How Long Do I Cook Bratwurst Patties on a Grill?

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Bratwurst sausages and hamburgers are favorites at barbecues, but brat patties combine the best of both worlds. The well-seasoned brats become juicy, flavorful burgers that are a welcome departure from plain old cheeseburgers. Although bratwurst patties don't take very long to grill, they must be cooked thoroughly to guarantee safety. Make these burgers memorable by adding toppings and condiments that would traditionally accompany bratwurst sausages.

Preparation and Storage

Bratwurst patties should be kept in the freezer or refrigerator until you're ready to cook them. They can safely be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bratwurst patties stored in the freezer will remain safe to eat indefinitely, but the quality may begin to degrade after several months. If the patties are frozen, allow them to thaw completely before grilling.

Cooking Technique and Times

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. Clean the grill grates to prevent the patties from sticking. Place the patties over direct heat and cook, covered, flipping once during cooking. Cook the patties until they are nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Safety Precautions

According the U.S. Department of Agriculture, all ground meat products must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to guarantee safe consumption. To test the temperature, insert a thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the patty. The color of the bratwurst patty isn't always a good indicator of doneness. They can be fully cooked with a slightly pink color, or undercooked and fully browned to the center.

Serving Suggestions

Set your bratwurst patties apart from traditional hamburgers by serving them up with a host of complementary toppings. Instead of the usual lettuce and tomato, opt for sauteed sliced onions or a flavorful sauerkraut. Skip the ketchup and mayonnaise in favor of a spicy or whole grain mustard. Try laying a slice of Swiss cheese on top of the burger during the last minute of grilling. Pretzel buns make a nice change of pace for these German-inspired burgers.