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Cheesehead Brats


Serves 6

  • by from Grillin' with Gas

Inspired by Green Bay Packers fans, these bratwursts are simmered in beer and onions, then grilled and served with sauerkraut and mustard.

  • 2 12-oz. cans beer, preferably the cheap stuff
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 uncooked bratwursts (if you have big eaters, you might want to double this number)
  • 6 good-quality hot dog buns or small submarine rolls (again, for big eaters, see above) 
  • Brown mustard
  • One 1-lb. bag refrigerated sauerkraut, drained

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

Combine the beer, onions, and brats in a large saucepan. If your grill has a side burner, feel free to do this process there. Otherwise, place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the brats are just cooked through, usually about 8 minutes. Remember, we’re going to continue cooking these brats on the grill.

Remove the brats from the pot and place them on the grill. Grill the brats for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them frequently to brown them evenly on all sides. When they are done, slide them into your buns and top with mustard and sauerkraut.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Grilled Fingerling Potato Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing on the side.

Photo: Ben Fink

This recipe was good and the sausages cooked up nicely in the beer/onion mix. Since we don't have a bbq, I finished them under the broiler for about 4 min. Texture and flavour was perfect. We will do brats this way moving forward

NEVER, NEVER boil brats and NEVER let them see the beer prior to grilling. The Sheboygan method (Brat capital of the World) follows: Prepare grill - I prefer charcoal - with slight spacing between the coals. Gas would be medium to medium-high setting. Take the 'curl' out of the brats so they lay flat when on the grill as you will want to sear all around the sausage. Turn very frequently with fingers or blunt tongs - THE KEY is to NOT let the brat casing burst by too much heat, not turning frequently enough or piercing by a sharp tong. Keep kettle lid on to minimize flames and burning. Usually, 10+ minutes of grilling should do the job. Transfer the brats to a kettle of steeping (not boiling) beer/1 stick butter/sliced onions and allow to steep another 10+ minutes prior to serving. As one writer suggested, Sheboygan WI 'hard-rolls' are preferred (firm outer and soft inner)and extra tasty if toasted. 2 brats per bun! Some areas of the state prefer sauerkraut but not here. Simply, good mustard, some dill pickle slices, raw and/or steeped onion and ketchup, if desired. You won't cook brats any other way when you try this method!

Perfect! I am back "home" after being in Ann Arbor for 9 yrs. We are having family from Michigan to the Packer/Lions Game this Sunday. We will show them what tail-gating is all about -experience the atmosphere of Lambeau field and enjoy a victory!! (I hope) The best brats I have had and all my MI friends from Konops in Stanglesville. You will find directions on the web. They have an amazing assortment of home-made brats - the best hot dogs you will find and great hot sticks. It is worth the short drive from Green Bay. Brat buns can be found @ any bakery in WI - do not substitute hot dog buns!!!!! The posted recipe is exactly how a "CZ Head" would make them!!!!!

Oh man....memories....I've been in Florida for 25 years, but was raised in Madison. There is NOTHING like a Wisco brat in a good bun. But there is an age old you put the grilled brats back in the old beer/onions or do you use new beer/onions? Let me hear it???

Simmer first....just like the recipe says. I left Green Bay many years ago, but I still know brats. In fact, I just received some from Maplewood Meats in Green Bay--the best of the best!. As far as the ketchup thing goes, a great brat can stand on its own (maybe a little onion). Time for a cook-out......

I agree, very close. In LaCrosse, WI (home of the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the state) They grill first, then finish in beer, onions and butter. They serve them on specially made Rye Brat Buns with Sesame Seeds. The absolute best brats in the whole state!

On the prep method. Most definitely boil first, then grill. Prepare a lot more than you imagine you can eat. Enjoy. Approximately 5 minutes prior to kick-off, put remaining brats in the bath (boiling liquid) and return to them at the half or after the game. Geez! For cripe's sake! Don't ya know? etc...etc...etc...

The recipe is basically right, though I cook my brats for 20 min on the stove and then grill them mainly to get rid of the grease. Once they're done you can throw them back in the pan of beer & onion and put them back on the stove to keep them warm. Since I can't get real brat buns in DC like I can at home in WI, Harris Teeter's Chicago Rolls work perfectly and aren't as big as a hoagie roll. The idea is to find a fresh roll that's a bit chewy. PS I always put ketchup on my brats and wasn't ever run out of WI.

So close! The brats are grilled first and then put in the beer and onions (along with some butter!) until time to eat them on a Sheboygan-style hard roll, two brats to a roll. (Hot dog bun/Sub roll? Yuk!)

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