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Slow Cooker Brats in 5 Easy Steps

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This easy meal is the perfect way to prep a classic summer meal for parties or summer gatherings. And once you try it, you’ll probably make it into the fall and winter as well, because it truly works in all seasons. These juicy brats take just 10 minutes to prep and then you can let the slow cooker take over and do the rest of the work. After a few hours in the slow cooker with a beer sauce bath and they will be perfectly cooked, delicious, and ready to devour! Serve them in buns with plenty of mustard, onions, and sauerkraut for a traditional Midwest meal or with potatoes and sauerkraut for a more traditional German meal.

It’s perfect for parties and summer gatherings as you can cook ahead and keep warm at the same time. Serve right out of the slow cooker for a Midwest party vibe.

Gather Ingredients

Ingredients to make bratwurst in crockpot
Photo credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.

You will need just six simple ingredients for this recipe: white or yellow onion, fresh garlic cloves, uncooked brats (don’t use precooked brats!), a light beer like a lager, grainy mustard or dijon mustard, and whole caraway seeds. Then you’ll need any serving components like brat buns, diced raw white onions, ketchup, mustard, etc. If you prefer not to use beer, try an NA beer or use chicken stock instead. 

Prep Aromatics

Onons in slow cooker for slow cooker beer brats
Photo credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.

Slice onion into half moons and lightly smash garlic with the side of your knife. We’re just using these as flavoring components, though if you want to eat them alongside your brat you certainly can. Place onion and garlic into the bottom of your slow cooker.

Brown Brats

Brats in slow cooker
Photo credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.

Heat brats until browned on both sides and transfer to your slow cooker. They don’t need to be cooked through, just browned. This helps give them a deeper flavor and also helps keep a snappy texture. If you want grilled flavor, simply brown on the grill, then transfer to the slow cooker. 

Make Beer Sauce

Beer and mustard sauce for slow cooker beer brats
Photo credit: Loren Runion for My Everyday Table.

In a small bowl, mix together beer, mustard, and caraway seeds. Pour beer sauce over brats in the slow cooker.  

Cook Brats

Slow cooker brats in buns with mustard and onions

Cover slow cooker and cook brats for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low, until nice and juicy and cooked through. Once they are done cooking, either turn off heat if eating right away or switch to warm so they don’t continue to cook. 

Serve Brats

Bratwurst cooked in crockpot on a plate with chips

Serve brats with brat buns and a variety of toppings like raw onions, relish, sauerkraut, ketchup, mustard, and any other toppings you like. Add a few sides like napa cabbage slaw, potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, potato chips, and fresh fruit and you’ve got a perfect summer meal.

Everyone always loves these brats, and you’ll love how easy they are to make and prep ahead. Enjoy!

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