This article is all about the topic of sausage spices and seasonings. First there is something about the background and the classic spices used in Bratwurst. Then you’ll find my process for developing your own sausage spices.

5 classic sausage spice blends with exact quantities to make your own are also included

And finally, I’ve linked you to a few ready-made sausage spices mixes to buy.

I hope you enjoy reading!

The general Bratwurst spices

Besides the meat quality, the spices are the most important ingredient when making sausages yourself. When using the same cuts of meat, they determine the taste of each sausage.

Bratwurstgewürze - alle Gewürze

Depending on how high the proportion of each spice is, it often changes dramatically.

This can be seen, for example, in the spice preferences of different regions.

Very few people would confuse a Nuremberg Bratwurst with a Thuringian sausage.

The reason? The spices.

In Franconia, and thus also Nuremberg, bratwursts usually contain a high proportion of marjoram. In Thuringia, on the other hand, it is caraway or garlic.

In addition to the regional differences, however, there are common, recurring spices….

Typical spices of a bratwurst are e.g. salt, pepper, mace and allspice.

In addition, there are often herbs, garlic, onion or citrus.


Salt is the oldest seasoning and an important flavor carrier. In the case of a sausage, there are approx. 18 – 20 g of salt per 1000 g of meat in the sausage. Even if you can reduce the amount of salt, a sausage without salt will not taste good


Pepper was once an expensive commodity due to the long transport routes. However, with the expansion of trade routes, it gradually became more affordable and thus became the second cornerstone of bratwurst seasoning. Whether black, white, pink or green is up to you. It is less about spiciness than about the complex notes of pepper in the bratwurst. You can start with 2 g / 1000 g of sausage meat and adjust according to your preferences.

In general, I would say that you can’t go wrong with 20 grams of salt and 2 grams of pepper as a base. (By the way, this is also true for all the others Sausage types.)

Mace & Allspice

These two spices give your sausage a full-bodied flavor. Especially, mace and allspice are present in most sausages. Often only with a very low dosage (0.5 g / 1000 g of sausage meat)

With the basic dosage of mace and allspice you can do little wrong

You can always steer the sausage afterwards in the direction you have in mind.

Other ground spices

Now this is about fine tuning with e.g. ginger, coriander, cardamom etc.

Cardamom sometimes comes along because of its slight spiciness. The same goes for ginger and coriander.

With these spices you can now steer the sausage in a specific direction.

IMPORTANT: Adding more does not help much. Too many different spices can overlap and negatively affect the taste. So start with selected spices.

Of the spices, I would use between 0.5 and 1 g per 1 kg of sausage meat to start. Then test roast and add more if necessary.


In addition to flavor, herbs such as marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley, etc. add color.

Now here’s where you can take your bratwurst in a direction of your choosing. Most herbs are associated with a cuisine. E.g. basil / oregano = Italy.

From the herbs I would use about 2 g per 1 kg of sausage meat to start. Then test roast and add more if necessary.

Here you can buy ready-made sausage spices

You don’t want to put together your own bratwurst spice mix?

Then you can find here some ready-made bratwurst spices..

Your first own sausage spice mix

If you stick to these guidelines, almost nothing can go wrong. I still have my flowchart for developing my recipes here…

Kalbsbratwurst- Gewürze

You can find more of it in my sausage book.

Now for the recipe development flowchart.

Not only is it a very long word, but it’s also your insurance that you won’t accidentally throw something out.

One thing up front, I usually test recipes with 1 kg of meat, as it saves me the trouble of converting. In my experiment in this course it was 1.3 kg. There I also explain how I proceed.

Important: Always write down what you mix into your sausage. Especially in phase 2, it’s easy to forget and you can’t recreate it.

I develop a new recipe in 3 phases….

Phase #1: Minimum-Viable Seasonings

This means as much as an amount of spice that provides flavor, but definitely doesn’t over-season the sausage.

For this, stick to the base mix and add 1-2 grams of the spices and to your feel, herbs and fillings of your choice to your wolfed meat

If you cut your feeling in half, you’re usually on the safe side, and that’s what Phase 1 is all about.

Establish a safe foundation.

Pay attention: Let’s say you’re making a sauerkraut bratwurst and your sauerkraut already has salt in it

Then you should subtract the amount of salt from the base mixture.

Suppose you add 100 gr. of sauerkraut and it has 4g of salt in the 100 grams, then I would start with 16 grams of salt.

Now blend nicely and you have your first test balloon.

Phase #2: Taste-adjust-repeat

You can now season the mixture

There are 3 ways to do this:

  1. Raw
  2. Test frying in pan
  3. Test cooking microwave

The sausage will not taste ready yet.

Your goal at this stage is to find out which spices, herbs and other fillings you need more of.

Add quantity. Write it down. Taste.

Repeat until you like the test balloon.

Done. You have invented a new recipe.

Phase #3: Tasting-learning-developing

Fill the sausage and let it taste.

With a little time, new ideas come to you. Maybe it will taste different a day later.

Don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe after the fact

Very few sausages are spot on the first time.

Cross out spices, add more, have fun.

And remember..

Always write everything down.

With this approach, you can’t go wrong.


And now for 5 classic bratwurst seasonings….

5 classic sausage seasonings

Nuremberg Rostbratwurst

Nürnberger Bratwurst

Spices per kg of meat:

Franconian sausage

franconian Bratwurst-ready

Spices per kg of meat:

  • 18 – 20 g salt
  • 2 g black pepper
  • 0,5 g allspice
  • 2 g marjoram
  • 1 g mace
  • 0,3 – 0,5 g coriander seeds

Thuringian sausage

Bratwurst Rezepte - Thüringer Bratwurst

Spices per kg of meat:

Veal sausage

Kalbsbratwurst- fertige Kalbsbratwurst

Spices per kg of meat:

  • 20 g salt
  • 1 g pepper
  • 1 g mace
  • 0,5 g allspice
  • 0,2 g cardamom
  • some grated lemon peel

Venison sausage

Wildbratwurst - fertig

Spices per kg of meat:

  • 20 g table salt
  • 3 g pepper
  • 1 g mace
  • 2 g caraway
  • 1 g juniper berry
  • 0,5 g bay leaf
  • 1 g allspice
  • 2 g marjoram
  • 0,5 g clove

24 more Bratwurst spices for you..

In my e-book “24 Bratwurst Recipes for a Perfect Grilling Experience” you will find more super tasty and also partly wacky bratwursts.

You can check it out here.