Beer Brats are perfect for outdoor parties, camping, tailgating or just any time you want a delicious, fun and easy dinner idea. Braising brats in beer and onions deepens the flavor or the bratwurst. The brats finish with a caramelized texture, which you can marry with the richly flavored caramelized onions. Pure dinnertime bliss!
What Makes This the Best Way To Cook Brats
While it may seem easy to cook good bratwurst, there is a sure-fire method for cooking amazing beer brats that results in a moist inside and crispy, caramelized outside. To make tailgate worthy brats, we first sauté our onions in butter until just softened. Then, we add in the beer and braise the bratwursts for serious flavor before searing them on the grill. Not only do we finish by searing the brats on the grill, we continue simmering the onions and beer until the liquids are reduced, and the onions are deliciously caramelized.
Tips for Seriously Good Brats in Beer
Fresh Brats. You want to use fresh brats not precooked. My favorite brats are Johnsonville brats or Usinger's bratwurst. Both of these are made in Wisconsin so you know they are going to be great! Choose whichever flavor you prefer, just as long as they are fresh.
Beer. A pilsner or lager beer work bests for simmering brats and onions. Stouts or other heavier beers overpower the taste of the bratwurst.
Caramelizing. Onions get perfectly caramelized when they are cooked slowly. Don't rush this step! It only takes a bit longer for wonderful caramelization that it does for partially simmered onion or worse yet, burnt onions.
Tongs. Do not use a fork or other sharp utensil as you risk piecing the bratwurst and loosing all of it's juices. Silicone coated tongs are the best choice for this task.
Buns. Bratwurst buns or hoagie buns work best for the brats in beer and any condiments you may add. Hot dog buns will not do the trick!
What To Serve With Beer Brats
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Perfectly Crispy and Tender Roasted Baby Potatoes
- Festive Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad (Crisp and Refreshing)
This sure-fire recipe for brats in beer is hands down the best way to cook brats! Infuse your brats in beer with serious flavor by simmering them in beer and onions. Then serve them with the caramelized onions and any of your other favorite toppings.
📋 Recipe Card
Brats in Beer
- 2 12 ounce cans pilsner beer 12 ounces each
- 2 onions halved and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 6 uncooked bratwurst
- 6 brat buns split
- Light a gas grill or charcoal grill for 2-zone heating; one zone for direct high heat and one zone for direct low heat. to
- Place a medium cast iron skillet on the low heat zone grates. Add the oil and butter. Heat until the butter is melted, swirling the skillet to coat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until just softened. Pour in the beer and heat until simmering. Add the bratwurst to the skillet and arrange the onions around the brats.
- Close the lid and cook, turning the brats often, 20 minutes or until the onions are caramelized, the bratwurst is lightly brown an instant read thermometer inserted into center of the brats registers 160°F.
- Using tongs, transfer bratwurst to the the grill grates and grill, turning often, 3 to 5 minutes or until they are browned on all sides. Continue simmering the onions in the skillet, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has cooked off and the onions are caramelized.
- Meanwhile, grill the buns, cut-side down, 1 minute or until golden.
- Using tongs, transfer the brats to a serving plate and let rest a few minutes until ready to serve. Transfer the onions to a serving bowl. Serve the brats with the onions and buns alongside.
- Serve with ketchup, mustard, prepared horseradish, chopped raw onions, sautéed bell peppers, or pickles alongside the bratwurst.