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The Lowdown on Low and Slow

Hot coals

The Skinny:

Learn what it really means to cook meat using the “low and slow” method.

This article will explain how to cook a brat perfectly – and safely – every time. Some Enthusiasts will take this as a sign to finally get that “low and slow” tattoo they’ve been dreaming about for years. Other Enthusiasts will finally have the courage to name their next child Lowen Loenslo.

The How-To:

Getting a bunch of Enthusiasts to all agree on the perfect way to cook a brat might just be an impossible task. Not that Enthusiasts are a cranky bunch (just don’t call their sausages weenies). It’s just that brats are too dang good to cook in only one method. However, the one phrase you’ll probably hear most often among grillmasters is the term “low and slow.”

Low and slow is pretty straightforward—low temperature, slow cooking time.

“...the general idea is to cook at heat no hotter than medium, with as much time as you can give to let the meat get all tasty and delicious.”

Why Meat Loves Low and Slow

While animals can eat meat raw, most of us prefer our meats cooked. Cooking meat makes it tender and easier to eat, gets rid of any bacteria and adds more flavor. This can be done when you cook meat at any temperature for any length of time, but the changes in how hot or how fast you cook something can mean the difference between a tender, juicy piece of grilled perfection or a dry, charred waste of a meal.

There are many different ways to play around with low and slow cooking—cooking with indirect heat, smoking, use of water baths, brat hot tubs (the list goes on). But the general idea is to cook at heat no hotter than medium, with as much time as you can give to let the meat get all tasty and delicious.

Why Brats Love Low and Slow

Here are some reasons why cooking your brats low and slow can lead to phenomenal results:

  • Avoids flare ups. Sausages are pretty flammable on the grill. With the heat going and the juices dripping, you’ve got a recipe for excess fire and charred brats. Grilling your brat low and slow prevents flare ups and gives you more control to avoid a burned brat.
  • Protects the casing. The snap of a perfectly executed brat is the reward of a casing that’s been left intact. Low and slow helps to prevent the casing from bursting. A burst casing can lead to the sausage drying out and shrinking.
  • Keeps brats juicy. The brat juices add delicious flavors and textures to the meat inside the casing. If the casing remains intact the brat gets the joy of being cooked in its own juices and preventing a loss of moisture.
  • Gives you time to sit back and relax. A low and slow brat will take about 20-25 minutes to get to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s more than enough time to soak in the scene and enjoy a tasty beverage. Who says a grillmaster has to spend their whole time slaving away over a grill?

In the world of Enthusiast grilling and crafting the perfect brat, we’ve only scratched the surface with low and slow cooking. With these basics covered, you’re now left to tinker and tweak your recipes and techniques to find your perfect brat.

Be sure to send some pics of little Lowen Loenslo scarfing down a gorgeous brat that you’ve had a great time perfecting. Until next time, Enthusiasts.

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