Made with beer, onions, and sauerkraut, Instant Pot Brats are one of the easiest and most flavorful ways to enjoy bratwurst.
Bratwursts are typically prepared by par-boiling and then finishing on the grill. This allows the brats to cook fully and achieve a crispy exterior.
You can speed up the process by using your Instant Pot to make brats, and I have to tell you the results are spectacular.
The bratwursts are sauteed so that their skin is crisp and golden and the flavor of the beer, onion, and sauerkraut infuse every morsel of the brats as they pressure cook
This recipe for Instant Pot Brats is fast, easy, and perfect for entertaining!
Notes on Ingredients
- Bratwurst: This recipe works with turkey, chicken, beef, or pork brats. Just be sure to select raw, uncooked brats rather than pre-cooked bratwurst.
- Beer: A mild pale lager or German beer is a great cooking liquid, as it will add flavor to the brats as they cook. If you don't care for beer, use beef or chicken stock.
- Onion: Use a yellow or sweet onion, which will further work to infuse the brats.
- Sauerkraut: While optional, sauerkraut is a classic pairing for bratwurst and helps to cut through the richness of the meat. Use either bagged or canned sauerkraut.
How to Make Brats in the Instant Pot
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute, add in a bit of oil, and allow to heat up for a minute or two.
- While the oil is heating, pierce each bratwurst with a fork 3-4 times on each side. This will allow the brats to cook evenly and not burst open while pressure cooking.
- Once the oil is heated, add in the bratwursts and sear on each side until just browned. This should take just about 2 minutes per side.
- Once the brats are browned, remove them from the inner pot and place them onto a plate.
- Add in a bit more oil and the sliced onion and saute the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened.
- Once the onion is softened, turn the Instant Pot off.
- Add in the beer or stock and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot. This will help to prevent a burn notice from happening and all those browned bits will help to flavor the cooking liquid.
- Nestle the brats back into the inner pot and top with the sauerkraut, if using.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker, being sure the vent knob is sealed. And set to cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes.
- Once cook time has been reached, allow pressure to release naturally on its own for at least 10 minutes--this will help to keep the meat super tender. It does not matter if your unit is on keep warm or not.
You can serve these Brats in a variety of ways, with or without sauerkraut.
- Serve the brats with a scoop of sauerkraut and onions on a hotdog or hoagie bun with spicy brown mustard.
- Serve the brats and sauerkraut alone as a stand-alone meal with fresh fruit or steamed vegetables on the side.
- Prepare a feast guaranteed to ring in "good luck" by pairing the Brats and Sauerkraut with Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas with Greens.
- Serve the brats and sauerkraut over instant pot mashed potatoes or classic mashed potatoes.
FAQs when Making Instant Pot Brats
Absolutely! Simply replace the beer with either chicken or beef stock.
No! You can skip sauteeing the brats. Just keep in mind that the exterior of the brats will be soft, much like a boiled brat. You can finish on the grill or under the broiler to crisp up if desired.
Yes! I accidently tested this recipe without piercing the brats and they split open while pressure cooking. You just want to pierce the casing 3 to 4 times on each side with a fork. This also allows the bratwurst to soak up the delicious flavor from the cooking liquid.
Don't use it! Sauerkraut is a classic pairing for bratwurst, but if you don't care for the sauerkraut, simply omit it from the recipe with no other changes needed.
Yes! If you like your brats served with peppers and onions instead of sauerkraut, saute 1 large sliced onion and 2 large sliced bell peppers (any color), after browning the bratwurst. Deglaze the pan with beer or stock and add the brats back to the pressure cooker. Omit the sauerkraut and cook as the recipe directs.
Yes. Use a low-carb beer or omit the beer and use stock instead.
If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to check the label of your bratwurst over carefully, as it will vary depending on the brand you purchase.
You can cook up to 8 bratwursts in the Instant Pot without having to change the amount of beer or sauerkraut or the cooking time. However, you may need to brown your bratwursts in batches. If you want to prepare more than 8 brats at a time, I would suggest doubling the beer, onions, and sauerkraut. Keep the cooking time the same.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut
- Instant Pot Smoked Sausage and Potatoes
- Instant Pot Shrimp Boil
- Instant Pot Burrito Bowl
If you enjoyed this easy recipe for Instant Pot Bratwurst, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Brats
- 2 teaspoons oil divided
- 4-6 bratwursts
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 12 ounces pale beer
- 15 ounces sauerkraut
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and let heat until it reads HOT, or for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in 1 teaspoon of the oil. Pierce each brat several times with a fork and then place the brats into the oil and sear on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the brats and place them onto a clean plate.
- Add the remaining teaspoon of oil and onion and saute the onion for 2-3 minutes, or until just beginning to soften.
- Turn the pressure cooker off and add in the beer, or stock, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the brats back to the inner pot and spoon the sauerkraut over the brats.
- Set to cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Once the cook time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally on its own for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve the bratwurst with the onions and sauerkraut on buns with mustard or plain as desired.