The Bearded Butchers recently introduced one of our most-requested products: DIY bratwurst kits that let anyone craft professional-quality brats in the comfort and convenience of their home. Our goal was to make it as simple as possible for anyone who wants to ditch the store-bought brands loaded with questionable ingredients made from unknown animal parts. Making brats at home allows you to use the highest-quality cuts and tailor the flavors to your liking.
We will show you today how to use our kits at home, what equipment you need to make fresh bratwurst, and some of our top tips and tricks to avoid some of the common mistakes that DIY sausage makers experience. Follow along as we guide you through making one of our most popular products: Bearded Butchers Blend bratwurst.
And if you're already a DIY pro, click here to skip to the recipes.
What is Bratwurst?
Before diving into the deep end of bratwurst recipes, it is valuable to learn a little about what makes bratwurst different from other sausages. There are three types of sausages: fully cooked, smoked, and fresh. Fully cooked varieties include sausages such as hot dogs that can be eaten right out of the package. Smoked sausages include kielbasa and andouille sausages. Fresh sausages (such as bratwurst) must be cooked before they can be eaten.
Traditional bratwurst recipes typically include pork or a mixture of pork and veal. The meat is coarse ground and mixed with salt and herbs.
Making Bratwurst at Home – Essential Tools and Supplies
Making bratwurst (or any other stuffed sausage) will require a few essential tools and supplies before you can start. The first thing you should invest in is a good-quality meat grinder that also can stuff sausages. These grinders from Meat Your Maker are our favorites for at-home sausage making. The #12 grinder can chop through seven to 10 pounds of meat per minute and includes all the accessories needed to grind meat and stuff sausage.
If an electric grinder is above your budget, there are some very good manual grinders available. These require more effort to get consistent grind sizes and texture, but are also more affordable.
You will also need a sausage stuffer if you use a manual meat grinder. A stuffer can give excellent results because it helps to eliminate air pockets as the meat is stuffed into the casings, resulting in a better-finished product.
Other essential tools include a large mixing bowl to blend the ground meat and seasonings. We prefer stainless steel mixing bowls or large, food-grade tubs for mixing ground meat. Disposable gloves, a selection of large spoons or paddles, and a large metal tray can be helpful for getting great results.
The Traditional Recipes
Traditional bratwurst recipes use ground pork with some regional varieties including veal or beef. At home, using pork is often the easiest and most economical. Selecting a cut like a pork butt shoulder roast gives you high-quality meat that is easy to debone and trim into cubes for grinding. You’ll also want to add a portion of pork fat to the mixture. Fat helps produce a juicy, tender sausage when the brats are cooked in the same way that a well-marbled steak is juicier than a leaner cut. A food scale can make it easy to get consistent, repeatable results when adding fat to the meat.
You will also need sausage casings. Traditional brats are stuffed in natural casings, but we tend to use collagen ones because of the more consistent size and better durability when stuffing sausages.
The Best Hot Brat Recipes for DIY Sausage Making
The Bearded Butchers DIY sausage kits make it a snap to craft delicious homemade bratwurst any time. Our kits include the right amount of seasonings and sausage casings to stuff 25 lbs of bratwurst and get the same great results we do here at Whitefeather Meats. While we have many different kits to do all kinds of sausage, if hot is what you want, the Bearded Butchers have a sausage-making kit just for you.
One of our personal favorite flavor combinations, the sweetness of tropical mangoes pairs perfectly with the spiciness of jalapenos to craft a unique and delicious bratwurst. The kit includes dried mango and jalapeno pieces, our custom-crafted Bearded Butchers maple seasoning, and 32mm collagen sausage casings.
Combining the sweet and hot flavor of jalapeno peppers with a traditional bratwurst seasoning kit and high-temp cheddar cheese that gives this recipe a creaminess and a subtle bite of heat with delicious jalapeno flavor. This is one of our top-selling DIY kits and is among the most popular premade sausages we sell.
The Bearded Butchers Blend Seasonings are known for being all-natural and free of fillers, gluten-free, and 100 percent delicious. Our Hot seasoning is a crowd pleaser, with it's use of Habanero Peppers to create a nice whole mouth heat.This kit makes it a snap to craft 25 pounds of bratwurst that has the classic flavor of our Bearded Butchers Hot Seasoning.
Are you looking for something with a mixture of red, white, and black peppers to give you a multi-tiered peppery blast of Cajun spice? You should try our unique Cajun seasoning kit. Cajun is made to enhance the sweetness without losing too much of the hotness, resulting in a medium- heat peppery flavor that is a perfect complement to a great bratwurst.
Using Our DIY Kits
Each of our DIY sausage-making kits includes detailed instructions to help you get great results. Simply add the seasonings to chopped meat, then feed it through the grinder. Next, you’ll mix the dried ingredients into the meat, then use the sausage stuffer to fill the included collagen casings. It really couldn’t be easier to get fantastic results at home than using one of our awesome kits. Of course, you can also incorporate your own unique brat recipe ideas to create truly custom sausages.
Bearded Butcher-Approved Tips
The most important tip you’ll learn when making sausages is to start cold and stay cold the whole time. We often add ice to the meat as the chunks are fed into the grinder and place a collecting bowl in an ice bucket so the ground meat doesn’t begin to warm up. When the meat starts to warm up, the fat and the meat begin to gel together, creating a sticky, slimy mess that won’t feed into the stuffer well and plugs up the grinder. Freeze the pork for about an hour before you start grinding to get the best results.
Use care to prevent air pockets from forming in the stuffed sausage. There is a bit of artistry that goes into feeding the casing and ground meat correctly that you will learn with experience, but sooner or later, air bubbles will happen. Use the tip of a very sharp knife to pierce the casing and allow air to escape.
Once your sausage is stuffed, refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to blend well. This step will also improve how the sausage cooks and ensure the correct texture. We know it is a challenge to let it sit when you have just stuffed sausage, but trust us, it’s worth the wait to let it rest overnight before cooking.
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