How to Cook Frozen Brats

While you really shouldn't "cook" a raw brat straight from the freezer, if you don't have 25 minutes to let the brats thaw in tap water, you can. However, you will need to break an unwritten bratwurst cooking rule to see if they are done; you'll have to poke them with a meat thermometer and allow juices to seep out.

Bratwurst on a grill. Credit: i_compass/iStock/Getty Images

On Stove Top

Step 1

Place a pot of water on the stove top.

Step 2

Turn the burner on high and bring the water rolling boil.

Step 3

Drop the frozen brats in the water.

Step 4

Cook for 14 to 16 minutes, two to four minutes longer than if you thawed them first.

Step 5

Insert a food thermometer into the center of one brat to check doneness for safe cooking preparation. The internal temperature should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Microwave Quick Start

Step 1

Set the microwave on medium-high power.

Step 2

Place the brats on a plate in the center of the microwave. Make sure the plate is microwave safe.

Step 3

Set the timer for two minutes. Cook the brats; this mode is technically the defrost mode, but can start to cook food if left in too long.

Step 4

Remove the brats and place on a hot grill, cooking for another eight to 10 minutes. Turn several times to make sure all areas are being heated and cooked evenly.

Step 5

Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the brat to make sure it is cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Stove

  • Pot

  • Water

  • Microwave

  • Plate

  • Grill

  • Tongs


You can buy raw or pre-cooked bratwurst. If you buy raw bratwurst, you can store it for one to two months in the freezer to keep it fresh. Once it is cooked, it stores longer, up to three months in the freezer.

Since pre-cooked brats must be completely warmed throughout, you still need to "cook" it. One to two brats will heat in the microwave within 90 seconds on high heat. When the sausage has an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees, the brat is heated properly. You can also use the same methods described for raw brats, cooking for a minute or two less since the internal temperature doesn't need to reach 160 degrees.


The USDA states safely cooked sausages and bratwurst must have an internal temperature of 165 degrees, though manufacturer labels recommend a minimum of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Failure to cook bratwurst to the recommended temperature can lead to illness.

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