This post has been sponsored by Kingsford®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hello, grilling season! Now that the weather is more reliably warm in Chicago, I’m heading outside to cook more and more.
Our new condo has a deck right off the kitchen/living room, which makes it super easy to grill. Our last condo had a deck off the master bedroom, which was not so helpful when I had to carry meat back and forth. So needless to say, I’m elated for easier access from the kitchen to the grill.
Isn’t the smell of a charcoal grill the BEST? I love walking through the city on a summer weekend and getting hit with the aromas of charcoal grills throughout the neighborhood.
It’s a smell that I’ve loved since childhood, when my mom would light the grill on a summer evening. She uses Kingsford® Original Charcoal, and I’m following her lead.
I found Kingsford Charcoal at my local Walmart in the home and garden section. It comes in both smaller bags (a little over 7 lbs) and larger bags. I really appreciate the smaller bags for the limited storage that comes with city living!
Kingsford has a partnership with Major League Baseball and has created a unique cookbook representing famous MLB food-fare, with charcoal grilling recipes for all 30 teams.
They graciously allowed me to share one of the recipes from the cookbook: Beer and Cheese Sauced Brats. The recipe was created for the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago’s neighbor to the north.
I spent four years living in Wisconsin for college and attended a few Brewers games (their tailgating is SO fun!). I was pumped to make some beer brats!
Here’s what I grabbed from Walmart for the recipe: Kingsford Charcoal, butter, flour, half & half, spicy brown mustard, beer, grated sharp cheddar, cornstarch, bratwursts, onions, and hero rolls.
For this recipe, everything is cooked on the grill—even the cheese sauce. Hooray for minimal kitchen clean-up!
I started by creating a two-zone fire (more info on that here) by heaping Kingsford Charcoal on one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty. The direct and indirect heat zones create better temperature control when cooking.
I used lighter fluid to light the coals, and contrary to some opinions, I don’t think you can taste it in the food. It burns off within minutes of lighting the grill. Kingsford has a great how-to on how to light a charcoal grill.
Now, back to these Beer and Cheese Sauced Brats! I started with the beer and cheese sauce, which is made in a saucepan. Almost any metal pan can be used on the grill (just make sure it’s all metal and doesn’t have a silicone or plastic handle).
I created a roux with flour and butter, added half & half and beer, and then whisked in the cheese and spicy brown mustard. The sauce is seriously delicious—I definitely dipped some pretzels into the sauce while the brats were cooking! 🙂
Next, the bratwursts get gently cooked in a beer bath over indirect heat. I used a foil pan for this to make clean-up even easier. While the brats are cooking in the beer, I grilled onion slices over direct heat.
Then, the brats and onions switch places: the brats go directly on the grill and the onions get a bath in the beer. Both the onions and the brats get a smoky, wood-fired flavor thanks to the Kingsford Charcoal.
I also grilled the buns briefly, cut side down. Grill marks = more flavor!
Finally, I got to work assembling these delicious Beer and Cheese Sauced Brats. The recipe calls for slicing the brats before layering on the onions and cheese sauce. I had never tried slicing brats for a sandwich, but it was a great idea! You get more delicious brat taste with every single bite.
And can we talk about that cheese sauce? It oozes out of the sandwich and pairs perfectly with the grilled brats and onions.
I often grill brats in the summer, and this recipe for Beer & Cheese Sauced Brats is a great way to elevate the meal and impress your family and/or guests. It would be great for a baseball watching party—one of those windows-open, bare-feet, have-a-beverage-with-your-friends kind of evenings.
Beer and Cheese Sauced Brats
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 sandwiches 1x
- Category: Entrée
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: American
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup half and half, warmed
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
12 ounces (1½ cups) room temperature beer, divided
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to taste
6 bratwurst sausages
1 cup beer
2 onions, sliced ½ inch thick
vegetable oil, as needed
6 hero or hard rolls, each about 6 inches long, split
Build a two-zone fire using Kingsford® Original Charcoal for indirect grilling by situating heated coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty. Preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need both sides of the grill and both levels of heat to properly cook your brats.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over the void side of the grill. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add in the half and half and cook until thickened a bit, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Once hot and thickened, add the mustard and slowly whisk in 4 ounces (1/2 cup) beer. Continue to cook until very hot. Lower the heat and toss the cheese in a bowl with the cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch/cheese to the sauce, whisking well to incorporate after each addition until melted. Remove from heat; season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne or hot sauce to taste; and set the sauce aside.
Place the remaining beer and the brats in an oven-proof pan, and place the pan on the grill. Boil brats in the beer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the brats turn white, turning them a few times. Use a pair of long-handled tongs to move and rotate your brats, being careful not to pierce or break the skin throughout the cooking process. Meanwhile, brush the onion slices with oil and grill them—turning a few times until they’re softened and charred. Move the pan over to the cool side and remove the sausages, placing them directly over the coals. Watch your brats closely and rotate to avoid burning. You want even grill marks on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Place the grilled onions in the beer bath pan when they are done.
Prepare the rolls by brushing cut sides with oil and grill (cut sides down) until the bread is lightly toasted. Cut the rested sausages diagonally into 3/4 inch thick slices and divide among the toasted rolls. Top with the grilled onions and pour the beer-cheese sauce over. Serve, with any additional beer-cheese sauce on the side.
Keywords: Beer brats, grilling