Whether it’s game day or just a simple crockpot meal for easy weeknight eating, these Slow Cooker Beer Brats are a tasty winner! Slow-cooked for one of the most flavorful, juicy brats you’ve ever had and perfect on top of a bun, sliced over noodles, or eaten all on its own.
Are slow cooker beer brats a family tradition for you? If it is, chances are you live in or are somehow from the Midwest. It’s a Midwest thing to simmer your brats in beer.
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How to Make Slow Cooker Beer Brats with Peppers and Onions
If you aren’t familiar with this tradition you may be wondering, “Why in the world would you boil your brats?” Well, it’s not boiling. There is kind of a science to it all, from choosing the right beer to keeping in the amazing flavor.
The real bottom line is that it’s a great way to keep food warm during the cold fall and winter months. Slow cooker beer brats are perfect for game day, tailgating, or on a busy day that you simply want something yummy, warm, and easy for your large family.
Keep reading for all of our awesome tips on slow cooker beer brats. Your taste buds will appreciate it.
What Is the Best Beer for Brats?
Let’s face it, the reason people use beer for brats is to add to the flavor, so I have a couple of rules of thought on this.
The first is using a lager or pilsner beer like Bud Light, Coors Lite, Miller Lite, or PBR. There are a few reasons these are my go-to beers. These are understated beer that won’t compete with the flavor of the meat, you can find them easily, any time of year, they usually don’t have issues with boiling over, and last, they are cheap.
It’s totally okay to use cheap beer while cooking. After all, you will likely need at least 3 cans to cover a package of 6 brats for slow cooker beer brats.
My second rule for what is the best beer for brats is to follow the season. For example, you might do a lager in spring, a citrus IPA in summer, in the fall, I’ll use an Oktoberfest beer, and in winter a dark stout.
Not only does this bring the flavor of the season for your slow cooker beer brats it also compliments what you are drinking during the season.
Tips for Great Beer Brats
When making slow cooker beer brats, people often wonder if they have to soak the brats first. Yes, and no. You can definitely get away with doing this on the day of for 30-60 minutes before cooking your brats. But, if you want to get a fuller beer flavor, I recommend soaking them overnight in a covered dish in the fridge.
The GREAT thing about cooking your brats in a slow cooker, you’ll get all of that time of the brats and beer together in the crockpot, so if you don’t get a chance to soak, it’s okay. You’ll still get a ton of great flavor.
If you purchase your brats from the meat aisle in the grocery store, you may need to reshape them before cooking. When the brats are stacked on top of each other, they may become a bit flattened.
It’s always best to sear or brown your brats in a pan before making slow cooker beer brats. It not only improves the texture of the brats, but it also helps seal in the juices of the meat. It’s a necessary step for a better slow cooker beer brat.
Along the same lines, whatever you do, do not poke holes in your brats. Puncturing the casing will let out all of those tasty juices from the brats.
Do not grill or pan fry on ultra-high heat. Doing this may make your brat casing burst or split. Once again, you will lose all of the juices that bring you a delicious beer brat.
Slow Cooker Beer Brats Recipe
Making these slow cooker beer brats and onions is SUPER EASY! Follow these simple steps:
- 3 medium bell peppers, assorted colors, thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large can of beer
- ¼ cup stone-ground (or Dijon) mustard
- ¼ cup sweet barbecue sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds (8) Omaha Steaks knockwurst or bratwurst sausages
- 8 hot dog buns or small sandwich rolls (optional)
- Crisp the outer skin of the brats in a cast iron pan or skillet, cooking 3 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you could use a grill or griddle to get those pretty grill marks.
- Place peppers and onions in a slow cooker.
- In a mixing bowl, combine barbecue sauce and mustard. Pour barbecue sauce mixture over onions and peppers and mix well.
- Add brats to slow cooker. Pour beer over brats.
- Cook 6 to 7 hours on low.
- Serve in buns, if desired, and top with fresh black pepper to taste.
Serve and Enjoy Your Delicious Slow Cooker Beer Brats
I hope you enjoy these slow cooker beer brats. It’s become a winter family favorite for us. And with our busy life, I rely on easy crockpot recipes for large families to take the pressure off.
It’s okay to feel too busy to cook a gourmet meal, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste. I can feel pretty good about serving these beer brats up, they are way better than takeout, and hubby loves them.