Brats - Cured or uncured?


  • I am planning to make some brats and wanted to know what is the best way to make them.

    I am originally thinking I would add cure and them smoke them as I would a summer sausage (to 160). That when when I want to cook them to eat it is like a “hot dog” meaning, I don’t have to worry about fully cooking them and can just heat them on the grill.

    OR

    Should I not add cure and then when I grill them I have to be more careful and make sure I cook them to the right temp.

    I am thinking cure will give them a better taste but, I wanted to get some thoughts and feedback.

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Sous Vide Power User

    Well I’ll draw some fire but i cure#1 everything because i don’t know if I’m going to smoke, flash, poach or give away. Yes the cure does enhance the red look of the meat. I’ve seen this even in flash grilling. I may (cheat) smoke on the grill with a smoker box or do 20lbs in the big smoker. Most processed meats products now have cure#1 added to their batter even if they are steamed during processing. Check the labels. Still your choice 😎

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Sous Vide Power User

    ! thing to watch out for is your total salt… cure is 98% salt. Add that amount for your total. Norm salt for batter is 18-22gm per 1kg (coarse sea salt) total

  • Regular Contributors

    Tbensel said in Brats - Cured or uncured?:

    I am planning to make some brats and wanted to know what is the best way to make them.

    I am originally thinking I would add cure and them smoke them as I would a summer sausage (to 160). That when when I want to cook them to eat it is like a “hot dog” meaning, I don’t have to worry about fully cooking them and can just heat them on the grill.

    OR

    Should I not add cure and then when I grill them I have to be more careful and make sure I cook them to the right temp.

    I am thinking cure will give them a better taste but, I wanted to get some thoughts and feedback.

    You can add cure to a bratwurst recipe and smoke them. What it will do is change the flavor and texture and will taste different than a fresh bratwurst.

    There is no right or wrong answer here. Either way works and it is more about the flavor/style you are looking for. The method you choose will dictate the processing and cooking procedures you will use afterwards.


  • processhead Thanks Paul - One last question. What is your preference Smoked or Fresh?

  • Regular Contributors

    Tbensel said in Brats - Cured or uncured?:

    processhead Thanks Paul - One last question. What is your preference Smoked or Fresh?

    I like both styles, but I make more fresh brats because I prefer that style cooked on the grill and fresh sausage in general is just a lot less time and effort to make.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    It’s a matter of taste. It’s not all that difficult to check temperatures when grilling if you want fresh. If you would rather the convenience of just reheating but still want fresh sausage, you can poach or sous vide fresh sausage to your desired finish temperature, package, and freeze like that. Shoot, you can even grill it. Neither option is quite as good as freshly grilled fresh sausage, but it works pretty well if you’re vac packing.

    I like smoked sausage a lot, so I tend to cure and smoke everything.


  • Thanks everyone for your feedback and insight. I think I will go with fresh since everyone seems to lean that way to wards having the best flavor.

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    We tend to put cure in everything we make. Mostly, because the look of grey meat when cooked is kind of a turn off for me.

  • Regular Contributors

    @NDMike said in Brats - Cured or uncured?:

    We tend to put cure in everything we make. Mostly, because the look of grey meat when cooked is kind of a turn off for me.

    Fresh product with venison, in particular, seems to acquire that gray color. It has no bearing on quality or freshness. It is just the nature of venison and more of an aesthetic thing.

    I still prefer the taste of fresh brats since adding cure and smoke changes the flavor profile to something quite different. Not saying cured and smoked is bad or wrong, just different .

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