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Gilling is great for Summer, 4th of July, game day, or just when you want a good meal. One of my favorite grilled meats is the delicious bratwurst. They are even better when beer is involved. Today, I am going to show you my easy tips and tricks to make perfect brats on the grill. Get our recipe and kickstart your party today.

Five brats in buns and topped with onions and mustard.

Perfect Brats on Grill Summary

Our cooking method is straight-forward and fast. In a dish that has been preheated to 375° on the grilltop, I add butter, sliced onions, and garlic. Allow them to cook until glassy and well mingled. 

Add 24 Ounces of the beer of your choice to the pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add your brats and cook for 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip to the other side and cook for an additional five minutes.

Remove the brats and cook them for three minutes on each side or until the brats hit an internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit. While the brats are cooking, remove and reserve the onions. Discard the beer. 

Put the brats in a bun and top with the onions if you want. Add mustard, ketchup, or whatever you like to top your beer brats with. Enjoy the brats!

Picking Your Brats at the Store

Like with so many meats, the cooking really starts at the store or butcher. When I look for brats, I look for uncooked sausages from the meat case or from trusted brands like Johnsonville. Often, I will look in the meat case or get my brats from the butcher.

Johnsonville Original Brats

For this recipe, I am using Johnsonville Original Brats. These are widely available, so you should be able to reproduce this bratwurst grilling recipe almost exactly. 

While these brats are 3.8 Ounces, you may encounter different sizes with different brands. Make sure to adjust your cook times to help get your brat’s internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit

There are also a wide variety of kinds of brats. My personal favorite is jalapeno and cheddar, but at our stores there is a large variety for any taste. Once again, I am sticking to Johnsonville Original Brats for this recipe. 

Number of Brats

I am making five. You want to know why? Johnsonville has five in one package. That is it. Of course, they don’t sell buns in packages of five. They really have this all topsy turvy, but whatever. Cook the number you like, but this recipe is specifically designed for five brats and has enough onions for this number.

Onions, Butter, and Garlic

The main purpose of cooking the onions and garlic in butter before adding the beer is to help make sure that the flavors blend in well. Perhaps cooking the onions adds a little texture, but we then simmer them in beer, so most of the crispness of frying is lost. 

Using a pair of tongs to mix onions around in a baking dish.
Mix your thinly sliced onions into the butter and cook until glassy and maybe has a little bit of crispness to them. Open up the grill and mix every once in a while.

While onions do add some flavor to our brats, they are also a great topping. Just remove them from the beer with some tongs, a slotted spoon, or a fork. Then, add them right on top of your grilled brats and eat up. If you like onions, they help make perfect brats on the grill.

Five brats on the grill and a bowl of cooked onions to the side.
This is what the onions look like once they have been removed from the beer. You can do this while your brats are spending the last few minutes on the grill getting that nice crispy sear.

What Beer To Use

Use what you have! That said, a nice pilsner works really good for this. I used Grainbelt’s Nordeast, which is an amber ale. It worked great. The stronger the flavor of the beer, the more it will impact your brats. 

Pouring a can of beer into a baking pan of onions, garlic, and butter.
Pour the beer right into the pan after the onions have been cooked. It takes 2 normal-sized cans.

Simmering Brats

Some say that putting the brats in any liquid is a cardinal sin. I disagree. We are not allowing the brats to spend too much time in our beer bath and we are not boiling the heck out of them.

Ten minutes of simmering and then out directly on the grill. If people want to make that claim, let them. The beer, onions, butter, and garlic help add flavor to the brat and we minimize any juices from escaping the brat.

5 brats right in the beer and onion mixture.
This is right after I have put all five brats right into the beer and onion mixture.

Searing at the End

The last part of the cooking process is cooking the brats over direct heat. This helps create a nice crispy outside and finish off the cooking. 

Don’t Break The Seal and Temping

The most important part of this recipe is making sure that your brats hit a safe temperature of 160° Fahrenheit. Some sources indicate that 160° is overdone and recommend pulling them off as low as 145°, but I go by what the FDA recommends on this one. I strongly recommend getting a good meat thermometer.

One goal for this recipe is to not poke holes in the brats while it is cooking. Particularly during the simmering stage. I do not temp my brats at all during the simmering part of the cook, but only after it has been on the grill. 

Even then, I do not poke the thermometer directly into the side if I can help it. I will put it down the end, where there may already be an opening and try to get to the center of the brat.

A hand reaching onto a plate to pick one of four bratwursts up.

Products Used For These Perfect Brats On The Grill

Cooking Brats on Grill Tips

  • When temping the brats, insert the thermometer into the end and hit the center to avoid puncturing the outer skin.
  • Try not to temp until you get as close to the end
  • Use a pilsner or amber ale for best results, but any beer will do! Just remember that the flavor will make its way into the brat.
  • If 3 minutes of searing is not enough to bring it to temp or you like it a bit crispier, sear them longer.
  • Try serving this with a great coleslaw recipe or maybe some grilled jo jos.

Did You Make This Recipe?

I am so glad you gave these brats on the grill recipe a try and I hope you love it as much as I do. You could do me a real solid and let me know how it went in the comments section below, give it a rating, share it on social media, and/or send it to your friends. Mostly, I am just happy you tried one of my recipes and I hope you find yourself back at Ramshackle Pantry.

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Five brats in buns and topped with onions and mustard.

Best Brats on the Grill

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 5 brats 1x
  • Category: Cookout
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe

Description

If you have ever tried to make brats on your grill, but haven’t got it quite right, I have you covered. Check out my Best Brats on the Grill recipe to learn some tips and tricks to make a great bratwurst meal for your Summer cookout, game-day tailgating, or just a delicious brat dinner. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 24 Ounces Beer
  • 5 Brats
  • 5 Brat Buns or Hot Dog Buns

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill and 9 by 13 baking pan to 375° Fahrenheit
  2. Add butter to pan and melt.
  3. Add garlic, onions, and salt.
  4. Cook until onions are glassy
  5. Add beer to pan and bring to simmer.
  6. Add brats and cook for 5 minutes
  7. Flip and cook other side for 5 minutes
  8. Remove from pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 160° Fahrenheit
  9. While brats are searing, remove onions with tongs and put them aside in a dish. Discard beer. 
  10. Remove brats, add to buns, top with onions (optional) and anything else you like. EAT!

Notes

  • When temping the brats, insert the thermometer into the end and hit the center to avoid puncturing the outer skin.
  • Try not to temp until you get as close to the end
  • Use a pilsner or amber ale for best results, but any beer will do! Just remember that the flavor will make its way into the brat.
  • If 3 minutes of searing is not enough to bring it to temp or you like it a bit crispier, sear them longer.
  • Try serving this with a great coleslaw recipe or maybe some grilled jo jos
  • Nutritional Information is an estimate and can change based on the brat and buns you use. I also estimated that only a portion of the butter actually ends up being eaten.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Brat and Bun
  • Calories: 403 calories
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 956 mg
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg

Keywords: brats on the grill

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2 Comments

  1. This is almost exactly what I do, with a couple minor changes. I use more onions, garlic, and butter starting off, because I’ll refrigerate some to add to deliciousify (Yes, that’s a real word. Why would you ask?) other meals like sandwiches, wraps, or burgers over the next few days.
    Second, and by FAR the most important, is continuously referring to the pan on the grill as the “Brat Tub”. Even when not being used for that purpose, it should be referred to as such in the kitchen going forward. Best brats ever.