How To Make Homemade Chicken Brats - Recipe
Meatgistics: How Do I Make a Healthier Version of a Bratwurst?
Learn how to Make a Healthier Chicken Bratwurst with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Meat Hacks & Recipe
How Do I Make a Healthier Version of a Bratwurst?
Hey guys, this is Jon with WaltonsTV and today we’re gonna talk about how to make a healthier version of a brat by using chicken.
As health concerns are brought more and more to the forefront of Americans minds we often find ourselves looking for healthier options that fit our busy life style without sacrificing taste. One of the healthiest and most readily available meats is Chicken Breast, a single small serving of 3.5 ounces of uncooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast contains a whopping 21.2 grams of protein, just 2.6 grams of fat and just 114 calories! It’s no wonder chicken breast has long been a favorite of nutritionists and healthy eaters. You can also make a brat out of a 50/50 mix of breast and thighs with the skin still on them. This will not be as healthy but they will taste great!
A few years ago we decided to try to take some of our favorite Brat seasonings and make a Bratwurst out of Chicken instead of Pork. The results were generally excellent, there were a few swings and misses along the way but that’s to be expected and we will help you avoid the same mistakes we made.
Before we begin let’s talk quickly about the temperature of the meat. You want to keep any meat as cold as possible before grinding but this is especially important with chicken because of it’s low density. If you tried to run chicken at room temperature through a grinder you would end up with a soupy product that would not hold its form. So you want the chicken as cold as possible without any ice crystals in it.
The first thing to know is that chicken breast can be used by itself, it requires no additional fat from pork however we do recommend you use binder of some sort. You can use Sure Gel, Soy Protein Blend or Carrot Fiber, all are excellent binders. The one we had the most success with was Carrot Fiber, it gave us a very nice juicy and plump Bratwurst.
We have decided to do a Supreme Pizza Bratwurst with mozzarella cheese and a Reuben Bratwurst with Provolone cheese.
A few things to make note of before you select your seasoning, Chicken has a very low fat content (remember 2.6 grams of fat per 3.5 ounces of Chicken) this means that any seasoning we choose is going to lose some of its flavor as Pork, and to a lesser extent beef, have a lot of fat which is a good vehicle for the seasoning as it helps coat your mouth and let the seasoning linger. We can combat this by using a smaller meat block, for example 20 lb instead of 25 lb, or we can just accept that it is going to be a little less full flavored. Here is a list in no real order of seasonings that work well with chicken, Habanero Mango, Rueben Bratwurst, Feta Cheese and Spinach, Supreme Pizza, Hot Buffalo Wing, Cheeseburger Cheddarwurst, Habanero, Inferno Bratwurst and Sun-dried Tomato Italian Bratwurst Seasoning.
The first step to making Chicken Brats is to grind the Chicken twice through a 3/16th plate. We are using a Weston #12 Butcher Series Grinder. We think that the price and value of the Weston Butcher Series makes them one of the best meat grinders for home use. To find out more, be sure and watch our Weston Butcher Series Grinders Review Video.
Once you have selected your seasoning you will want to mix in your binder of choice into the meat at the same time that you mix in your seasoning, again we would recommend Carrot Fiber but you certainly can use either Sure Gel or Soy Protein blend. If you are using Carrot Fiber we would recommend using 2 lbs of water when you mix in the seasoning and binder. Carrot fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water so this will increase your final yield and give you a nice, juicy product. The amount of water you should use can vary as the water of content of Chicken Breast varies from brand to brand. When mixing meat for bratwursts, the mix time is fairly short and just long enough to evenly disperse the seasoning. We aren’t mixing until the meat is sticky and tacky with a lot of protein extraction. We have 3 options for mixing, either hand mixing, using a manual mixer, or using a powered mixer attached to our Weston grinders. We decided to use the 20lb Weston Mixer and the 44lb Weston Mixer attached to a grinder for powered mixing. Since we are making two batches of brats, we’ll keep the products separate by using the two mixers.
The next step will be stuffing the sausage into casings. You will have to choose between Collagen or Natural casings… We chose collagen because it is easier to work with and I like the snap better than Natural Hog Casings. You will want to load your stuffers canister, put on the correct stuffing tube and extrude the chicken into the casing. When stuffing into any casing, always choose the largest stuffing tube that will fit to make the stuffing process easier. For a 30mm collagen casing, the largest stuffing tube we can use is a 19mm stuffing tube. Remember, that as you stuff, do not over stuff the casings because if they are too loose after stuffing you can always add a couple extra twists when linking to tighten them up, but you can’t as easily fix a blown out casing.
So now you have your Chicken Brats, 25 lbs of chicken certainly makes quite a lot of Brats doesn’t it? So, unless you are having a large BBQ you will want to freeze at least some of these Brats. The best way to freeze them is to put them in Vacuum bags but if you put a room temperature brat into a vac bag and vac seal it you will end up with mush! A good way to avoid this is to put your brats in the freezer for 60-90 minutes to let them freeze slightly, this will allow them to retain their shape during packaging.
Make sure you subscribe to WaltonsTV and remember to tap the bell next to the subscribed button to get notified about all new videos, plus like and comment on this video, and visit waltonsinc.com and meatgistics.com to find Everything But The Meat! Thanks for watching Meatgistics. I’m Jonathon with WaltonTV and I’ll see you guys next time!
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Chicken Brats in the smoker
I am going to halve my seasoning packet and carrot fiber binder. Can I assume the rough amount of water is 1lb.? obviously depending on amount of moisture in the chicken.
Question 2 is after linking should I cut links apart or is there an easy way to keep the collagen casing twisted so I don’t lose contents? I am new and this is my first run on brat making so going small and also going 50/50 on boneless skinless breasts and thighs with skin.
@SierraPete Going 50/50 is going to give your a really nice tasting chicken brat! If you are adding carrot fiber add at least a pound of water, the carrot fiber is going to suck that right up and keep it bound in the meat nicely, you could probably get away with 1.5 lb without any issue.
For collagen casings they are always going to come undone a little after cutting them. If you are smoking them I would cut them after smoking, if you are going to freeze them for future use I would put them in the freezer for about an hour and then cut them. You should be freezing a fresh product before vac packing them anyway to prevent the vacuum from crushing the brats.
The only other thing I would recommend you think about adding is cold phosphate, I just did a batch of turkey brats with that added and it really added some juiciness to it and it is inexpensive. You can check out that video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oforLcfcuJ4. It is turkey but the same rules would apply with the cold phosphate.
@Jonathon So I made a half batch of tomato basil brats with the 50/50 thigh/breast mix. I went with 1.5lbs of cold water. I think I could of been able to get away with more. I didn’t have any cold phosphate on hand like you recommended, but plan to try some with the next batch.
I stuffed brat casings with my new stuffer thanks to Walton’s 12 days of Christmas sale. It made the process really easy. I cleaned out the little bit of meat left in the stuffer and saved it. I made three small patties, coated two with bread crumbs and fried them up with breakfast this morning. The are AWESOME…and they passed the taste test with my wife and picky son. They weren’t greasy at all and were really moist! My only regret was not making a whole batch as I sit here listening to my wife pick who she is going to give these to as presents. My family always expects my cold smoked cheese and peanuts so these will be a nice healthy addition!
@SierraPete It’s your initial batch, you can tell your wife it is customary to not give away any of that as a gift! If you do add the cold phosphate on your next batch I’d definitely add another 1/2 lb of water. I also always save that little bit in the bottom for making a patty or two out of, I even do it with cured products like snack sticks, nothing goes to waste!
What seasoning did you use? I am always looking for more seasonings that work well with chicken brats!
@Jonathon I used the Excalibur tomato basil brat seasoning. I figured this would pair well with pasta dishes etc. during winter. I think the supreme pizza will be next on my list to try. I would love if Excalibur made a Muffaletta Pizza brat seasoning. I think it would be a big hit for sure.
@SierraPete I love Muffaletta seasoning/taste, I used to have some Muffaletta mix that I would put on sandwiches and I LOVED it!
@carla-edwards Good setup, I like the glass insert to let you monitor without opening. Welcome to the board, always good to get some cold smoking expertise on here!
Weekly Blog Post - Weston Multi-Layered Press and BBQ'ing Smores
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long-term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!What Videos are being released soon?
Will it BBQ? Smores! - We know that Smores will BBq, it is basically the same process on a grill or smoker as over a fire. However, we wanted to do this for two reasons. First, we wanted to see if you could do large amounts as a dessert at once and still have it taste as good and second, we wanted some smores!
Weston Multi-Layered Burger Press - This new product from Weston will let you make multiple burgers of the same diameter quickly and easily. It is a little easier than using a single press if you want to make multiple but you don’t have to clean a stuffer like you do when using the Rapid Forming Patty Attachment. They tried for a best of both worlds type of product and they did a pretty good job!What Projects are we looking ahead at?
PK-100 Review - We finally got this shot. It is being edited now and should be released in the next few weeks. It is a great little smoker and even at its price more people should be using this. It gives you professional performance and home user convenience.
The Best Burger - One of these days I am going to get around to making a few different burgers out of different types of meat and determining the “best”. I am finding I like pork burgers over beef burgers more and more so the test is going to be a 100% beef burger, a 100% pork burger, a mix of 50% 50% and maybe a brisket burger. That last one will open happen if I can convince Austin to allow me to purchase a brisket and grind it up!What’s on our Mind?
How much does genetics play into the best diet for individuals? I know one of the reasons diets don’t work for everyone is that depending on where we came from we have different nutritional needs. Well, I just sent in my DNA genetic test to a popular company and I am getting a report on what genes I have that SHOULD show me what foods will work best with my body. Once I get that back in a few weeks I am going to alter my diet and see what the results are, I will keep a running blog of the results in body weight and energy and let everyone know. I am going to be crushed if it says I need to stop eating so much red meat!Weston 6 Tray Digital Dehydrator Compact Digital Kitchen Scale
I cold smoke all kinds of products to sell at the local farmer’s markets. Altho I use the Masterbuilt setup I’ve seen other people make their own with a 3" dryer vent hose.
The only trick is to keep your smoke generating source away from your smoker unit as all smoke will contain some heat. The father away the better for your product. Also make sure you’re smoker unit isn’t parked in a sunny spot as this will also increase the temperature inside the unit itself. I have to use a sheet of plywood on the side of mine in the early mornings to keep the sun from hitting it.
@Big-Mike Can you send me a picture of the product or are they already all gone? I spoke with someone here and they thought cook schedule and fatting out but your process doesn’t indicate to me that either of these was the issue.
@mswoody6-4 The first question would be are you doing it through waltonsinc.com/win? I am assuming that you are so if that is correct the next thing to check is to make sure you are logged in on that page. You will need to login to the account first, I find the easiest way to do this is via my facebook account. Then when you click to comment it should prompt you to log in with your youtube or google account so that it can track who is commenting. If the pop-up for logging in to youtube/google is not coming up you might have a pop-up blocker running on your account and that will need to be turned off.
Making Bratwurst from Jerky Seasonings
Learn about Making Bratwurst from Jerky Seasonings with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.Meat Hacks
One of the questions we get a lot on meatgistics is if you can use a seasoning that is designed for either snack sticks or jerky to make bratwursts out of or vice versa. The answer is absolutely you can there are just a few things you need to do differently and keep in mind. First, if you are using a bratwurst or summer sausage seasoning to make jerky it might end up having a stronger taste than you are used too. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily but it is something you will need to play around with to make sure you get the taste you are looking for. The same is sort of true if you use a jerky seasoning to make a bratwurst but since in this product the seasoning will be mixed into the meat it’s not like we are going to end up with a dull tasting brat. Also, if you buy a jerky seasoning and make a bratwurst you don’t need to use the included sure cure package and if are using a bratwurst seasoning to make jerky or snack sticks then you need to purchase sure cure separately as it will not come with the brat seasoning.
So today we are going to grinding 20 lb of meat and making brats out of them. We will be doing a 10 lb of batch out of BBQ Jerky seasoning and I am going to add some ghost pepper cheese to some of this because these are going to be eaten when I’m not around and I want them to suffer! I am going to use our new seasoning Conversion Chart which I will put a link to in the description down below that shows you how much seasoning to use by weight and by measurement per 1 lb and 5 lb batch. So for BBQ seasoning for 10 lb, I will need to do 2.5 cups 2 tbsp and 4 tsp for 5 lb of brats made from bloody mary snack stick seasoning 1/4 cup and 1 tsp.
I am going to do the majority of the BBQ with no cheese but then I will add some ghost pepper to the last few lb just to see what it is like and I will add cheddar to the bloody mary brats.
I am also going to be making some Bratwursts out of Bloody Mary Jerky Seasoning and I will use the Conversion Chart for that as well.
I’ve already ground all my meat twice through a 3/8 plate. A good tip is at the end of the second grind to take a handful of meat that has already been ground twice and put it back down through the grinder, this will force the last remaining bits in the throat out through the plate so everything has been ground twice.
Since I am making bratwurst and not snack sticks out of these seasonings I don’t need any protein extraction so I am just going to mix in the seasoning and cheese by hand.
Now I am just going to stuff it. I am using a tubed hog casing and to load these we just need to slide the plastic sleeve on the stuffing tube, move the casing down to where it is all on the tube and then pull out the plastic sleeve. I also like the tubed hog casings as all you need to do is soak them in warm water before they are ready for use.
They were both pretty good but I liked the Bloody Mary ones better, the BBQ was just a bit sweet. Now, we made these from Beef so it might partially be the difference in beef fat vs pork fat but I also think that with a Bratwurst you just don’t want as sweet a product as you might want with Jerky.
So, all in all this was a success for sure. I think an important lesson to learn was that when you take a Jerky Seasoning to make Bratwurst you need to take into account what will make a good bratwurst, just because you love the taste of BBQ Jerky doesn’t necessarily mean you will love that taste in a bratwurst.Subscribe to WaltonsTV
Make sure you subscribe to WaltonsTV and remember to tap the bell next to the subscribed button to get notified about all new videos, plus like and comment on this video, and visit waltonsinc.com and meatgistics.com to find Everything But The Meat!Subscribe to Meatgistics
Easily subscribe to any category or topic on the Meatgistics community site by clicking the green “Subscribe” button to get an email each time a new post is made!Shop waltonsinc.com for Jerky Seasoning Shop waltonsinc.com for Bratwurst Seasoning Subscribe to WaltonsTV on YouTube Walton's Sausage Stuffer Weston #8 Black Series Grinder