Knockwurst vs Bratwurst: How Do They Differ?

If you enjoy sausages, studying more about German sausages is a lot of fun since there is nothing else like them.

Today, we’ll look at two of the most well-known German sausages: knockwurst and bratwurst. People often mix them up, but claiming that they are same in Germany is like to claiming that all cheeses are the same in Italy.

So let’s find out what makes them distinct! Everything you need to know about the succulent and tasty German knockwurst and bratwurst.

Difference Between Knockwurst and Bratwurst

The primary distinction between knockwurst and bratwurst is their flavor. Knockwurst has a much stronger kick and is packed with paprika, mace, and garlic. Bratwurst has a much more delicate taste, with a smoky flavor and notes of well-chosen spices like marjoram and nutmeg.

That said, the taste of German knockwurst and bratwurst is only the beginning for them! These delicacies have more distinctions than you may imagine, such as their composition, texture, serving technique, and a variety of other characteristics that set them apart.

So let’s take a closer look at knockwurst and bratwurst and learn all we can about these well-known sausages, starting with the significance behind their varied names.

The Etymology of Knockwurst and Bratwurst

Crackle sausage is the direct translation of the term knockwurst. Our best guess is that the crackling is the popping sound you hear when you bite into or break the sausage.

Bratwurst, on the other hand, is a combination of the terms braten, which means to fry, and wurst, which means sausage. In modern German, bratwurst is often referred to as fried or fried sausages.

Recipe of Knockwurst and Bratwurst

Both types of sausage are produced with a mix of pig, beef, or veal. There are no set standards for the meat combinations for knockwurst and bratwurst; these sausages may be made with any mix of these three kinds of meat!

However, bratwurst is typically prepared from pig and beef, while knockwurst is generally produced from pork and veal.

While there isn’t much of a difference in the flesh between these two sausages, the seasoning is what sets knockwurst and bratwurst apart.

Knockwurst has a strong seasoning. Salt, white pepper, mace, paprika, coriander, allspice, and coriander are all present. Most importantly, the primary component in knockwurst that gives it the major flavor kick is always garlic!

Garlic with bratwurst, on the other hand, is fairly unusual. Overall, bratwurst has a little seasoning and is seasoned with a well selected blend of ingredients. These traditional sausages are often flavored with nutmeg, salt, marjoram, and pepper. Other non-traditional tastes used in bratwurst include caraway, garlic, coriander, ginger, and cardamom.

Size of Knockwurst and Bratwurst

The knockwurst is a small, round sausage. The reason for its small size is because it is intended to be eaten by hand rather than on a bun like most other types of sausage.

Bratwurst, on the other hand, is a longer and thinner sausage. As a result, it is the ideal form for a hot dog roll or a bun.

Texture of Knockwurst and Bratwurst

The bratwurst is a solid sausage with chunky rather than superfine minced meat. The casing, on the other hand, is thin, making it much simpler to bite into.

Knockwurst, on the other hand, is finely ground, giving it a much smoother texture. When you bite through the casing, it creates a cracking noise.

Color of Knockwurst and Bratwurst

The bratwurst sausage is pale pink in color, nearly white. In comparison to bratwurst, knockwurst has a brighter orange or crimson hue.

Serving Knockwurst and Bratwurst

Knockwurst is often eaten simply, with no condiments or garnishes. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this garlicky sausage in other ways! The traditional Bavarian approach is to serve knockwurst with boiled potatoes, bacon, and onion sauce. There are also knockwurst-based pasta recipes and winter casseroles.

The bratwurst, on the other hand, is often served on a bread bun with a sprinkling of mustard and some fried onions. Bratwurst is often served by braising the sausages in beer and onions. Others pair it with nachos, casseroles, veggie kebab skewers, or creamy mashed potatoes.

Knockwurst vs Bratwurst Comparison Table

Category Knockwurst Bratwurst
Place of origin Germany Germany
Name etymology Crackle sausage Fried sausage
Type of meat Pork and veal Pork and beef
Type of seasoning Garlic, salt, white pepper, mace, paprika, coriander, allspice, coriander Nutmeg, salt, marjoram, and pepper, and occasionally caraway, garlic, coriander, ginger, and cardamom
Size Petite and bulky Long and thin
Texture Finely ground Coarsely ground
Casing Thicker Thinner
Color In-between red and orange Pale pink, almost white
Way of eating Enjoyed as is, Boiled potatoes, bacon, and onion sauce, In pasta, In winter casserole Put in a hot dog roll or bun with mustard and fried onions, Braised in beer and onions, In nachos, Casserole, Kebab skewers

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

According to the nutritional data below, bratwurst is the healthier sausage option. The explanation for this is that knockwurst only has a higher calcium level than bratwurst.

Bratwurst, on the other hand, has less calories, carbohydrates, fat, and salt while being higher in protein, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6.

Overall, both sausages are high in fat and calories, so if you’re attempting to lose weight, you should avoid them or consume them in moderation. Furthermore, the sodium level is important to consider since eating too many salty meals may contribute to high blood pressure and cardiac issues!

Knockwurst vs Bratwurst: Nutritional Profile

Category (100g) Knockwurst Bratwurst
Calories 307 297
Carbs 3.2g 2g
Fat 27.7 26.3
Sodium 930mg 848mg
Potassium 199mg 283mg
Protein 11.1g 12.2g
Fiber 0g 0g
Sugar 0g 0g
Vitamins & Minerals
Calcium 11mg 7mg
Iron 0.66mg 1mg
Phosphorus 98mg 130mg
Magnesium 11mg 15mg
Zinc 1.66mg 2.47mg
Copper 0.06mg 0.08mg
Thiamin 0.34g 0.38mg
Riboflavin 0.14mg 0.21mg
Niacin 2.73mg 3.11mg
Vitamin B6 0.1mg 0.2mg

Can I Substitute Knockwurst for Bratwurst and Vice Versa?

Yes, knockwurst may be substituted for bratwurst and vice versa. Both sausages may be eaten in similar recipes, as side dishes, or just plain with mustard or ketchup on top.

You should consider the taste of these sausages while selecting sides. Because bratwurst has a milder taste than knockwurst, you will have more options for side dishes and sauces if you use bratwurst instead of knockwurst.

Sauerkraut, coleslaw, salad, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables complement bratwurst sausages. Sriracha, honey mustard sauce, and spicy brown or Dijon mustard all complement bratwurst.

When using it in lieu of bratwurst, be particularly cautious of the spicy, garlicky knockwurst. It’s not a light sausage, and it’ll drown out delicate tastes.

So a potato salad spiced with onion and mustard would be an excellent companion to this sausage. It would also go well with a sweet meal that contrasted it, such as grilled corn or caramelized onions.


Overall, your own tastes will define which kind of German sausage you will use in your recipes!

The sharp smoky taste characteristic of knockwurst sausage is well-known. The bratwurst, on the other hand, has a light and delicate flavor with minimal spice. It’s a fantastic vehicle for extra tastes!

Knockwurst is the sausage for you if you want something spicy! If you want something milder or detest garlic, try a bratwurst.

Consider how the tastes of each kind will mingle with the rest of the components whether you want to serve your German sausages with a meal or as a side dish.

While the delicate taste of bratwurst may be overwhelmed by other ingredients, the strong, garlicky flavor of knockwurst will take center stage.

So, which will it be? Bratwurst or Knockwurst? There is only one way to find out: sample them both and taste the difference. Good luck!


What’s the difference between bratwurst and knockwurst and Weisswurst?

Bratwurst is a German sausage made mostly of pork. Krainerwurst is a cured and smoked beef and pork brat with a faint garlic flavor. Knockwurst is a huge, meaty, juicy hot dog made of beef and pork. Weisswurst is a unique, primarily veal sausage from Munich.

Why do bratwurst taste different?

Bratwurst is often cooked in a natural casing and has more fat than sausage. Regional differences include the use of various spices and meats. Ginger, garlic, marjoram, paprika, sage, cumin, nutmeg, caraway, and coriander are all common bratwurst seasonings.

Does knockwurst taste like hot dogs?

A knackwurst is a kind of premium hot dog. This sausage is generally shorter, plumper, juicer, and has a subtle smoky taste when compared to a conventional hot dog. The sausage’s more nuanced taste makes it ideal for use in dishes like the one below from Rachael Ray.

What does knackwurst taste like?

Taste. Knockwurst has a garlicky flavor and is usually extensively seasoned with strong tastes, as opposed to bratwurst, which has a moderate flavor. Bratwurst tastes more like the sausage itself, with a delicate sweetness from the warming spices and a herbaceous punch of marjoram from time to time.

What tastes better bratwurst or knockwurst?

The primary distinction between knockwurst and bratwurst is their flavor. Knockwurst has a much stronger kick and is packed with paprika, mace, and garlic. Bratwurst has a much more delicate taste, with a smoky flavor and notes of well-chosen spices like marjoram and nutmeg.

How do Germans eat knockwurst?

Knockwurst is a German classic that may be made in a variety of ways. Combine with sauerkraut, spaetzle, or both for a delicious dinner.

Why do people boil brats before cooking?

Parboil the brats on the stove or in a cast-iron pan on the grill before grilling them. This will assist to precook the insides of the brats and prevent them from bursting open on the grill and releasing all of the tasty juices.

Why do beer boil brats?

Beer enhances the taste and texture of bratwurst.

Chowhound recommends parboiling your brats in beer before grilling them to ensure the meat is fully and evenly done. Otherwise, you risk having a somewhat pink center, which isn’t great for eating sausage.

Why are my brats mushy?

Crumbly cooked sausage is frequently the consequence of insufficient fat or water in the mix. Meat, fat, and water are all essential elements in producing a high-quality final product.

What is the German version of hotdog?

Ketwurst is a kind of hot dog that developed in East Germany’s German Democratic Republic. The term “Ketwurst” is derived from the words Ketchup and Wurst (German for “sausage”).

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