When it is too cold to grill, make crisp and juicy brats in your air fryer! These Air Fryer Bratwurst can be made from fresh or frozen in about 20 minutes. Great for meal prep and busy weeknights!
Can you cook bratwurst in the air fryer? You sure can, and they can be ready in 20 minutes or less! Before we dive into the instructions, let’s talk about what’s so great about bratwurst.
Not to be confused with a hot dog, bratwurst are a German sausage typically made from pork or veal with a satisfying and robust garlic flavor. They’re generally sold in casings, cooked on the grill or smoked, and served on a crusty roll with spicy mustard.
Air frying is a great way to make delicious brats without dusting off the grill or smoker! Ready to cook perfect bratwurst in your air fryer? Let’s do it.
🌭 Ingredients & Equipment
Bratwurst – What I love most about air fryer brats is you can make them from fresh or frozen. This method is a lifesaver when you forget to defrost the meat. You want to use plump, uncooked brats (not smoked). They usually come in packages of 4 to 5 links.
- Johnsonville (original recipe or beer brats)
- Dietz & Watson
- Beyond Plant-Based
📖 How To Make Air Fryer Brats
1️⃣ Preheat air fryer: Preheat your air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes to achieve crisp and juicy brats.
2️⃣ Score the top and Add brats: Using a sharp knife, cut small slits at the top of the bratwurst to create vents for steam and to cook evenly. Carefully place your brats in the preheat basket in a single layer and set the timer for 15 minutes.
3️⃣ Air fry bratwurst: Air fry brats for 7 to 8 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until the brats are cooked through. They should be crisp and golden brown on the outside and cooked to temperature (160F) on the inside.
4️⃣ Serve: Remove with tongs and serve hot with buns and your favorite toppings.
🧊 Frozen Air Fryer Brats
If you forget to thaw your brats, no worries! You can cook frozen bratwurst in the air fryer following these instructions:
1️⃣ Begin by preheating your air fryer to 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes.
2️⃣ Place the frozen bratwurst in the basket in a single layer and program the timer for 18 minutes.
3️⃣ Cook for 9 to 10 minutes, flip and continue cooking for another 9 to 10 minutes or until the brats are browned and cooked to temperature.
👉 Recipe Tips
Brats are a greasy food, so make sure your air fryer and the drip pan are clean to prevent smoking.
Air fryers don’t all cook the same, so you may need to adjust the cooking times. Be careful not to burn them. Undercooked brats are fixable. Overcooked? Not so much.
Your best bet is to use a kitchen thermometer to check for doneness. Bratwrusts are cooked through at 160 degrees.
You can place a layer of foil beween the bottom of the air fryer and the basket (not in the basket) to keep the hot air flowing evenly and for easier clean up.
Let the brats rest for a few minutes before serving to lock in the juices.
🍽️ How to Serve Bratwurst
Traditional Serving: Bratwurst are commonly served on hard buns with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. You can even heat the buns in the air fryer by warming them at 350 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes.
Sauteed Veggies: Brats also taste great smothered in sauteed peppers and onions. To make “sauteed” peppers and onions in your air fryer, slice or chop them the same size, toss with oil and cook for 5 to 8 minutes at 375 degrees.
Bratwurst Dinner: Serve brats with or without the buns, mustard and sauerkraut -and make it a meal with one of these yummy sides
♻️ Storing, Freezing & Reheating
Storing: Store cooked brats in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Freezing: Let brats cool to room temperature and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place the brats in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for 2 months.
Reheating: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees and heat the brats until warmed through (about 8 to 12 minutes).
Yes, and it’s simple! Bake the brats on a sheep pan at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. To cook frozen brats in the oven, bake them at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
It only takes about 20 minutes to cook bratwurst to temperature in an air fryer. The time will vary based on size.
The goal is to achieve golden brown surfaces and tender, juicy insides. Start at 375 degrees. For larger brats or frozen brats, lower the temperature to 350.
Air Fryer Frozen Meat Recipes
Air Fryer Bratwurst
- Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi
- 1 pound bratwurst up to 6 links depending on size
- Preheat the air fryer to 375F for 3-5 minutes.
- Score the top of the bratwurst using a sharp knife in small slits.
- Place bratwurst in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Set the timer for 15 minutes.
- At the 7 to 8 minute mark, flip the brats.
- Air fry for another 5 to 8 minutes or until the bratwurst are golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
- Remove with tongs and serve hot.
Making frozen brats in the air fryer
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Place frozen bratwursts in the basket in a single layer and program the timer for 18 minutes.
- Cook for 9 to 10 minutes, flip and continue cooking for another 9 to 10 minutes or until the brats are browned and cooked to temperature.