Grilled Bratwurst With Beer, Mustard, and Sauerkraut Recipe

Make perfect grilled bratwurst by simmering them in a flavorful sauerkraut bath first.

Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Poaching the sausages in a flavorful mixture of beer, sauerkraut, and mustard cooks them through from edge to edge.
  • Simmering the sausages in a pan set directly on the grill helps to imbue them with smoky flavor as they cook.
  • Finishing the sausages on the hot side of the grill gets their exteriors nicely crisp and charred.

The key to perfectly cooked pork bratwurst on the grill is to start them in a flavorful bath of sauerkraut, beer, and mustard. Slowly simmer the sausages so they're infused with flavor and cook evenly, then finish them off on the hot side to crisp and char.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 12 ounces (350ml) beer (almost any beer will do)

  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) whole grain mustard

  • 1 (1-pound; 450g) package sauerkraut, with juices

  • 6 thyme sprigs or 3 bay leaves (optional)

  • 2 pounds (900g) bratwurst sausages

  • Buns and mustard, for serving


  1. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

  2. Combine beer, mustard, and sauerkraut in a 10-inch square-disposable aluminum pan. (Alternatively, construct a tray out of a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 10 inches square, with sides about 2 inches high.) Stir until mustard is broken up and mixture is homogeneous. Add thyme sprigs or bay leaves (if using). Nestle sausages into sauerkraut.

  3. Place tray on hot side of grill and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Slide to cooler side of grill. Cover grill, with vents over bratwurst. Cook with all vents open until bratwurst register 140 to 145°F (60 to 63°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes, turning once in the middle.

  4. Remove lid. Using tongs, remove bratwurst from sauerkraut and place directly on cooking grate over hot side of grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Return to sauerkraut. Toast buns over hot side of grill, if desired. Serve bratwurst with buns, mustard, and sauerkraut from pan.

Special equipment

Grill, 10-inch square disposable aluminum pan, instant-read thermometer

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
997 Calories
69g Fat
48g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 997
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 69g 88%
Saturated Fat 23g 116%
Cholesterol 167mg 56%
Sodium 3108mg 135%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 18mg 88%
Calcium 220mg 17%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 1100mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)