Bratwurst vs Hot Dog: The Difference Explained

Last updated on October 27th, 2022 at 10:01 am

Bratwurst and hot dogs are both great sausages. However, most people find them pretty much the same, as they typically have a similar shape, are both meat products, and go well with a bun.

While that’s understandable, bratwursts and hot dogs have some differences, which we intend to unwrap in this post. Let’s get right into it!

What is a Bratwurst?

A bratwurst, also known as a brat, is a German sausage made from veal, pork, or beef. Being a low-carb, high-protein food, it’s an ideal option for people on a low-carb diet. 

There exist several ways of preparing bratwursts, depending on where you’re from. The Coburger bratwurst, for example, is made of beef and veal, seasoned with lemon zest, nutmeg, pepper, and salt. It’s wide and long, with a gritty and thick texture. The Kulmbacher bratwurst, on the contrary, is long and thin, not to mention it’s primarily made of veal and boasts a more refined texture.

Nutritional Facts

A 100g bratwurst serving includes the following:

  • Calories: 333
  • Protein: 13.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.85g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Fat: 29.18 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: 846 mg

What is a Hot Dog?

Also known as a frankfurter, a hot dog is a treat comprising a grilled or steamed sausage and a partly sliced bun.

The history of the hot dog is a little more contentious than that of the brat. And despite its German roots, the US generally claims credit for the hot dog since it became popular here. However, several other people, like Frankfurter Würstchen, Harry Stevens, and Antonine Feuchtwanger, also claim credit as the inventors of the hot dog.

Hot dogs are far more processed than brats and could contain varied combinations and proportions of chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and other meats.  

Nutritional Facts

As reported by the USDA, a 102g serving of beef hot dog and bun includes the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 314
  • Protein: 11.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 24.3g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Fat: 18.6g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sodium: 810mg

Bratwurst vs Hot Dog Comparison

As mentioned earlier, both bratwursts and hot dogs are notable types of sausages, but they vary in different aspects. Here are a few key ones:


To enhance the flavor and extend the hot dog’s shelf life, producers add a curing solution to the meat during processing. Salt is the key ingredient here; used to prevent bacterial growth, enhance taste, and make the meat easier to handle.

On the other hand, bratwurst meat is pulverized, salted, spice-seasoned, and squeezed into the intestines—typically in a shell-like shape. It’s then hung in a meat cellar to preserve its temperature.

Health Benefits

Bratwursts and hot dogs boast an array of vital nutrients that prove good for the body. For one, they both make great protein sources, with each offering amounts accounting for roughly 18% of an adult’s recommended intake (source). Protein is necessary for the repair and growth of solid muscles. It also aids in preventing muscle mass loss, which comes with aging. 


Bratwursts are usually sold raw, so they must be boiled, roasted, grilled, or smoked before consumption. During serving, they are often topped with mustard, pickled cabbage, onions, pickles, or sauerkraut.

Meanwhile, hot dogs are often purchased pre-cooked and served on a white bun with cheese, onions, mustard, and/or tomato sauce.


Although bratwursts and hot dogs are both excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, they have high amounts of saturated fats, sodium, and preservatives. As such, it would be best to avoid them if you’re on a strict low-fat or low-calorie diet.

Bratwurst vs Hot Dog: Which is the Better Sausage?

Bratwursts and hotdogs are served in a bun and get along with different toppings. But that’s as far as similarities go. 

Despite their differences, each sausage is fantastic in its own right, and it’s all about personal preference and taste.