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Air Fryer Bratwurst

Juicy Air Fryer bratwurst are ready in just 11 minutes and are easy to make in the air fryer. No matter what Mother Nature throws at you, you can still have your grilling style food at your fingertips!

Ahhhh, brats.

brats with baked beans

Here in the midwest, we have a thing for German food. While I love a good German style potato salad and a sauerbraten pot roast and of course a nice German beer brats are probably the food we the most.

And while I love making grilled brats for our family, this easy way to make them in the air fryer is my new favorite thing. 

Oh yes, air fryer….I’ve got a crush on you!!!

Why you’ll love making brats in your air fryer

If you’re looking for the best way to avoid, ahem, minimize cleanup, this is it! Everything is contained in your air fryer.

And, it’s right in your kitchen.

For those of us who are spinning 18 plates in the air, we can keep an eye on the family while making dinner without stepping foot outdoors.

Oh, and those Illinois seasons where it’s hot in the summer and freezing in the winter, you can stay cozy in your kitchen.

Last, but certainly not least, this is an amazing meal for people on the go!

What are brats?

But wait, I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. I assume everyone knows what a bratwurst sausage is. Let me clarify for those of you who are new to the party.

Willkommen! That’s welcome in German. I had to use Google translate for that, so don’t give me too much credit.

At the grocery store, you’ll see a variety of bratwurst sausages right along the smoked sausages, kielbasa and your standard American hot dogs.

Smoked sausages, or kielbasa are in general, already cooked. To make them, you’re basically just reheating them.

Bratwurst is a German style sausage made with pork, veal or beef. Around here I think more are made with pork. And then I’d say a generous amount of spices are added.

package of uncooked brats

They’re maybe more sophisticated than your average hot dogs.

You may have seen these called by the name brand, Johnsonville brats, or labeled as beer brats, which are perfectly fine for minors to eat. It’s used more as a flavoring in this case and really, how much beer can a sausage hold?

I’ll let you ponder that for a minute.

For uncooked brats like the kind we’re making today, you want to cook it to a temperature of 165°F when measured with a digital meat thermometer.

Air Fryer Brats

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “hey, my Dad/Uncle, Grandpa, neighbor always grills brats”. And that is probably true. But I’m guessing they haven’t been introduced to the air fryer method of cooking which makes delicious food fast.

And life moves pretty darn fast.

So of course, you can 100% grill the brats next time, but give this air fryer recipe a chance before you fire up the barbie, won’t you???

How the air fryer works

Air Fryers are basically stand alone convection ovens. They don’t fry the food, but instead they use a small about of oil to get the same type of crisp results that you might expect with fried food.

If you have a convection oven, you basically already have an air fryer that’s just not taking up counter space. And you are my hero.

I, however, have a conventional oven, which doesn’t have the fan to circulate the air to make the food cook faster and crisp.

Convection vs convention. They look similar, but they’re different.

Still with me?

Okay, let’s talk about how to make these air fryer bratwurst!

How to make brats in the air fryer

Tips – I like to set out my package of brats before cooking to take the chill off. This making the cooking process that much faster!

With any kind of air fryer recipe, you want to keep things in a single layer. Depending on the model of your air fryer, you may have to cook in 1-2 batches.

air fryer brats

No biggie.

Give the brats a flip halfway through the cooking time. They’ll start to lightly brown and should be a temp of 160-165°F when done.

Sidenote: The final cooking temperature for ground pork is to 165°F. We’re allowing a few degrees of carryover cook time.

Can I fry frozen brats?

If everything else I’ve said hasn’t converted you, this fun fact will….

Yes. You can cook frozen brats in the air fryer.

Mic drop.

You’ll just have to add a few minutes to the cook time. Totally doable.

How to store leftovers

Leftover brats can be stored in an covered and airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How to heat leftovers

You can heat leftovers in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes, or pop them into the microwave.

air fryer bratwurst on a platter

Toppings

Top them with sauerkraut (duh!), and any kind of mustard (though whole grain mustard is my personal fav). You could also add some grilled or air fried bell peppers and onions.

And I’ll probably get some grief for this, but there’s ketchup going on our brats at our household. Basically, the back story is that we have children. And kids, if you haven’t noticed, put ketchup on everything. Even applesauce.

You can say a little prayer for me if you want 😉

Sides to serve with air fryer brats

You can make an easy lunch or delicious dinner with just a few additions! May I suggest some baked beans, tomato cucumber salad and coleslaw??

Other brat and sausage recipes

Brat Sheet Pan Dinner

Sheet Pan Kielbasa and Veggies

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers

More easy air fryer recipes

Air Fryer Italian Sausage and Peppers

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

If you make this air fryer bratwurst recipe, leave a star rating or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 5 bratwurst

Air Fryer Bratwurst

bratwurst in the air fryer
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 bratwurst
  • Buns of choice for serving
  • Condiments

Instructions

  1. In a single layer, place the brats in the air fryer basket. You may have to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer basket.
  2. Air fry brats at 370 degrees for 11-13 minutes, flipping halfway through. Brats are done when they are light golden brown reach an internal temperature of 160°F when measured with a meat thermometer.

    Be careful when probing the brats, they'll be juicy!

Notes

  • In a single layer, place the brats in the air fryer basket. You may have to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer basket.
  • Air fry brats at 370 degrees for 11-13 minutes, flipping halfway through. Brats are done when they are light golden brown reach an internal temperature of 160°F when measured with a meat thermometer. Be careful when probing the brats, they'll be juicy!
  • Nutrition info will vary depending on the brand and type of brats you pick. It does not include buns or toppings. Have fun!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 719mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g

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