It’s hard to go wrong with cooking brats but it is also easy to get stuck in a rut and do the same thing over and over again. I felt like I was going down that path so I decided to switch things up and do some Traeger Smoked Brats. And, as long as I was doing things different, I decided to try some new brats and went with Johnsonville Cheddar and Bacon Brats!
How to Smoke Brats on a Traeger
When you are smoking brats on your Traeger you are walking a bit of a tightrope. What you want to keep in mind is that you only want to cook brats to an internal temperature of 160-165F. If you cook hem past 165F you run the risk of having the casing burst and all of the juices running out of the sausages.
You could get the most smoke flavor by cooking them at 180F-225F the whole time but they will come out looking “meh” and the casing will be tough.
Instead, I like to slow smoke the brats for the first part of the cook and then ramp up the heat to add some color and crisp up the casing.
Let’s look at each step in a little more detail.
Set Your Traeger to 225F for Smoking
We want to get some smoke flavor into these brats so we are going to start by smoking them at 225F.
Brats cook pretty fast so I only hold them at 225F for 30 minutes before I ramp up the temperature. If you want to get more smoke flavor then you can use SuperSmoke mode (if your Traeger has this feature) or add a smoke tube to the cooking chamber.
I was using hickory pellets for this cook and I enjoyed how the brats came out. That being said, since this is such a fast cook I do not believe he choice of wood pellet is that important.
Let the brats smoke at 225F for 30 minutes and then take them off the grill. The internal temperature of the sausages will only be about 140F at this point and they are NOT fully cooked.
Set Your Traeger to 450F-500F for Grilling
Return the brats to the grill and flip them every three minutes.
You are using this step to crisp up the casing and add some color to the brats while finishing up the cooking process.
Once you see the juices start to bubble in the sausage check the internal temperature with a fast reading digital thermometer. You will lose fewer juices from the brats if t=you slide the thermometer into the sausage lengthwise instead of from the top.
As soon as the brats reach an internal temperature of 160F take them off the grill. These brats didn’t have the best grill marks when they came off the grill but the important thing is that they were not overcooked.
Serving the Johnsonville Cheddar Bacon Brats
My standard serving for any Johnsonville sausage is on a bun with mustard and a side of pickles. This works just as good for brats as it does their Italian Sausage.
My wife disagreed with me and said there was so much flavor from the cheddar bacon brat and smoke that they really didn’t need mustard.
We both ate one sausage on a bun and then sliced one into rounds and ate the slices on top of mini-pretzels. Our dogs were sniffing so hard I felt obligated to spilt one with them as well. We were all happy.
Traeger Smoked Brats
- Traeger Pellet Grill
- 5 Johnsonville Cheddar Bacon Brats 1 package
- 5 Hot Dog Buns
- Pickle Slices or Spears Kosher Dill
- Yellow Mustard
- Turn on your Traeger to 225F and let it preheat for 15 minutes.
- Add the brats to the grill and let them smoke for 30 minutes. Use a Smoke Tube or SuperSmoke mode if you want more smoke flavor.
- Remove the brats from the grill and raise the temperature of your Traeger to 450-500F.
- Return the brats to the grill and flip every few minutes until an internal temperature of 160F is reached.
- Remove the brats from the grill and serve on a bun with yellow mustard and pickles.