I love brats, but sometimes, it can be a hassle to cook them. This is especially true if I have to fire up the grill. Fortunately, there’s the Johnsonville brat cooker (made by these guys). Firing up the grill is still my favorite way to enjoy my brats, but it isn’t would be worth unless I was cooking up a lot of them for an event, or with a few friends and family members. But when I just want a few for myself, or maybe for two, going through the hassle of braising the brats, and then firing up the grill is a whole lot of work that I don’t want to deal with. It’s times like that when this brat grill really is appreciated.
Hassle Free Way to Cook Bratwursts
This electric grill made for the sole purpose of cooking the perfect bratwurst is about the most hassle free way I’ve stumbled upon. There are two cooking plates (one on the bottom and another on the top), so the sausage is evenly cooked from all sides. The cooking plates are non-stick and they are removable for easy cleaning. There are even drip lines built in for excess oils to drip out while it’s cooking.
Not only do you not have to turn the brats, you don’t even have to check on it until it beeps; telling you that your brats are ready to eat. The brat cooker has a built-in thermometer that sits right in the center. The thermometer actually pokes into the sausage and keeps an eye on the internal temperature of the brat itself. Once the internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached, the cooker stops, and beeps to let you know your food is ready.
The whole entire cooking time takes a little as 15 minutes. It’s a quick because the entire sausage is covered and exposed to the heated cooking plates. Plus the temperature is monitored and maintained at all times so you can afford to “blast the heat” without risk of overcooking.
Are they Browned?
This is really the question that I had in mind when I first discovered this nifty little brat grill. I was concerned that my brats would come out looking like it was baked, or worse, boiled. Turns out I was worried for no reason. The grill is fully capable of cooking a perfectly cooked brat with a juicy inside and a nice crispy brown outside.
Of course, there are no grill marks, but for me that really isn’t an issue. It tastes just as great and for just a fraction of the work, it’s well worth it.
No More Microwaved Left-Overs
Despite how delicious these things are, I always have leftovers whenever I fire up the grill for an occasion of some sort. They would sit in my fridge for the next couple of days and when I feel like enjoying them again, I would nuke them in the microwave. Well, that was in the past. With the Johnsonville brat grill, it’s easy to pop them into the grill and heat them up quickly. The best part is, the brat casing is all nice and crispy again. You don’t get that with the microwave.
It’s Not Perfect Though
I must admit that I love this little grill, but it has its shortcomings.
- The wire is a little too short, so you’re a little limited to where you can place the grill.
- You can only cook up to 5 brats at a time. Sometimes, I’d like to make more but that would require me to buy another grill, or cook in batches. That makes it ideal for only one or two people.
- You don’t get grill marks. The outside is beautifully browned, but not quite as perfect as grill marks.
- There is very limited use for the brat grill (see more below)
I think the biggest drawback to this nifty little grill is the fact that you can really only grill brats and hot dogs on it. Sure, there’s really nothing to stop you from shaping a piece of meat to fit into the grill, but that’s a lot of hassle. I personally like the idea of a dedicated brat grill that does only one job as best as it can. I think a good alternative to this grill would be one of those electric convection ovens (covered more more in depth at kitchenreviewed.com).
Don’t let these minor shortcomings make it a deal breaker though. I think the pros far outweighs them. It’s hard not to love something that can quickly make me delicious brats with so little work. I would definitely recommend the Johnsonville brat cooker for anyone who’s looking to enjoy one of their favorite foods with as little work as possible.