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Wisconsin Beer Brats

I sure do love a good bratwurst. It’s always been on the top of my list as far as sausages go. The Wisconsin Beer Brat is no exception.

This bratwurst is more about a preparation style rather than how the bratwurst is made so if you don’t feel like making this sausage you can always run to the store and a pack of high quality brats for this recipe..

The goal here is layering flavor. You could always just use beer and call it a day but there’s so much room for more!! Caramelized onions, bay leaves, caraway seed, and beef stock are just a few ingredients we are going to be adding to the beer to really kick things up a notch.

Follow basic sausage preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F)
  3. Any liquid that is added to the mince needs to be ice cold
  4. Mix your very chilled meat and seasonings till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Stuff the mince into sausage casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Cook till the internal temperature reaches 155F

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out! Especially if you added you own spin on it!

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4.56 from 18 votes

Wisconsin Beer Brats

A Delicious way to prepare a delicious sausage
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
How much do you want to make? 1000 grams


For the Beer poaching liquid


  • Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes.  Place in the freezer for an hour or until the temp reaches 32f – 34F.
  • Grind your chilled meat and fat using a 10mm plate then regrind on a 4.5mm plate. Be sure the meat is very chilled during this process
  • Prepare all of your seasonings and clean and rehydrate your casings
  • Add your seasonings, milk powder, and cream to your mince meat and mix till it becomes very tacky.  If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
  • Stuff your mince meat into the casings, link, and prick out any air pockets.

To Cook these bratwurst

  • In a small skillet with a little oil on a medium heat begin to sautee the onions. Add the salt and the brown sugar and stir often. Once your onions begin to take on a beautiful golden color add the lager beer, bay leaves, caraway seed, and beef bouillon. Bring to a gentle simmer
  • Place your bratwurst in this simmering poaching liquid and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • After it's finished cooking place your bratwurst on a BBQ grill or a griddle to finish them off. This is optional but adds a lovely flavor. While this is happening continue to cook the poaching liquid till it reduces into a beautiful glaze.
  • Finally add the brats back to the skillet and coat them with your beer glaze and caramelized onions.
  • Enjoy with a nice hot mustard and some sauerkraut..

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24 thoughts on “Wisconsin Beer Brats”

  1. Hey Eric, Can I make beef brats with this if I just substitute chuck or brisket for the lean pork? What kind of beef fat should I ask for?

  2. Hey Eric, any thoughts on using non fat goat milk powder? I was wondering if it would help bind as well as give a little tang/funk to the sausage

    1. Adding it would be fine. I think it would give you an interesting flavor. I don’t think it will add to the binding properties as it’s probably not “high Heat” processed.

  3. 5 stars
    Made these Brats today since I had not a lot to do during a blizzard. Followed the recipe exactly including the cooking portion. Absolutely fantastic! Great texture, and a phenomenal taste. Love your videos, very professional and extremely informative. Great job Eric, KUDOS!!

  4. Any thoughts on cold smoking these? I live in Wisconsin so I could smoke for a few hours at fridge temps with how cold it will likely be. Thinking I’d add around 14g or so, depending on final weight of meat, of cure #1 if I do around 10lbs. If I wanted to take your base recipe and add dried jalapenos and tiny cheddar cheese cubes (not bothering with high temp cheese), I was thinking about 8% weight for cheese and around .5% for dried jalapenos.

    I made your hot link recipe and cold smoked those for several hours at low temp and then finished them to 147 sous vide. I’d probably do the same with these and then freeze the end product for easy reheating (grilling/poaching).

    1. Cold smoking would be great, especially if you plan on finishing them off in the sous vide!! Very tasty!! You ratios of cheese and peppers seem fine. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!!

      1. By the way, just wanted to add here that I enjoyed your hot link recipe quite a bit. I upped the cayenne a little and it turned out really tasty. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes in the future and at taking the dive into converting a fridge into a curing chamber following your guide this year. Cheers, man

  5. 5 stars
    I made 8-1/2 lbs of this recipe last week exactly as specified according to the adjusted weight. My sausage stuffer always leaves about 1/2# of meat in it to make up patties for cooking afterwards. I poached a few small patties straight-up in some Yuengling Lager (without the additional ingredients, etc.). Very excellent flavor. We froze all of the links that I made into portioned vacuumed sealed bags, and I am looking forward to cooking a small batch of them tomorrow with the specified poaching liquid per recipe.

    1. Continues to be a favorite of mine. I use whole caraway seeds and mustard seeds at 5g per kg. Swapped out the nutmeg for mace because that’s what I had on hand. I’ve also been using your italian sausage recipe and stuffing that into hog casings. Can’t wait for season 3 celebrate sausage.

      1. 😁😁. I’m putting the finishing touches on it right now and it looks amazing. I don’t know if we’ll be able to top this season!! It’s EPIC

      1. Thank you, I just cooked some Italian Chicken with Basil sausages I made from your recipe, absolutely delicious

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Eric, I’m glad Mike asked about the lack of back fat, which is never on sale around here but I can sometimes ask for, but not often get.

    So based on your answer I made these brats using all pork shoulder (a fairly fatty one). Where I live, I can get Johnsonville and Publix- and Kroger-branded brats. All of them are really good.

    This one frankly kicked their butts. Wonderful texture and taste, great juiciness. I might back off a bit on the white pepper next time (use 2/3. But then again I might not, because I can still taste it an it’s a pleasant recall. My wife and kids also agreed this recipe is superior to the commercial stuff. And at $2.35/lb (my cost with on-sale shoulder, casing/lb, and spices) it’s really hard to beat – J-Ville etc. here are at $6 a pound or more.

    I just have to get a better stuffer because my KitchenAid attachment, while fine for grinding, is a total PITA for stuffing. This of course is not a fault with your recipe!

    Thanks again. This is a spot-on recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve made this 3 times now. All really, really tasty and juicy and better than commercially made brats.

    So far I’ve made just a couple of small adjustments. The caraway isn’t a favorite so I’ve subbed in the same amount of fennel seed (grind it with the thyme, coriander seed and marjoram all at the same time in the spice grinder).

    Also, as my fake KA grinder attachment doesn’t have the 10 mm plate, I grind it on the 6.5 mm plate once, spice it up and mix, chill again, then run that back through the KA grinder attachment (without blade) to stuff and get great texture.

    I’m assuming that if I did just the one grind through the 6.5 mm plate then stuffed using a real stuffer (like from The Sausage Maker) then it’d be too coarse, But one grind at 6.5 mm plus running back through the augur again to stuff seems a good substitute for the two-grind method + stuff that you recommend here.

    No matter what, though, I want to stress that the flavors in this recipe are truly outstanding. I’d think the “big guys” could learn a thing or two here.


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