MSU’s Chef Kurt Cooks Brats for Tailgating
Michigan State University Senior Executive Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski gives us the particulars on how to prepare a perfect brat. Patience, turns out, is a part of the equation.
Grilling the Perfect Brat
A burnt brat is a sign of impatience.
The key to grilling a highly flammable food like sausage is to use medium-low heat and grill slowly. High heat is good for searing steak, but searing sausage may cause the brat to burst and the casing to split, releasing all its good juices.
My favorite method is to poach or cook the sausages in beer before grilling. This has the added advantage of adding flavor to your brat. Put a couple of bottles or cans of beer in a 10x10 pan (recyclable aluminum pans work well) and you can place it right on the grill. Add 2 cups of sliced onions, 2 cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard to your broth.
After fully cooking the brats in beer, grill them until brown (about 4 minutes on each side). You should only use tongs to turn the brats, never a fork - you don't want to pierce the casing and lose all the juice!
Top with your favorite toppings such as a nice country mustard, the onions in your poaching liquid, grilled onions and/or peppers or the classic sauerkraut.