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Smoked Bratwurst – A Delicious Cold Smoked Franconian Treat

In this post I’ll show you how to make Smoked Bratwurst yourself.

There are many variations of Smoked Bratwurst. This is because depending on the region different spices are used. 

My recipe has a Franconian flavor mixture. You can generally smoke any Bratwurst with the spices of your choice.

But now enough chatter. Here you can find the complete Smoked Bratwurst recipe either as video or in written format. 

Have fun and good luck making it!

Making your own Smoked Bratwurst– What do you need?

Smoked Bratwurst - all ingredients

Ingredients for your Smoked Bratwurst

Meat for 1 kg Smoked Bratwurst:

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

Spices per 1 kg meat:

Pork casings caliber 28/30

Equipment for making Smoked Bratwurst

Meat Grinder

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

Spice grinder / mortar

To grind your spices, it is best to use a spice mill. Alternatively, a mortar is also suitable. 

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 bottle or funnel.

Smoker / Smoking Chamber 

The Bratwurst will be cold smoked. For this reason you need a smoker and a cold smoke generator.

Sausage casings

Smoked Bratwurst is traditionally filled into natural hog casings caliber 28/30.

Making Smoked Bratwurst- Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Cut the meat into strips. You can vary the size depending on how big your meat grinder is.

Smoked Bratwurst -cut

2. Grind the spices into a very fine powder.

Smoked Bratwurst - grind

3. Add the spices to the meat and mix it well. The meat should be covered with spices everywhere.  

Smoked Bratwurst - spice to the meat

4. Put it into the freezer for 1-2 hours. This will help your grinding process later and make sure that the mixture does not get too warm.

Smoked Bratwurst - freezer

5. Now you can grind the meat. I used the medium perforated disc (4,5 mm).

Smoked Bratwurst - grind meat

6. Now add the salt and cure to the mixture 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.

Smoked Bratwurst - NPS

7. Now put the casing onto your sausage stuffer and fill the mass into the casings. Make sure that there is trapped as little air as possible.

Smoked Bratwurst - fill

8. Now it’s 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.

Smoked Bratwurst - link

9. If you have any air trapped within you can take a needle and pierce the sausage to open the air holes. This will prevent them from bursting later on the grill.

Smoked Bratwurst - needle

10. Hang the sausages at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. If it is between 15 °C – 20 °C (59 – 68 °F) outside you can hang them directly into your smoker. 

Smoked Bratwurst - 24H

11 Fill the cold smoke generator with smoke dust. Make sure that there are no air pockets when filling. 

Smoked Bratwurst - generator

12. Place the generator in the smoker and light it. You can either use a small candle or quick heat from a blowtorch.

Smoked Bratwurst - candle

13. Now let the sausages smoke and rest alternately. So: 12 hours cold smoke and then 12 hours no smoke. Repeat the process 2 times (or more if you like strongly smoked Bratwurst).

Smoked Bratwurst - 12h

14. Your smoked sausage is ready. Enjoy it. You can also let it dry further. This will make the consistency firmer.

Smoked Bratwurst - ready

What is the shelf life of Smoked Bratwurst?

Your cold-smoked bratwurst can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2-3 months. Make sure that it does not dry out completely. Easiest way to do this is to pack it airtight / vacuum it.



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