How To Make Perfectly Seared Bratwurst EVERY Time!

I just cannot get enough of making anything and everything lately in my cast iron skillet, which I sadly had left sitting under the cupboard collecting dust for far too long. I knew when we were planning our fancy “House-iversary” meal that I talked about in my other article this week, that I would be making hot dogs and brats (aka bratwurst) and that making them in my cast iron pan was the way to go!

And that was definitely the very best choice I could have made because these brats were amazing! They had tremendous flavor on the outside from being good and seared, while they were juicy and tender on the inside. 

If you don’t have a grill and want to cook bratwurst this summer, here are a few tips that I learned from Victor of to making the brats taste absolutely amazing by pan-frying them.

1. Use real butter. You can absolutely cook brats in olive or another type of vegetable oil, but you get the best flavor from regular ol’ butter. Melt a few tablespoons in your pan and you are ready to go.

2. Preheat your pan. In order to get the best sear on your brats, you want to make sure your brats are hitting a hot pan. You want to cook them high at first to get the ever-important and flavorful sear. Cook the brats for about 3 minutes per side, until you have a lovely deep golden brown color, and then it is time to lower the heat and cover them.

3. Cover and cook until done. When the searing is done, flip them one more time, turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. Covering the pan after they are seared ensures they retain the moisture as they cook, and it also cooks faster with the steam hitting the lid and bouncing back to cook the brats through. Cook for 5 minutes, flip the brats one more time and cover and cook one more time until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. 

4. Feel free to add onions and beer. A lot of people really like the flavor of brats with malty beer and onions, so after you have seared your brats you can cook them with a dark, malty beer of choice with a sliced onion until your sauce has thickened a bit and the onion has cooked down. If you leave the lid off, you can create a reduction with the beer and end up with a lovely dipping sauce. 

I did not make mine with the beer and onions, I made them the simple way just pan-frying in butter in my cast iron pan and they were absolutely perfect. I will never want them any other way! Just 10-12 minutes and you have perfectly seared, yet still juicy, brats. Here is Victor’s five-star recipe for you. This includes the steps for the beer and onion, but if you want the regular version, just follow the steps here in this article. Alternatively, you can make a non-alcoholic version with the sauce using beef broth. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Pan-Fried Beer and Onion Bratwurst

A step by step on how to cook brats on the stove. A simple yet very effective recipe that results in super flavorful and juicy bratwurst. Author: Victor Recipe Type: American, German

Prep time:
Cook time:
Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 249

4 bratwurst sausages
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use olive oil, vegetable or corn oil)
1 sweet onion (cut in halves or quarters and sliced)
1 cup belgian ale (or any dark, malty beer of your choice)

Preheat a cast iron pan over a medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt and start to turn light brown. The temperature should be about 325-350F at this point.

Sear bratwurst for about 3 minutes per side, until it achieves deep golden brown color.

Add the onions and the beer, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat and continue cooking, flipping the sausages and stirring the onions, until the internal temperature of the sausages reaches 160F. Cook uncovered to let the liquid reduce and intensify its flavor.

Remove bratwurst from heat and serve hot, on a bun, or with you favorite side dish.


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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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