Things You'll Need
Bratwurst, a traditional German sausage, easily becomes the star of the dinner show when you mix an electric skillet and a little kitchen know-how. Bratwurst is typically made of ground pork that is mixed with spices and herbs – and sometimes other ground meats – before it is stuffed into casings. It resembles a larger, plumper hot dog. There are as many ways of cooking "brats" as there are cooking methods; an electric skillet allows you to control the heat and produce consistent results, whatever method you use.
Pour around 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil into the electric skillet. For safety, ensure the skillet is 15 to 18 inches away from any other appliances or objects and at least 4 to 6 inches from the edge of the table or countertop.
Heat the electric skillet to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the bratwurst into the skillet, taking care not to get burned by pops or sizzles when the meat hits the hot oil. For a substantial meal, add coarsely chopped onions, peppers or sliced apples and cabbage -- all natural accompaniments to bratwurst.
Cook the bratwurst thoroughly, turning about every 5 to 10 minutes until the sausages are cooked through. Use tongs to turn the brats so that you don't pierce the sausages, allowing flavorful juices to escape. If you are sauteing precooked sausages, they should be ready in about 15 minutes. If you are cooking fresh brats, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the sausage has cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160 F.
Transfer the bratwurst to a clean serving dish and dial the skillet temperature to off.
Fill the electric skillet half full of water. For more flavorful bratwurst, substitute beer or beef or chicken stock. Add chopped onion, garlic, herbs and spices to create multiple layers of flavors.
Heat the electric skillet to 400 F, allowing the liquid to come to a boil.
Reduce the heat to 300 F and add the brats to the liquid. Put the lid on the skillet.
Braise the brats slowly, turning them occasionally with tongs to ensure thorough cooking, about 20 to 30 minutes. As the brats cook, the liquid will reduce, so have extra water, beer or broth on hand to replenish the liquid.
Transfer the brats to a clean serving dish and dial the skillet temperature to off.
Bratwurst can be stored in the refrigerator up to two weeks or through the “sell-by” date stamped on the package. They can be frozen indefinitely, but should be used within 1 or 2 months for the best flavor.
Serve cooked brats in a long, hoagie-style roll and add cooked vegetables and condiments or sauces.
Slice leftover brats into small rounds and create a hash or add to a soup to add protein and rich flavors.
Cooking with an electric skillet allows you to avoid heating the entire kitchen with a large appliance.
Allow the skillet to cool completely before cleaning.
Electric skillets should not be immersed in a sink of soapy water or in the dishwasher. They should be cleaned using a soapy sponge and rinsed with hot water. Avoid getting the plug mechanism wet, and allow all parts of the skillet to dry thoroughly before using it again.
- Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut: Home Sausage Making, 2nd ed.
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Safe Handling of Sausages & Hot Dogs; P. H. Schmutz and E. H. Hoyle
- Pork Be Inspired: Sausage Basics
- National Hot Dog and Sausage Council: Tips for Cooking Linked Sausages
- Pork Be Inspired: German-Style Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
- USDA Food Safety Information: Sausages and Food Safety