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Enjoy beer braised bratwurst and onions for a backyard barbecue, Oktoberfest celebration, or a quick and delicious dinner. These perfect brats are browned and braised in beer, sautéed in onions, and are oh so flavorful!

Bratwurst and onions on a toasted bun.

If you’re looking for the ultimate brats recipe, you’ve found it! This beer braised bratwurst recipe makes a great addition to a fun barbecue. You could also whip them up for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. This hearty dish knocks traditional burgers and hot dogs out of the park! To bring out the flavor in the sausages, we brown them first. We do this to hold onto all of those delicious aromas that get released from the meat as it cooks. You can also serve them straight from the hot and juicy beer bath. They’re much tastier than shriveled-up sausages that have been hanging out on the grill to dry up. The toasted bun for serving takes this dish up a notch. Smear them with stone ground mustard, and place the bratwurst on top with some of the tender onions. It’s a flavor party that you’re all invited to!

What Kind of Beer is Best For Bratwurst?

There are several different types of beer out there and not all are ideal for this beer brats recipe. Go with a pilsner for best results. That means brands like:

  • Miller
  • Budweiser
  • PBR
  • Heineken 

You may have a thing for craft varieties, but save those for drinking!

Beer Substitutes:

We realize that not everyone feels comfortable cooking with something that contains alcohol. You can sub in for:

  • Non-alcoholic beer
  • Chicken broth
  • Apple juice

That said, we love the earthiness that cooking with beer brings to this dish. And, keep in mind, when you cook with it all of the alcohol evaporates out.

Bratwurst Options:

As you gather the ingredients for this dish, the type of meat you choose is important. Bratwurst is a type of sausage. You may have already seen pre-cooked options that have already gone through the beer braising process in the supermarket. Skip those — you want to go for unprepared bratwurst. The best will come straight from a butcher!

What is the Best Way to Cook Beer Brats?

We swear by our brown first method! If you’ve ever worked with a beer brats recipe before, you know that it usually calls for you to create a bath by boiling beer and onions together. Recipes like this typically skip the browning step altogether. When you make ours, don’t skip it! You’ll be able to hold onto the flavors in the meat better this way. And you won’t end up with mushy and flavorless sausages.

Can I Make This Recipe on the Grill?

Absolutely!

Preheat your grill, place brats on grate, and brown on both sides. While the brats are browning, in a grill safe skillet or dutch oven, melt butter and cook onions. Add in salt and pepper. When they become softened and more golden, add in garlic. Let cook for about 1 minute then add in beer. Simmer and then add in brats and let cook for 10 minutes in the beer and onions or until ready to serve.

Troubleshooting: How Do I Keep My Brats From Drying Out?

If you follow our recipe, you won’t have to worry about the meat drying out. Because we brown them and then cook them in the beer and onion mixture just before serving, they come out juicy every single time!

Serving Suggestions:

Wondering what would go well with your bratwurst recipe? Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions:

Overhead view of bratwurst and onions in a cast iron skillet.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions:

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also store them (again in an airtight container) in the freezer where they will keep for up to 4 months. To reheat, place them in the microwave in a dish with a bit of water and heat for 30-second increments until they are warmed through. You can also reheat in an oven set to 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. To reheat from frozen, make sure to let them thaw in the fridge overnight first.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious main dish recipes:

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Beer Braised Bratwurst and Onions
Servings

5 people

Overhead view of bratwurst and onions in a cast iron skillet.
Enjoy beer braised bratwurst and onions for a backyard barbecue, Oktoberfest celebration, or a quick and delicious dinner. These perfect brats are browned and braised in beer, sautéed in onions, and are oh so flavorful!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 5 Bratwurst sausages
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil divided
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 5 buns
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard to top bratwurst
Instructions
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add in bratwurst and cook until outside of brats are browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add in remaining cooking oil and onion slices. Season with salt and pepper and let cook for about 7-8 minutes, until onions have softened and turned more golden.
  • Add in minced garlic and let sauté for another minute.
  • Pour in about 12 ounces of beer. Add in bratwurst and let the mixture come to a simmer. Drop the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 8-10 more minutes, until the onion mixture thickens up a bit and the brats are cooked through.
  • Serve on a toasted bun with stone-ground mustard.
Notes
Grill Method
Preheat grill, place brats on grate and brown on both sides.
While the brats are browning, in a grill safe skillet or dutch oven, melt butter and cook onions. Add in salt and pepper. When they become softened and more golden, add in garlic.. Let cook for about 1 minute then add in beer. Simmer and then add in brats and let cook for 10 minutes in the beer and onions or until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1366mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 12mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Bratwurst
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