Hosting a Graduation BBQ? Break Out The Brat Tub!

Are you hosting a graduation BBQ this month? If so, it’s time to break out a delicious fan favorite called the “Brat Tub.” Your guests will enjoy the grilled goodness of a brat along with some scrumptious side dishes. 

The Brat Tub!

Hosting a graduation BBQ can be a challenge for the cook. You want your menu to be awesome, but you also do not want to spend the majority of the party grilling. As the host, you need to create a great grilled meal and mingle while celebrating the recent graduate. One way to do this is by making your own Brat Tub. This involves grilling brats in the easiest way possible so you can relax and enjoy the party.

Brat Tub Necessities

  • 3 Large Sturdy Foil Pans
  • 24-36 Brats (Johnsonville, of course)
  • 9-10 Large Sweet Onions
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 Stick of Butter
  • 12 Pack Of Your Favorite Beer
  • 24-36 Brat Rolls
  • Regular Mustard and Spicy Mustard
  • 1 Jar of sauerkraut (optional)
  • Granulated Garlic, Salt, Pepper (optional)
  • Sternos, 1 Wire Sterno Rack or Chafing Dish

Brat Prep

The night before the party, take your brats out and place them in one of the sturdy foil pans. I recommend poking several holes in the brats with a sharp fork before placing them in the pan. This is an ongoing debate among brat enthusiasts. One school of thought is that you don’t want the holes because that lets out the juice. My opinion is that the holes let out the juice and allow them to mingle with the beer and onions. The brats then absorb all of that goodness while simmering in the brat tub. You can taste the difference, and trust me, you achieve a better flavor in the end by poking the holes in the brats.  

Next, chop up three of the onions into large chunks. Add them to the pan along with as many of your beers needed until the brats are covered. You have the option to boil the brats on your stove using two burners or outside on your grill. This is entirely dependent on whether you want your house smelling like brats or not. 

Brat Time

If you choose to grill with charcoal, take about 25 briquets and place them in the center of your grill. Once they reach that “perfect gray”, spread them out from side to side across the grill. Place the pan on the grill and let the fun begin.

Whether you are on your grill or using your stove, rotate the brats every 5-10 minutes as they simmer. Do this for 60-90 minutes until the brats are cooked through. The whole point in doing this the night before is to eliminate this step the day of the BBQ. Take the pan off of the stove or grill and allow it to cool. Once the brats are cooled, remove them and place them in zip-loc bags. Reserve the brat tub juice and onions in some large plastic containers. 

Party Time

The day of the party is here and you are ready. Take the remaining onions and cut them up into big chunks. Place the onions in a large skillet and drizzle olive oil onto them. You can add the granulated garlic, salt & pepper at this point if you choose. Sauté the onions until they are almost caramelized. Add in the 1/2 stick of butter and continue to simmer the onions until they are done. The onions will be added to the Brat Tub later on. 

Grill Time

The brats you prepared are already cooked and only need the char from grilling to be finished. You can do this in the morning before your guests arrive if you choose, or wait until later. Either way, grill the brats to get the necessary char and set them aside. It’s time to get the Brat Tub ready. If you’re serving in the house, you will need the stove to keep the brats warm in the Brat Tub. If serving outside, you will need two sternos and a wire sterno rack or chafing dish. 

Brat Tub Assembly

Take one of the large foil pans and place about a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Place the other foil pan on top and add in the caramelized onions. Next add in your grilled brats and some of the reserved brat juice leftover from the night before. Be sure to almost cover the brats with the yummy beer/onion liquid. Seal the pan with foil and light the sternos. Allow the brats to simmer in the brat tub up to 2 hours before serving, stirring them up every 15 minutes. Your guests will be amazed at the incredible flavor the brats acquire from the Brat Tub. 

Opening Up The Brat Tub

Remove the foil from the Brat Tub and serve them with the brat rolls, mustards, sauerkraut, and side dishes such as grilled potato salad and baked beans. Your guests will definitely enjoy the delicious brats you serve them and you will enjoy prepping early and spending more time hosting than grilling!

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