Skip to Content

How to Cook Bratwurst in the Oven {without a Grill}

Learn how to cook bratwurst in the oven. Sear the brats on the stove and braise them with beer, onions, and sauerkraut in the oven. Beer-braised brats are a quick and easy way to tender, juicy sausages without using a grill. This recipe can be prepared with or without beer. See the recipe card and details below for ways to customize this recipe.

3 bratwursts in bun with sauerkraut and onions

This easy beer brats recipe is going to take the top spot on your summer recipes! Besides grilling, beer braised bratwursts is the next best thing. It’s an easy dinner idea that’s a great option for for feeding a crowd.  

Plus, it’s not always convenient to fire up the grill, so you always need these easy recipes so you can enjoy your favorite grilling recipes right from the oven.

Looking for another German-inspired recipe? Try this hearty goulash recipe.

What are bratwursts?

Bratwurst is a fresh link sausage that originated in Germany. It’s usually made with pork, veal, and sometimes beef. There are many different ways to prepare bratwursts, like grilling, pan searing, and baking on a sheet pan.

ingredients for beer brats, pack of brats with bottled beer

Traditionally, it’s seasoned with nutmeg, ginger, caraway and sage, but there have been many other iterations from the traditional flavor, like cheddar, beer, maple, asiago, and spicy to name a few.

These types of sausages are different from hot dogs, kielbasa, and Italian sausage.

Beer Braised Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

If you’re here, it’s likely that you are trying to figure out how to cook brats without a grill. Whether your grill is out of commission or the weather isn’t cooperating, this simple method will give you delicious savory bratwursts in the oven every time!

3 bratwursts in bun with sauerkraut and onions

Surprisingly enough, braising can still give you that beautifully charred appearance and flavor from the grill without all the grilling hassle. Braising is the method of lightly pan-frying or searing meat or vegetables, then stewing them slowly in a covered pot in the oven. For this recipe, the braising liquid is beer. 

Beer brats are also a one pot meal from start to finish! This makes it super easy to prepare this dish for more people and fast!

You don’t need to be an expert cook or a lot of side dishes to make this a meal. Serve this stuffed inside a german hoagie roll with the sauerkraut and onions from the pan. Add a little mustard and you are set!

What is the best beer to cook brats in?

The real ticket to tender, flavorful sausages is braising in beer. 

When choosing a beer for braising, boiling, or soaking overnight, choose a bottle of your favorite beer that you enjoy and is easy to drink. I do recommend steering clear of porters, stouts, sweet beers, and heavily flavored beers. They could impact the flavors of the final dish.

The classic go-to beer for cooking brats is a lager or pilsner style beer. This includes Miller Light, Coors, Budlight, PBR and similar beers. You can also go a bit heavier with a Marzen, Oktoberfest, or Amber.

Basically, the beer should be something you enjoy that’s affordable. 

Why should you cook beer in brats? Beer adds a lot of extra flavor to the bratwursts and keeps them plump and juicy throughout the cooking time. You can also boil the brats or soak them overnight in addition to braising them with the beer.

Don’t worry, though. All of the alcohol burns off during cooking. There will likely be a heavy aroma present, but there will be zero alcohol content after cooking.

Do you poke holes in beer brats? I personally do not do this. There are some that say this is the only way the beer can permeate and tenderize the meat. Others say the holes let all the juices leak from the sausage. I tend to agree with the latter.

What kind of buns are best for brats?

Bratwursts are much larger than regular hot dogs, so the bun selection is critical. The best brat buns are hearty, stealthy rolls that can stand-up against all of those delicious juices, toppings, and condiments.

Consider these brat-approved buns:

  • Sausage Buns
  • Brat and Sausage Rolls
  • Hoagie Rolls
  • Hearty Top-sliced Buns
  • German Roll
3 bratwursts in bun with sauerkraut and onions

You can find these baked fresh from the bakery at your local grocery store. Also, try these in brioche, pretzel, sourdough, and other flavors.

How to Cook Beer Brats without a Grill 

There are just a few simple steps to making delicious beer bratwursts!

Here are a few kitchen tools I recommend to make this recipe easier:

  • Disposable Aluminum Pan: Cook more sausages faster! Sear the sausages and onions in a skillet, then transfer to a large disposable pan for easy clean-up.
  • Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, use an oven-proof skillet or shallow pot. A 9 x 13 inch casserole dish will also work as an alternative. See the recipe below for instructions.
  • Digital Meat Thermometer: Use this to ensure the sausages reach the safe internal temperature.

Step 1: Pan sear the bratwurst sausages.

Before you begin, start by preheating the oven to 400°F. 

Add oil to a large cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet, and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully add the bratwursts to the pan and sear for a couple of minutes on each side until nicely browned on all sides.

Then, remove the sausages to a plate and set aside. 

Step 2: Caramelize the onions.

To the same skillet, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Add extra oil if needed.

caramelizing onions in skillet

Continue cooking, stirring the onions frequently until they are softened and golden brown. This should take about 5 minutes in total.

If you’re pan is getting too hot and the onions are browning too quickly, reduce the heat slightly and stir more frequently.

Step 3: Braise the brats in beer.

Now, add the brats back to the skillet and arrange on top on the onions. Pour the beer over the sausages and onions. Remember, you don’t need anything fancy for the beer. A simple light lager is sufficient.

Next, add the sauerkraut and spread evenly over the brats and onions. Turn the stove off.

Step 4: Bake the sausages.

Cover the oven-proof skillet with the lid or aluminum foil. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook at 400F for 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 160°F using a meat thermometer.

If you do not have an oven proof skillet, transfer the contents of the pan to a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

After 20 minutes, check to see if the dish is too dry. If so, add additional beer as needed.

stirring skillet of bratwurst, sauerkraut and onions

Remove the pan from the oven. Rotate the bratwursts in the sauerkraut and onion mixture to incorporate all of the flavors before serving. All the sausages to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. They will be hot!

While the beer brats rest, toast the buns under the broiler for about a minute or two until they are browned to your liking. Be careful not to leave the broiler unattended!

Add the brats, onions, and sauerkraut to a toasted bun. Serve with whole grain mustard, relish, or your favorite toppings.

bratwurst in bun with sauerkraut and onions

Reheating and Storing Leftover Beer Brats

  • Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat bratwursts with toppings in the microwave for a minute at a time until warmed through. Rotate every minute or so for even warming.
  • Freezing: Freeze cooked and uncooked bratwurst sausages without the buns and toppings for up to 3 months. Store wrapped in plastic wrap and inside a freezer bag for best results.

How long to cook brats in the oven at 400?

Brats should cook for up to 40 minutes in a 400°F oven.

What is traditionally served with bratwurst?

Bratwurst is served with sauerkraut, onions, and sometimes bell peppers. Make this a meal or serve with a variety of side dishes like pasta salad, potato pancakes, cucumber salad, german potato salad, etc.

What condiments go with brats?

Try these ideas for bratwurst toppings: onions, bell peppers, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, relish, pickled red onions, caramelized onions and mushrooms, etc.

Braising bratwursts in beer is a great method to preparing an easy meal for a busy weeknight or a summertime gathering.

Yield: 7

Beer Brats in the Oven - No Grill!

prepared beer braised bratwursts with sauerkraut and onions

Learn how to cook bratwurst in the oven. Sear the brats on the stove and braise them with beer, onions, and sauerkraut in the oven. Beer-braised brats are a quick and easy way to tender, juicy sausages without using a grill. This recipe can be prepared with or without beer.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 bratwursts, unflavored and uncooked
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle lager beer (see note)
  • Salt and pepper

Serving Options:

  • Hoagie rolls or buns
  • Coarse grain mustard
  • Warm sauerkraut

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400°F. 
  2. Add oil to a large cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet, and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully add the bratwursts to the pan and sear 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely browned.
  3. Transfer the sausages to a plate and set aside. 
  4. To the same skillet, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Add extra oil if needed.
  5. Continue cooking, stirring the onions frequently until they are softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed.
  6. Return the bratwursts back to the pan with the onions. Pour in the beer. Add sauerkraut in a single layer over the top of the sausages and onions. Turn the stove off.
  7. Cover the skillet with the lid or aluminum foil. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 160°F using a meat thermometer.
  8. Check the mixture after 20 minutes of cooking. Add about ¼ cup of beer if additional liquid is needed.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven. Rotate the bratwursts in the sauerkraut and onion mixture to incorporate all of the flavors before serving. Allow sausages to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. They will be hot!
  10. While the beer brats rest, toast the buns under the broiler until they are browned to your liking. Be careful not to leave the broiler unattended!
  11. Add the brats, onions, and sauerkraut to a toasted bun. Serve with whole grain mustard, relish, or your favorite toppings.

Notes

If you do not have an oven proof skillet, transfer the contents of the pan to a greased 9 x 13 inch casserole dish before baking.

Avoid any brats already flavored with beer, as the finished dish will taste too bitter. Also be sure to purchase fresh (not cooked) sausages.

Lager is a family of beers that includes bright lagers, amber lagers, dark lagers, Oktoberfests, and pilsners. Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite are all good options. You will only need 12 ounces. No need to use anything fancy!

Reheating / Storing / Leftovers Info:

  • Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat bratwursts with toppings in the microwave for a minute at a time until warmed through. Rotate every minute or so for even warming.
  • Freezing: Freeze cooked and uncooked bratwurst sausages without the buns and toppings for up to 3 months. Store wrapped in plastic wrap and inside a freezer bag for best results.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

7

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 1120mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 16g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate generated by a calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Find Southern Cravings on Instagram or Pinterest and share your results.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe