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Easy Air Fryer Brats (with Johnsonville Bratwurst)

Easy air fryer brats with Johnsonville bratwurst! Cooking Johnsonville brats in the air fryer is the best way to enjoy these delicious brats in less than 20 minutes!

If you love easy air fryer recipes, try these air fryer buffalo chicken wings, air fryer bbq chicken wings and this side of air fryer french fries!


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We had our first Johnsonville brats at an Ohio State Buckeyes college football tailgate party that my aunt had made for everyone as a quick meal.

That first bite into the juicy brats with bursts of that distinct legendary spicy yet smoky flavor that all brat lovers know so well won us over instantly!

The weekend sports extravaganza was so much fun, but all my husband talked about was how delicious the brats were long after we came home.

We started cooking them in the traditional ways but when we tried air fry brats it was such an easy way with the perfect crispy exterior and the yummy juices locked in air frying is all we use to cook them now!

If you’re looking for the perfect side for brats, serve them with my creamy coleslaw, potato salad recipe or this simple house salad recipe. Next time you can also try my air fryer hot dog for another quick family meal.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • So Easy: From start to finish you can be enjoying juicy air fryer bratwurst in under 20 minutes!!
  • So Fast: The air fryer cooks faster than the oven and you do not have to be constantly watching over them or deal with any bad weather on the grill!
  • Easy Cleanup: Cleanup is so easy you can use air fryer liners or parchment paper to make it even easier.
  • One or a Crowd: You can cook easy brat recipes for one or two people and use batch cooking when cooking for a crowd.
  • Cook anywhere: You can cook air fry brats anywhere you have your air fryer with no restrictions where bbq grills are not permitted.
  • Fresh or Frozen: While fresh brats are best, quick meals with frozen brats works great as well just adjust cooking time for more minutes.
  • Gluten and Dairy Free: If you or someone you are cooking for follows a gluten free diet you can enjoy air fryer brats without the bun.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Uncooked Johnsonville brats on a white plate.
  • Brats: Of course we found out my aunt had used Johnsonville brats and we feel they really are the best-tasting most flavorful pork brats. You can find a package of brats at your local grocery store and you can, also try their different flavors like smoked beef sausages and Johnsonville cheddar brats. We sometimes soak the brats in beer and then air fry them at home, they then just need a quick warm up so good for tailgate parties!!
  • Buns: Brat buns can also be found at your local grocery store but it is best to buy the larger more sturdy buns not hot dogs buns as they will fall apart with brats. You can also use hoagie or sub style buns. For an alternative flavor you can also toast your buns in the air fryer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Condiments: This is one of the best parts of enjoying air fryer bratwurst is that you can customize it with toppings in so many different individual ways. Whether you are a traditionalist with only mustard or more daring using hot onions with green red and bell peppers, sauerkraut or even chili on top it all goes so well with brats.

Step by by instructions

How long do you cook Johnsonville brats in an air fryer?

We used our Ninja XL air fryer and of course silicone tongs is a must have tool to use for easy recipes.

Ninja air fryer sitting on countertop.

Start by preheating the air fryer to 390°F for 3 to 5 minutes.

Using the tongs place the brats in a single layer in the air fryer basket with space between them to allow for best air circulation.

Unbooked Johnsonville brats in air fryer basket.

Air fry the Johnsonville brats at 390°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Use a digital meat thermometer to ensure the inside temperature of 160°F has been reached. Turning the brats halfway will help to ensure even cooking. Some air fryers do a better job of even cooking than others with no turning needed.

Cooked Johsonville bratwurst sausages in air fryer basket.

Use tongs to place the brats on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.

Place the brats in the buns and serve imediately with your favourite condiments and side dishes.

Toppings for bratwurst sausages

There are so many favorite toppings for air fry brats that it really depends on personal taste and regional preferences. Here are a few of our favourites.

Mustard: Some prefer yellow, spicy mustard, brown or even Dijon mustard.
Sauerkraut: This fermented cabbage adds a tangy, slightly sour flavor.
Onions and Bell Peppers: Chopped or caramelized onions with red and green bell peppers add a sweet, savory flavor.
Pickles: Sweet or dill pickles add a tangy, crunchy texture.
Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Relish: Can add a sweet and tangy flavor.
Cheese: Cheddar, Swiss cheese, pepper jack or chilli with cheese.
Hot Sauce, Horseradish, Jalapenos: If you like some heat add some spice!

Ultimately, the toppings and condiments you choose for your brats will depend on your personal favourite preferences. So feel free to experiment its a great way to find your perfect combination.

My top tips for this recipe

Fresh uncooked room temperature brats are best for cooking evenly but if you use frozen Johnsonville brats add 5 minutes to the air fryer cooking time checking often for level of doneness. Use a digital thermometer to insure inside reaches 160°F.

Make sure to adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the brats and the power of your air fryer by checking level of cooking often especially for trying new recipes.

If you do not preheat your air fryer the brats will take longer to cook. We found preheating for 3 minutes and cooking for 12 minutes gave us perfect brats in our Ninja XL air fryer.

Do not over crowd your air fryer basket. It is easy to batch cook brats for a crowd but make sure to check level of cooking often as the second batch will cook faster as the air fryer will be hot.

Close up image of cooked Johnsonville bratwurst sausages in buns sitting on a wooden cuttting board.

Storage and Reheating instructions

Cooked leftover brats can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. If you wrap each brat individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap it will stop them from drying out and absorbing odors from other foods in the fridge. Do not leave brats out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

You can freeze cooked leftover brats for 2 to 3 months by wrapping each brat individually in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, then place the wrapped brats in a resealable freezer bag.

Reheat cooked brats by preheating the air fryer to 350°F. Cook the brats for 3 to 5 minutes at 350°F. Since they are precooked you do not have to check that the inside temperature is 160°F.

What to serve with air fryer brats?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when the brats are done cooking?

You can check the internal temperature of the brats with a meat thermometer to ensure they are fully cooked. The safe minimum temperature for cooked brats is 160°F. You can also cut into a brat to check if the inside is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Do I need to preheat the air fryer before cooking brats?

Yes, you should always preheat your air fryer before cooking brats or any other food. Preheating helps to ensure that the air fryer is at the correct temperature before you begin cooking, which will help to produce the best results.

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Air-fried brats in buns with mustard on a wooden cutting board.

Easy Air Fryer Brats (with Johnsonville Bratwurst)


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Description

Easy air fryer brats with Johnsonville bratwurst! Cooking Johnsonville brats in the air fryer is the best way to enjoy these delicious brats in less than 20 minutes! If you are new to air frying it’s a great thing we can enjoy this air fryer bratwurst recipe as a delicious dinner or quick snack anytime. It really is the best easy way to enjoy to enjoy bratwurst sausages for one, two or even a crowd!


Ingredients

1 package of brats (Johnsonville brats)

1 package brat buns

Condiments (optional)


Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 390°F. (three to five minutes)
  2. Using tongs, place the brats in a single layer in the air fryer basket with space between them to allow for best air circulation.
  3. Air fry the Johnsonville brats for 12 to 15 minutes at 390°F, turning once halfway through.  Use a digital meat thermometer to ensure the inside temperature of 160°F has been reached. 
  4. Use tongs to place the brats on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Place the brats in the buns and serve with your favourite condiments and side dishes.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American

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