These easy campfire bratwurst and sauerkraut are cooked with beer in a Dutch oven. Sear the brats in a hot pan just before serving!
At the intersection of campfire meals and Oktoberfest season, things can get pretty tasty!
Not that it has to be October to enjoy a German-inspired meal!
Bratwurst and sauerkraut are traditional favorites for a lot of people. A meal like this feels like a natural fit when you’re gathered around a campfire on a chilly evening. (A variation with peppers and onions is pretty good too!)
And if your dietary preferences seem to rule out this recipe, no worries! We’ll discuss vegan and gluten-free options too.
These German sausages and sauerkraut are full of flavor, and all the more so when you cook them with beer!
Can I Make This Vegan?
Fortunately, vegan bratwurst-style sausages are becoming more available at grocery stores. I like the ones from Beyond Meat.
Can I Make This Gluten-Free?
Sure. You may be able to find gluten-free beer, as well as gluten-free hot dog buns.
Or you can simply skip both the buns and the beer. Just add more water to take the place of the beer when cooking.
What Equipment Will I Need for Campfire Bratwurst?
Have some tongs available, as well as a meat thermometer if you’re starting with uncooked sausages.
How to Make Campfire Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
Add the sauerkraut, beer and water to your Dutch oven.
If you’re into making your own sauerkraut at home, here’s our favorite sauerkraut recipe!
Next, add a layer of bratwursts, nestling them slightly down into the sauerkraut.
Put the lid on, and cook over a campfire grate.
If the brats are pre-cooked, you just need to heat them through.
If they’re uncooked, make sure they reach the correct internal temperature as listed on the packaging.
Before serving, you’ll do a quick sear of the sausages.
Heat the skillet over top of the campfire grate.
Move brats from the Dutch oven into the skillet, and turn them until they’re evenly charred.
Meanwhile, toast a few hot dog buns on the campfire grate. Just keep them out of the line of direct heat.
As the sausages finish searing and the buns finish toasting, remove them from the heat.
Then you can move more sausages over to the skillet until all of them are nicely charred.
Serve the brats and sauerkraut inside the toasted buns, and top with mustard for a tangy, flavorful dinner!
Campfire Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
- Spoon (to serve sauerkraut)
- plates + napkins for serving
- 24 ounce jar sauerkraut
- 1 cup stout beer I use Guinness
- 1 cup water
- 8 bratwurst or brat-style sausages, or more as desired See Recipe Notes
- 8 hot dog buns
- brown spicy mustard
- Place the Dutch oven on a hot campfire grate. Add sauerkraut, beer and water to the oven. Nestle the brats into the sauerkraut and close the lid. For pre-cooked brats: Cook until the brats are heated through. For uncooked brats: Cook until the brats reach the internal temperature indicated on their packaging.It's fine to leave the brats in the sauerkraut for a few minutes until everyone is ready to eat. The timing for this meal is quite flexible. That said, if the sausages begin to burst on the ends, it's time to take them out of the sauerkraut!
- Place a cast-iron skillet on the campfire grate until the skillet is hot. Use tongs to move a few brats from the sauerkraut to the pan. Rotate the brats occasionally until they're evenly charred, and then remove from heat.If your campfire grate is too small to fit both the Dutch oven and the skillet, you can remove the Dutch oven from the heat at this point.While the sausages cook in the pan, place the hot dog buns on the campfire grate over indirect heat. Allow the buns to toast, turning occasionally. Once toasted, remove the buns from the heat and replace with remaining buns.
- Serve the brats and sauerkraut in the hot dog buns and top with mustard.