Fire up the grill & pour an extra pint – crispy beer brats are on the grill! Infused with caramelized onions & mustard – these pups are serious business.

Beer Brats topped with caramelized onions held by hand

Beer Brats join the list of my other fav duos like Batman and Robin, Lennon and McCartney, and my favorite, Ben and Jerry. Lots of culinary couplings make our tasty world go ‘round, too: peanut butter and chocolate, macaroni and cheese, and beer and brats aka Beer Brats. Sure, you can enjoy an icy pint of your favorite brew with a crisp sausage, but why not share some of those malty, earthy flavors with that lonely bratwurst?

I can hear the collective concurrence from all sausage and beer lovers, so let’s get to it. Wisconsin beer brats are the original, famous for their inspired mingling of caramelized onions, mustard, beer, and lovely German links. All nestled in a big doughy bun, AKA bratwurst delivery vehicle! The truth is, however, there are as many variations as there are families in the Badger State. The only universally accepted rules are that the sausages must spend some time on the grill, and you must always use their abbreviated name!

How To Cook Brats On The Grill

Here’s how to cook brats WI style. First, fire up your grill since that’s where all the cooking happens. Here are some tips for prepping your grill and keeping it ready for spur-of-the-moment brat grilling. After heating, cleaning, and oiling the grate, you’re ready for the next step! Brush both sides of onion slices with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.

One side of the grill will be used to create the flavor-concentrated beer bath in a 9 x 13. The beer is suffused with mustard, pepper, caraway, and sugar. It’s this broth that christens the brats! Place the aluminum pan on the one side of the grill and arrange onion on the other side until lightly charred. Put onions in the aluminum pan then grill sausage until browned. Place sausage in pan. Cover the grill and continue to cook until well heated. Remove sausages from beer mixture and grill again. Transfer to a plate. Continue to cook onions with grilled covered, in mustard mixture. Serve.

Cooking Beer Brats with an aluminum pan full of beer brats mixture on griller

How To Cook Bratwurst With Onions

If you’re going for that classic flavor, you need to know how to cook bratwurst with onions. Onions are sausage’s BFF. Giving them a little time to caramelize on the grill releases some of their natural sweetness and ensures a picture perfect result! Oil, season, and char, then toss into the beer mix.

How Long To Boil Brats In The Beer Bath

One perennial question that plagues people is beer brats grill or boil first? The answer is “grill”! With that mystery resolved, let’s move to the next. You must also learn how long to boil brats! This is a bit of a trick question, because you should never let the beer bath boil. For best results, cook the brats for approximately 15 minutes.

How To Cook Brats On The Stove

Sometimes there are good reasons to eschew the grill! Here’s how to cook beer brats on the stove:  brown your onions and brats in a big skillet, then add the braising ingredients and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. You can move the brats to a second pan for that last browning, or use a broiler. If you’re not sure how to broil brats without burning, just watch them carefully and turn them every 3 or 4 minutes. There you have it, beer brats no grill required!

The Best Way To Cook Brats

I think brown-boil-char is best way to cook brats. Since the brat skin loses some pop after its booze cruise, I throw them back on the grill for a couple minutes. This also allows the beer and onion mixture to reduce a bit and concentrates the flavors.

Charring onions on a griller with an aluminum pan full of beer brats mixture

What I Like To Serve With Beer Brats

I generally serve my Classic Macaroni Salad and homemade KFC Coleslaw or Strawberry Spinach Salad. For dessert, keep it easy and try one of our delicious summer cakes like Pineapple Sunshine CakePig Pickin Cake (I know! What a name…hehehehe!), or Pineapple Sheet Cake.

Did you need a “Go With” appetizer? Knorr Spinach DipHissy Fit Dip (my sister’s favorite!), Crack Dip, or Mississippi Sin Dip is always a great choice!

What Beer Is Right For Beer Brats?

The main rule is avoiding really hoppy beers (like ales) since the cooking process enhances their bitterness. Other than that, it’s a matter of preference. Some swear by Yuengling beer brats; others prefer a different brand!

Darker beers (porters or stouts) will be a little sweeter and richer, while lagers (including pilsners) will impart plenty of malty flavor without the added sweetness. Mild lagers are generally the favorite among connoisseurs.

You can definitely get by with a cheap variety in this recipe, although I always suggest using something you like to drink – that’s what’s in your fridge anyway, right?

Beer Brats topped with caramelized onions

The Right Seasoning For Beer Brats

I use a simple but sturdy seasoning. Mustard balances the natural sugars in the beer and onions, but adds a touch of heat that works with the richness of the brats. Any classic variety – yellow, Dijon, or spicy – will do, but coarse mustards don’t incorporate as well.

The other braise friend is caraway seeds. The seeds have a warm, licorice flavor that tops off the other aromatic qualities of this dish in a really wonderful way.

More Beer Brat Recipes

Recipes using beer brats make space for wonderful family time. Some of my favorite brat recipes are beer brats and onions, beer brat bites, beer brat pasta, and beer brat salad. Roll with the mood of the day! If you go the traditional route, pick up nice large buns for serving. Keep chopped pickles, extra mustard, and sliced jalapenos on standby! 

Recipe Notes For Beer Brats:

Fear of fire – We don’t all have a grill on our patio (or a nice sunny day for grilling!) Thankfully you don’t need fire to produce some really tasty brats. You can actually cook beer brats in oven safe dishes. Broil them with the onions first, then add the braise ingredients. Cook everything, covered, at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, then uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Slow Cooker- Can you make beer brats slow cooker style? Sure! Brown your brats and onions first (under the broiler or in a skillet), then pop everything into the slow cooker for 7-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. I do recommend crisping the brats before serving to most closely mimic the grilled version.

Meaty matters – You may be tempted to pierce the brats to maximize absorption of beer/onion flavor, but you’ll actually lose brat flavor, so I don’t recommend it. Also, don’t let the braising liquid boil or you’ll have tough brats. You may need the low setting on the slow cooker. These are raw sausages, however, so make sure they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Finally, as for what brand to use, Johnsonville beer brats are a standard choice, but they’re not the only good ones!

Beer Brats Recipe:

I think everyone loves an easy grilling recipe. But these are not only easy, they’re also, seriously, the BEST Beer Brats I’ve ever had. Sometimes Beer Brat Recipes are just so plain tasting, you might as well just boil them. Not these my dear friends! I really hope you try this recipe when you’re ready to fire up your grill. Let me know in the comments below how you like them and what are Your favorite things to serve with them.♥





Beer Brats topped with caramelized onions held by hand
5 from 1 vote

Beer Brats Recipe

Fire up the grill & pour an extra pint - crispy beer brats are on the grill! Infused with caramelized onions & mustard - these pups are serious business.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 -10 Servings
Calories 811 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 4 Yellow Onions Sliced Into 1/2 Inch Rounds
  • To Taste Salt
  • To Taste Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2-12 Ounce Beers
  • 2/3 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Caraway Seed
  • 10 Bratwurst Sausages
  • 10 Sourdough Rolls


Prepare Gas Grill

  1. Heat all burners of the grill on the medium-high heat with lid closed for 15 minutes. Clean and oil the grates.

Prepare a Charcoal Grill:

  1.  Place a single layer of unlit coals on the bottom of a charcoal grill. Fill a chimney start with coals and light.  When the coals in the chimney are covered in grey ash, pour them evenly onto the cold, unlit coals. Set grate and cover with lid, opening vents completely, for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grate.

Prepare Onions and Brats:

  1. Brush both sides of onion slices with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a disposable 13 x 9-inch aluminum pan, mix together beer, mustard, sugar, caraway, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Place the aluminum pan on one side of the grill, and arrange onions on the other side and cook until the onions are lightly charred. Move onions into the aluminum pan and arrange sausage on the grill and cook until browned on both sides, about 6-10 minutes. Place sausage in pan. Cover the grill, and continue to cook until the sausages are heated through about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove sausages from beer mixture and grill until they are lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Remove charred sausage to plate and tent with aluminum.
  5. Continue to cook onions with grill covered, in mustard mixture, until they are soft and tender and beer mixture has thickened slightly 5-7 minutes.
  6. Serve. Place charred Brats on rolls and spoon onion-mustard mixture over them. Enjoy

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Beer Brats Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 /6 of the recipe)
Calories 811 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 68%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 1839mg 77%
Potassium 678mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 71g 24%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 11g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 0.4%
Vitamin C 8.9%
Calcium 27.1%
Iron 29.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.