Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

German sausage varieties are diverse, with over 1,500 types available. Popular options include Bratwurst, Bockwurst, and Weisswurst, each crafted with unique flavors and ingredients.

Types of German Sausages

Germans are known for their love of sausage and the craft of making it. They ate the largest volume of sausage per capita in 2019 along with Czechs and Austrians, remaining top in consumption.

In this post, you’ll learn about the different types of German Sausage and their short history, differences, and examples or recipes. In other words, you’ll learn how the sausage is made! But first, what is sausage?

The Old High German word “wurst” means sausage. Sausage is a highly seasoned meat that’s minced and stuffed into animal or gelatin casings. Sausage doesn’t necessarily look like a bratwurst or hotdog, though.

You might not think of bologna as a type of German sausage, but it is one and so is Leberkaske, which is a square loaf otherwise known as “liver cheese.” It is not made of liver or cheese, however! Others are spreadable like liverwurst.

There are over 1,500 different types of German sausage! Narrowing down which German sausage to eat as a fine delicacy you cherish can feel overwhelming indeed. Following are the 12 most popular types of sausage in German cuisine.

The various types of German sausages are named after how they are made, where they are made, what they are made from, and the spices that were used to make them.

Although the Greeks and Romans were the first to make sausage, Germans made it popular, and Germany is considered the sausage capital. So, let’s break down the main types of German Sausage.

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1. Blutwurst (Blood Sausage)

Blutwurst Blood Sausage Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Blutwurst is known as blood sausage, a type of German sausage made from precooked meats mixed with the blood of pigs, cows, or geese. It is not unique to Germany but has been made popular by the culture.

The German word “blut” means blood. It is one of the oldest types of sausage. Blood sausage contains fillers like fat, bread, barley, cornmeal, or oatmeal. Blutwurst is usually cut and served cold on bread, but it can also be served hot (though it’s different from Red Hots).

Blutwurst is usually cooked with onions and pan-fried or broiled. It has a dark, rich red color due to the blood contained in it.

Blutwurst is not exactly popular in America where the bratwurst and frankfurter reign supreme, but it remains popular in Germany and many European countries.

2. Bratwurst


Bratwurst dates to the year 1313 and originated in Nuremberg, Germany. The verb “braten” means to roast or pan fry in German. Bratwurst is made from finely chopped meat, typically pork mixed with beef or veal. It is one of the most popular sausages in Germany (and the world).

In America, pork bratwursts are the most common. How bratwurst is prepared and served varies by region and there are over 40 different kinds of German bratwurst.

Bratwurst should be grilled (or smoked!) and served on a bun or hard roll with sweet German mustard. People typically drink a light German beer with Bratwurst.

This type of German sausage is made with spices like caraway, marjoram, and garlic. The casings are usually made of pig intestines. It has become popular in America to boil Bratwurst in beer. There are many recipes for Bratwurst. One of the most popular follows.

Wisconsin Bratwurst

  • 2 lbs. bratwurst
  • 2 medium, thinly sliced onions
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 cans or bottles of beer (12 fl. oz.)
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 10 Hoagie rolls

Preheat your grill to medium-high. At the same time, poke holes in the bratwurst to prevent them from exploding and boil the bratwurst in beer with the onions, butter, and beer. Remove from heat after 20 minutes.

Finally, cook the bratwurst for the remainder of time on the grill with oil for about 15 minutes, taking care not to burn them. You’ll want the bratwurst to be browned.

3. Bregenwurst

Bregenwurst Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Bregenwurst is a type of German sausage that originated from Lower Saxony made from pork, pork belly, and pig or cow brain.

The word “bregen” means brain in German. However, bregenwurst is not made with the brain of animals any longer due to concerns like mad cow disease. It is eaten raw, or it is stewed and served with kale and potatoes in the wintertime.

Bregenwurst sausage has a soft consistency when broken apart, like its counterpart liverwurst. It is not readily available in America so you may opt to make your own. There are several traditional recipes for Bregenwurst.

You might try this one from a German American who hosts her own website with German recipes.

4. Frankfurter (Bockwurst)

iStock 1346805475 Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Bockwurst, otherwise known as Frankfurter sausage, originated from Frankfurt, Bavaria, and Berlin, where it is sold and made popular during beer season. As you might have guessed, it is meant to be served with bock beer.

Bockwurst is made from ground veal or pork but is made mostly of veal, unlike bratwurst which is mainly made of pork.

Bockwurst is made with salt, pepper, and paprika (similar to kielbasa). Additional spices vary by region and taste. Some people add marjoram, chives, and parsley.

The sausage is typically smoked, and it may be grilled. It is never boiled, as the natural casing may break. Bockwurst is served on a bread roll with mustard and potato salad or soup.

If you have seen a curved hotdog, Bockwurst resembles two typical American hotdogs connected to each other.

5. Gelbwurst

Gelbwurst Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Bavaria Germany brings us the Gelbwurst, which means “yellow sausage,” coming from the German word for yellow, “gelb.” Gelbwurst was named for its yellow, outward appearance. This is a new sausage, invented in 1905.

Gelbwurst is another type of brain sausage, although it is not made from animal brains any longer. The main ingredients are pork and veal mixed with spices like ginger and nutmeg.

Gelbwurst is served cold on bread and must be eaten immediately, or it will go bad very quickly. Nowadays, it can be made of bacon, pork, beef, or chicken. Some add lemon when preparing the sausage. The yellow outside contains a white to pink inside.

6. Knockwurst

Knockwurst is also known as knackwurst and hails from northern Germany in the mid-16th century. It was made popular in America by early settlers.

Knockwurst can be made of all beef or a combination of veal and pork. It is made with garlic and aged for days. Then, it is smoked. Popular names for knockwurst are Salzberger and Schubling.

Sauerkraut and potatoes typically accompany a meal made with knockwurst. It is also served with mustard and fried onions and served on a bun or plain. If you feel like trying to make it yourself, be prepared, as it’s an emulsified type of German sausage like Frankfurter. You can learn more here.

7. Landjager

Landjager Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Unlike most of the sausages we’ve discussed so far, landjager is a semi-dried sausage that originally came from Southern Germany.

It was made popular for people traveling and hiking because it does not require refrigeration. Most people eat landjager cold, but it can be boiled and served with potatoes and fresh greens.

Landjager is made from equal parts of beef, lard, and pork. Then, sugar and spices are added. The sausage itself resembles Italian salami.

It is a fermented sausage and requires the use of a smoker to make. If you have one and some patience, you might try this traditional recipe. Plan on taking two weeks to make the sausage with this method.

8. Leberwurst (liverwurst)


Leberwurst is also known as liverwurst. The main ingredient in liverwurst is liver. Other ingredients are added like veal, fat, and spices.

Black pepper, marjoram, allspice, thyme, ground mustard seed, and nutmeg can be added to leberwurst. The ingredients one adds to their sausage speak to their culture and Germans take great pride in their sausage.

If you are looking for a spreadable type of German sausage, try liverwurst. It is typically served cold but can be boiled and served on a bun. Most commonly, it is served on bread as a spread such as here.

9. Leberkase

Leberkase Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

“Liver cheese” is known as leberkase and hails from Southern Germany in 1776 as a specialty food. Despite the name, it does not contain liver nor cheese and instead is made from finely minced pork, corned beef, and onions like American hash, and it is sometimes served with eggs. When served as a main course, leberkase is fried and served on a hot bread roll with mustard and pickles. It may also be served cold.

Leberkase is a type of meatloaf sausage that means leftovers in a box in German. The color is a rich pink due to the main ingredient being corned beef. Look and you’ll see what we mean. Not the distinctive mushrooms from someone’s home region that speaks to their culture.

10. Nurnberger Rostbratwurst

Rostbratwurst Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Nurnberger rostbratwurst is one of the oldest types of sausage, dating back to 1300. These sausages come from Nuremberg, where they are under a protected geographical indication status, making them only allowed to be produced in Nuremberg. They are pinkie finger-sized and very delicious.

Nurnberger rostbratwurst are made from pork and bacon. They are flavored with marjoram, pepper, chervil, cardamom, ginger, and lemon.

They are served three at a time on buns with horseradish for lunch or a snack with sauerkraut and potatoes. They can be grilled or boiled. Many people prefer to grill their Nurnberger rostbratwurst, as in this example.

11. Teewurst

Teewurst Bockwurst vs Bratwurst: A Detailed Comparison Guide

Teewurst is a type of German sausage from Pomerania made of one part pork to one part bacon that is minced and combined with seasonings and smoked over beechwood in an artificial casing. It is then matured through a fermentation process for 7-10 days to develop its taste. Teewurst is also a very fatty sausage, so it is easily spreadable even though it’s not emulsified, consisting of 30-40% fat.

Teewurst is either air-dried or raw, like many typical Italian sausages. Teewurst derived its name from its inventor in 1874, who intended for the sausage to be eaten at teatime on open-faced sandwiches. As you can see, Teewurst is very fatty and resembles a fat hot dog in size and texture.

12. Weisswurst


Weisswurst is a white breakfast sausage, named for the German word “weiss,” which is the word “white.” It is a traditional Bavarian sausage comprised of a mix of minced veal and pork. Spices are added, such as parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger, and cardamom. This is an uncured sausage so it must be eaten quickly and typically it is eaten before noon and served with beer!

These sausages are also eaten as a snack often between breakfast and lunch but are typically eaten before noon. Some people consume this sausage most interestingly; they cut open the end and suck out the contents! Other people choose to cut the sausage lengthwise and spoon or cut out the contents. Weisswurst is typically warm and served with a pretzel and Bavarian sweet mustard.

To prepare weisswurst, you boil it. If you want to make weisswurst yourself, here’s how. The French also have a version of a “white sausage” with Boudin Blanc.


As you can see, the various types of German sausage are named after where they are made, as in the case of Frankfurter sausage. Types of German sausage can be named after how they look, like gelbwurst with its yellow appearance or it can be named after what it is made from, such as liverwurst, or liverwurst which is the German word for liver. 

Knowing this may help you identify new sausages that you would like to try or which ones to avoid. This information also tells you how the sausage was prepared. Is it dry or does it need refrigeration? The name can tell you a lot.

German sausage has grown in popularity in America and throughout the world. You can even make it yourself! There are many more recipes available through the Internet for you to try and there are recipes for how to serve the sausage. You can try the traditional way or something new.

And now you know how the sausage is made so you can eat good meat.

FAQs About German Sausage

Here are a few FAQs about German Sausage.

What is the white German sausage called?

Weisswurst is a white breakfast sausage, named for the German word “weiss,” which is the word “white.” It is a traditional Bavarian sausage comprised of a mix of minced veal and pork.

Is German sausage the same as bratwurst?

No, German sausage is not the same as bratwurst. Bratwurst is a type of German sausage that is usually fried.

What are the most popular German sausages?

The most popular German sausages that you’ll find in the US are bratwurst and bockwurst.

What is the most consumed meat in Germany?

Pork is the most consumed meat in Germany followed by beef and poultry.

What is Nuremberg sausage?

Nuremberg sausage is a German-style pork sausage that can be served boiled, fried or baked. It’s traditionally stuffed into casings made of animal intestine and is usually seasoned with ground mace, pepper and marjoram.

How many types of German sausage are there?

What’s the difference between bratwurst and Weisswurst?

Bratwurst is a type of German sausage that is usually grilled or pan-fried. Weisswurst is also a type of German sausage, but it is made from veal and pork and it is usually boiled.

What’s the difference between a frankfurter and a bratwurst?

A frankfurter is a type of sausage that is usually made from pork, beef or veal. A bratwurst, on the other hand, is a type of sausage that is typically made from pork and/or veal. It can also be made from beef, but it’s more commonly made with pork. Bratwursts are often grilled, but they can also be boiled or pan-fried.

What is the most popular German sausage?

The most popular German sausage is likely the Bratwurst, which is crafted from a blend of pork, beef, marjoram, caraway, garlic, and various other spices.

What are the small German sausages called?

The small German sausages are called Nürnberger Rostbratwurst. These sausages, which are about the size of a pinkie finger, have their origins in the historic town of Nürnberg in Germany. They are commonly enjoyed as a breakfast sausage and are typically served in sets of six, grilled alongside potatoes, sauerkraut, and horseradish cream.

What popular German sausage is used in hot dog?

The popular German sausage used in hot dogs is Bockwurst, which is a mildly flavored and slightly smoky pork sausage. It is typically cooked instead of being grilled and is commonly used in American-style hot dogs, served with Mustard, Currygewürzketchup, and Röstzwiebeln. The Bockwurst can be enjoyed either hot or cold.

How many varieties of sausage does Germany have?

Germany has over 1500 different varieties of sausage, many of which are renowned globally. Although I haven’t personally sampled all of them, as some sausages cater to specific tastes, I do have my preferred choices.

What are traditional German sausages?

Traditional German sausages include the bratwurst, which is one of the most well-known sausages in Germany. It is often made from veal, beef, or pork and is second in popularity only to the Frankfurter Würstchen. The bratwurst has over 40 different variations, with each region having its own unique recipe.

What is a long German sausage called?

The long German sausage is called Mettwurst, which is made by combining pork and beef and flavored with various ingredients like garlic, pepper, marjoram, caraway, and mace, as well as alcoholic beverages such as rum and cognac. This sausage is then cured and either cold smoked or air-dried.

What are the small sausages in Germany?

The small sausages in Germany are called Nürnberger Rostbratwurst. These sausages, which are about the size of a pinkie finger, come from the historic town of Nürnberg in Germany. They are commonly enjoyed as breakfast sausages and are typically served grilled with a side of potatoes, sauerkraut, and horseradish cream. It is customary to serve them in sets of six.

What type of sausage is famous in Berlin?

The famous sausage in Berlin is the Berlin curry sausage, also known as Currywurst. It is a German fast food dish that is prepared by boiling and frying a typically German smoked sausage. The sausage is then served sliced with a tomato sauce that is flavored with spices and curry, along with a side of chips.

What is the most famous type of sausage?

The most famous type of sausage is Bratwurst, which originated in Germany. Bratwurst is widely recognized as one of the most popular sausages and was initially developed as a way to minimize waste following pig slaughtering.

What are the main varieties of sausage?

The main varieties of sausage include Andouille, Bratwurst, Chorizo from Spain, Italian Sausage, Chorizo from Mexico, Longaniza, Sai Ua, and Longganisa.

What’s the difference between bratwurst and German sausage?

The difference between bratwurst and German sausage is that bratwursts are a type of German sausage. In Germany, the term “bratwurst” is used as a general term for all sausages, with “brat” referring to ground meat and “wurst” meaning sausage. Bratwursts are typically made from a combination of pork and veal, although they can also include beef and veal, or a mix of different meats.

What German sausage is like Bologna?

The German sausage that is similar to Bologna is Fleischwurst, also known as Lyoner. It is a cooked sausage made from finely ground pork and beef meat, seasoned with a blend of spices including pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, garlic, ginger, and onions.

What are hot dogs called in Germany?

Hot dogs in Germany are called Wiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen meaning “little sausage”), except in Austria, to distinguish them from the original pork-only blend from Frankfurt.

What are the best sausages in Germany?

The best sausages in Germany include traditional Bavarian white sausages (Weisswurst) served with sweet mustard and pretzel, oven-baked Leberkäse wrapped in bacon, Blutwurst with Sauerkraut, Bockwurst sausage, slices of Cervelat sausage, and Nürnberger Rostbratwurst with cabbage.

What’s the big German sausage called?

The big German sausage is commonly known as Thüringer rostbratwurst, which is likely the largest in size. Despite its thin appearance, it is remarkably long and typically served in a small bun, giving it an even more substantial appearance. Additionally, Mettwurst is another German sausage that stands out for its longer length compared to other varieties.

What is the best German sausage for Oktoberfest?

The best German sausage for Oktoberfest is Bratwurst, which is widely recognized as the most famous of all German sausages. It is affectionately referred to as “brats” by sausage enthusiasts in the upper Midwest. Other notable options include Knackwurst, Thuringer, Bockwurst, and Weisswurst.

What is the most popular German meat?

The most popular German meat is pork, followed by beef and poultry.

What is the best German sausage for grilling?

The best German sausage for grilling is the Bauernwurst, which is a beloved traditional favorite in Germany. It is crafted from a blend of smoked pork and beef meat, coarsely ground and seasoned with a delightful combination of onion, garlic, marjoram, and mustard seeds. With its spicier and stronger flavor compared to Bratwurst, the Bauernwurst is perfect for grilling and frying.

What is the name of the well known sausage from Frankfurt?

The well-known sausage from Frankfurt is called a Frankfurter Würstchen. It is a thin parboiled sausage encased in sheep’s intestine, and its flavor is developed through a process of low temperature smoking. To be eaten, Frankfurters are sometimes not boiled but instead heated in hot water for approximately eight minutes to avoid the casing from bursting.

What is the famous sausage in Frankfurt?

The famous sausage in Frankfurt is known as Frankfurt beef sausage. It gained popularity as the first beef sausage invented by Gref-Völsing, specifically for the Jewish community in the city. This sausage can be enjoyed boiled, broiled, or grilled. Personally, my preferred way to savor it is by grilling it and serving it in a bread roll with some mustard.

What is a type of German pork sausage?

A type of German pork sausage is called Bratwurst, which is typically made from pork but can also be made from beef or veal, although less commonly.

What are three German sausages?

Three German sausages include the famous Bratwurst, which is made from veal, beef, or pork, the Weisswurst, and the Blutwurst.

What is in a traditional German sausage?

The traditional German sausage, known as Bauernwurst or Farmer’s Sausage, is made from a mixture of coarsely ground, smoked pork and beef meat. It is seasoned with a blend of onion, garlic, marjoram, and mustard seeds.

What is a small sausage called in German?

The small sausage in German is called a Würstchen, which is a diminutive form of the noun.

What is German dried sausage called?

The German dried sausage is called Teewurst. It is made by combining pork (or pork and beef) with bacon, finely grinding the mixture, seasoning it, stuffing it into casings, and cold-smoking it over beechwood. After smoking, the sausage is fermented, ensuring it is safe to eat without cooking.

What are the white German sausages called?

The white German sausages are called Weißwurst, which is a traditional Bavarian sausage made from minced veal and pork back bacon.

What is German liver sausage called?

German liver sausage is known as Leberwurst, liverwurst, and braunschweiger. Similar to other traditional foods, there is no specific recipe for it. Just like tuna-noodle-casserole, everyone prepares it slightly differently, but it is still recognizable as German liver sausage.

What kind of sausage is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest sausage is a type of bratwurst, which is widely recognized as one of the most popular German sausages. It can be prepared using veal, beef, or pork (typically pork) and is available in both fresh and smoked varieties. This sausage has a coarse and juicy texture, and its recipes can vary based on the region, resulting in over 40 different variations of bratwurst.

What is the biggest German sausage?

The biggest German sausage is likely the Thüringer rostbratwurst, which, despite its thinness, appears quite large due to its considerable length and is typically served in a small bun. Additionally, the Mettwurst is another German sausage that surpasses the length of most other types.

What is a German sausage with cheese called?

A German sausage with cheese is called a Käsekrainer, which is a sizable and dense parboiled sausage containing small cheese chunks. The name of this sausage is derived from the German word for cheese, “Käse.” To enjoy its unique texture and flavor, you usually fry or grill the Käsekrainer, causing the cheese to melt.

What is Munich sausage called?

The Munich sausage is called the weisswurst or white sausage, which is the most renowned type of sausage in the city.

What is the name of the German Christmas sausage?

The name of the German Christmas sausage is brätwurst, which is a traditional white German pork sausage that can be up to half a metre in length.

What is German garlic sausage called?

The German garlic sausage is called knockwurst or knackwurst, which is made from a mixture of ground pork, beef, or both, and is preboiled. This sausage is known for its rich seasoning of garlic and its high fat content.

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