Bacon Wrapped Brats: Best Brats Ever (With Recipe)!

October 5, 2023
Written by John Smits

Bacon-wrapped brats are awesome for tailgating and make for a worry-free weeknight meal – wrap the bratwurst in thin-cut bacon, secure the bacon with toothpicks, then cook the brats on your grill or smoker. Grill the brats until the bacon is delightfully crispy, and the internal temp reads 160°F. You may never cook an unwrapped brat again.

I’m from Michigan. I cook and eat bratwurst all the time. The Midwest and bratwurst go together like Texas and brisket. Real Midwesterners know that a delicious brat paired with an ice-cold beer hits different.

Ready to cook up the best-tasting brats on the block? Fire up your grill. It’s bacon-wrapped brat time.

bacon wrapped brats

Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Bratwurst Full Recipe

Smoking the bacon-wrapped bratwurst infuses the meats with the lovely kiss of wood smoke. And, unlike larger cuts of meat, you’ll only need to tend the smoker for 30 minutes or so. The bacon and the brat are the perfect one-two punch – so much flavor. Let’s get after it!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Cooking temperature: 300°F

Serves: Four

Preferred wood: Oak or hickory

Ingredients Needed

  • 4 buns. Ditch the buns if you’re looking for a keto-friendly or low-carb option.
  • 4 brats
  • 4 slices of bacon

Optional Toppings

  • Onions (White onions are classic, but red onions are nice, too. Raw onion works, but I like to use caramelized onions. To make caramelized onions, I cook them in a saute pan in olive oil with cut-up red peppers and minced garlic. Put the delicious mixture in a small bowl until you’re ready to eat.)
  • Cheese
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Sauerkraut
  • Other condiments of your choosing
Sausages Wrapped in Bacon

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat up your smoker: If you’ve got a pellet grill or electric smoker, set it to 300°F. If you’ve got a kettle grill, Kamado, or gas grill, get it started and set up for indirect cooking. The brats will cook away from the heat source on a charcoal and gas grill. If you’ve got a Kamado, like a Big Green Egg, use a heat deflector. Get your grill or smoker temp to 300°F.
  2. Get the brats wrapped in bacon. Grab a slice of bacon and attach it to one end of the bratwurst with a toothpick. Wrap the entire bratwurst with the bacon, then secure the other end of the bacon with another toothpick.
  3. Grill the brats. Put the bratwursts on the grill. Smoke the brats, turning frequently – every 5 minutes or so. The bratwurst is fully cooked when the internal temp reads 160°F and the bacon is perfectly crispy.
  4. Let them cool off. Bite into one now, and that bratwurst will be hotter than molten lava. Give them at least 5 minutes to cool off. Remove the toothpicks while you wait. Biting into a toothpick is no fun! Remember to remove 2 toothpicks per brat.
  5. Serve the bratwurst. Grab some buns and dig in! Pile on the toppings – this delicious recipe works with the toppings listed above, but feel free to get creative with it! A bacon-wrapped bratwurst is an amazing thing. I hope you and your crew love them as much as mine. Enjoy!

How to Add Brown Sugar?

Some folks like to sprinkle brown sugar on their bacon-wrapped bratwurst. This combo is too sweet for me, but maybe you’ve got a sweet tooth. If you want to make grilled brats with a brown sugar coating, here’s a quick recipe:

Put 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a large bowl. Wrap the bratwurst with bacon per the recipe. Toss the brat in the brown sugar. That’s it! Follow the recipe above from step 3 on. Keep a close eye on the brats when they’re grilling, as the brown sugar on the bacon-wrapped bratwurst can cause flare-ups.

Tips for Bacon-Wrapped Bratwurst

If this is your first time wrapping food in bacon, welcome to the bacon revolution! I believe there are three things you can count on in life – death, taxes, and bacon making other foods taste better. Here are a few things you need to know to create the ultimate sausages:

Buy Meat From the Butcher’s Counter

Handmade brats (made from pork) taste light-years better than a refrigerated four-pack. Skip the fridge and head straight to the butcher counter for out-of-this-world bacon-wrapped brats.

There are a dizzying array of options at the meat counter these days. You can buy brats that are stuffed with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeños, and more. Choose whatever flavor you like – this recipe (and bacon) go with everything!

Buy Thin-Cut Bacon

For supreme bacon-wrapped bratwurst, buy thin-cut bacon. It will get nice and crispy, which is what we’re aiming for.

Thick-cut bacon is great, but it won’t crisp up when you wrap it around a bratwurst. Save thicker bacon for breakfast.

Raw Mini Sausages Wrapped in Smoked Bacon

Serve with Beer

I said I’m from the Midwest! Bratwurst and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Wash that brat down with an ice-cold beer. Grab a 6-pack of local beer for an unforgettable meal. A great beer to pair with the brats would be an IPA. A nice, crisp pilsner is a classic beer/brat pairing.

How to Make Beer-Boiled Bratwurst?

My previous recipe doesn’t involve boiling your bacon-wrapped bratwursts in beer. But beer-boiled brats are another popular (and delicious)  method. Here’s a basic recipe.

Pour three cans of beer into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the brats and boil in the beer for 15 minutes and take them out.

Finish grilling the brats on your grill at 400°F or in the oven (preheat oven to 400°F). You can also brown them in a cast iron pan on the stove (medium heat). You can also cook them on the stove over medium-high heat in a pan with a pat of butter. Fully cooked brats will have an internal temperature that reads 160°F.

Want to make beer-boiled brats that are bacon-wrapped? Partially cook the bacon, then wrap the bratwurst with the bacon after boiling but before you grill them. It’s the best of both worlds!

Mix It Up: Bite-Sized Brats

If you’re looking to make a next-level appetizer, cut the bratwurst into one-inch sections (about the width of a piece of bacon). Cut a strip of bacon into four pieces. Wrap the bratwurst in a piece of bacon and secure the bacon with a toothpick.

Throw those bite-sized pieces of deliciousness on the grill using my above instructions. Since these won’t be served in buns, I like to hit them with my favorite barbeque rub before they go on the grill.

What to Serve Bacon Wrapped Brats With?

The sky is the limit here. Have a couple of sides ready to go. Coleslaw, potato salad, grilled corn, and potato chips are classic. Go with summer staples and grilling and tailgate food. Your family will thank you.

Roasted Sausages Wrapped in Bacon with Peas Puree and Broccoli

Wrapping It Up

Everything tastes better bacon-wrapped, and that includes brats. Bacon-wrapped brats look cool, they fire up your taste buds, and they’re ready in under an hour of total time. It’s a dinner dish that I come back to all the time, particularly in the summer.

Brats and BBQ are two of America’s finest cuisines. Add bacon to the mix, and you’re living right. I’m so grateful to share this recipe with you. Happy grilling!

By John Smits
John bought his first home in 2012 and bought his first grill shortly afterward: the ubiquitous Weber kettle grill. He’s been hooked since the first time he fired up some coals. Now, after over a decade spent making countless delicious meals, John is a passionate advocate for live-fire cooking.
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