When you have a Traeger, your possibilities for producing deli quality meats is practically endless. We've toyed around with various forms of salami and summer sausages, but with grilling season upon us we knew it was time to up our game and tackle the sultan of sausage: The German Bratwurst. Sure, you can just buy brats at the store but these beauties surpass anything you can get out of the package because they are made with love and smoked to glorious perfection in your own backyard. Traditionally, bratwursts aren't smoked but we like to think that everything is better with a little smoky flavor. We seasoned these sausages up like a classic wurst, with the added benefit of some curing salt and a long visit with our smoker. They are beautifully pink and have a flavor you have to taste to believe.
If you haven't made the voyage into home sausage making, let this be your introduction. The only specialty tool you really need is a sausage stuffer. Trust us, you really need one. If you think you don't and try to make sausage without it (say, using a funnel or spoon) you might end up at your local open-all-night big box store searching for one at 2 in the morning. Luckily for you, most kitchen supply stores have manual versions for around $20. Consider it an investment. You'll also need some sausage casing. We prefer using natural casing and were able to purchase it from the butcher counter at our local grocery store. Some people like to grind their own meat when making sausage, and while that is an option, you could also just buy pre-ground meat from the store and it works just great!
Traditional German Bratwursts with a Smoky Traeger Twist
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Yield: Approx 20 sausages
Recommended Pellets: Hickory
4 lbs ground pork (80% lean 20% fat)
1 lb ground veal or ground beef
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Instacure or Morton's Tenderquick curing salt
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground mace
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup cold milk
2 whole eggs
1 cup non-fat dry milk powder (as a binder)
Combine the salt, tenderquick, nutme, mace and ginger in a large pitcher or small bowl. Add the milk and eggs and beat until well combined.
Pour the egg mixture over the ground meat and gently mix to combine.
Using your hands, mix in the milk powder until evenly distributed.
Feed the casings onto the end of your sausage stuffer.
Fill the food tray with your meat mixture and fill the casings. Twist the casing after every 6-8 inches are filled with meat.
When all of your meat mixture has been stuffed into the casing, start your Traeger grill on Smoke for 4-5 minutes with the lid open until the fire is established. Lay the sausage directly onto the grill grate and close the lid. Smoke for approximately 2 hours or until the internal temperature has reached 175 degrees F.
Either serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be reheated with the grill on High and cook until the casing is crisp. Enjoy!
Traditional German Bratwurst.docx (14.92 kb)