Hot Tub Brat Machine

Beer Brats

  • Servings: 7-8 (around two brats per person)
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For when you want beer and meat at exactly the same time.


  • 15 bratwursts (3 packages of 5)
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic
  • 4 twelve-ounce cans of beer
  • 2 sweet onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spicy mustard
  • Hot dog buns
  • 1 chimney of charcoal


  1. Cut onions into slices.
  2. In a large grill-safe pan, combine beer, butter, garlic, brats and onions.
  3. Pre-heat grill to medium direct heat, setting up coals in a thin layer.
  4. Place pan directly on grill and boil mixture until brats are cooked, about 10 minutes. (Or be boring and boil them on the stove or in the oven).
  5. Set pan aside and grill brats on direct heat until browned on the outside.
  6. Return brats to beer mixture until ready to serve.
  7. Toast buns over grill or in toaster oven.
  8. Top with sauerkraut and mustard.

Lauren, one of my friends living in Houston, suggested several times in the past few weeks that l make beer brats. I’m still not entirely sure where she got the inspiration from, but it was an upgrade from her usual suggestion that I make “vegetables.” (To be fair, I ask her “what should I make this week” on a regular basis.)

Beer brats are a simple affair, made even more so by the fact that they are peculiarly well-labeled. After picking up beer brats and beer brat-mustard, I was half expecting to find beer brat-sauerkraut and beer brat-beer somewhere.

Putting beer mustard on your beer brats cooked in beer, while drinking beer.

Since my dutch oven has been out of commission for around three years and probably has enough rust to sink a small boat, I also picked up a disposable aluminum pasta container. It may or may not have been too large for my grill (it was). Be sure to measure twice and cook once. Or maybe just remember to measure in the first place.

This is one of those recipes where you just throw everything in a pot (or pan, more accurately). My main reasoning for the pan was to have a single layer of bratwurst to keep them all cooking evenly.

Brats in a pan
Pretty much like in that new Zelda game.

I went with Yuengling for the beer; it’s cheap enough where I don’t feel too terrible throwing four cans in, but also has more flavor than your more generic light beers.

Sans time travel.

I ended up boiling the beer brats with the lid sitting on the corners of my pan, which worked surprisingly well (or better than expected, at least). Though the pan fit inside the grill, the corners hung over the edge. The extra air brings the heat up pretty high, though it’s much less efficient than having the lid closed. Make sure to keep the pan level so that the beer is evenly distributed.

A quick sear afterward browns the outside and crisps the brat. I usually go a bit light on the sear to avoid too much of the black stuff. Toast the buns in your preferred method of choice — in my case I used a cast iron skillet over the stove since we were all inside already.

Beer brats on the grill.
An accurate depiction of how I feel when the upstairs neighbor flush while I’m in the shower.

And then that’s pretty much it, or until your friends show up an hour later than they’re supposed to.

Beer brats on a plate.

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