Smoke-Roasted Bratwurst 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

May 21, 2014

Barbecue guru Steven Raichlen came up with this way to cook brats at a "meet and greet" of barbecue enthusiasts in Wisconsin. It avoids the typical flare-ups of conventional, direct-heat grilling; the casings get crisp while the interior of the brats remains moist.

You'll need to soak 1 1/2 cups of hickory or other hardwood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.

Serve on toasted, buttered hard rolls, topped with German-style mustard and drained sauerkraut.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes 12 bratwurst

  • 12 fresh, raw bratwurst, such as Johnsonville brand


Prepare a charcoal grill. Once the coals are ashen, dump them onto one side for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on high. When it reaches a temperature of 500 degrees, reduce the heat to medium (about 375 degrees) and adjust for indirect grilling. With a two-burner grill, turn off one of the burners; with three or more burners, turn off the center unit.

Drain the water from the chips. If using charcoal, scatter the drained chips over the coals. If using gas, place the drained chips into a smoke box or into a foil pouch punctured with a few fork holes to release smoke.

Arrange the brats on the indirect-heat part of the grill. Once you see wisps of smoke, close the grill lid. Cook for about 30 minutes; there is no need to turn the sausages. They will be sizzling, plumped and golden brown when they are done; their internal temperature should register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook by Guys," by Steven Raichlen (Workman, June 2014).

Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at