How to Thaw Brats

So you have found some brats somewhere in your refrigerator or freezer. If they are still in the package, you know they are uncooked. If they are in some kind of container, chances are that they are cooked and you will need to reheat them.

Brats that are uncooked and frozen need to thaw before you can cook them.  Thawing brats is the same process that you would use to thaw any kind of frozen meat. It is important to thaw meat correctly because an improper method can lead to food poisoning.

Thaw brats by placing them in the refrigerator overnight, by soaking them in warm water, or by defrosting them in the microwave.  The method you choose depends on how much time you have.  Defrosting in the refrigerator will take the longest, while defrosting them in the microwave will be the quickest.

Thawing Brats in the Refrigerator

This method is the slowest, but it guarantees that your brats will be safe, fresh and ready to cook.  You need to put the brats in the refrigerator the night before you plan on cooking them.  The brats will thaw slowly at refrigerated temperature. Since they maintain a cold temperature, you do not need to worry about contamination or bacteria growth.

Thawing Brats in Water

This method is very convenient but is fraught with danger if you do not do it correctly. Do not thaw your brats in water unless you have no other way. The reason it is dangerous is that the meat can grow bacteria if left at room temperature too long.

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To assure the meat is safe, it is best to add ice to the water that you use for thawing. However, this method will take just as long as defrosting the brats in the refrigerator. If you use cold tap water, do not let the brats soak beyond the time to thaw them.  Do not use warm water to thaw your brats because bacteria can grow in the meat. 

Check the brats periodically to see if they have thawed. Once thawed, remove them from the water and cook them immediately. Clean the sink or bowl that you used to thaw your brats with bleach. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling the brats.  

Thawing the Brats in the Microwave

Thawing brats in the microwave is a safer and quicker way. The microwave will thaw the brats in a matter of minutes and there will not be time for bacteria to grow. Be sure to microwave the brats for a minimum amount of time to thaw them because otherwise they will begin to cook. Cooking the brats in the microwave will negatively affect how juicy and tasty they are.

To Thaw Brats in the Microwave Follow These Simple Steps

  1. Remove the brats from the store wrapper.
  2. Run them under cool water to separate them into individual pieces.
  3. Put the brats in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish.
  4. Put a lid on the dish.
  5. Select defrost from the menu on the microwave.
  6. Select the weight of the brats.  Most packages will be about one pound.
  7. Put the brats in the microwave and press start.
  8. The microwave will automatically thaw your brats at a lower temperature than high.
  9. Remove the brats and cook immediately.
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Make sure you thaw your brats correctly to avoid bacterial illnesses. The best and safest method to thaw brats is to put them in the refrigerator overnight. You can thaw brats in cold tap water, but be careful not to let them sit out at room temperature. The microwave is an easy and effective way to thaw your brats, but be careful not to overcook them.