Grilled Bratwurst

5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Grilled bratwurst soaked in beer and served in a mustard, onion, and sauerkraut topping.

grilled bratwurst recipe

This easy grilled bratwurst recipe is the perfect way to enjoy this delicious German sausage. The pork brats are simmered in beer before being added to a yellow mustard and sauerkraut glaze for an incredible punch of flavor. Saving the best until last, the soaked brats are seared over high heat to create a caramelized and crispy finish. This is grilled sausage at its finest.

The good news is that this is much easier than it sounds, and can be done from scratch in just 40 minutes. From the best pork bratwurst to easy grilling tips, here’s how to make the best grilled bratwurst.

grilled bratwurst served in toasted flatbread and onion zucchini sauerkraut and yellow mustard dressing

Bratwurst Explained

Bratwurst is a traditional German pork sausage that boasts a distinct flavor and texture that sets it far apart from its hot dog cousin. Made primarily from ground pork, bratwurst incorporates a unique blend of seasonings, including nutmeg, ginger, coriander, and caraway seeds, all of which give it a warm, herb-like flavor with a hint of spice that’s the perfect partner to the smoky char of the grill.

Brats can often be found sold as either pre-cooked or uncooked. For our grilled bratwurst, we want uncooked brats. They’re thicker with a coarser meat filling and natural casing that, simply put, just tastes better.

However, even these uncooked brats only need a short cook time. We’ll give them a quick par-boil first in beer to help slowly bring them to temperature and hold the casing intact, while simultaneously infusing it with flavor. Then, we’ll give them a quick sear on the grill to give them the perfect char-flamed finish. Easy.

grilled bratwurst served in toasted flatbread and onion zucchini sauerkraut and yellow mustard dressing

Main Ingredients

Grilling bratwurst requires you to have the right ingredients. To get started, you’ll need:


Fresh bratwurst has a juicy and natural meaty flavor. They are available in most local butchers. Artisan brats have an authentic European taste and are delicious compared to other types. Stay away from brats that come in plastic-wrapped cardboard containers or foam trays. 

Ensure that you bring the brats to room temperature before grilling them to keep them moist and juicy.


Simmering your brats in beer enhances their flavor and makes the casings pliable. The best beer to simmer your bratwurst in is a pilsner or lager style beer like Coors Lite, Miller Lite, or Bud Light. These beers are readily available and affordable. 

You can also use a German beer like Carlsberg to maximize the juiciness of your bratwurst. 


We’ve used large flatbreads for this recipe, but you can also use bratwurst buns. You’ll need good-quality buns to hold up the bratwurst and any toppings you plan on using. For example, Panini buns, baguette buns, brioche buns, or classic Italian buns pair well with a bratwurst. 

Toast the buns on the grill for a minute per side to add a crispy and toasty texture.


German mustard is the best to use on brats as it has a deeper flavor and more heat than yellow mustard.

You can also use the yellow mustard if you’re looking for a tart and tangy flavor that isn’t too hot. Its mild flavor pairs well with other condiments.

grilled bratwurst served in toasted flatbread and onion zucchini sauerkraut and yellow mustard dressing

Quick Tips

Are you wondering how to get perfectly grilled brats? Here are some quick tips to help you master the grilling game.

  1. Don’t simmer the brats in beer for any longer than 15 minutes. While you would be forgiven for thinking that the longer the simmer, the richer the flavor, this isn’t really true. A study by Amazing Ribs showed that beer can penetrate the meat surface up to a couple of millimeters, but no further. Simmering the brats for 15 minutes is just as effective as doing the same for an hour.
  2. You can soak and prepare the sausages ahead of time, making this a great tailgate grilling recipe. If you do make this recipe on the road, make sure you get disposable aluminum pans to carry the meat in.
  3. If you enjoy this recipe, try making our smoked brats. They take longer, but are loaded with juicy flavors.
  4. Bringing the brats to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before grilling will keep them juicy and moist. You won’t need to add extra cooking time or reduce the grill temperature to have well-cooked brats.

Topping Ideas

You can serve brats in different ways, depending on your taste preferences. Some of the sides/toppings to consider include:

  • Caramelized onions: Caramelized red or yellow onions add a unique flavor to the grilled taste of your bratwurst. You can also use French fried onions to add extra crunch.
  • Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut or fermented cabbage adds a tangy flavor that’s faithful to Bavarian recipes. Try our homemade sauerkraut for the best results.
  • Cheese: Try melted cheddar or Swiss cheese for a tasty bite
grilled bratwurst served in toasted flatbread and onion zucchini sauerkraut and yellow mustard dressing
grilled bratwurst

Grilled Bratwurst

5 from 1 vote
Grilled bratwurst soaked in beer and served in a mustard, onion, and sauerkraut topping. Fired on the grill for an incredible caramelized finish.
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Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 disposable aluminum pans
  • digital meat thermometer


  • 4 bratwurst pork or beef
  • 4 flatbreads or regular hot dog buns
  • 24 oz beer
  • 12 oz water


  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 cup sauerkraut
  • 2 yellow onions roughly chopped
  • 2 zucchini sliced


  • Set up your grill for 2-zone cooking and indirect grilling. Fire up coals and heat the indirect zone to 325°F (160°C).
  • Fill an aluminum pan with beer and water. Place the pan on the direct side of the grill and bring the beer to a simmer.
  • Place the bratwurst links in the beer. Simmer to parboil the brats to an internal temperature of 160°F (70°C), about 10-15 minutes.
  • In a fresh aluminum pan, add the chopped onions. Place the pan on the indirect side of the grill. Cook until brown and caramelized.
  • Add the yellow mustard, sauerkraut, and zucchini to the onions. Combine well and leave over indirect heat while you grill the brats.
  • Remove the brats from the beer and place on the grill grates, directly over the heat. Grill for 2 minutes on each side, until browned.
  • Transfer the grilled brats to the mustard and onion mix. Coat each link with sauce.
  • Place flatbreads or buns on the direct side of the grill, inside-down. Cook until lightly toasted.
  • Serve coated brats in toasted flatbreads or buns, one link per bread.


Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1325mg | Potassium: 787mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.

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