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Slow Cooker Brats (Crockpot Beer Brats)

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Slow cooker brats are made in just a few simple steps and turn out flavorful and juicy each time! These crock pot beer brats are made with just 6 simple ingredients that you probably already have…what are you waiting for? Serve these crock pot brats in buns for a traditional Midwest meal or with roasted potatoes and cabbage.

This beer brats in slow cooker recipe was originally published in October of 2014 and updated in September of 2020 to update the recipe and include FAQs and step-by-step instructions. Here’s an old picture:

crockpot beer brats after cooking on a plate with potatoes

If Wisconsin had a themed meal, crockpot beer brats would be it. Because in the land of cheese and beer and brats AND easy slow cooker meals…slow cooker brats just make sense.

Summer is for grilling brats and fall and winter is for slow cooker brats. That’s just how it works around these parts! Interestingly enough, I tried this recipe while we were living in Los Angeles, but now that I’m back in the land of brats and winter, slow cooker brats are the perfect way to stay warm whenever a brat craving strikes.

How do you all feel about brats? It’s pretty much 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.

And if you landed here, you must be a fan of brats. Have you ever tried cooking them in the slow cooker?

crockpot beer brats cooked

How to Cook Crockpot Beer Brats:

These slow cooker bratwurst are so simple to make!

  • Prep aromatics. Slice onions into half moons and smash garlic. Place both into the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • 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, just until browned, they don’t need to be cooked through. Place 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.
  • Cook brats. Cook beer brats in a slow cooker for 2 hours on high, or 4 hours on low.
crock pot brats before cooking

Crockpot Brats FAQs

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 slow cooker? 

The cooking time for slow cooker brats depends on whether you’re cooking them on high or low heat. These 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 chicken or veggie broth.

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

brats in slow cooker with beer sauce being poured over brats

How to Store Leftover Crockpot Brats and Onions:

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

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

More Slow Cooker Recipes: 

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

Helpful Tools for Crockpot Beer Brats:

  • Cock Pot Slow Cooker – If 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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crockpot beer brats cooked

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

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!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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: slow cooker brats, slow cooker, brats, midwest

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Comments

  1. AvatarSarah

    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. AvatarCarol

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

    • EmilyEmily

      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. AvatarRoshelle 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. AvatarRoshelle

    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!

    • AvatarEmily

      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.