Game Day Essentials: The Perfect Bratwurst


Bratwurst Shop

Whether it’s tailgating at Autzen or having friends over for a televised game, no football host’s repertoire is complete without bratwurst!  Here are steps to grill the perfect brats. 

Buy only fresh (uncooked) brats. Johnsonville is the standard, but some imitations may suffice.  Plan on five brats per couple, but if the women expect more than one, you will need more.   

Fire up the grill.  If you must use propane at least have the decency to add some hardwood chips (available in the BBQ aisle). If you don’t produce enough smoke to make the neighbors call 911 or at least the DEQ, you are headed for second-rate brats.  Once the coals are ready, place a cast iron skillet on the grill, toss in a cube of butter — margarine lacks sufficient cholesterol — and a sliced onion or two. Sautee onions until they go soft, then puncture the brats with a fork three times on each side and toss them in.  Pour in enough beer to cover the brats and start drinking the rest, if you haven’t already.  Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, doing your best to avoid a hard boil. 

By now the brats are plump, juicy, and full of beer, so you should be able to relate well to them. Take them out of the skillet and put them directly on the grill. (Helpful Hint: To rebuild fire, just add fuel and hit it with your wife’s/girlfriend’s hair dryer. The fire will take right off and her hair will smell like BBQ the next time she blow-dries – YUM!) Rotate brats frequently until nicely browned on all sides. Put the lid on during this phase to create more smoke. 

Serve on good rolls – not cheap hot dog buns. Garnish with the sautéed onions, real mustard (not the fluorescent yellow variety) and whatever else works for you and your guests. Serve with other good stuff.



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Mike Merrell

Mike Merrell

Mike (Editor-in-Chief) is a 1970 graduate of the University of Oregon where he attended the Honors College and received all-conference honors as a swimmer. After college, Mike ran for the Oregon Track Club and narrowly missed qualifying for the US Olympic Trials in the marathon. He continues his involvement in sports with near-daily swimming or running workouts, occasional masters swim competition (where he has received two Top-10 World rankings), providing volunteer coaching to local triathletes and helping out with Mike lives on 28 acres in the forest near Sandpoint, Idaho, where he has served as a certified public accountant for most of his working career. His current night job is writing novels about Abby Westminster, the only known illegitimate daughter of Britain's finest secret agent who has to bring down arch-villains plotting dastardly deeds. And, yes, Abby is also a DUCK!