How To Cook Brats On A Pellet Smoker

How To Cook Brats On A Pellet Smoker

Learn to make perfectly smoked brats on a pellet smoker. An easy way to incorporate that delicious smoke flavor into this classic grill recipe!

Let’s be honest, grilling bratwurst is a pretty simple and straight forward method of cooking any home chef can take on. It’s about as simple as grilling up hot dogs or hamburgers for parties, picnics, or just family dinners.

While brats are foolproof all on their own (like these grilled spiralized brats or air fryer brats), there are a few ways to take a good brat and turn it into a great brat.

How do we do this? We make the perfect brat by utilizing low indirect heat to slowly smoke bratwurst. This helps keep them tender and juicy and ensures as much smoky flavor is absorbed into the meat. Top each brat with my Chicago style smoked sweet peppers for even more flavor!

How To Cook Brats On A Pellet Smoker

Below I have outlined all my expert grilling and smoking tips to help guide you through the process of making the best smoked bratwurst recipe. Be sure to read through the article or jump to the recipe below. Let’s dive in!

Why This Recipe Works:

  • Smoking the brats over boiling them in beer actually makes them not only more flavorful but juicier too
  • Smoke flavor pairs incredibly well with ground pork (thus smoked sausage)
  • It’s an easy way to reduce flare-ups from the fat that can often release from the brat casing during high heat cooking (less mess and better tasting brats)
  • Cooking at low temperatures ensures not only more smoke flavor reaches the meat, but it keeps the brat tender too
  • You don’t need to sear (some pellet smokers have this as an option but don’t be upset if yours doesn’t) but you can

“School” Supplies:

  • Baking Sheet
  • Tongs
  • Meat Thermometer

“Class” Notes:

Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you. 

This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own. 

Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe card below and begin. 


  • Bratwurst Sausages: Something as simple as Johnsonville brats from your local grocery store or a German sausage from your local butcher works for this recipe. Use what you like to eat! For best results, keep the brats in the fridge and as cold as possible before smoking. This allows them to take longer to reach their correct internal temperature and allows for more smoke flavor to be absorbed.
  • Brat Buns: Brat buns are a larger, heartier roll. I find they are simple to a sub or grinder sandwich roll but in more of a classic oval shake to perfectly hold your cookie brat (I find hot dog buns are not a good substitute here).
  • Favorite Toppings: This really comes down to personal preference. I like condiments such as spicy brown mustard or yellow mustard, horseradish, yellow onion (raw or cooked), sauerkraut, or Chicago style smoked sweet peppers)
Smoked bratwurst recipe ingredients

Preparation & Smoking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the pellet or electric smoker to 225 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove the brats from the fridge and remove the packaging. Place them on a baking sheet for easier transfer to the smoker.
  3. When the smoke setting on the grill is holding steady, place the uncooked brats onto the grill grates. Allow them to smoke for 20-25 minutes and then flip them over.
  4. Allow the brats to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. This takes about 50-60 minutes in total. Check for the right temperature by using a digital thermometer for accuracy.
  5. At this point, the brats are now fully cooked. The smoke will give them a little pink tint to the outside but it won’t take on that darker color you get from traditional high heat searing. If your pellet smoker has a searing option, you can choose to stop the cooking process at around 150 F. and then sear if preferred. Another good option is to remove the brats from the grill and do a quick sear on the stove in a cast iron pan if desired.
  6. Place brats in a bun and serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Smoking brats on the pellet smoker and searing them in a cast iron pan

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to boil brats in a beer bath first?

While I love beer brats, I actually recommend NOT boiling them before smoking. Boiling them first in beer will reduce how much flavor is imparted by the grill. We want the smoke flavor to really shine, so starting with raw brats directly on the pellet grill is the best way to go!

Can I use my charcoal grill for this recipe?

Yes, you can use any type of charcoal grill or brand of pellet grill for this recipe. If using a traditional charcoal smoker, set the grill for two-zone cooking. You can smoke the brats over indirect heat (cooler side of the grill) to start and then finish them off over the hot coals to get more color to the outside.

What temperature do you smoke brats at?

The ideal temperature for smoking brats is to stay between 225-250 F. The lower temperature allows for the cooking time to be longer, ensuring more smoke gets into the bratwurst.

How do I know when my brats are cooked?

Every home cook needs a good meat thermometer! Take the temp of the brats by inserting the thermometer into the middle of the sausage to see that it reaches a final cooking temp of 165 F.

Do I need to sear the brats after smoking?

No, they are fully cooked on the smoker. I do love the color you get from the sear (and it does create a nice texture as well). It’s not necessary, however.

What Goes With Smoked Brats?

Growing up in the Midwest, we love our brats with sweet Chicago style peppers or classic toppings of some whole grain mustard, sauerkraut, and diced onions. The best brats are the ones you like to eat so build out your bratwurst any way you like and enjoy! Try making these Brats and Tots (bratwurst nachos) with the leftovers too!

How To Cook Brats On A Pellet Smoker

More Recipes To Try:

How To Cook Brats On A Pellet Smoker

How To Cook Brats On A Pellet Smoker

Learn to make perfectly smoked brats on a pellet smoker. An easy way to incorporate that delicious smoke flavor into this classic grill recipe!
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: How to cook brats on a pellet smoker, smoked brats, smoked bratwurst recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 People
Calories: 348kcal
Author: Bon Appeteach




  • Preheat the pellet smoker to 225-250 F. Keep the bratwurst in the fridge until the smoker is full preheated and holding steady. The raw brats should be as cold as possible before smoking.
  • Place the brats onto the grill grates and smoke for 20-25 minutes. Flip the brats and allow them to smoke and additional 20-25 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature of the bratwurst with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165 F.
  • The brats are fully cooked when they hit 165 F and do not need to be seared, however searing them is optional if preferred. Remove the smoked brats and set you smoker to the sear setting (if it has this as an option). Sear on all sides until desired level of doneness on the outside is achieved. Additionally, you can sear the brats in a cast iron pan for 1-2 minutes per side on the stove as well.
  • Serve brats in a brat bun with favorite toppings like mustard, sauerkraut, onions, or sweet peppers and enjoy.


It is not recommended to pre-cook and boil the bratwurst in beer prior to smoking. This will overcook the brat and not allow as much smoke flavor to actually penetrate the meat. The brats should go onto the smoker fully raw. 


Serving: 1brat | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 846mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 3mg

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