Germany has more than 50 varieties of bratwurst; each region of the country specializes in its own type, from the 10-inch Coburger bratwurst traditionally seasoned with nutmeg and lemon zest, to the 3-inch Nurnberger served with potato salad and horseradish. Prepared from a mixture of pork and veal, all bratwurst comes in one of two forms: raw or pre-cooked. Both can be made in a slow cooker, though the required cooking time will vary. Bratwurst is high in cholesterol, total fat, saturated fat and sodium. Eat bratwurst only occasionally and in moderation to make it a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Leave pre-cooked bratwurst sausage whole or slice the links into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the bratwurst into the slow cooker.
Add seasonings, a liquid such as beer or apple cider and fruits or vegetables like apple slices, sauerkraut, unsweetened cranberry sauce or chopped onions, if desired. Stir to distribute the ingredients evenly in the slow cooker.
Allow bratwurst without added fruits or vegetables to cook on the slow cooker's high setting for approximately two hours. Plan on cooking bratwurst mixed with chopped produce and liquid for at least five hours on the high setting or nine hours on the low setting.
Top fresh, raw bratwurst links with sauteed onions and a mixture of rinsed and drained sauerkraut, whole-grain mustard, light brown sugar and dark beer in the slow cooker. Plan on 4 cups of sauerkraut and 24 ounces of beer for 10 uncooked bratwurst links.
Allow the fresh bratwurst mixture to cook on the low setting for eight hours or on the high setting for four hours.
Check the internal temperature of the bratwurst with a meat thermometer. Serve the bratwurst and vegetables after the sausage reaches 165 degrees F.
Things You'll Need
Pre-cooked bratwurst sausage
Liquid, such as beer or cider, optional
Fruits or vegetables, optional
Light brown sugar
Bratwurst can be cooked in or served with any type of beer you prefer, though beer expert Peter LaFrance advised the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council that bratwurst is well-suited to cream ales.
Substitute beef or chicken broth for the beer if you prefer to cook without alcohol.
Serve cooked bratwurst on brown rice or in whole-wheat buns.
- German Food Guide: Bratwurst
- Hot Dog City: Glossary of Sausages and Prepared Meats
- Quick Nutrition Facts: Bratwurst, Pork, Cooked
- National Hot Dog and Sausage Council: Crockpot Cuisine - Time-Saving Hot Dog and Sausage Recipes
- Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook; Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
- Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever; Diane Phillips
- My Recipes: Slow-Cooker Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and Apples
- National Hot Dog and Sausage Council: A Connoisseur's Guide to Beer and Sausage