Beer Brats: the ultimate recipe for juicy, smoky, flavorful sausages

Total time: 25 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 5 people
By Cookist

If you're looking for an easy, ultra-delicious dish that tastes great any time of year, you'll love this phenomenal recipe for beer brats. These succulent bratwursts are gently simmered with thinly sliced onions and beer, then finished on the grill to give them that irresistible smoky char.

Beer brats are a simple-to-make recipe that's great over the summer but are just as delicious once the weather starts to dip – especially if you're hosting Oktoberfest gatherings. Serve them in fluffy hot dog buns or pretzel buns, and top them with the onions and plenty of spicy mustard.

They're fantastic for feeding a larger group, but you can just as easily half the recipe for a hearty, tasty meal your family will love.

What is the Best Beer for Making Brats?

Traditionally, pilsners or other light lagers are the beer of choice for making beer brats. The crisp, light flavor of these types of beers is enough to enhance but not overpower the taste of the bratwurst. That said, you can use whatever beer you have on hand.

Other types of beer that would be great in this recipe are citrus IPAs, amber ale, stouts, or Marzen. There's no wrong answer – try out different beers and see what you like the best!

Beer Brats Ingredients

Beer brats are pretty straightforward to make – you don't need any fancy ingredients here.

You'll need a few cans of beer, bratwurst, and onions. Yellow onions are the gold standard, but shallots or red onions would work, too.

Red chili flakes add a touch of spice, while salt and pepper are a must to season the brats to perfection.

How to Make Beer Brats

Making homemade beer brats is a breeze. Start by putting the beer and sliced onions in a large pot and bringing the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, place the bratwurst, chili flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the pot, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook everything for 5 to 10 minutes. Don't skip this step! Not only does it infuse the brats with the flavor of the onions, beer, and spices, but precooking the bratwurst will help stop them from bursting on the grill, which will keep all those flavorful juices inside.

While the brats are simmering, preheat your grill over medium-high. Don't forget to grease it with some oil. Set the brats on a plate. Let the onions continue to simmer over low heat. Grill the brats for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they have char marks, and read 160F on an instant-read meat thermometer. Serve them on buns or over mashed potatoes with the onions, and enjoy!


Tips for Making the Best Beer Brats

No grill? No problem. You can cook your bratwurst in a skillet on the stovetop. You won't get the same char marks, but they'll still be delicious.

You can also bake your bratwurst and onions for 25 to 30 minutes at 400F.

Not in a rush? Cook your beer brats in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Beer Brats Topping Ideas

Top your beer brats with plenty of spicy brown mustard for that authentic German flavor.

Ketchup and sauerkraut are great toppings, too.

If you like spice, add some chopped jalapeños.

Chopped crispy bacon is a delicious option, as is relish, chili, salsa, and grated cheese.

What to Serve with Beer Brats

Whether you're serving them at a summer barbecue or an autumn Oktoberfest party, beer brats go with just about anything. Serve them in hot dog buns or pretzel buns with your favorite toppings. For sides, grilled corn, potato salad, coleslaw, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, or a creamy cucumber salad are all fabulous with beer brats.

How to Store Beer Brats

Let the brats cool down slightly, then transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a skillet or the oven until warmed through.

4 12-ounce cans
large onion, thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes
2 to 3 tsp
Garlic powder
1 tsp
salt and pepper to taste


Pour the beer into a large pot. Add onions, then bring to a boil.

Stir in the chili flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into the pot.

Put the bratwurst.

Low the heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Oil the grate. Take the bratwurst out of the pot and place them on a plate. Lower the heat and simmer the onions.

Put the bratwurst on the grill.

Cook the bratwurst for 5 to 10 minutes or until they're cooked through and have char marks. The bratwursts are done cooking when they read 160F on an instant-read meat thermometer.

Serve with onions and desired toppings. Enjoy!


If you don't like too much heat, reduce the amount of red chili flakes you use.

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