Why You Should Simmer Your Bratwurst In Beer Before Grilling It

When you think of classic summer fare, an array of fragrant, flavorful foods likely comes to mind: corn on the cob, juicy watermelon, s'mores, ice cream, fresh peaches, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and of course, brats.

Bratwurst is a traditional German sausage and is a perennial favorite at summertime gatherings, especially when it comes to backyard barbecues and gameday parking lot tailgates. Bratwurst first made its way to American sports venues via German immigrants in the 1950s, according to On Milwaukee, when Milwaukee County Stadium, the former home of the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers, began selling brats to hungry baseball fans. Today, savory pork or beef sausage is a staple meat in the culinary world, especially when served with an ice-cold beer.

Speaking of which, next time the weather permits you to fire up the grill and cook up some brats for your pals, be sure to have plenty of your favorite beer handy as well — but not just to drink while flipping the links. Here's why.

Beer gives bratwurst an even better flavor and texture

Bratwurst and beer are a match made in food and beverage heaven, right alongside milk and cookies, wine and cheese, cola and burgers, and other iconic pairings. But if you really want to do things the right way, it's highly recommended that you soak your brats in beer before eating them, too. 

The reason behind this tasty technique is genius. According to Chowhound, parboiling your brats in beer prior to grilling them is a foolproof way to ensure the meat gets thoroughly and evenly cooked. Otherwise, you may end up with a slightly pink center, which isn't ideal for consuming sausages. Additionally, the type of beer you choose can also enhance the flavor of your brats. Whether you opt for a crisp lager, a mild pilsner, a hoppy IPA, a chocolaty stout, or any other beer of your choice, the beer's flavor profile will infuse with the pork or beef and the outer casing for an even more palatable and tender bite.

Beer brats — particularly topped with fried onions and sauerkraut — have even been dubbed the representative dish of Wisconsin, according to a number of Redditors. So, let that beer simmer, listen to the brats sizzle, and pass the mustard!