A bratwurst has never been my favorite sausage, but I got a great deal on some recently. I Googled “beer brat”, and was surprised to find that recipes differ.

Some call for parboiling the wurst in beer, but others say that enbitters them, and recommend a water parboil followed by a beer soak before grilling.

Me being me, I did the latter, not thinking to do a few each way to compare. Anyway, these brats that were soaked ended up far more tender than I recall ever having a brat.

Who’re the SMEs here on brats the WI/IL/MI way? And how do you do them?

As a native German I should be a brat expert, but I am not.

Having said that, I picked up some beer brats at Aldi and threw them on the grill. No simmering in any liquids beforehand, and they were delish.

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SME? Who knows, but grew up with them for sure and had them yesterday.

First, there are raw brats and pre-cooked brats. I handle them differently.

Growing up in WI, there are definitely two camps on how how to cook them … (for raw brats)

Camp 1 - pre-cook in a just below simmering pot of beer, water, onion until cooked through. Then grill to brown the casing - the ideal being not to break the skin so all the juicy fat stays inside. (This is how I do it)

Camp 2 - grill on medium heat to brown the casing but close to cooked through - again trying not to have the casing rip/pop, then into a pot of beer, water, onions to finish. Some say this method is less likely to have the skin pop.

In general my family has a rough ratio of 1:1 water to beer. I say a basic lager is the best - avoid anything IPA IMHO. - Miler, Bud, Milwaukee’s Best, Pabst, etc.

Usingers is my family’s go to source. Im so surprised how hard they are to find now that I live in the Boston area.

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Gosh, now I wonder if I should simmer pre-grilling next time. How much of a difference does it make to the final result?

Honestly I’ve never done a side by side taste test. This is just “how it’s done” in my family LOL.

Precooked brats I grill and then into the beer/water/onion.

For big gatherings, that go on throughout the day - the pot of beer/water/onion (sometimes butter added) stays on the grill and all cooked brats and burgers get dropped in to stay warm through the day for whoever/whenever. Great party hack :grimacing:


Thanks. Interesting.

One of the preps I read included oven-finishing the grilled sausages in a deep pan nestled into grilled onions and sauerkraut. I like doing porkchops this way, so maybe next time…

“As a native German I should be a brat expert, but I am not.”

The Name of this site cracks me up (still 13 in my heart).
Directions from just outside Nuremberg.

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Some brats are raw, those are traditionally par boiled.

I never buy cooked sausages. The beer brats we got were raw. And delicious :slight_smile:

Occam’s Razor says you should just keep doing what works.

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I do neither. I don’t cook the beer with the brats. I soak the brats (Usinger, in this case), with onion slices, for a week in beer in the fridge. Pabst has always been my go-to for this. Then I move them on the grill so one side doesn’t explode. Keep moving them. Then, as I’m grilling I add even more onions to the beeronion mix, and boil down the brew onions and fresh onions in the beer. That’s my brat topping. Some good mustard, and you’re home.

Raw only! It ain’t cooking if their cooked.

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