How to grill brats

Brats are typically made of pork and beef; they can be grilled or cooked on the stovetop. The simplest way to grill them is to wrap them in bacon, which will provide some smoky flavor. They can also be wrapped in aluminum foil with onions and butter for a little extra flavor, or just plain without anything added. There’s no need to flip brats while grilling because the fat inside will cook it all over evenly. While cooking, try not to poke at the meat too much because this may release juices that could cause flare-ups. Lastly, if you’re cooking several brats on one skewer, make sure they don’t touch each other so there’s enough room for air circulation around each one as they cook.

Things to consider before starting to grill Brats

Ingredients: 6 bratwursts, 6 slices smoked bacon, 4 tbsp butter, 1 large yellow onion cut in thick wedges

Instructions: Combine the butter and sliced onions in a bowl and mix well. Wrap each bratwurst with one slice of bacon and thread onto skewers (if using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for an hour before grilling). Place kabobs on the grill and cook over medium heat turning often until browned on all sides; add more charcoal if necessary. When done cooking place kabobs on the platter and top with onion mixture.

Brats are a staple of the American backyard barbecue. They’re easy to cook, delicious, and versatile enough for everyone’s tastes.

Brats are great on their own, but they also make an excellent addition to sandwiches or chili if you want something more substantial than just the sausage itself. Here are five ways to prepare them that will kick your next barbecue up a notch!

Here are four ways to prepare them that will kick your next barbecue up a notch:

#4. Brats with Sauerkraut

To serve brats with sauerkraut simply cook the brat according to your preferred method and place it on a bun topped with kraut and mustard. It’s also great in a hot dog bun, which is probably why Milwaukee, WI is affectionately known as “the home of the brat.”

#3. Beer-Brined Grilled Brats

Beer and brats are delicious together so it only makes sense that grilling them will bring out even more flavor! First, marinate your brats for one hour in beer (use your favorite brand), add salt and pepper, then grill or steam them until they’re cooked through. Serve with lots of mustard.

#2. Caraway Brats with Potato Salad

Grilling brats gives them an extra smoky flavor that pairs well with caraway seeds, which are commonly found in sauerkraut and rye bread. Soak the brats in beer for one hour then grill over medium heat until browned all the way around, about ten minutes total. Sprinkle them with caraway seeds before serving on toasted buns with potato salad on the side.

#1. Italian Brat Sandwiches

Bratwurst is excellent sandwich meat because it’s mildly flavored but fattier than most other meats so it stays moist longer even if you don’t toast your bun or roll first (although doing so tastes delicious—just ask Al Capone). Place each brat on the roll, top with one slice of provolone cheese and broil in the oven until melted. Add sliced tomatoes, red onion, banana peppers, or whatever else you like to your sandwich to complete it.

What is a brat?

A “brat” is typically made of pork and pork fat and is a very thinly ground sausage.


Bratwurst is a German term that translates to “little (or young) pork.” Thus, the name reflects the fact that brats are made from pork cuts, typically the shoulder or less desirable cuts of tenderloin.


Traditionally placed directly on coals or pan-fried in butter until crisp with onions on top, many people also cook their brats by oven roasting them. To do this, place your brats on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes until they’re golden brown. Or try our beer-brined grilled brats’ recipe!


Typically, it takes about 20 minutes total to cook a whole bratwurst on the grill. First, you need to brown them over medium heat for two or three minutes per side then cover and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes until the brats are cooked through fully. How do you know when your brats are done cooking? According to the Wisconsin Pork Association, “a natural casing will be dark golden brown and slightly crispy with meat juices escaping.” If you overcook your brats (which is easy to do on the grill) they can be dry and tough.


Beer, of course! Bratwurst is commonly served with beer (and sometimes mustard) in Germany and America. It’s also delicious with potato salad on the side, which makes sense since everyone knows that potatoes + brats = a perfect meal! You can also enjoy brats in sandwiches or chili if you want something more substantial than just the sausage itself.


Check out our list of regional sausage varieties in the US for local meats to grill at your next summer barbecue!   We hope our guide gives you some great ideas for cooking brats and introduces you to some new and delicious bratwurst recipes. Enjoy!

Where do I get Bratwurst?

If you want to try authentic German sausages check out the butchers. They have great beef and chicken brats along with other pork and beef cuts. Otherwise, we recommend checking out local meat markets for fresh bratwurst from Wisconsin or other parts of America that boast an appreciation for sausage excellence.


You may think of brats as just summer food but they’re delicious any time of year! Just toast your buns and add whatever extra ingredients you like to make them shine. You can use pork or beef in place of the traditional pork brats for slightly different flavors you’ll enjoy all the same.

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