• Home
  • /
  • Recipes
  • /
  • How To Make Bratwurst Sausages – A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Make Bratwurst Sausages – A Step-By-Step Guide

A barbecue evening is coming up and you want to score with homemade Bratwurst? Then you’re in for a treat! 

In this article I will show you how you can quickly make your own bratwurst with little effort.

You will find a complete list of ingredients, materials and a simple German recipe that you can copy immediately. I also added 7 + 24 more variations for you.

Bratwurst is easy and fast to make. So perfect for beginners. The preparation takes about 60 minutes.

First of all… What is Bratwurst?

It is a traditional German sausage which is usually grilled or fried in a pan. Most of the varieties are pork based but there also ones with veal, chicken and beef.

The spice blends are super unique to regions or butchers and there are a lot of different ones (>500). As you can develop your own spice blend easily I would say there are infinite possibilities.

To make Bratwurst at home it is best if you have a meat grinder and a sausage stuffer

If you want to make Bratwurst without casings there is also a way, which. I’ll show you in this article.

I have written down everything you need to know to make your own Bratwurst.

So enough talking. You can watch the complete Bratwurst recipe either via video or read it here. I wish you a lot of fun and good luck!

Making Bratwurst at home – What you need

Bratwurst all_ingredients

Meat for 1 kg Bratwurst:

  • 60% pork shoulder (600g)
  • 40 % pork belly (400g)

Can I use different meat for making my own Bratwurst?

The types of meat I use are indicated in the recipes. But you can change the types of meat as you like.

That’s the great thing about sausage making.

So don’t get too hung up on the types of meat and cuts indicated.

What is much more important…

The meat / fat ratio of Bratwurst

The most important thing for a juicy sausage is the meat/fat ratio and that is exactly what you should pay attention to.

The fat content should be between 25% and 30%.

You can see how this works with the example of a standard pork bratwurst.

Variant #1:

  • 75 % lean pork shoulder (5 % fat content)
  • 25 % pork loin fat (100 % fat content)

Corresponds to a final fat content of 28.75%.

Variant #2:

  • 60 % pork shoulder (10 % fat content)
  • 40 % pork belly (50 % fat content)

 Corresponds to a final fat content of 26 %.

This can be done with several cuts as well as types of meat.

It is important to me to know which ingredients are in the final product. That’s why the Bratwurst is made as natural as possible.

Especially when it comes to meat quality, I recommend buying regional and organic products. The taste will exceed our expectations.

Spices per 1 kg meat:

The spices in a bratwurst are of course the most important ingredient besides the meat. 

In Germany alone there are over 400 different bratwurst spice variations. In addition, there are many unknown, self-invented ones.

I have listed 7 more bratwurst spice mixtures at the end of the article. I also have an e-book “24 Bratwurst recipes for a perfect barbecue experience”, if you are looking for more Bratwurst recipes.

This is a traditional German recipe from my hometown in Franconia (per 1 kg of meat):

Equipment you need to make Bratwurst

Meat Grinder

You need a meat grinder to “grind” the meat. The meat is chopped into small chunks and can then be mixed.

Sausage stuffer

You need a sausage stuffer to get your meat mass into the casing. In the beginning you can also add a filler to your grinder or use a modified plastic bottel or funnel.

Sausage casings / Jars

Bratwursts are traditionally filled into natural casings.

For thicker bratwursts I recommend hog casings caliber 28 / 30. If you like to make thinner sausages, sheep casings caliber 20/22 are very good.

If you would like to prepare the sausages without casing, you can use glass jars and boil them. Have a look at the tips & tricks section.

Homemade Bratwurst – Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Cut the meat into strips or cubes. You can vary the size depending on how big your meat grinder is. Afterwards you can put the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help your grinding process later and make sure that the mixture does not get too warm.

Tip: Also put the moving parts of your grinder into the freezer.

Bratwurst cut meat

2. Now you can grind the meat. Depending on how coarse or fine you want your sausage to be, you can use different perforated discs.

To be honest, this is a complete matter of taste.

I personally prefer coarser sausages and therefore I use the medium-sized perforated disc (5 mm). If you prefer a finer sausage, then use a finer perforated disc (3 mm). You can also let the sausage go through twice.

But as I said… You must like it!

Bratwurst grind

3. Add the spices and mix well for 3 – 5 minutes.

You can either knead the meat with a food processor with a kneading attachment or mix it vigorously by hand. This ensures that the sausage meat will bind well and the sausage will not be crumbly later on.

Make sure that the mixture does not get too warm (12 °C | 53,6 °F). Otherwise it will lose its binding.

Bratwurst spices and mix

4. Next, put the casing onto the sausage stuffer. Which casing you take is also up to you. I always include the casings I use in my recipes and there is a detailed explanation for you below.

In the end it is your decision whether you prefer to make thinner or thicker sausages. As with the coarseness, this is a matter of taste and can be decided by you.

Typically, you need to put the casings into a lukewarm water 30 min before you use them. This will ensure that they can be put onto the stuffer.

Tip: Filling is easier with a sausage stuffer. But in the beginning the attachment for the meat grinder also works.

Bratwurst casing

5. Now fill the meat into the meat grinder or sausage stuffer and press the mass slowly until you can see it in the casing. Make a short stop and knot the casing. It is important that as little air as possible is trapped.


6. Fill the meat into the casing. Hold the casing tightly on the filling spout and let it slowly fill up more and more. This part needs some practice. Do not worry if it does not work 100%. 

Important: Do not fill the casing too full, otherwise it will burst later when roasting.

Bratwurst press the meat

7. Now its time to link the sausages. You can decide for yourself how big your Bratwurst should be. Put the sausage between your thumb and forefinger. Rotate the sausage away from you then move to the next link and rotate it toward you.

As with the filling process you will need some practice to get it perfect.

Bratwurst link the sausages

8. Cut the individual links apart and Zack they are ready to eat. You can eat them directly, poach them or freeze them (I will explain how to do this below).

Bratwurst cut

9. Your sausage is ready. Enjoy it.

Bratwurst ready

Homemade Bratwurst – Frequently Asked Questions

Making Bratwurst at home, which casing is the right one?

The number in the description of the sausage casings is the diameter of the casing. Caliber 28 – 30 means a diameter between 28 and 30 mm.

For a classic bratwurst I recommend exactly this caliber. Namely, hog casings caliber 28/30.

For thinner sausages, like Nürnberger Rostbratwurst, sheep casings caliber 20/22 are used.

In the end the caliber is a matter of taste. Take the size you like best.

There are also some regional specialties such as ribbon casings (used more often in Franconia). But to be honest, the calibers I mentioned above are actually sufficient.

Making Bratwurst without a meat grinder – Is this possible?

You would like to make your own bratwurst, but don’t have a meat grinder at home and don’t want to buy one?

The simplest way… 

Just ask your trusted butcher if he can grind the pieces of meat for you.

Afterwards you have a finished basic mass and can add the spices and fill them in casings or preserve in jars.

Bratwurst poaching – What is it and how does it work?

In order to improve shelf life of the Bratwurst you can poach them. This refers to an extra process following the filling process.

If you do not want to eat the sausages directly, you can poach them in a water bath at 75 °C (167 °F) for 25 minutes.

This extends the shelf life in the refrigerator by up to one week.

Personally, I never poach my Bratwurst. I either consume them directly or freeze them.

Speaking about freezing…

Can I freeze Bratwurst?

In principle, every sausage can be frozen for 3 to 4 months. No matter if Bratwurst, cold cuts or raw sausages.

The best way is to vacuum them directly after filling. Alternatively, you can put them in a zip-lock bag and press out the air.

Then put them in the freezer and your Bratwurst can be stored for a long time.

To defrost the sausage, it is best to put it in the refrigerator overnight. 

The next day you then have defrosted bratwurst to fry or grill them.

Smoked Bratwurst – How can I smoke them?

If you want to smoke your bratwurst, this is also possible.

Usually there is then also Cure added to the salt and the bratwurst is exposed to several passes of cold smoke.

I have written a recipe for smoked bratwurst here and a detailed article about cold smoking here.

Can I make Bratwurst without a casing?

Yes, that works. You have to preserve the sausage.

Instead of filling it into casings, you fill the finished mixture into preserving jars and let them boil for 90 minutes at 100 °C (212 °F).

How long does the Bratwurst keep?

Depending on how you handle it after production, the Bratwurst has a different shelf life.

Raw, it can be kept in the refrigerator for about 1-2 days.

If you poach it directly after production at 75 °C (167 °F) for 25 minutes, it will keep for about a week in the refrigerator in an airtight package.

Alternatively, you can also freeze it raw or poached and it will keep for up to 6 months without losing any of its taste.

I usually eat the sausages directly or freeze them raw.

Coarse Bratwurst or fine Bratwurst – What’s the difference?

The difference lies in the grain size of the meat.

This is influenced by the size of the perforated disc. Depending on the recipe and origin, special bratwursts are produced coarse or fine.

As I have often mentioned before, this is a matter of taste for me.

You can also make a recipe for a coarse Bratwurst finer and vice versa. But please do not report me to the Bratwurst police.

How to cook Bratwurst?

You can fry the Bratwurst both on the grill and in the pan.

In the frying pan it is best to fry it with oil and medium heat for about 10 minutes. The sausage should be crispy all around and completely cooked inside.

On the grill you can fry the sausage over direct heat until it is nice and crispy and then let it simmer over indirect heat to cook it through.

As stated above you can also poach the Bratwurst and give it final touches on the grill or in the pan. However, for me there is no added value except you want to make Beer Brats for example.

Tips & Tricks for making Bratwurst

  • Do you like a coarser / finer bratwurst? No problem! If you want a coarser bratwurst, simply use a larger perforated disc for your meat grinder. To make finer ones, use a smaller disk or grind the mixture more often.
  • Want more variety? You can also use other types of meat (beef, lamb, etc.) Just make sure that you use 1/3 fat meat and 2/3 lean meat.
  • Be careful with the spices! Pay attention to the exact amount. Because if you use too little salt, it tastes bland. But if you use too much, it tastes salty. As always, this is a matter of taste.

Ways to customize your Bratwurst

You would like to give your bratwurst your own personal touch?

Go ahead, because there are no limits to your ideas. Be eager to experiment!

Just make sure that the spices harmonize well with each other. My tip: Try paprika with chili flakes or ginger and lemon. Super tasty!

In my online sausage course I have an extensive spice course and show you how I develop new recipes from scratch.

In the last section I have now 7 + 24 more recipes for you.

7 + 24 more Bratwurst recipes for you

In this section I have written down & linked you 7 more recipes from my blog. I also have a recipe book “24 Bratwurst recipes for a perfect barbecue experience”.

Nurnberger – Nuremberg Sausage from Franconia


It is probably the best known Franconian bratwurst and fits perfectly to every cozy barbecue evening…

Lunch with “Stopfer” (mashed potatoes) or classic in the city center as “3 im Weckla” (3 Nuremberg sausages in a roll).

Click here for the complete recipe with instructions (published soon).

Venison Bratwurst – Super delicious with game of your choice

Venison Bratwursts are suitable for every occasion, whether as a snack for in between or as a change from traditional bratwurst.

Click here for the complete recipe with instructions (published soon).

Veal Bratwurst – With a very fine note

I have two variations of veal sausage for you. So it doesn’t matter if you prefer the sausage coarse or fine. There is something for everyone.

Click here for the complete recipe with instructions (published soon).

Beet-Dill Special – Deliciously fresh for the summer

The recipe I also showed in the video, out of my recipe book “27 German sausage recipes for feasting at home”

Meat for 1 kg Bratwurst:

  • 1/3 pork belly (333g)
  • 2/3 pork shoulder (666g)

Spices per kg meat:

  • 18 g salt
  • 2 g pepper
  • 100ml red wine reduced down to a third
  • 1 g caraway
  • 0,5g nutmeg
  • 8 g dill
  • 8g beet powder
  • 1g grated lemon peel


Same, as the main recipe.

Thuringer sausage – A regional classic

Thüringer Bratwurst

A regional specialty from Thuringia. Fine & delicious.

Click here for the complete recipe with instructions (published soon).

Merguez – Fiery lamb sausage from North Africa


It comes from the Maghreb kitchen. This means Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

The Merguez is made of lamb. Since the mass is strongly spiced, it tastes very spicy, and depending on your spice tolerance also very hot.

Click here for the complete recipe with instructions (published soon).

Salsiccia – Italian fennel sausage of the extra class


Salsiccia is an Italian sausage with fennel and garlic.

If you want some variety when you grill, I can only recommend it.

Click here for the complete recipe with instructions (published soon).

24 Bratwurst Recipes For A Perfect Barbecue Experience

If you are looking for more bratwurst recipes, then I recommend you take a look at my recipe book here.



Recipes you could also like...

Questions or feedback? Leave me a comment below...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. I placed a purchase online yesterday but i did not receive a reply. Did you receive it?
    Thank You, Mike

    1. Hey John,

      low fat will yield crumbly dry sausage. Not recommended. Will not taste.

      And why would you want to add sugar???


  2. Hi Daniel, thanks for providing such a good resource, I’m eager to give one of these a try. I’d also like to smoke the sausage. There are two references to other articles mentioned in the “Smoked Bratwurst – How can I smoke them?” section but the links aren’t there. Wondering if you can add these? Thanks.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}