When we first moved to Wisconsin, I was not thrilled by the thought of a bratwurst. I was a hot dog with mustard (and now onions) kind of girl, and I did not want to change. But, as I got older and learned to love sauerkraut, I was converted.
Beer brats are now my tailgating/grilling meat of choice (unless a steak is involved), and I’m positive that I did not know what I was missing as a kid.
Why I love this beer brats recipe
The best part about this Wisconsin-style method of cooking brats in beer, is that the brats can be made ahead of time. They’re basically par-boiled in beer and onions, and then finished up on the grill or a hot skillet.
It makes prepping for game day or a backyard grill-out simple and crowd-friendly. It’s also a great way to keep them warmed and ready serve for an all day party.
Here’s what you need to make Wisconsin-style beer brats
How to cook bratwurst
Boil some beer and onions in a large skillet. You can do this on the stove or in a grill friendly pan. I prefer to do it on the stove in advance.
Simmer the brats. Once the beer is boiling, add the brats and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the bratwurst until they’re no longer pink in color. They should look gray in color.
You may have to turn the brats or add more beer if too much liquid evaporates. I prefer to turn mine, because I don’t see the point it opening another beer.
Finish on the grill. Remove the brats and finish cooking over medium-high heat – on a grill or in a skillet – until they’re golden brown and slightly charred.
To keep brats warm until you’re ready to serve, return them to the beer and cover the pot (over low heat).
Serve with your favorite toppings. My favorites are onion, sauerkraut and mustard, but you can use whatever toppings you like.
I also love serving these beer brats with my quick pickled sweet peppers. Go crazy and have fun with it.
FAQs and tips for making beer brats
Why do you boil brats before grilling?
The main reason we boil brats ahead of time is to get the partially cooked. It makes grilling a lot quicker.
Since brats usually take longer to cook (compared to hot dogs and burgers), it helps everything get done at the same time. It also adds flavor.
Do you have to boil brats?
No. You will just need to increase the cooking time on the grill or stove.
How do you know when brats are done boiling?
We technically aren’t boiling. We’re simmering, but you can tell the brats are done when they aren’t pink anymore. They should look gray in color on both sides.
Can you boil brats the day before?
Yes. This is actually my favorite part of this recipe. It makes prepping for tailgating parties or barbecues super easy.
Are beer brats alcoholic?
There are a lot of different opinions out there about this. Alcohol content does diminish with cooking time, but usually some amount of alcohol remains.
If you’re trying to avoid alcohol, you can always use non-alcoholic beer for this recipe.Print
- 6 bratwurst
- 1 12-ounce bottle beer
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- Heat beer and onions in a large skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add bratwurst and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until bratwurst are no longer pink.
- Remove brats and transfer to a grill (or second skillet) over medium-high heat. Grill (or sauté) for about 5 minutes, turning once, until brats are golden brown.
- Category: Mains
- Method: Stovetop/Grill
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bratwurst
- Calories: 319
- Sugar: 5.9 g
- Sodium: 59.2 mg
- Fat: 26.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 12.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.3 g
- Fiber: 0.5 g
- Protein: 12.2 g
- Cholesterol: 66.4 mg
Keywords: easy, dairy free, grilled, beer brats, beer for brats, beer & brats, beer brats recipe, beer brats recipes, beer brats boil, how to cook beer brats
Published: April 1, 2019. Updated: January 13, 2023.
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