The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats???

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tfrielin
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2006/07/07 09:59:46 (permalink)

The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats???

I was born in Cincinnati, but haven't lived there in over four decades. But some things have stayed with me, one of them being the proper--The Only!--way to cook bratwurst. This is handed down to me from my Father:

You par boil them (is that the correct term--boiling them in a frying pan in about an inch of water, covered with a lid) then you drain the water, slice them in two and continue frying them in the pan until nice and browned, or blackened if you like them that done.

That's the proper way.

I vaguely remember when Riverfront Staduim opened in 1970, they weren't cooking the brats properly there and the Reds fans protested and the vendors had to cook them the proper way. That's what I remember, anyway.

As far as the proper way to serve them, well, I suppose that's not as closely dictated as the cooking, but to me, only a brat on a bun with lots aof horseradish will do. And a beer.

Too bad you still can't get Burger beer.



#1

21 Replies Related Threads

    Scorereader
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 10:25:12 (permalink)
    See, here's an example of where "proper" is only "proper" in certain areas. For example, in my hometown, if you even think of boiling any type of sausage (brats and hot dogs included), poeple would look at you funny and say things like, "you're not from around here, are you?"
    or, "what the hell are you doing?" or, if you're lucky, a more subtle approach like, "you can just skip the boiling step for mine, and put it right on the grill (fry pan)"

    There were a HANDFUL of people who were different, and would boil them in beer. But not water.
    And those people were referred to as "THOSE people."



    #2
    txtwister
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 12:51:27 (permalink)
    I cook 'em the Cinci way when I cook them inside - mainly because it's the easiest. Brats take forever if you don't give them a little bath first. I just put about an inch of water in the pan, let it cook down, prick the casings to release a bit of juice, throw some onions in the pan, then cut them in half and brown them while the onions cook. (If you don't release the juice before you cut them or serve them, watch out!) If we're cooking on the grill I still usually give them a quick beer and onion simmer, then finish them on the grill. Don't ask me why I only do the beer thing if grilling is involved, I have no idea. LOL
    #3
    Beer&Snausages
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 12:55:43 (permalink)
    This from The Bratwurst Pages, Wisconsin's Soul Food

    http://www.bratwurstpages.com/brats.html

    "How To Cook Bratwurst
    As with all cooking, the key is to use quality ingredients and proper technique. Buy good brats. Care about what you're doing. Pay attention to the details.

    One important point - don't ever boil bratwurst! You may see recipes that call for parboiling or boiling. What they mean to (or ought to) say is simmered in beer or water, usually with chopped onion added. Simmering means bringing the liquid to the temperature at which steam rises from the surface, but not so hot that it bubbles. Boiling will cause the casings to burst.

    Also, you may see or hear the term "brat fry". The term is technically a misnomer. Bratwurst can be pan fried, and you may see recipes that call for it. Nevertheless, at a Wisconsin "brat fry", the bratwurst are cooked on a grate over charcoal, usually on a kettle grill.

    Authentic bratwurst is a fresh sausage which must be cooked thoroughly before eating. You may see pre-cooked bratwurst for sale - they do not look, feel, or taste like fresh bratwurst."

    #4
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 13:26:23 (permalink)
    I simmer bratwurst in beer with sliced onions. Then I grill the brats till they're nice and brown all over. I serve them in buns with some of the onions with which they were simmered. I put several mustards and some horseradish on the table for toppings.
    #5
    Theedge
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 13:58:36 (permalink)
    I’m with Michael on this one. My goal is to get the brat done nice and brown with out breaking the skin and having all the juice fly out. After simmering in beer I put them in the Weber kettle, coals and wood to one side, the brats on the other, close the lid. They turn nice and brown with out having to worry about flare ups and burnt brats.
    #6
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 16:08:46 (permalink)
    Neat info yall! I saw a show where they put em back in the beer and onion on the grill to keep them hot for folks coming at diff times.

    My grandzillas just nuke the pre cooked ones and wrap a flour tortilla around them. Not real brats I know but... maybe better than many kids who think a brat is them. :~)
    Joe

    #7
    Shara
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 17:10:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Beer&Snausages

    This from The Bratwurst Pages, Wisconsin's Soul Food

    http://www.bratwurstpages.com/brats.html

    "How To Cook Bratwurst
    As with all cooking, the key is to use quality ingredients and proper technique. Buy good brats. Care about what you're doing. Pay attention to the details.

    One important point - don't ever boil bratwurst! You may see recipes that call for parboiling or boiling. What they mean to (or ought to) say is simmered in beer or water, usually with chopped onion added. Simmering means bringing the liquid to the temperature at which steam rises from the surface, but not so hot that it bubbles. Boiling will cause the casings to burst.

    Also, you may see or hear the term "brat fry". The term is technically a misnomer. Bratwurst can be pan fried, and you may see recipes that call for it. Nevertheless, at a Wisconsin "brat fry", the bratwurst are cooked on a grate over charcoal, usually on a kettle grill.

    Authentic bratwurst is a fresh sausage which must be cooked thoroughly before eating. You may see pre-cooked bratwurst for sale - they do not look, feel, or taste like fresh bratwurst."




    I went to grad school in Wisconsin, and the above methods were the ones my Milwaukee pals always used--primarily grilling over charcoal in a kettle grill (er in summer).

    And woe betide the person (something this Jersey girl learned the hard way) who pronounces them "brats" (as in naughty little kids)!
    #8
    holdem
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 21:22:40 (permalink)
    Cut them in half? Never seen that done.
    #9
    MikeS.
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/07 23:59:15 (permalink)


    I went to grad school in Wisconsin, and the above methods were the ones my Milwaukee pals always used--primarily grilling over charcoal in a kettle grill (er in summer).

    And woe betide the person (something this Jersey girl learned the hard way) who pronounces them "brats" (as in naughty little kids)!


    If not "brats" then what?

    MikeS.
    #10
    ScreenBear
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/08 00:06:38 (permalink)
    Am I correct in assuming it's brotz, as in Mel Ott? Don't wanna be woe betided, no sirree.
    The Bear
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    Davwud
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/10 22:46:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I simmer bratwurst in beer with sliced onions. Then I grill the brats till they're nice and brown all over. I serve them in buns with some of the onions with which they were simmered. I put several mustards and some horseradish on the table for toppings.


    This is the way to go. I did it like this of July 4 and it was fantastic. Everyone raved and I looked like a genius. I serve them with kraut too. Even grated cheddar. Totally awesome.


    DT
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/10 23:04:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ScreenBear

    Am I correct in assuming it's brotz, as in Mel Ott? Don't wanna be woe betided, no sirree.
    The Bear

    You are correct that it's pronounced brotz. I do, however, have a problem with you using the name of my first sports hero, and my father's rail-hunting partner, so loosely.
    #13
    MikeS.
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/10 23:35:21 (permalink)
    I actually heard a DC anchor person pronounce it brotz tonight.

    So if they want it called brotz, why spell it bratwurst? Not Brotzwurst?

    Like around here they call Kearney Carny like in a carnival worker. Strange regional dialetic stuff.

    MikeS.
    #14
    Oneiron339
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/11 07:30:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I simmer bratwurst in beer with sliced onions. Then I grill the brats till they're nice and brown all over. I serve them in buns with some of the onions with which they were simmered. I put several mustards and some horseradish on the table for toppings.

    Ditto - although I prick them first or you get a face full of extremely hot juices when you bite.
    #15
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/11 10:32:47 (permalink)
    not knowing any better I treat them like hotdogs, grilled over charcoal or wood (campfire) toasted bun, onions and mustard
    #16
    pampellfw
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/11 11:05:57 (permalink)
    "Brotz" is plural. "Brot" is singular (rhymes with cot). It's pronounced that way because it's originally a German word and the "a" in German gets an "ah" sound.

    I grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and come from at least three generations of sausage-makers. Our family does not boil bratwurst or pierce them. In fact, traditionally the men turn them on the grill with their fingers, although I let my East-Coast-born husband use tongs. (NEVER a fork.)





    #17
    GeoNit
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/11 16:26:35 (permalink)
    Here was W.C. Fields' take on the proper cooking and serving of brats:

    Someone asked Fields: "How do you like children?"

    He responded: "Parboiled!" Variations included, "Fried!" and "well done."

    Also: "They are very good with mustard."
    #18
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/11 21:46:31 (permalink)
    Oooh, please don't pierce them. That's the equivalent of squishing down a burger while its cooking. The idea is to keep them juicy. They can be grilled w/o simmering but it takes lots of patience and a medium fire; you could then put them in a warm bath of beer, butter (never margarine) and onions to stay warm while you cook another batch.
    #19
    Scorereader
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/12 09:39:35 (permalink)
    I pierece them on the grill right before putting them in the bun. This way, it's still juicy, but there's no spurting of hot grease when the person bites into it.
    #20
    MikeS.
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/12 15:47:07 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pampellfw

    "Brotz" is plural. "Brot" is singular (rhymes with cot). It's pronounced that way because it's originally a German word and the "a" in German gets an "ah" sound.


    Sounds like Bratwurst should be spelled Germanically as Brat with an umlate over the a? Thus giving the ah sound. That makes a bit more sense.

    MikeS.
    #21
    Scorereader
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    RE: The Proper Way To Cook and Serve Brats??? 2006/07/12 18:03:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MikeSh

    quote:
    Originally posted by pampellfw

    "Brotz" is plural. "Brot" is singular (rhymes with cot). It's pronounced that way because it's originally a German word and the "a" in German gets an "ah" sound.


    Sounds like Bratwurst should be spelled Germanically as Brat with an umlate over the a? Thus giving the ah sound. That makes a bit more sense.

    MikeS.


    no, the "a" in bratwurst in German is the "ah" sound as in the well known composer Bach. In German, neither the "a" or "umlaute a" has a sound like cat, bat, sat. In fact, there is no hat/bat/sat/cat/that, etc. sound in German.

    #22
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