Grilled Cider Brats

I have never been that big a fan of bratwurst.  The couple of times my hubby has cooked them, they tasted like giant breakfast sausages on buns.  I’m not opposed to breakfast sausage, but I don’t want it for dinner.  I’m more of a keilbasa kind of girl.  But last grocery trip he begged, so I bought a package of Johnsonville Beer and Brats.  This time, I didn’t make the mistake of letting him cook them.  I did some research and found that virtually every brat recipe I found called for simmering them in beer and onions before tossing them on the grill.  Well there was mistake number one.  Hubby hates onions and neglects to even use them for flavoring when they should be used.  We didn’t have any beer on hand, and I wanted hard cider, so hubby sugggested that we try simmering them in that.  The results were amazing.  (Sorry, no pic again.  They disappeared too fast).


  • 1 package of bratwurst sausages
  • enough buns for all the sausages
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 12 oz. hard cider (I used Hornsby Crisp Apple–I’d be interested to know if just apple juice would work for this recipe)


  1. Drizzle the olive oil in a skillet and turn heat to medium high.
  2. Slice your onions.  If you plan to put them on your brats, you might want to make some effort to keep the rings somewhat uniform, but otherwise, just a rough chop.  Toss them into the skillet when the oil is hot and quickly sautée until caramelized.
  3. Add in the brats and the cider.  Bring to a bubble and reduce heat.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat your grill.
  6. Once the brats have been simmered in their cider and onion bath for 20 minutes, remove them to the grill and cook at low flame for about 3-4 minutes per side to crisp up the casings.
  7. Serve on buns with desired toppings (I like mine plain.  Hubby likes mayo, mustard, ketchup, and cheese.)

Printable version.

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