Can You Freeze Bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a tasty German sausage usually made of pork but sometimes beef, lamb, or veal. The strongest flavor you will experience is that of marjoram but nutmeg, carraway, pepper, sage, ginger, mace, and cilantro can often be tasted as well.

These sausages are usually fresh and are very rarely cured or smoked.  They are great served in a bun with cheese, onions, and mayonnaise. In this article, we are going to take a look at how to freeze bratwurst so that you have plenty on hand to enjoy throughout the year.

The good news is that bratwurst freezes well and that you can freeze both uncooked and cooked bratwurst. The method for both is the same.

How To Freeze Bratwurst

1. If you are freezing cooked bratwurst, allow the sausages to cool down.

Put the sausages on a plate and cover them with a paper towel. Leave to cool at room temperature but don’t keep them out for longer than two hours as after this time, bacteria can start to form, and you will risk food poisoning. Anyway, they should cool down within an hour.

2. Flash freeze the bratwurst.

Get a baking tray and line it with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Lay out the sausages on the tray, making sure that they’re not touching each other. By doing this, the sausages won’t stick together when they are bagged up. Put the tray in the freezer for around three hours by which time the sausages will be frozen solid. 

3. Put the bratwurst in freezer bags.

Squeeze out any excess air from the freezer bags to stop freezer burn from occurring. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your sausages. Alternatively, you can put the bratwurst in an airtight container. Put a label on the bag or container with the date frozen and the contents. 

4. Freeze.

Tips For Freezing Bratwurst

  1. Squeeze out the air from the freezer bags to avoid freezer burn.
  2. Don’t freeze uncooked and cooked bratwurst together as this can cause cross-contamination and you could get food poisoning when you come to eat the sausages. It is a good idea to write whether the sausages are cooked or uncooked on the label, particularly if you are freezing both. You don’t want to defrost raw sausages when you want cooked sausages 
  3. Instead of flash freezing, you can wrap each bratwurst separately in cling film. This will also stop the sausages from sticking together when they are bagged up. This method will save you time in the long run.
  4. If you plan to eat your bratwurst sausages within two to three days, you don’t need to freeze them. Instead, keep them in the fridge. If you have an unopened packet of bratwurst sausages, they will last for up to two weeks in the fridge. 

For How Long Can You Freeze Bratwurst?

Whether you have frozen your sausages raw or cooked, they can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. After this time, bacteria may start to form. A lot of care needs to be taken when freezing and handling meat.

How Do You Defrost Bratwurst?

The best way to defrost bratwurst is slow and steady in the fridge. Take them out of the freezer the night before you want to eat them and leave them to thaw in the fridge. This method helps the sausages to retain taste and texture, as well as nutrients. 

If you forget to take them out the night before, you can defrost them in the microwave on a low setting, preferably the defrost setting. Defrost them in short bursts and keep checking them.

You don’t want to cook them in the microwave as bratwurst tastes better when cooked in a frying pan or on a barbecue. However, if you do defrost them using this method, it is best to cook them straight away to stop bacteria from forming. Don’t put them in the fridge and leave them.

It is important to remember that you should not defrost bratwurst at room temperature. This is because bacteria can easily form if you leave them on your countertop for more than two hours.

Can You Refreeze Bratwurst?

If the bratwurst has already been cooked, don’t refreeze it. You can, however, refreeze uncooked bratwurst as long as you have defrosted the sausages in the fridge. However, the texture may change after the second freezing.  Whenever you freeze, defrost and freeze again, moisture is lost, and the sausages may end up dry.

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Bratwurst?

Yes, it’s a great idea to freeze bratwurst, either cooked or uncooked. If there’s a sale on bratwurst in your local store, stock up and freeze the sausages so that you can enjoy them anytime you want. Just remember to freeze cooked and uncooked bratwurst separately to avoid cross-contamination.

This also goes for when you put them in the fridge. Always store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that any juices don’t drip onto other food. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing bratwurst but in case you are still curious about freezing bratwurst or sausages in general, we have answered a few questions here.

Can you freeze Bockwurst?

Bockwurst is another delicious German sausage that is made from ground veal and pork. It is flavored with white pepper, salt, and paprika. It is sometimes also flavored with marjoram, parsley, and chives (see also How To Freeze Chives). It is often smoked. The good news is that it can be frozen and in the same way as bratwurst.

Apart from rolls, what can you serve bratwurst with?

There are plenty of delicious side dishes that can be served with bratwurst. The most iconic side is sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage dish. Kartoffelsalat, a German potato salad, is also popular.

It is different from the classic potato salad as it is made with unpeeled red potatoes and the dressing is vinegar and bacon grease, not mayo. Grilled corn on the cob, sweet and sour red cabbage, and coleslaw are also good sides for bratwurst. If you don’t like mayo, you can have mustard in your roll with caramelized onions.  

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