Sweet Chili Brats: Forget Everything You Thought You Knew About Brats

Sounds weird, huh? Well it is. But I’m pretty sure the good Lord smiled on the day of its creation. This magical combination came about through a happenstance comment made by a good friend. *Cue chime music indicative of reminiscence*

I was but a student traveling afar to the distant land of west river, South Dakota (that’s another post entirely). I was given the opportunity to work under Dr. Sheila Lindsay at the Custer State Park annual Buffalo Roundup (look it up, and then go there) The only thing that made this trip better was that I was going to be staying with some of my dear friends, the Beldins.

I had grabbed groceries for the week, which included foods that were simple to make a didn’t require many ingredients. I figured brats would be perfect for dinner in the evenings: brats and buns. And, as every good midwesterner knows, whoever you’re staying with will have ketchup in their fridge and a spare bottle in the pantry, just in case.

As I sat down with my brat with full intentions of stuffing my face, miss Kimberlee, in true midwest hospitality, started to offer other options in the fridge. Then she said it; “Have you ever tried Mae Ploy?” I stopped. Of course I have had this glorious sweet chili condiment! It is the most amazing sauce on chicken wings! It makes eggs go from ‘meh’ to ‘MAZING!’ Don’t even get me started on the sauces that have been concocted from this sweet and tangy delight! For those of you not familiar with this sweet nectar, I believe it’s a combination of children’s laughter and puppy kisses. But to suggest I put it on a perfectly good brat? I think there’s rules about that sort of thing! But I wasn’t about to turn down such generous hospitality, so I rummaged through my groceries and whipped some things together…. Shock. Awe. Angel chorus! Hallelujah, I’ve seen the light, and it is delicious!

Ingredients for Sweet Chili Brats

This is a fairly simple recipe, which makes it that much better! You’ll need hot dog buns, brats, mayonnaise, cheese, sweet chili sauce and a little bit of butter.

Another important step is to take the grill outside, as it is rather unuseful in the garage.

The first step is to take the grill outside, as it is rather useless in the garage.

Heat up your grill to medium high. This may need to be adjusted depending on what type of brats you decide to use. You’ll also need to turn on the stove top. Find yourself a large skillet of some sort and heat that puppy up over medium high heat. If you are starting with fresh brats instead of the pre-cooked variety, you’ll want to get some water boiling and plop those in to cook for a couple minutes before they hit the grill.

Carolyn with a bun

!!THIS IS IMPORTANT!! If you get nothing else out of this post; if you say, “eww! That sounds gross and I won’t adulterate my hard-earned brats like that!” Please at least read this: the most important component to an enjoyable brat experience is to toast the bun! This is KEY! I promise your lives will be changed forever! To do this, apply a very thin layer of butter to both sides of the bun opening…

Buns in frying pan

and place them face down in your pre-heated pan.

Brats on grill

Now quick! Go throw those brats on the grill! I love the pre-cooked variety. They literally only take a couple minutes on the grill to heat them through. There’s no rules as to what type of brat you use and we have tried several versions, all of which tasted great! However, in my opinion, the Johnsonville Smoked Brats have been the best we’ve had.

Putting mayo on buns

Look at that beautiful, golden-brown bun *tear* Disclaimer: buns tend to not be completely flat and you might need to check them as they’re toasting to see where it’s not getting browned. Then you can apply a little bit of pressure where there needs to be a little more contact with the pan. Once they’re toasted, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of the bun. We’re talking about a teaspoon, max.

Buns with cheese

Apply cheese! Again, feel free to mix it up when it comes to the cheese. This happens to be cheese crumbles: 3 cheese variety. I’m a huge fan of sharp cheddar or colby jack and have used, shredded, sliced and block varieties. Use as much or as little as you please.

Plated brats

Put the hot brat on the bun and top it with the sweet chili sauce. There are no rules here either! I end up putting about 2 tablespoons of this on my brat! Just come to terms with the fact that, even if you only put a little bit on, you are going to get this sauce all over everything and it IS going to be sticky… For the record, there are other brands of sweet chili sauce available that taste just as good, but this is the common one we can find around here.

More plated brats

Viola! Sweet chili brat! Simple, sweet, tangy, life-changing! And $10 says that once you try it on your brats, it’s bound to find it’s way into many of your other recipes and most likely your heart.

Sweet Chili Brats (3 brats)

  • 3 brats (variety of your choosing)
  • 3 hot dog buns
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 oz cheese such as cheddar or colby jack
  • 3-9 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Directions:

Preheat grill to medium high heat and large skillet on the stove top over medium high heat. If using fresh style brats, cook in boiling water for 5 minutes prior to cooking on the grill. Place the brats on the grill. Place a thin layer of butter on both sides of the inside of the bun and place them butter-side down in the preheated skillet. Lift the buns to make sure they are browning evenly and not burning.  Flip the brats on the grill while buns are toasting. When they are cooked through, remove the brats from the grill. Remove the toasted buns from the skillet. Apply a thin layer of mayonnaise  to one side of the bun and place cheese on top of it. Place the brat in the bun and pour sweet chili sauce over it. Shove in face and prepare to get messy.

-Carolyn

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