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Slow Cooker Brats (Crockpot Beer Brats)

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You know what your next game day, fall party, or heck, even a long day at work needs? CROCKPOT BRATS (aka slow cooker brats)! This cozy meal is the perfect way to take a summer meal into the fall and winter and with this crockpot beer brats recipe, it’s just 10 minutes prep and a few hours in the slow cooker. Bratwurst in crockpot couldn’t be easier and I think it’s the best brat recipe ever! Serve them in buns with plenty of mustard and onions for a traditional Midwest meal or with potatoes and sauerkraut for traditional German flavor.

If you love cozy, slow cooker meals (is there anything better on a cool fall day?!) be sure to try my crockpot shredded beef tacos, slow cooker barbacoa burrito bowls, or slow cooker buffalo chicken sandwiches next time.

Have you ever tried slow cooker bratwurst? It’s a great way to make an easy dinner at the end of a busy day! If Wisconsin had a themed meal, cooking beer brats in crock pot would be it. Because in the land of cheese and beer and brats AND easy slow cooker meals…beer brats slow cooker recipes just make sense.

And while I may not live in Wisconsin anymore, it’s definitely a part of the culture I grew up in. My local meat market has no less than 22 varieties of brats. We take it very seriously and from the moment it’s warm enough to step outside to grill (and let’s be real – even when it’s not for some) the aroma of brats are essential to spring/summer/fall nights in the midwest.

Slow cooker brats in buns with mustard and onions

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What You’ll Love about Crockpot Brats

  • Easy recipe
  • Perfect for game day
  • Easy to make ahead
  • Just 10 minutes to prep
  • Makes a big batch of food (for a crowd or leftovers)
Bratwurst cooked in crockpot on a plate with chips

Slow Cooker Brats Ingredients

You’ll need just a few ingredients to make bratwurst in crockpot:

  • Onion – Use a medium onion, I prefer white, but you could also use yellow.
  • Garlic – Use whole garlic cloves as you’re just going to smash them, not mince them.
  • Brats – You’ll want raw, German bratwurst. Johnsonville brats are our favorite, and you can get them at just about any grocery store.
  • Beer – Use your favorite beer, lagers or lighter beers work well.
  • Grainy mustard – You can use dijon mustard if you don’t have grainy
  • Caraway seeds – These add great flavor to slow cooker brat recipes, don’t skip it.
Ingredients to make bratwurst in crockpot

How to Make Crockpot Beer Brats

These slow cooker bratwurst are so simple to make!

  • Prep aromatics. Slice onion slices into half moons and smash garlic. Place both into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Onons in slow cooker for slow cooker beer brats
  • Brown brats. Before we cook the bratwurst in crockpot, we’re going to brown them to help lock in flavor. Heat for 1-2 minutes per side in a frying pan over medium-high heat, just until browned. They don’t need to be cooked through. Place brats in slow cooker.
Brats in slow cooker
  • Make beer sauce. In a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, mix together the beer, mustard, and caraway seeds. Pour over brats.
Beer and mustard sauce for slow cooker beer brats
  • Cook brats. Cook beer brats in a slow cooker for 2 hours on high, or 4 hours on low.

Brats in buns on a tray with mustard

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook brats in a slow cooker? 

Yes! You can absolutely cook brats in a slow cooker. And it’s ridiculously easy, too.

Typically, brats are a warm-weather meal, but this slow cooker brats recipes takes it into fall and winter. Brats, sauerkraut, and potatoes are slow cooked in a mustardy-beer sauce. And though the result may not be the prettiest food around, the warm, comforting meal more than makes up for it.

How long do you cook brats in a crockpot? 

The cooking time for slow cooker brats depends on whether you’re cooking them on high or low heat. These crock pot brats cook in about 6 hours on low heat, but if you wanted them done faster, you could cook them for 4 hours on high. Be sure to make sure they are cooked through!

How to keep brats warm in slow cooker without beer?

If you’d prefer to make your crockpot brat recipes without beer, simply swap the beer for a veggie chicken broth.

None of the beer, but you’ll still get flavor.

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover slow cooker bratwurst in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

Reheat the brats in a hot skillet or in the microwave until heated through.

Can you freeze crockpot beer brats?

Yes, you can freeze the brats after cooking.

Crockpot bratwurst in buns with toppings

How to Serve Crockpot Beer Brats to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

I think brats work as a family dinner, but if your kids aren’t convinced, be sure to serve a few sides (buns, fruit, milk, etc.) or some hot dogs. 😉

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

What to Serve with Beer Brats

Wondering what to make with brats for dinner?

More Easy Crockpot Recipes

If you like crockpot brat recipes like this one, you may also like some of these other crockpot recipes:

Bratwurst cooked in crockpot on a plate with chips

Helpful Tools to Make Bratwurst in Crockpot

  • Cock Pot Slow Cooker – If you’re cooking brats in a crockpot, and you’re in the market for a new slow cooker, I highly recommend this one I use it all the time and am so happy with it! And the price is awesome.
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Slow cooker brats in buns with mustard and onions

Slow Cooker Beer Brats (Crockpot Beer Brats)

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Midwest
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Description

You won’t believe how easy these slow cooker brats are. Crockpot beer brats are made with just 6 ingredients and are flavorful and juicy!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 onion, sliced into half moons
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 10 brats
  • 1 cup beer of choice
  • 2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds

Instructions

  1. Prep ingredients: 
    Slice onions. 
    Smash garlic. 
    Layer onion and garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker.

  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Brown brats for about 1-2 minutes per side, just until browned. (They don’t need to be cooked through!) Nestle brats on top of the onions and garlic.

  3. Combine beer, mustard and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and pour over brats and veggies.

  4. Cook on high for 2 hours, or low for about 4 hours, or until brats are cooked through.



Notes

  • Use a pilsner or IPA beer.
  • Dijon mustard can also be used in place of grainy mustard. 

Keywords: crockpot brats, crockpot beer brats, slow cooker brats, bratwurst in crockpot

Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes

This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting this site! 

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Comments

  1. Sarah

    i LOVE brats! this sounds awesome. my grandpa is from elkhart lake, WI and as you can imagine, summertime at my grandparents’ cottage=brat time. this sounds wonderful.

  2. Carol

    I made this last night and it was wonderful. I did not have time to slow cook it so I used a pressure cooker.

    • Emily

      So glad to hear, Carol! Thank you! It’s still 90 degrees in LA where I live, but the next chance it dips down, I’m making it!

  3. Roshelle Kelley

    This recipe is a favorite! Easy and tasty. Made it for my guy, who grew up on mostly Mexican food and had never had brats and sauerkraut. Was unsure if he’d dig the German flavor but he went CRAZY for it! Now I make it for him on the regular. My mom used to make this dish…this recipe nailed the flavor from childhood I was trying to replicate…and improved it a little, I think. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Roshelle

    This recipe is a favorite! Easy and tasty. Made it for my guy, who grew up on mostly Mexican food and had never had brats and sauerkraut. Was unsure if he’d dig the German flavor but he went CRAZY for it! Now I make it for him on the regular. My mom used to make this dish…this recipe nailed the flavor from childhood I was trying to replicate…and improved it a little, I think. Thanks for sharing!

    • Emily

      Hi Amy, you don’t need to brown them before cooking, but you certainly can! It will add great flavor. This dark one was touching the slow cooker directly so it got a little browned. You could also quickly sear on the grill or a pan if you wanted some grill marks.

    • Emily

      Hi Andy! Yes, the original recipe called for them to be cooked together. Layer the kraut and onions down first, nestle the brats over top, and top with potatoes. Drizzle with sauce and cook, making sure that the brats are cooked through and potatoes are tender.