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Bratwurst vs. Sausage — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 3, 2023
Bratwurst is a type of German sausage made from pork, while sausage is a general term for any ground meat encased in a skin.
Bratwurst vs. Sausage — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Bratwurst and Sausage


Key Differences

Bratwurst is a specific variety of sausage originating from Germany, with a distinctive blend of spices like marjoram and nutmeg. Sausage, on the other hand, is a broad category that includes many types of ground meat products, including bratwurst.
Sausage is a generic term for meat that has been ground, seasoned, and filled into a casing. Bratwurst is a type of sausage characterized by its specific seasoning and the meat used, which is typically pork or a mixture of pork and veal.
While sausage can be made from pork, beef, chicken, or other meats, bratwurst is traditionally made from pork. Sausages come in various forms and flavors, ranging widely depending on the region and ingredients.
The term 'bratwurst' is used to describe a sausage that is commonly associated with German cuisine, often served with sauerkraut and mustard. Sausages, including bratwurst, are versatile and can be cooked in many ways: grilled, boiled, fried, or smoked.
In essence, all bratwursts are sausages, but not all sausages are bratwursts. The distinction lies in the specific recipe and origin of the bratwurst compared to the more general category of sausage, which has many varieties around the world.

Comparison Chart




Primarily pork, specific spices.
Varied meats and spices.


Specific, often with marjoram and nutmeg.
Wide range of flavors.


Few variations of bratwurst.
Numerous types, including bratwurst.


Often grilled or pan-fried.
Cooked in various methods.

Compare with Definitions


German pork sausage
He cooked bratwurst on the grill.


Comes in many varieties
The menu featured Italian and Andouille sausages.


Seasoned with specific spices
The bratwurst was flavored with marjoram.


Ground meat in a casing
He had sausage and eggs for breakfast.


Served in a bread roll
She enjoyed a bratwurst in a bun at the fair.


Can be cooked in various ways
She added sausage to the stew.


Cooked by grilling or frying
They fried bratwurst for breakfast.


A sausage is a type of meat product usually made from ground meat, often pork, beef, or poultry, along with salt, spices and other flavourings. Other ingredients such as grains or breadcrumbs may be included as fillers or extenders.


Often associated with Bavaria
Bratwurst is a staple at Bavarian festivals.


An item of food in the form of a cylindrical length of minced pork or other meat encased in a skin, typically sold raw to be grilled or fried before eating.


Bratwurst (German: [ˈbʁaːtvʊɐ̯st] (listen); plural Bratwürste) is a type of German sausage typically made from pork, and less commonly from beef or veal. The name is derived from the Old High German Brätwurst, from brät-, finely chopped meat, and Wurst, sausage, although in modern German it is often associated with the verb braten, to pan fry or roast.


Used as an affectionate form of address, especially to a child
‘Silly sausage,’ he teased


A type of fine German pork sausage that is generally fried or grilled.


Finely chopped and seasoned meat, especially pork, usually stuffed into a prepared animal intestine or other casing and cooked or cured.


A small sausage of highly seasoned fresh pork, usually served fried.


A small cylinder-shaped serving of this meat.


A small pork sausage, usually served fried.
Yesterday we had bratwurst for dinner.


A food made of ground meat (or meat substitute) and seasoning, packed in a section of the animal's intestine, or in a similarly cylindrical shaped synthetic casing; a length of this food.


A small pork sausage seasoned with spices and herbs, and usually served broiled or sauteed.


A sausage-shaped thing.


A small pork sausage




(informal) A term of endearment.
My little sausage


A saucisse.


(engineering) To form a sausage-like shape, with a non-uniform cross section.


An article of food consisting of meat (esp. pork) minced and highly seasoned, and inclosed in a cylindrical case or skin usually made of the prepared intestine of some animal.


A saucisson. See Saucisson.


Highly seasoned minced meat stuffed in casings


A small nonrigid airship used for observation or as a barrage balloon


Often seasoned with herbs and spices
The sausage was spicy and well-seasoned.


Used in many cuisines
Chorizo is a type of Spanish sausage.

Common Curiosities

Is bratwurst only made from pork?

Bratwurst is primarily made from pork, but some varieties may include veal or beef.

What types of meat are used in sausages?

Sausages can be made from pork, beef, chicken, or other meats.

What is bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a German sausage typically made from pork and specific seasonings.

Is bratwurst served in a specific way?

Bratwurst is commonly served with sauerkraut and mustard, especially in Germany.

How is bratwurst typically cooked?

Bratwurst is often grilled or pan-fried.

What's a common way to serve sausage in the United States?

In the U.S., sausages are often served in buns, with onions, peppers, or relish.

What are sausages?

Sausages are ground meat encased in skin, coming in many varieties and flavors.

Are all German sausages bratwurst?

No, there are many types of German sausages besides bratwurst.

Can I make bratwurst at home?

Yes, with the right ingredients and equipment, you can make bratwurst at home.

Is bratwurst considered a healthy food?

Bratwurst can be high in fat and sodium, so it's best eaten in moderation.

Can sausages be eaten raw?

Some sausages are safe to eat raw, but many require cooking.

Are sausages part of a specific cuisine?

Sausages are part of many global cuisines, each with unique varieties.

How do you tell bratwurst apart from other sausages?

Bratwurst has a distinct flavor profile with spices like marjoram and nutmeg.

Are bratwurst and sausages only made with natural casings?

No, they can be made with natural or synthetic casings.

Can vegetarian options for bratwurst and sausage be found?

Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan versions of both.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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