Knockwurst Vs Bratwurst Sausages

Knockwurst Vs Bratwurst Sausages: What Are The Differences?

When it comes to sizzling sausages, the options are plentiful. Among the many types, knockwurst vs bratwurst stands out as a popular choice. In the article below, we will explore the characteristics, differences, and cooking methods of these two delectable sausages, helping you make an informed decision for your next grilling adventure.

What are Knockwurst Sausages?

Knockwurst sausages (also known as knackwurst) originate from the Holstein (northern) region of Germany and are known for their robust flavor and plump texture. These sausages are traditionally made from finely ground pork, beef, or veal. They are seasoned with spices like garlic, paprika, and marjoram, resulting in a distinctively savory and slightly smoky taste. Knockwurst is typically encased in natural casings and has a relatively large diameter compared to other sausages.


What are Bratwurst Sausages?

Bratwurst sausages are a quintessential part of German cuisine, renowned for their versatility and satisfying flavors. These sausages are often seen in baseball game concession stands and at fairs and festivals. 

Bratwurst is often encased in natural casings and has a medium thickness, making it an ideal choice for grilling.


What Are The Differences Between Knockwurst Vs Bratwurst?

Bratwurst and Knockwurst sausages exhibit several notable differences:

  • Ingredients: While both sausages typically contain pork, Bratwurst may include veal or beef as well, whereas Knockwurst often includes beef in addition to pork.
  • Flavor Profile: Bratwurst boasts a well-rounded flavor with a hint of sweetness, thanks to spices like nutmeg and ginger. Knockwurst, on the other hand, offers a bolder and smokier taste due to the inclusion of ingredients like garlic and paprika.
  • Texture: Bratwurst has a slightly coarser texture compared to Knockwurst, resulting from the ground meat mixture. Knockwurst, with its finer grind, offers a smoother and more compact texture.
  • Size and Shape: Bratwurst is typically longer and thinner, while Knockwurst is shorter and thicker. Knockwurst's diameter is larger, making it heartier and more substantial.
  • Regional Variations: Both Bratwurst and Knockwurst have regional variations within Germany and other countries, leading to slight differences in ingredients and flavors.
Knockwurst Vs Bratwurst

How to Cook Knockwurst

How to Cook Knockwurst in a Pan

  • Step 1: Firstly, add a tablespoon or two of canola oil to a medium or large pan to evenly coat the bottom.
  • Step 2: Till the pan is warm, add knockwurst, which can be either whole or cut into pieces, and cook over medium heat.
  • Step 3: Continue cooking sausages in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes until sausages have cook marks on both sides.

How to Cook Knockwurst in the Oven

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step 2: Put knockwurst in a baking dish or sheet tray and put it in the oven.
  • Step 3: Continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Step 4: Serve when the knockwurst cools down.

How to Grill Knockwurst

  • Step 1: Heat up the grill as normal.
  • Step 2: Place knockwurst on the grill.
  • Step 3: Rotate the knockwurst until grill marks are present or for about 5 minutes.

Knockwurst Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • 1 package of knockwurst
  • 16 ounces of sauerkraut
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 cups of beer, stock, or water
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Step 1: Pan-sear the knockwurst sausages for 5 minutes as directed in our earlier instructions.
  • Step 2: After seared, add sauerkraut and potatoes in and around the knockwurst.
  • Step 3: Season sauerkraut and potatoes with salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and other spices to your preference.
  • Step 4: Add liquid (either beer, water, or stock) to the pan until it covers the sauerkraut, potatoes, and knockwurst.
  • Step 5: Bring liquid to a low boil and reduce the heat.
  • Step 6: Cover the pan and allow everything to cook for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Step 7: Remove the pan from the burner and serve.

What to Serve With Knockwurst vs Bratwurst?

Both of these sausages are also perfectly accompanied by sandwiches, sauerkraut, crunchy, tangy, fermented cabbage, roasted bell peppers, boiled potatoes or potato salad, and any type of pickle you like!

What to Serve With Knockwurst vs Bratwurst


Knockwurst and Bratwurst sausages offer distinct flavors, textures, and culinary experiences. While Bratwurst boasts a well-rounded taste with a touch of sweetness, Knockwurst delivers a bolder and smokier profile. The choice between the two depends on personal preference and the desired flavor intensity. Whether you opt for the coarser texture of Bratwurst or the heartiness of Knockwurst, both sausages will undoubtedly elevate your grilling adventures and bring a touch of German flair to your plate. 

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