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How-To: Grill and Dress a Brat

Professor of meat science and animal biologics Jeff Sindelar gives exclusive tips for preparing the perfect brat.

A group of people grabbing food

As a professor of meat science and animal biologics at UW–Madison, Jeff Sindelar knows a thing or two about how the sausage gets made. After chatting with us about the exciting opportunities presented by the newly opened Meat Sciences and Animal Biologics Discovery building and offering advice for navigating the meat market Sindelar left us with these exclusive tips for preparing the perfect brat.

Get acquainted. The brat is a sausage, and the sausage has feelings. It can’t express the feelings in a way that humans typically can, but brats do communicate their feelings by the end product: if you cook a brat too fast or at too high of a temperature, it tends to dry out. It tends to get crumbly. Sometimes, you lose flavor and, heaven forbid, you never want to burn a brat because then you just hurt its feelings.

Low and slow. I think the ideal way to prepare a brat is low and slow, kind of like barbecue: 250, 300 degrees under a careful, watchful eye.

Brat, hold the bun. Dressing with, of course, a nice, prepared mustard and sauerkraut is pretty much all that you need. The bun is more of a palette cleanser; then you get the true essence. The sauerkraut can be wherever and the mustard you can use for dipping. My perfect brat experience is brat in one hand, bun in the other, pile of mustard and a pile of sauerkraut on a plate.

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