BRATS!!!
By Montana Grant

Posted: July 17, 2022

 

There is no better comfort or camp food than a brat, dog, or sausage. These meats are affordable and always taste better when outdoors. Even a basic hot dog can hit the spot when grilled on a stick over the fire. When you add a great bun, soft taco, or bread with a sauce or condiment you prefer, life gets happier and fuller.

Many hunters make their own special versions of antelope, elk, deer, or buffalo brats. A secret spice blend, unique casing, or other tricks turn their harvest into a bunderful treat!

Some non-dog lovers hate certain additives, textures, spices, or presentations. They don’t even like a corndog on a stick! For the rest of the hungry world, a hot dog or brat is a tasty and fun meal. Brat and dog lovers all have their own ways of grilling, boiling, broiling, or cooking their tube steak treats.

BEST WAY TO GRILL

Hot dogs and brats were built for a grill. These meats are often the first grilling attempt for many. My Dad taught me how to cook dogs on a Hibachi back in the day. No matter how you grill, stay open minded and expand your charcoal, smoke, or flame knowledge.

Preheat the grill. You can cook from 350-500 degrees. Hotter temps make a crispier skin. Cook lower and slower for a tastier, less crispy frank. Smoking these meats is better yet. A regular propane or hot grill can cook a dog in 5-7 minutes. Jumbo meats need longer like 15 minutes. Rotate the dogs for an even appearance and cook.

Hot dogs need to be vented. Use a fork or knife tip to puncture the skin. If you do not add some holes, the dogs can burst. If the meat is spitting and sputtering it is telling you that is done.

Lay the dogs at a 45-degree angle on the grill. This will make appealing angled grill marks.

Brats, dogs, and franks are done when their internal temperature is 160 degrees. You can test this with a thermometer probe.

Buns need to be grilled too. Grilled buns hold together better. Smear some butter onto an open bun and lay onto the grill. Choose a bun that fits your meat. Fresh baked buns are a good choice. Toast a tortilla for a bun variation. This allows for better control once the condiments are added.

BATHING YOUR DOGS

You can boil hot dogs and brats. Many street vendors do this because they must. For great grillers, a bath should be more of a soak than a wash. Simmer the meat in beer/ale or a flavorful liquid. A long, slow simmer in a bath of onions, peppers and beer can be amazing. Try bathing your dogs and brats in beer, onions, and peppers. Once you start the grill, brown the dogs until just browning. Now have a pot sitting on the grill with enough beer, and goodies for a warm soak. Cut the peppers and onions in rings so they can be added to the buns. You can soak these meat treats for over an hour before serving on low heat. Load your buns and add a bit of mustard. 

COMMUNITY COOKING?

Grills can get crowded with dogs, brats, veggie meats, chicken and… These meats do not cook at the same speed. Consider thickness and contact. Keep meats, especially chicken apart. Cross contamination can be a concern. Always clean your grills.

 

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

One grill master is plenty. Select a reliable and smoke tested chef to manage the grill. Allow them to control the cooking, flipping, serving, and temperatures. Supply serving platters and a bell.

WHAT MEAT IS BEST?

Favorite hot dogs are all beef. Hebrew National and Nathan’s dogs are consistently great. Other local meat store brats can be amazing. Custom wild game meats can be awesome when stuffed with pork and other less lean meats, cheese, or peppers. Uncooked brats are also tastier when cooked/ smoked slowly. You can boil brats a few minutes before placing them onto the grill. Don’t forget that you can also wrap brats and dogs in a tooth picked bacon strip. Just saying!

BEST TOPPINGS!

Brat and dog eaters all have their own tastes. Tube steaks are the perfect platform to be creative. The most popular condiment s are ketchup, onions, mustards, sauerkraut, and chili. T seems like different areas prefer certain additions. For some dog connoisseurs, ketchup is a sin. For others, only chili will do. Find your own flavors and enjoy. Onions are great but consider using a sweet vedalia or fresh spring onion. Other onions and ramps can be bad for communication. 

SERVING UP THE MEAT

Try setting up a buffet to allow guests to load and prepare their own sandwiches. Have a variety of condiments, relishes, and various styles. Whole grain mustard is far tastier than yellow squeeze mustard. Consider chili, relishes, cheese, peppers, onions, or… I like my meat off the grill or out of the bath, not out of a bowl or tray.

Killer Grillin is about new variations, condiments, family, and fun.

Montana Grant