In this recipe for Crock Pot beer brats German bratwurst are boiled in beer with onions for a delicious easy to make meal. These tailgating favorites are also perfect for a family dinner since they are tasty and require little hands on preparation time. Slow cooker beer brats give you maximum flavor with minimal effort!
This easy slow cooker recipe is a traditional favorite, with bratwurst cooked in beer and onions. Crock Pot beer brats are a delicious and easy family dinner for a day you just don’t want to make anything complicated.
Slow cooker dinners are some of the most versatile and simple to make dinners around. Traditional crock pot dinners like Pork Tenderloin and Beef Stew are easy comfort food. This recipe for slow cooker beer brats is a great way to enjoy summer cookout flavor anytime.
What are Bratwurst?
Bratwurst are traditional fresh German sausages, made with pork and veal and flavored with spices like coriander and nutmeg. There are lots of different flavor combinations as each region of German has different traditions.
Most grocery stores carry a standard “German bratwurst” which is quite tasty and what I used in making this recipe. But if you can find a German butcher or deli you can find even more varieties.
Where I live, in Syracuse NY, there is German butcher who has been around for years. And they have all kinds of varieties of bratwurst from traditional Bavarian bratwurst to varieties like Jalapeno bratwurst. So see if you have a local German butcher and try some new varieties!
Using a slow cooker to cook bratwurst in beer comes from Wisconsin, so it is an American way of serving German food, but not really traditional to Germany.
What Kind of Beer?
You can use almost any kind of beer in this recipe. It will taste best if you use a beer that you’d drink with bratwurst – like a traditional German lager or an IPA.
If you don’t like beer or don’t drink you can get some of the same effect by using soda like gingerale in the recipe.
Make Ahead Recipe
This recipe is a great one to make ahead of time, which is why it is so good for a busy day or a tailgate. If you have a big slow cooker you can easily double or triple the recipe.
You can make the bratwurst hours ahead of time and serve easily once your family is ready. The bratwurst will simmer away for hours, ready to eat when you are ready to serve it.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beer Brats
1. Brown the Bratwurst
Before putting the bratwurst in the crock pot you need to brown them on a grill or in a frying pan. For grilling heat a grill to medium-high and put the bratwurst on for 6-8 minutes, turning once.
If you are using a frying pan heat it on the stove on medium high heat. Put the bratwurst in and cook, turning, for 6-8 minutes until the brats are nicely brown.
Some recipes suggest browning the brats after cooking. But doing it before cooking crisps the skin of the sausage and locks in the flavor. The texture of the brats will not be as good if you don’t brown them first.
Additionally browning them before boiling them means all the prep work is done at the beginning. When they are done cooking it is just a matter of opening the slow cooker and serving.
2. Layer in the Crockpot
Once the brats are nicely browned put them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add 2 large onions which are sliced around the brats and sprinkle everything with a little bit of salt and pepper.
Then cut the butter into pieces and scatter it around the slow cooker. The butter helps flavor and caramelize the onions.
Top the entire dish off by pouring beer over the top of the brats. Then put the cover on the slow cooker and let it cook for about 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
What to Serve With Beer Brats
These Crock Pot beer brats are perfect for serving with an array of possible toppings. Set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their favorites. Some great topping ideas:
- Raw onions
- Kim chi
- Refrigerator Pickles
Find More Cook Out Recipes
- 4 Bratwurst
- 6 ounces beer
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 teapoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 rolls
- Optional toppings - mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut, relish
- Brown the bratwurst in a skillet on a the stove or on the grill for 7-8 minutes, nicely browning on all sides.
- Put the bratwurst in the crockpot.
- Add the onion to the crockpot and sprinkle the salt and pepper on everything.
- Cut the butter into 4 parts and distribute it around the crockpot.
- Pour the beer over the top of everything.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Serve on buns with your desired toppings. Some suggestions - ketchup, spicy mustard, relish, sauerkraut.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 1424mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 16g
Nutrition facts are estimates.