Once you’ve grilled up the perfect brat, it’s time to top off your masterpiece.
Like many things related to bratwurst, you’ll get many different answers when you ask brat fans what the best bratwurst toppings are.
Some insist that you keep it very simple — with just stone ground mustard added to brats and nothing else — while others pile up raw onions, pickles, mustard, and ketchup on their sausages.
Believe it or not, sauerkraut isn’t an automatic addition; for some brat fans it’s actually heresy to add sauerkraut as a bratwurst topping!
The “Do’s” of Bratwurst Toppings
Mustard is a definite “do” for brats and the only debate is whether it has company or not.
Ketchup is one of the most popular bratwurst toppings in Sheboygan but not necessarily in other areas, so consider it perfectly acceptable but not required.
Onions are also widely used but you’ll encounter some debate as to whether they should be grilled first before adding them as a brat topping.
Sheboygan-style brats call for only raw sliced onions, while other brat lovers add onions but prefer to grill them first.
Dill pickle slices are also acceptable on a Sheboygan brat, although relish and sauerkraut — popular toppings outside of Sheboygan — are considered no-gos there.
The “Don’ts” of Bratwurst Toppings
While purists like to debate the finer point of topping etiquette, in the end we’re talking about what tastes good with grilled sausage — which is honestly just about anything!
Thankfully there actually aren’t very many “don’ts” when it comes to bratwurst toppings.
Mayo is pretty universally frowned upon and vegetables in general are eyed warily.
Sauerkraut makes a great side dish but many brat fans insist that it has no place on the bun itself.
If it’s important for you to adhere to proper brat code, then definitely stick to traditional toppings.
If you’re a maverick and could care less, then experiment and feel free to grab anything you have on hand to top off your bratwurst masterpiece.