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 its 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 a 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 to 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 make 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 stuffer’s 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 lb 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!
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!
Chicken Brats in the smoker