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How to: beer bratwurst

Juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Every time.

  • When it’s Done:
    • 150°F
  • 6 Sausages
  • 2-3 cans of beer (pale lagers work the best)
  • Buns (optional)
  • Sauerkraut (optional)
  • Sautéed onions and peppers (optional)
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 3–6

Wisconsin may be America’s Dairyland, but nothing is more familiar in that grill-loving state than fresh brats simmering in beer before being seared over hot coals. Here we’ll cover proper grilling for these fresh, raw beer bratwursts that are a hit at every cookout – in every state. The process is easy, and only takes five simple steps.

  1. KFD_2-ZONE_FIRE-0015

    Start two-zone fire.

    Set up your coals in a two-zone configuration. Light your coals and pile them all onto one side of your grill, leaving the other side empty. You’ll need both sides of the grill and both levels of heat to properly cook your brats.

  2. KFD_Sidebyside_SAUSAGES


    First cook the sausages through.

    Place your bratwurst in a full pan of beer on the grill. Any beer will do, but pale lagers work best. Boil in the beer bath for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the brats turn white.


    Use tongs.

    The casings on a fresh sausage will plump up with delicious juices as the meat inside heats up. Be careful not to pierce or break the skin, as those delicious beer-infused juices will escape. Instead of a fork, use a pair of long-handled tongs to move and rotate your brats throughout the cooking process.

  4. 4

    Sear and finish directly over the coals.

    Once your brats are cooked through, you’ll want to sear them to achieve the crispy skin and grill marks we all love. Move the pan over to the cool side and remove the sausages, placing them directly over the coals. Watch your brats closely, and rotate to avoid burning. You want even grill marks on all sides.


    Rest and serve.

    As with steak, you should let bratwursts rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. After all, you worked so hard to preserve those juices, it’d be a shame to let them drain out onto a cutting board. Beer brats are great on a bun or served on a platter with sauerkraut or sautéed onions and peppers.

Classic Wisconsin bratwursts are traditionally boiled in beer before grilling. Simmer the sausages in a pan on the grill with water or beer, adding onions or a tablespoon or two of butter if you like. Once cooked through, sear the sausages directly over the coals.

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