My quick and delicious grilled brats are an amazingly tasty treat you can whip up in no time! Give them a quick simmer in a delicious German beer before grilling, and you’ll be amazed at how something so simple can be so tasty!
With Labor Day around the corner, you may be wondering what to grill at the family barbecue! These simple grilled bratwurst sausages are perfect. They cook up quickly, and if you’re looking for extra flavor, a simmer in a German beer can maximize taste and juiciness.
The grill gives the brats that perfect caramelization and extra smokiness that I love, while also cooking them quickly so they stay moist and tender inside. Then I top them with German mustard and sauerkraut for that classic zesty, savory flavor.
If you’re serving to kids who may not like the strong flavors of mustard and sauerkraut – no worries! You can add your family’s favorite toppings to make the brats perfect!
❤️ Why This Recipe Works!
It’s simple! Throwing sausages on the grill and letting it do the work is so easy! If you’re not super familiar with the grill, I’ve got some tips to help make it as quick and simple as possible.
It’s packed with flavor! Brats are so delicious, and the grill helps bring out all of that while adding toasty, caramelized notes.
It’s fast! Once your grill is heated, these brats can be on your table in 20 minutes. That’s enough time to whip up a quick side – and dinner is served!
My grilled bratwurst sausages are loaded with flavor and so easy to make. There’s only one necessary ingredient here – the brats! You can serve them on buns with mustard and sauerkraut like I did, but feel free to serve them up your way.
- Bratwurst Sausages – You can use fresh or thawed, frozen brats to make this delicious recipe. If thawing, make sure to defrost safely in your refrigerator or under cold tap water.
- Bratwurst Buns – Hearty sausage buns are the best here if you’re using them! They’ll hold up to the juicy sausage and all those delicious toppings.
- German Mustard – If you want that classic flavor, mustard is the way to go! We like a zesty German mustard, but you can use whatever you prefer.
- Sauerkraut – Another must if you’re looking for that traditional, savory flavor. Sauerkraut can be difficult to find in some locations – look in the international aisle, the pickled/preserved vegetable section, or ask a grocery clerk. (***See FAQ for more on sauerkraut)
- Beer – If you want to maximize the flavor and juiciness of your brats, simmer them in a good German beer, like Carlsberg, Beck’s, St. Pauli Girl, or your favorite!
💭 Tips & Notes
This recipe works for any grill: charcoal, gas, pellet, etc.
Make sure you start with a clean, oiled grill. For this recipe, a lower temperature of around 300°F (149°C) to 350°F (176°C) is best to ensure the brats do not burst.
If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to move your coals to one side, so you have 2 zones for grilling (2 zone grilling) – one direct (hotter) and one indirect (cooler). If you have a gas grill, turn the gas off one side, and if you have a pellet grill, you’ll just need to adjust the temperature control.
Making sure you bring your sausages to room temperature will help keep them moist and juicy.
Starting the brats at room temperature prevents lowering the temp of the grill and adding extra cooking time. As well, do not pierce the casings of the sausages, as the delicious juices will leak out and leave the brats dry.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure your brats are completely cooked.
The finished temperature should be between 160°F (71°C) and 180°F (82°C) to ensure the brats are fully done. *When checking the temperature of brats, be sure to check the temperature in the same brat if you need to re0check the temperature. That way, all your other brats are nice and juicy!
Don’t have a meat thermometer? Your sausages will be fully cooked when the inside is no longer pink, the casings are golden brown, and, if pierced with a toothpick, the juices run clear. These juices should be free of any pink discoloration.
These simple instructions will have delicious, juicy brats on your table in no time! If you want to make beer brats, I’ve got instructions on how to make those, too – and they’re just as quick and easy!
- Start your grill. Bring your cleaned and oiled charcoal, gas, or pellet grill to a temperature between 300°F (149°C) to 350°F (176°C). This lower temp will keep the brats from bursting, so be sure to adjust accordingly.
- Grill brats. Place 6 brats on your grill for about 20 minutes. Turn the sausage every so often to get a nice caramelization. If needed, you can move the brats to a cooler or hotter side of the grill to prevent burning or under-cooking. The brats should at least reach 160°F (71°C) before you pull them off your grill.
- Serve and enjoy! Remove the brats from the grill then serve on buns with at least 1 tablespoon of a great German mustard and at least 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut per sausage.
Grilled Beer Brats (Wisconsin Brats)
- Start your grill. Follow the same instructions as above to bring your grill to a temperature between 300°F (149°C) to 350°F (176°C).
- Simmer brats. While your grill is heating, pour 12 to 24 ounces of German beer into a skillet with a cover. Add in 6 brats and bring to a simmer or low boil over low to medium-low heat. Cook brats in the beer for about 15 minutes or until the sausages reach a temperature of 160°F (71°C) per USDA recommendations.
- Grill the brats. Place the sausages directly onto the hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes to get a golden brown and caramelized color. Be sure to rotate or move them often, because they will quickly burn if left too long over direct heat.
- Serve and enjoy! Remove the brats from the grill. Serve them on buns and put on at least 1 tablespoon of a great German mustard and at least 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut per sausage.
I love to serve these flavorful and juicy brats for lunch or dinner with German mustard and sauerkraut, along with a side of crispy French fries or tangy German potato salad!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Make sure these delicious brats are completely cooled to room temperature first. Store the brats in a shallow, air-tight container, or wrap tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap for up to 3-4 days. These leftovers won’t last too long, so eat ‘em up!
Meal prepping? Make sure the brats are completely cooled to room temperature, then you can store these in an airtight container, preferably wrapped with cling film to prevent freezer burn. They will keep 1-2 months.
If thawing out frozen, pre-cooked brats, the best way to defrost them safely is to do so in your refrigerator until it is completely thawed. If time is a concern, you can submerge your airtight container in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes until it is completely defrosted.
These sausages are best reheated in the oven! Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) then place the sausages on a foil-lined dish or baking sheet. Let your brats reheat for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (73°C).
I would not recommend the microwave, unless you’re very short on time, as the sausages can dry out or burn. If you’re microwaving, use short intervals and check frequently.
Yes! We love brats, but you might not! Try using sweet or hot Italian sausages, fresh andouille sausages, or bacon cheddar sausages, and adjust your toppings accordingly! Whatever sausage you use, make sure they reach a temp of at least 160°F (71°C) and you’ll be good to go!
If you don’t have a grill, don’t prefer to grill, or maybe the weather isn't cooperating - try my equally delicious air fryer brats! The air fryer makes them just as golden brown and juicy in no time at all!
This recipe has an option to add savory and tangy sauerkraut on top of the bratwursts. Sauerkraut is traditional preserved German cabbage that is finely cut, salted, and allowed to ferment until sour.
The resulting flavor is salty, tangy, and absolutely delicious, especially piled high on a savory bratwurst! Sauerkraut is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics – so it’s good for you too! I highly recommend giving it a try in this recipe!
📖 Recipe Card
- 6 bratwurst sausages (raw, thawed)
- 6 bratwurst buns (optional)
- 6 tablespoon German mustard (optional)
- 6 tablespoon sauerkraut (optional)
- 12-24 oz beer (optional - A good German beer like Carlsberg, Beck's, St Pauli Girl, or IPA of your choice.)
- Adjust your grill, charcoal, gas, pellet, etc. to a temperature between 300°F (149°C) to 350°F (176°C). For charcoal you will probably need to move your coals to one side for 2 zone grilling, gas grills just turn the gas off one side, and for pellet grills you will just need to just adjust the temperature control.
- Place brats on the grill for about 20 minutes, turn the sausages every so often to get a nice caramelization. The brat temperatures should have an internal temperature of at least reach 160°F (72°C).
- Remove from grill and serve on buns, with a great German mustard and sauerkraut.
Grilled Beer Brats (optional)
- Pour beer into a skillet (with a cover), add in brats bring to a simmer/low boil, and cook in the beer for about 15 minutes or until your brats are at a temperature of 160° (72C).
- Place directly on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes to get a nice brown caramel color. Be sure to rotate them often , do not let them sit too long as they can quickly burn over direct heat.
- Remove from grill, serve and enjoy!
Equipment You May Need
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!