How Long to Boil Brats?

If you want to try making brats at home, you should know how long to boil them. Boiling is an essential part of the cooking process to help heat the brats.

Read on for more information.

Average Time to Boil Brats

Some brats may take a little longer to boil than others. However, you can expect most brats to take about 15 to 20 minutes to boil and then simmer. Because technically, once your pan reaches a boil, you’re supposed to reduce the heat.

The exact amount of time it takes to boil brats can depend on a few factors. First, you have to consider if you’re boiling frozen or thawed brats. Frozen brats may take closer to 20 minutes since you have to increase the heat more.

It may also depend on if you want to boil the brats before or after grilling. The time shouldn’t change too much, but it could differ by a few minutes.

Finally, you should consider how many brats you need to boil at a time. If you’re filling a pot with more meat, it may take more time for all of the links to heat up completely.

Boiling Frozen Brats

As mentioned, boiling frozen brats will take closer to 20 minutes. No matter the initial condition, boiling brats is the main way to heat them up. Meanwhile, grilling helps add the color to the outside.


Freezing your brats before you cook them can be a good idea. You can preserve the brats, which is nice if you want to buy a bunch while they’re on sale. Then, you can use one pack right away, but you can save the rest.

Assuming the brats are in vacuum packaging, freezing won’t hurt them. After you cook the brats, they should taste the same as brats you never put in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Brats?

While you can boil frozen brats, you may not want to. If you don’t have as much time to cook a meal, saving every minute is useful.

Now, it will take time to defrost the brats. However, you can do so while you tackle other tasks around the house, such as cleaning up or finishing up your work day.

An easy way to defrost brats is to take the package out of the freezer and move it into the refrigerator for six hours. If you can’t wait that long, you can put the package in some water in the fridge, and it should be ready within about 50 minutes.

How Long to Boil Brats After Grilling?

When cooking brats, you can choose to boil or grill them first. If you want to grill the brats before boiling, you’ll need to put them on the grill for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, you can boil and simmer the brats for an additional 20 minutes.

If you have more time before you need to eat, you can grill the brats for the same amount of time. After that, you can let the brats simmer for as long as an hour or two. This is a nice option for parties when not everyone will want to eat at the same time.

How Long to Grill Brats After Boiling?

Some people may want to boil the brats before grilling them. In this case, you’ll swap the time intervals, but it should take the same amount of time overall. Boil the brats and let them simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.


Then, you can move them to the grill for another 5 to 10 minutes. This method is best when you know you want to eat at the same time as everyone in your family or at your event. Alternatively, you can boil and then grill sets of brats at a time so that there’s always a fresh one ready to go.

How Long to Boil Brats Without Grilling?

You may not always want to or be able to grill your brats. For example, maybe you live in an apartment complex and don’t have access to a grill. Or one of your neighbors might be using the grill when you want to cook dinner.

Another reason you might not grill your brats is the weather. If it’s raining or snowing, you can’t cook stuff outside. Even if the weather’s perfect, maybe you don’t want to walk between your kitchen and grill.

No matter why, you can still cook brats. You’ll want to boil them for about 10 to 15 minutes, which is similar to other cooking methods.

After you boil the brats, you can fry them in another pan on the stove. That way, the brats can still develop the signature brown color and get crispy on the outside.

Why Boil Brats?

If you’ve never made brats, you may wonder why you have to boil them. One of the best reasons to boil the meat is to help it cook all the way through. Grilling the links may not get the meat to cook evenly.

That can make for a less-enjoyable experience when eating the brats. While boiling takes time, it’s well worth the effort.

Another reason to boil your brats is to help keep the juices inside. The grilling portion of the cooking process will make the outside crispy and brown.

When to Boil Brats?

When you have time, it can be nice to boil your brats then grill them back to back. However, maybe you have a busy day at work coming up. Or you might have to do a lot of party preparation and don’t have time to boil the brats.

You can boil them a day or two before you want to eat them. Then, you’ll only need 10 minutes or so to grill the brats before you serve them.

This also comes in handy if you want to do some meal prep. On Sunday, you can boil a big batch of brats for the week. Then, each day of the week, you’ll only have to grill the links that you want to eat that day.

You can boil brats up to two weeks before you intend to eat them. Just make sure you store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

brat in a bun

What to Boil Brats In?

Beer is one of the most common liquids people use when boiling brats. However, maybe you don’t have much or any beer on hand. Some people also don’t want to consume alcohol.

Fortunately, you have other options. If you don’t mind consuming beer but don’t have a lot, you can mix the beer with an equal amount of water. Another option is to use water instead of beer.

Other alternatives include apple juice and apple cider. You can even use non-alcoholic beer if you like the taste but don’t want the alcohol to affect you. Finally, you could try using chicken or vegetable stock to boil the meat.

How to Tell the Brats Are Done Boiling?

The easiest way to tell your brats are done boiling is to use a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature is 160 degrees, you can move the brats to the grill.

If you don’t have a thermometer, you can watch the brats start to float. They may also start to turn white as they finish cooking.