Learn how to cook sausages in the oven. Cooking brats in the oven is easy, quick, and less messy than usual. A delicious bad weather recipe!
Cooking Brats in the Oven (Baked Bratwurst)
No grilling weather outside? And no desire to clean the stovetop after cooking brats? Then it’s better to learn how to cook bratwurst in the oven. The best bratwurst recipe: clean, quick, and foolproof! This method is the next best thing to grilling them outside. And if you only have frozen brats, see How to Cook Frozen Sausages!
Sausages are something I know I can make my family happy with every time. Either served in a German roll with lots of mustard or as part of a meal with potato wedges, sauerkraut or German potato salad, a nice hot bratwurst is always good!
There are lots of ways of cooking a bratwurst, grilling is definitely the most common way, but grilling is not always an option. And grilling brats or any other kind of sausages on the stove is really not optimal. They taste delicious, of course, but the mess is too much for me! I don’t like having to clean the stovetop and the wall behind it every time I cook sausages, I don’t enjoy the smell that seems to linger everywhere for at least two days and I am not keen on standing by the stove and turning the sausages every couple of minutes so that they don’t burn.
But there is a perfectly simple method of dealing with all these issues: cook your brats in the oven! Or when I do cook brats on the stove then I make beer brats with onions in a cast iron skillet, not the grilling style. Or how about trying Brats in the Air Fryer?
Advantages of the oven method
- This is the main advantage for me. Including not many dishes to clean afterward. The stovetop remains clean, there is no grill pan to scrub.
- Cleaning just one sheet pan is definitely quicker and easier. If you line the baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment you might even be able to skip that. It doesn’t always work, because the fat usually finds its way underneath the piece of parchment paper, but the cleaning-up is minimal.
- You will not have to check the sausages 10 times to make sure that they are cooked through.
- Give them the time required by the recipe and check once, maybe twice if they are not done already.
- To check I usually cut one bratwurst in the middle, it should not be pink anymore.
- You can also use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- Grilling sausages in the pan might cause them to be burned on the outside, while still raw on the inside. And you definitely don’t want to eat burnt yet uncooked brats.
- Constantly adjusting the temperature is almost mandatory, unless you have cooked sausages this way many times. And although you will not fry or grill anything, the sausages will still get a nice sear.
- When cooking them in the oven, you only have to set the temperature at 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You don’t have to turn the bratwurst constantly in the pan to make sure that it cooks evenly.
- Turning once at half time will be enough.
- You can cook more brats using this method than you would do in the pan.
- Place as many as needed on the tray and use a second tray if you are cooking for a really large gathering.
- If baking brats on two trays, use a fan oven.
- You could cook the sides together with the brats in the oven.
- Add some vegetables like onions, peppers, fennel, cauliflower to the baking tray or bake the veggies on a separate tray in the same fan oven.
- You can also bake potato wedges together with the bratwurst.
- Or you can make other dishes on the stovetop, as the stovetop is not being used anyway.
What kind of sausages?
- I cook the typical German bratwurst most of the time.
- But you can bake any brat variety in the oven: pork, beef, chicken or turkey sausages, Italian sausages, spicy or sweet sausages, you name it. Probably any kind of uncooked fresh bratwurst you like, your favorite brand.
- All you have to consider is the size, especially the thickness of the brats, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can you cook frozen sausages in the oven?
- Yes, of course. But they will need about 15 extra minutes.
- Place the sausages in the preheated oven. As they are usually stuck together when frozen, leave them in the oven for about 15 minutes, then take them out and separate them. Continue baking as instructed. Make sure to check that they are cooked through. Check How to Cook Frozen Sausages for more details.
What do you need?
- A pack of bratwurst links. I usually cook two pieces for the adults and one for the children. Or maybe 2-3 more extra if I’m serving this to guests, just to be sure I have enough if somebody manages more than 2.
- One or two teaspoons of olive oil or some cooking spray.
How to bake brats?
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the raw bratwurst on a large baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. If you only cook a few, you can use a smaller casserole dish or another baking dish as well. Just make sure the tray/dish has a rim so that the sausages can’t roll off them.
- Spray them with cooking spray all over or pour a little oil in your hand and rub the raw brats well.
- Bake for 35 minutes, turn with tongs, and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
- Check the internal temperature, if they are not done, check again after 5 minutes.
How long to cook sausages in the oven?
- It really depends on their size. Thicker larger ones will need longer, while thinner ones a shorter baking time.
- My typical German bratwurst weighs more or less 100 g/ 3.5 oz depending on where I buy it. The cooking time for this size is between 35 and 40 minutes. I check after 30-35 minutes and give them 5 extra minutes if needed.
- The safest way of checking if the brats are cooked through is to use a meat thermometer.
- The inner temperature for pork bratwurst should be 65 degrees Celsius/ 150 degrees Fahrenheit and for poultry sausages should be 70 degrees Celsius/ 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I make beer brats in the oven?
Yes. You can either marinate them in beer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and then bake them as instructed.
Or you can slice some onions, place them in the baking dish, add the raw brats. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit/ 400 degrees Celsius. Flip and cook uncovered for another 20 to 30 minutes until they are cooked through. Check the internal temperature.
For a nicer color, you can broil them during the last minutes of the cooking time, but keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn.
How to serve?
A popular way of serving them is with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and mustard. And your favorite beer, preferably pils or lager.
There is a large variety of sides that are perfect for oven brats: roasted potatoes, fries, or bread rolls. Or try a German noodle salad, cucumber salad, cabbage salad, potato salad, bbq rice, spicy Jollof rice, or vegetable rice on the side. As mentioned above, you can roast some vegetables together with the bratwurst.
Another easy dinner idea is to stuff them in hot dog buns, add some sauerkraut if you like, lots of mustard or ketchup, caramelized or roasted onions, and so on.
What to do with leftovers?
Keep the cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, they will be fine for about 3 days. You can reheat the leftovers in the oven.
Otherwise, you can chop the cooked brats and add them to soups, to a pasta salad, make a pasta dish with tomato sauce and sausage pieces, add to rice dishes, make a pizza topping, and so on.
You can also freeze the leftovers. Let the sausages come to room temperature and freeze in freezer containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge or reheat from frozen. Make sure that they are heated through before serving.
More sausage or bratwurst recipes
- Potato, Pumpkin and Sausage Bake
- Easy Sausage Stew
- Halloween Spider Meatloaf
- Kid-Friendly Soup with Potatoes and Sausages
- Romanian Sausage Stew
How to Cook Brats in the Oven
- 10 bratwurst See note
- 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
- Place the sausages on the tray. Pour the oil on the palm of your hand and rub them with the oil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Turn with tongs. Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Check if they are done by cutting one in the middle, it should not be pink anymore.
- Alternatively, check with a meat thermometer. The inner temperature for pork sausages should be 65 degrees Celsius/ 150 degrees Fahrenheit and for poultry sausages should be 70 degrees Celsius/ 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If they are not done yet, give them 5 more minutes and check again. The baking time greatly depends on the size of the sausages, smaller sausages might be done after 15 – 20 minutes already.
- Serve immediately as suggested above.
One regular German bratwurst weighs between 80-100 g/ 3-3.5 oz. The cooking time depends on the size of the sausages.