Smoked Brats {Instructions for a Pellet Grill or Weber Kettle}

Smoked Brats with Side Dishes

Do you HAVE to grill your brats over direct blazing heat until the casing tears?  Did you know when that casing tears it takes all the juices with it?  What if you tried something different…what if you added another flavor profile AND kept the juices in?  Let’s try it and see what happens.

This is easy.  All you need is a little extra time, and some wood.

Setting Up Your Grill/Smoker

Set up your grill for indirect cooking or use your smoker.  I like using lower heat because it gives the brats more time in the smoke so try to target a temperature of 225-250F.

If you are using a Z Grills or other brand of pellet grill then simply set the temperature dial to 225F.  If you are using a Weber kettle then use about a half chimney of lit charcoal and bank it on the side of the kettle with with the top and bottom vents halfway open.

Since brats are a quick cook in the smoker I like to use a strong wood like hickory to get as much flavor on them as possible.  You can use hickory or pecan cooking pellets in your pellet grill.  For extra smoke flavor light a 6 inch smoking tube with extra pellets and place it on the cooking grate.  If you are using a Weber kettle then add a handful of hickory chips to the charcoal bed right before you close the lid.

Smoked Bratwurst with Yellow Mustard

Smoke the Brats

You want to cook your brats to an internal temperature of 165F.  When the brat is at 165F the meat is safely cooked and still has all of its juices.  If the sausage gets up around the 180F mark then the fat will separate from the meat, the casing will split and the brat will not be as good.

At 225F it will take about 60 minutes for the brats to hit 165F but start checking the internal temperature of the brats after 45 minutes just to be sure.

Here is a professional tip about checking the internal temperature of the brats.  Use a digital thermometer and insert it through the END of the brat where there is a small natural opening in the casing.  Make sure you slide the thermometer as close to the center of the brat as possible.

By inserting the thermometer through the END of the brat you will not need to puncture the casing and create a hole for the juices to escape.

One way to keep the brat from overcooking in your smoker is to transfer it to a beer and onion bath after the target temperature is reached and let it simmer to take on even more flavor.   Here is a smoked brats in a beer bath recipe for more details.

Serve the Brats

Serving brats is something people will argue about for days on end.  Even the choice of mustard, bright yellow or spicy brown, is a topic of heated debate.  The one thing that is universally agreed upon is that putting ketchup on a brat is a mortal sin.

As far as side dishes are concerned  it is hard to go wrong with some baked beans and potato salad.  Here is a great article from Brats and Beer that highlights the Top Ten side dishes for brats.

What about you?  What is your favorite side for brats?  What about the mustard…would you even consider using Dijon?  Let us know and drop a comment below!

Smoked Brats with Side Dishes

Smoked Brats

Bratwursts are smoked with hickory at 225F until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. If desired, you can soak them in a beer bath for even more flavor.
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 375 kcal


  • 1 package of bratwurst 5-6 links
  • Hickory wood chips
  • 2 cans of beer Optional for beer bath
  • 1 medium onion sliced Optional for beer bath
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced Optional for beer bath


  • Set up your grill for indirect cooking or use your smoker set at 225F.
  • Place brats on the smoker or on the grill away from heat.
  • Optional: Combine beer, onions and peppers into a foil pan and place on the grill/smoker.
  • Smoke the brats for 45-60 minutes at 225 degrees until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.
  • Optional: Add the smoked brats to the warm beer bath and let them soak for 15-30 minutes before serving.


Serve your smoked brats with potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw if you are trying to plan a menu. If you just want some good eats then serve them on a bun with classic yellow mustard.
Keyword Smoked Brats

One thought on “Smoked Brats {Instructions for a Pellet Grill or Weber Kettle}

  1. Did some brats on the wood pellet smoker! They were awesome! Used low heat for about 2 and 1/2 hours. Came out nicely done and juicy. I used the meat thermometer on one of them to check for doneness. Thank you.

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