Alternative for Cooking Bratwurst

A few months back there was a thread about cooking brats (seasoned sausage, not small unruly children just to get that joke out of the way). The main focus was on how to prepare them for grilling. Btw, to those that said in the last thread that you should pierce the brats, no, that’s wrong. I’m from a state that knows something about brats (and cheese). Johnsonville has even addressed the error of piercing in a recent ad and on their web site.

I’m supposed to bring brats to a Labor Day gathering. I usually grill brats, but I’m wanting to try something a little different. My girlfriend doesn’t like the toughness of the skin. I’m thinking about slow cooking them in a crock pot with beer and kraut. Does anyone have experience with this? I’m sure there will be a lot of juice from the fat in the brats. I’m wondering if I should precook in the beer for a few hours and dump the juice from the fat before adding the kraut? I’m sure some of you would think that’s sacrilege, but I’ll add more beer in to make up for it. I might touch these to a grill right before serving. Hmmm… maybe some onions in the crock pot too?

I’m sure in the end I’ll wing it somehow, but if any of you have experience with slow cooking brats, please share it!

Labor Day weekend is a few hours away (at least for those of us in the US) and I can’t get one comment on brats? Sigh! I’m such failure! :smack:

Boiling the raw brats in water, even slow cooking them in beer, will dry them out. You don’t want to do that… just don’t.

If the skin is too tough, it’s not the cooking method. It’s the brat. Instead of Johnsonville brats (IMO of mediocre quality and owing most of their popularity to marketing) go to a German deli or butcher and get handmade brats.

(Here in LA, I recommend Schreiner’s in Montrose… awesome brats and kielbasa.)

Another thing you can try is after grilling and then steeping in beer, slice thru the skin in bite size divisions so that the diner doesn’t have to do the work of piercing the casing with her teeth.

Another tip: in your pot with beer and sliced onion, stir in just a tablespoon of good mustard.

Then why exactly do brats slow cooked in beer grow ~50% in size?

Perhaps their brats are mediocre, but their hot Italian is pretty damn good. And I’ve never seen their marketing.