The Ultimate Guide to Quickly Cooking Johnsonville Brats from Frozen
Johnsonville bratwurst is a popular sausage brand in the United States known for its juicy and flavorful sausages. Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or a quick weeknight dinner, frozen brats are a convenient protein option that can be prepared easily. In this guide, we’ll show you the best way to cook frozen Johnsonville brats quickly and deliciously.
Why people often use frozen brats
Frozen Johnsonville brats have a long shelf life of up to six months. This makes them a practical choice for busy people or those who like to stock up on groceries. Additionally, cooking frozen brats at home is more convenient than waiting in line at the fast-food drive-thru.
Brief overview of the cooking process
Before exploring the different cooking options for frozen Johnsonville brats, it’s crucial to know some basic steps of how to prepare them. Here are some steps that apply to all cooking methods:
- Remove the packaging from frozen Johnsonville brats
- Rinse the sausages under cold running water
- Pat them dry with paper towels
The next section covers different ways of cooking your brats as per your preference.
Preparing the Brats
Choosing the right type of Bratwurst
Johnsonville offers dozens of different flavored sausages, from traditional beer brats to cheddar cheese brats. When choosing a type of sausage, make sure you pick one based on your taste preferences and meal plans. For example, if you’re grilling brats for a backyard party, traditional beer brats or Italian sausage can be an excellent choice. If you prefer a milder taste, then consider their turkey or chicken sausages.
How to defrost frozen brats
Defrosting frozen Johnsonville brats is necessary before cooking. The best way to thaw them is to move them from a freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to cook them. This method defrosts the sausages evenly and keeps them fresh. You may also defrost the sausages in a bowl of cold water; however, this method takes more time.
Johnsonville brats come pre-seasoned, so you may not need any additional spices while cooking them. However, if you want a bolder flavor, you could add different herbs and spices to make your sausage tastier. Simple seasoning options include salt and pepper, garlic, or paprika.
Grilling frozen Johnsonville brats can give them a crispy exterior with juicy interiors. To grill frozen brats on medium heat:
- Place the sausages on the grill
- Cook for six to eight minutes on each side
- Check if the brats are evenly cooked. Pierce the thickest part with a thermometer. If it reads 170°F (77°C), then your sausage is ready.
Now that your brats are cooked, let’s take a look at some tasty recipes to serve them with:
Grilled Bratwurst with Peppers and Onions
This recipe creates the perfect combination of sweet grilled peppers and onions with smoky bratwurst. To make this recipe, you will need:
- 4 Johnsonville beer brats
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 large onion, cut into thin rings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- In a large bowl, toss the sliced bell peppers and onions with olive oil. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
- Cook the brats on the grill according to the aforementioned cooking method.
- Remove sausages from the grill and set aside in a plate.
- Cook the vegetables directly on the grill; stir constantly until tender.
- Serve the sausages on top of the veggie mixtures.
Pan-Seared or Sautéed
Cooking frozen Johnsonville brats on a skillet is an easy option if you don’t have access to a grill or oven. Here’s how:
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the brats one by one, making sure they don’t touch each other.
- Cook for five minutes on each side until they are evenly browned.
- Your sausages are ready!
Sauteed Bratwurst and Cabbage
Sauteed Bratwurst and cabbage is a classic combination that you can whip up for dinner in just minutes. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 Johnsonville cheddar brats
- 4 cups green cabbage, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet, melt butter or heat oil on medium-high heat. Add sliced cabbage and saute for about five minutes.
- Add your frozen Johnsonville cheddar brats. Cook for about ten minutes or until the brats are cooked through.
- Add salt and pepper per taste. Enjoy!
Baking or Broiling
If grilling or pan-searing isn’t your style, you can cook frozen Johnsonville brats in the oven instead. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a lightly greased cooking spray.
- Add the frozen brats to the pan.
- Cook for twenty-five minutes, turning once when halfway through.
- Your sausages are now ready!
Baked Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
This recipe is perfect for winter evenings. Enjoy warm, delicious Johnsonville brats with zesty sauerkraut:
- 4 Johnsonville original sausage links
- 2 cups sauerkraut
- 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the brats to the pan. Cook for fifteen minutes
- In a separate bowl, mix together sauerkraut, mustard, and pepper.
- Spread mixture over the brats evenly.
- Cook together for an additional ten minutes or until brats are fully cooked through.
- Your dish is now ready!
Side Dish Ideas
Traditional side dishes for brats (sauerkraut, potato salad, etc.)
Cooking Johnsonville brats doesn’t have to be an isolated affair. Adding tasty sides can make your meal feel complete. Here are some traditional sides you can serve with frozen brats:
- Potato Salad
- Baked Beans
- French Fries
Creative side dish options (mac and cheese, roasted vegetables, etc.)
If you want to explore new flavors and give your meal a unique twist, consider trying out these creative sides:
- Mac and Cheese: A classic staple that everyone loves.
- Roasted Vegetables: Toss some fresh vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast them in the oven. The flavors will complement the brats perfectly.
- Cajun Fries: Sprinkle some Cajun seasoning on french fries and enjoy a spicy kick with your Johnsonville sausages.
- Sweet Potato Wedges: Toss your sweet potato wedges with olive oil, garlic powder, and smoked paprika and bake until crispy.
- Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn on the cob pairs beautifully with grilled brats.
Beer Pairing Suggestions
Explanation of why beer pairs well with bratwurst
A cold beer can be the perfect drink to go with your hot brats. The hoppy flavor of beer can counterbalance the salty and smoky flavor of your Johnsonville sausages perfectly.
Recommendations for specific types of beer to serve with your meal
Some popular beer options that work well are Light and crisp beers like lagers or pilsners. Here are some specific types of beers you can consider:
- Budweiser: A timeless classic that pairs perfectly with grilled or sautéed brats.
- Stout Beer:Tasty dark beers like Guinness pair well with heavy sides like roasted potatoes or bacon-wrapped asparagus.
- Rye Beers: This spicy ale pairs wonderfully with brats containing strong spices such as Jalapeno Cheddar Brats from Johnsonville.
Frozen brats are incredibly versatile and can be served in various ways depending on your mood. Here are a few serving options:
- On a bun with condiments: Create a classic hot dog style with ketchup, mustard, onion, and relish. You may also top them with your favorite cheese or hot peppers.
- On a stick as a party appetizer: Cut your brats diagonally into one-inch strips and slide them onto bamboo skewers alternating with peppers or other vegetables for an easy appetizer.
- In pasta dishes: Slice your brats sausages into coins and toss them in pasta dishes like Penne Alla Vodka.
Leftover Bratwurst Ideas
How to properly store leftover cooked brats
If you have any leftover Johnsonville brats from the previous night, use these guidelines to store and reheat them properly:
- Refrigerate leftover brats within two hours of cooking them.
- Store them in an airtight container.
- The brats will stay fresh up to four days if stored correctly.
- To reheat frozen Johnsonville brats, put them in boiling water for about five minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave at a low power setting for about thirty seconds.
Recipes and ideas for repurposing leftover bratwurst in new meals
You can easily turn leftover sausages into new meals that taste distinct from the original dish with some creativity:
- Bangers and Mash: serve slices of Johnsonville brats on top of creamy mashed potatoes with gravy.
- Fried Rice: Repurpose your leftover frozen brats and add them to fried rice along with vegetables.
- Bratwurst Sandwiches: Slice your cooked sausage and use them up in a sandwich. Add pickles, lettuce, mustard, or other condiments of your choice.
To summarize, Johnsonville brats are one of the most flavorful sausages available and can be easily cooked even when they’re frozen. Whether you grill them, pan-sear them or bake them will depend on your preference. Accompany your delicious sausages with traditional or creative sides and pair it perfectly with beer. Even if you have leftovers, using them in new recipes is easy and hassle-free. Be sure to follow these guidelines for cooking frozen Johnsonville brats and let your taste buds thank you later!
1. How long do I need to cook frozen Johnsonville brats?
One of the advantages of using frozen brats is that they last longer in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. To cook them, set the heat on your grill or stovetop to medium-high and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning them occasionally until browned on all sides.
2. Do I need to thaw frozen Johnsonville brats before cooking?
No, you don’t have to! You can directly put frozen brats in the pan or grill without thawing them first. However, you may need to cook them a few minutes longer than fresh brats.
3. What is the best way to grill frozen Johnsonville brats?
Grilling is a great way to cook these tasty sausages, whether they’re fresh or frozen. Preheat your gas or charcoal grill for 10 minutes and then place your frozen Johnsonville brats in the grill. Cook for around 20-25 minutes per side until there are grill marks on all sides and they reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
4. Can I bake frozen Johnsonville brats?
Yes, you can also bake them in the oven if you prefer this method. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the frozen Johnsonville brats on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and fully cooked through.