Bratwurst, the popular German sausage, only stays fresh for 2 to 3 days in its raw state. After it is cooked, it can keep for 5 days, but can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer. This long freezer life makes it easy to prepare a large batch and keep extra ready for easy meals when needed. The freezing process is the same whether raw or precooked.
Allow bratwurst to cool to room temperature if cooked. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Arrange fresh or cooked bratwurst on a baking tray with a space between each piece. Set the tray in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until the bratwurst are partially frozen. Skip this step, if desired, but freezing them individually keeps them from sticking together so you can easily remove a single sausage from the freezer when needed.
Place the bratwurst in a freezer bag with at least 2 inches of head room between the top of the bratwurst and the bag's seal. Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag closed. Place raw and cooked bratwurst in separate freezer bags.
Label each bag clearly with the contents and date they were packaged and the use-by date two to three months from the storage date. If using store-bought bratwurst, it helps to include the storage date as well as the use-by date on the original packaging so you know how long the bratwurst will last when thawed.
Arrange the bags of bratwurst against the freezer walls where they will freeze fastest. Move them to their designated storage spot after 24 hours or when the bratwurst is frozen solid.