Air fryer brats cook up tender, juicy, and so fast! This air fryer bratwurst recipe makes brats with a juicy inside that's never dried out and a perfectly browned outside that's never overdone. It's the absolute best way to make bratwurst - quick, easy, and delicious!
Brats are part and parcel of any summer activity or sporting event. Whether you live in Canada, the United States or in some other countries, brats are always part of game days, summer barbecues, or just weeknight meals.
You can get as fancy or as simple as you like with them, which makes them one of the most versatile food items out there.
I've been eating brats for years. My father always made them on the grill during the summer, and my mother was a big fan of using them in recipes in place of other sausage varieties.
We even had brats for breakfast a few times when we didn't have breakfast sausages. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've had pan fried bratwurst drizzled with maple syrup!
As I got older and moved out to face the great big world as an adult, I continued to make brats for myself. When I met my husband, I made them for the two of us.
When we had our son, I continued to make them for all of us. They have always played a big part in my life and in my family's life, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
The History of Bratwurst
Bratwurst has always been one of my favorite sausages, so a big shout out to Germany for this delicious treat. If it weren't for the invention of this delicious sausage, we'd really be missing out on something fantastic.
So I want to take a moment to talk about the history of this iconic sausage.
Sausage has been around for thousands of years. Like so many foods that we enjoy today, it actually started out as a way of keeping food from going to waste.
It was a way for butchers to use up meat scraps leftover from the butchering process and to preserve the meat for future use. Butchers would salt various types of tissues and organs, blood, and fat leftover from the butchering process.
They would then pack them into sleeves made from intestines. This makes sausages one of the world's oldest prepared foods.
While sausage has been around since ancient times, bratwurst has been around for far less time. Bratwurst dates back to the early 1300s, where it was created in a region that would eventually become Eastern Germany.
These sausages were made by farmers in the morning and eat them by noon, as they spoiled quite fast due to the high fat content.
Bratwurst remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years, and eventually, they made their way to the United States and spread across the rest of North America.
Fast forward to today, and you can find all kinds of bratwurst varieties in the meat section of practically every grocery store all across the USA and Canada, with people cooking them up as their classic game day food.
Air Fryer Brats
Over the years, I've experimented with brats in a lot of different ways. I've used them for breakfast as my mom did. I've used them in place of other sausage types in various recipes just to see what would happen.
It was always a success, by the way. Heck, one time I even made corndogs with brats in the middle. SOOOOO good. That's why I was eager to make them in my air fryer when I first bought it.
It was a genius move if I do say so myself. air fryer brats cook up fast, and you never have to worry about a burned outside and a raw inside. There's no adding water to a pan and cooking until it evaporates, hoping that your brats cooked all the way through. Oh no.
Air fryer bratwurst comes out perfectly every time. That's why I'm so excited to share this recipe with all of you. It's a simple recipe that only takes a few minutes and always gives you the absolute best brats you've ever tasted!
These air fryer brats only take a few ingredients to make. You'll need your brats, of course. After that, you just need onions and an air fryer. That's all there is to it!
There are so few ingredients to making this tasty air fryer bratwurst recipe, I don't even need bullet points for it!
Making Air Fryer Brats
Making these brats is just as easy as the ingredient list. After you pull out your air fryer and gather your brats and onions, it's just a matter of doing a little slicing and then letting the air fryer do all the heavy lifting.
If you've ever made brats in a skillet, you'll thoroughly enjoy how very, very little effort goes into making these juicy perfectly cooked brats.
You'll find the complete recipe with times in the recipe card below, but take a look at this overview. It's just ridiculously easy cooking brats in the air fryer. Here's what you do.
- Thinly slice onions
- Place uncooked, raw brats in air fryer basket in a single layer, not touching each other
- Air fry
- Flip brats and add onions
- Continue air frying until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, cooking time will vary slightly.
- Remove the brats from the air fryer.
How to cook brats in air fryer
This air fryer brats recipe may just be brats and onions, but there are some things to remember to make sure that you get the best possible brats possible.
It's a super simple recipe, but these tips will help ensure that your brats come out perfectly every single time.
Preheat the Air Fryer
There are people who never preheat their air fryer. They just don't find it necessary. And while the air fryer does heat up so rapidly that you don't always have to heat it up on every recipe,
I'm a believer in always preheating it. That's especially true with this recipe. Preheating the air fryer ensures that the interior of the brat cooks up uniformly and will be perfectly done by the time the outside is nice and browned.
Invest in a Meat Thermometer
I highly advise getting a meat thermometer. Guessing about your brat's doneness is no good, as you might undercook it. You also don't want to have to cut into your brat and allow all the juices to escape.
Rather than guess or mangle your brats, invest in a meat thermometer. After you've air fried your brats for the prescribed amount of time, insert the thermometer to check for doneness.
Let Them Rest
You might be tempted to eat the brats as soon as they've finished cooking. Don't do that. All those delicious juices need time to reabsorb into the meat that's inside the sausage.
If you serve them immediately all the juice will seep out as soon as you bite or cut into them. Give these cooked brats in the air fryer a few minutes to rest and let all that juicy goodness settle before enjoying them.
how long to cook brats in air fryer
Simply place brats inside your preheated air fryer and cook at 350 degrees for 7 minutes, flip brats over, add onions and set timer for another 7 or 8 minutes, adjusting onions a few times. That is it!
Serving Air Fryer Brats
This classic air fryer bratwurst recipe is perfect for nestling in a bun and eating in the backyard on a warm day or sitting in the living room and watching sports.
Simply pair these brats and onions with soft, squishy hot dog buns and top with your favorite fixings. I like to keep things simple and just use ketchup or mustard, but you can put anything you like on them.
You can also serve them anytime, anywhere. I love to make these for a weeknight dinner, weekend lunch, or as part of my backyard grilling lineup.
Making brats in an air fryer is the perfect summer food, but they're also perfect for fall and winter, as well. Enjoying them outside during the warm months or inside during the cool weather while you watch the big game.
Just top them with your favorite toppings and enjoy this easy air fryer recipe!
Brats served up on buns can be topped with anything that you'd top hot dogs with, and they always taste great with them. Some great toppings to consider include:
- Pickle relish
Storing Air Fryer Brats
These air fryer brats will keep well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
For longer storage, you can keep them in the freezer for up to three months. To freeze, place them in a heavy-duty freezer bag with as much air removed as possible.
To serve, defrost them in the refrigerator and then heat in the air fryer, a pan, or in the microwave.
Can you cook frozen brats in an air fryer?
You bet you can cook frozen brats in air fryer when needed. Simply, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. Place brats in basket, not touching, and set timer for 18 minutes, checking at 15 minute mark.
Some brats are bigger than others and you don't want to overcook the frozen brats if at all possible.
Give These Air Fryer Brats a Try
These air fryer brats are incredibly easy, which is great, but the real selling point is how delicious they are. They're done on the inside to perfect, juicy perfection and on the outside, they're golden brown and amazing.
They're absolute sausage perfection. If you've never tried brats in the air fryer, I highly encourage you to give them a try. With a recipe this easy and delicious, there's no reason not to.
Once you've tried these once, you'll find yourself making them again and again!
Air Fryer Brats with Onions Video
Air Fryer Brats
- 5 brats uncooked
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 5 buns for serving, if desired
- Slice onion and get sausages ready to go in the air fryer.
- Place brats in your air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 350ºF for 7 minutes.
- Flip brats and add onions.
- Air fry for an additional 7-8 minutes, stirring the onions a few times. Be sure the internal temperature of the brats reaches 160ºF.
- Remove from air fryer and place on serving plate.
- Serve with vegetables and a potato. OR
- Serve on a bun.
- With all the fixin's!