction or the other.

By placing a brat on a plate on its side, you will be able to see the juice from it dripping slightly. You can also lightly press it with your spatula to release some juice.

The juices of brat-meats should always be transparent. If it is pinkish, put the meat back on the stove for a few more minutes to continue cooking even if it is crispy from outside.

If there is any doubt, you can also use a meat thermometer. (The ideal internal temperature is 160°F to cook brats perfectly).

How Do You Know When Brats Are Done Boiling?

Mostly brats take 15 to 20 minutes to be boiled thoroughly.

If you are not a master or regular cook, identifying when the brats are perfectly boiled can be tricky for you!

However, broil them until the internal link heat reaches 160°F and the turning links every 4 minutes.

How Long Do You Grill Brats After Boiling?

About 10 to 15 minutes for grilling after boiling the brats.

When should you use this bratwurst cooking technique? It all depends on their size. Indeed, the bigger your brats, the more it is in your interest to pre cook them.

However, this is the surest way to ensure that your brats are cooked thoroughly on the inside and not charred on the outside.

A partial boil plus grilling is another traditional way to cook brats. You can boil the brats in either water, beer, or flavored boil.


In this way, you need to boil the brats for 10 minutes to get them partially cooked. Transfer the drained brats to a hot grill to complete the cooking.

This method keeps the brats juicy on the inside and imparts a grill aroma to the outside.

Do Brats Float When Done?

Yes, brats float in the beer if wholly boiled.

The cold brats won’t float in the pot. It is a sign you need to know that the brats are done boiling or not.

If they don’t float, wait for some more time; moreover, they turn white when they float.

It doesn’t take much time to float while boiling with room temperature-brats.

How Do You Tell If Brats Are Done Without A Thermometer?

A bratwurst is judged in particular by its juiciness.

It is necessary to sear the outside; there are necessarily two cooking stages, heating and browning, which can be linked in one direction or the other.

Brown and crispy from outside while juicy and soft from within! You don’t need a thermometer if you are a pro bratwurst cook!

How Long Do You Boil Johnsonville Brats?

Boiling time is around 10 minutes to 12 minutes.

Boil the Johnsonville brats before cooking. You require to bring the water to a slow boil. Then, reduce the heat from medium to low, and boil the brats for about 10 minutes or 2 minutes more if needed.

In other ways, the brats are well done when the internal temperature reaches 82 ° C (180 ° F).

In summary, when preparing bratwurst at home, always handle them with care before and during cooking so as not to puncture the casing (vegetable casing) of the brats to keep the flavors inside.

Moreover, it is best to start boiling in hot water, without oil or butter, over medium-high heat. After a minute, reduce the heat to medium for boiling the brats for 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of boiling, let the brats rest for about 5 minutes before grilling, and after the grilling, they will be full of flavor, crispy, and very juicy.

Image Credit: Youtube Video under Creative Commons

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