Sous vide might seem like overkill for a simple dish like beer-braised bratwurst, however, there are two main benefits to this cooking method: Convenience and efficiency:

  1. Convenience: sous vide is the ultimate “set it and forget it” cooking method meaning you’ll spend less time keeping an eye on your brats and more time enjoying the Summer.
  2. Efficiency: When it comes to braising liquid and sous vide a little goes a long way. You’ll only need a couple of tablespoons of beer for this method, so you’ll have more leftover to drink! 

Follow this simple guide to learn how to cook bratwurst using Suvie and sous vide.

Temperature and cooking times for bratwurst

TemperatureTimeResult
145°F1-3 hoursVery soft and juicy
150°F1- 3 hoursFirm but still juicy
155°F1- 3 hoursFirm and less juicy, close to a sausage using conventional methods

If you prefer bratwurst well done with a traditional snap try cooking them between 165°F and 170°F. Like most sous vide meats, the longer you cook sausages, the more tender your meat will become. Leaving the sausage in the water bath for longer than 1-hour won’t cook the meat far beyond the desired doneness but it will affect the texture. 

Follow this link to find out more information about Suvie cooking times and temperatures

Ingredients and Tools

  • 2-6 Bratwurst links
  • Salt
  • Beer (optional)

Equipment

  • Suvie or immersion circulator
  • A large pot (if using a sous vide wand)
  • Vacuum sealer and bags or Freezer safe sealable plastic bags
  • A skillet or a hot grill

Directions

Pour about 2 tbsp of beer into a sealable plastic bag and add a big pinch of salt. Seal the bag and gently mix the beer and salt. Open the bag and add the sausages. Arrange the sausages into a single layer and vacuum seal the bag.

If you’re using a regular plastic bag, follow our guide on the water displacement method

Using Suvie

If you are using Suvie, place the bag into a Suvie pan and cover completely with water. Place in Suvie and use the following settings:

My Cook > Multi-Zone Settings

Protein: 145-155°F, 1-3 hours depending on the desired doneness (or follow our protein cooking guide)

Vegetable: 0 minutes

Starch: 0 minutes

Once the cook is done remove the bag from your Suvie or water bath. 

Using an immersion circulator

Pre-heat your water bath to the desired temperature.

Lower the bag into the water bath and leave until cooked.

Finishing

Remove the sausages from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. 

Suvie

If you’re using your Suvie, pour the water out of the protein pan and wipe dry with a paper towel. Put the bratwursts in the protein pan and return the pan to the Suvie. Select the Broil option from the menu and adjust the broil time as desired. Turn the bratwursts halfway through the broiling process. 

Pan Fry

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages. and cook, turning often for about 3-5 minutes. Remove once all sides have been browned.

Grill

For a truly authentic experience, throw the brats onto a medium-hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes, turning often. 

Recipes to Try

Beer Brats

Sausage with Southern Potato Salad

Sausage, Corn, Spinach, Potato Bake

Chili Cheese Dogs

FAQs

Can I use any type of plastic bag?

You can, however, make sure that they are made from polyethylene. Some branded bags are made using polyethylene which is a BPA and dioxin free plastic that can safely handle sous vide cooking temperatures up to 190°F. Some generic branded plastic bags are made using cheaper polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which cannot handle high temps and contains chemicals that can leach into food.

Why does the vacuum sealer keep wrecking my sausages?

The vacuum sealing process can result in squashed sausages. We recommend stopping the vacuum sealer as soon as it has removed all the air from the bag. If you leave the device running it might damage the sausages. Alternatively, try using frozen sausages to prevent this from happening. 

Can I sous vide frozen brats? 

Yes, you can sous vide sausages directly from frozen. Just add 1 hour to the cooking time.

Where can I get vacuum sealed proteins?

If you don’t want to fuss with vacuum sealers and ziplock bags you can skip the store and order the Suvie Protein Box. Just put together your ideal combination of preseasoned, portioned, and vacuum-packed high-quality meat, poultry, or fish. We deliver it to you frozen in a carefully-packed box.

Should I leave the bratwursts to rest before serving? 

No, you should serve them right away after finishing. 

Can I store my sausages after the sous vide process and finish them later?

This depends. Bratwursts cooked using the water displacement method should be consumed sooner rather than later. However, If you have correctly vacuum sealed your sausages they can be safely stored in the fridge for a couple of days before searing.

To prevent the growth of food bacteria, we recommend rapidly cooling the food before putting it in the refrigerator. To do this remove your brats from the sous vide, or Suvie, and place them, still in the bag, in an ice bath for at least 40 minutes. Once they have cooled, place them in the fridge. 

Can I leave the brats in the water bath indefinitely? 

You can, but you shouldn’t. While leaving sausages in sous vide for long periods of time won’t result in overcooking, it will have a negative effect on the overall texture of the meat. 

Can I use pre-cooked bratwursts? 

You can, This method will work with pre-cooked bratwurst, however the flavor of the beer may not be as pronounced when using pre-cooked sausages. 

Can I use any type of beer?

You can, but in our experience, pale lager works best.

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