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The tender interior and crisp casing makes bratwurst a flavorful addition to any meal. This German sausage is available fresh or precooked; the fresh types are typically gray in color, while the precooked types resemble large hotdogs. Both varieties store for only a short time in the refrigerator. Freezing helps extend the storage life of the sausage without compromising the flavor. Fresh and precooked bratwurst have similar storage requirements and a similar shelf life in the freezer.
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Leave unopened bratwurst in its original packaging. Wrap opened bratwurst tightly in plastic freezer wrap.
Place the bratwurst inside a freezer storage bag. Press out the excess air in the bag and seal it closed.
Label the freezer bag with the date. Store the bratwurst in the freezer for up to three months from this date.
Freeze the bratwurst immediately after packaging and dating. Thaw it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours prior to cooking and serving.
Once thawed, store fresh bratwurst for up to three days in the refrigerator. Store thawed, precooked bratwurst for up to seven days in the refrigerator.
Never thaw meat at room temperature. If you must thaw bratwurst quickly, place it in a sink filled with cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes until the bratwurst is fully defrosted. Cook bratwurst thawed in this manner immediately.