How Long Do Cooked Brats Last in the Fridge (Updated 2023)
Had a barbeque party last night and have tons of leftover cooked brats? Fret not! There are now different ways to store them.
First, of course, is by putting them in the fridge. It may be one of the simplest ways, but there’s only a limited number of days for these cooked brats to stay the best quality inside the fridge.
In this article, we’ll talk about how long cooked brats last in the fridge. Read on for more details.
What Is a Bratwurst?
A fresh link sausage known as a bratwurst has its roots in Germany. It is commonly prepared with pork and veal and flavored with ginger, nutmeg, or coriander. Brat means “finely chopped meat” in German, whereas wurst means “sausage” in English.
Bratwurst, like many European sausages, is often not cured, thus it must be cooked before being eaten. Sometimes it comes canned after being cooked already, and all that has to be done to serve it is a quick reheat.
How Long Do Cooked Brats Last in the Fridge?
When wrapped correctly, cooked brats can be kept in the fridge for up to four days. But first, you have to keep in mind that within two hours of cooking, you have to store them in an airtight container in the fridge to preserve their freshness.
Brats can be prepared by pan-frying, grilling, marinating, or baking on a sheet before being stored in the fridge. In other words, ensure that there is no air in the container.
Moreover, the USDA states that pre-cooked brats can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if unopened, and for up to one week if opened.
Pre-cooked brats have a shelf life of around two months when frozen. You should also keep an eye out for a best-consumed-by date.
Keep in mind that the shelf life of leftover brats is three to four days in the fridge and two to three months in the freezer.
On the other hand, putting frozen brats in a bowl or on a plate and putting it on the fridge’s bottom rack is the easiest way to defrost them. After being fully thawed, brats will be pliable and easy to process.
How to Store Brats
If you’re searching for a simple and affordable solution to have brats on hand when you need them, freezing makes sense. Brats may be frozen for up to three months, regardless of whether they are raw or pre-cooked.
To do this, first place individual portions of fresh brats or pre-measured sausage patties on a baking pan coated with parchment paper.
Before packing for long-term preservation, place the tray in the freezer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours to pre-freeze the individual portions.
Then, clearly mark the contents, the date packed, and whether the contents are cooked or uncooked on all bags and containers. For additional peace of mind on how long the brats will keep once thawed, the best-before date should be noted from the original box.
The next step is to pack the brats into a freezer-safe bag using either a vacuum sealer or a zipper, being sure to leave at least 2 inches of space between the meat and the top of the bag where it will be sealed.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, make sure to get as much air out of the bag as you can before closing it. To prevent freezer burn, you can also individually wrap sausages in plastic wrap before placing them in non-vacuum-seal bags or freezer-safe plastic containers.
Finally, to speed up the freezing process, place the brats in their prepared bags or containers near the freezer’s walls. After 24 hours, or when everything has frozen solid, you can relocate them to a more convenient location.
How to Tell If Brats Are Spoiled
There are subtle signs that a brat is starting to go bad that you should pay attention to. The outside of fried brat might start to turn slimy and sticky.
When brats are freshly cooked, not uncooked but recently created, they have a consistent color throughout. Brats will change color on the outside when cooked. That won’t happen overnight.
Instead, it’ll develop flecks of varying degrees of that color. Spots and lines of various thicknesses and colors will begin to appear, rather than a uniform color.
Whether you want to know if something has gone bad, don’t always rely on taste and smell.
Some bacteria are quite good at hiding, yet eating them will still get you sick. It’s helpful to have an idea of when the brats were processed. That way, you’ll have a rough idea of how long it can be stored.
Brats are always a part of most barbeque parties, and leftovers are common at such events. That said, we hope that the information provided above has helped you understand how long cooked brats last in the fridge.
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