Monday, October 11, 2021

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders

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What the heck is an Oostburger? 

Early in August each year, tens of thousands of bratwurst lovers gather in Sheboygan, WI, to celebrate all things brat at the Brat Days food festival. Alexis and I attended one year and soaked in all of the food, live music, the parade, and tons of fun. One of the things we discovered during that trip was the Oostburger. That delicious concoction is a burger topped with a butterflied bratwurst on a Sheboygan hard roll. This past weekend, we made this slider version of the Oostburger.

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders
An Oostburger is a regional burger from Wisconsin that is topped with a split bratwurst. I sliced my cooked bratwurst on the griddle to give them extra flavor from caramelization.

Our Oostburger Slider is beefy, cheesy, and decadent. 

  • It features a pretzel slider bun. Alexis was craving pretzels and bought a variety pack from an online seller, and the package included these fun slider-sized pretzel buns. The buns are sort of close to the texture of a Sheboygan hard roll. 
  • The burger portion is a 4-ounce beef patty that I made square...well, squarish, to fit the rectangular shape of the bun. Instead of smashing balls into a round patty, I pressed them into one big square and divided it into 4 patties.
  • Instead of a whole butterflied brat, I sliced a fire-roasted brat and cooked the coins on the griddle to give them some sizzle and char. 
  • We add slices of Sargento Smokehouse Cheddar on each layer and a dash of stoneground mustard to tie it all together.

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders featuring Johnsonville original bratwurst
Notice the bit of cheese skirt on the bottom edge...that's my favorite part of any griddled cheeseburger!

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders

Published 10/11/2021

This regional burger is named after the village of Oostburg near Sheboygan, WI.  My version is topped with bratwurst, doubled slices of smoked cheddar, and stoneground mustard on a pretzel slider bun.


  • 4 pretzel slider buns (we got ours through Eastern Standard Provisions, [non-compensated link]) 
  • 2 bratwursts
  • 1 pound ground chuck (freshly ground)
  • 1 teaspoon Flavor Anonymous Burger Bomb [non-compensated link]
  • 4 slices Sargento Smokehouse Cheddar 
  • 8 teaspoons Koops stoneground mustard


  1. Heat buns according to directions. I used a Big Green Egg kamado grill set up for indirect heat to do that. 
  2. Cook the bratwurst and slice. Since the grill was already set up for indirect heat, I fire-roasted them to an internal temperature of 165°f instead of grilling them directly. Slice into 1/4" pieces.
  3. Form the ground chuck into 4 burger patties. I pressed mine into a big square and cut it into 4 patties just because the buns were square-ish. 
  4. Preheat a griddle to 450°f. I used a griddle plate from an old gas grill and put it on the Ceramic Grillstore's Adjustable Rig [non-compensated link].
  5. Cook the burgers until a crust forms on the bottom side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip, season the patties, top with a slice of cheese, and cook until a crust forms on the bottom side, 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Griddle cook the sliced brats. Place the sliced brats in piles of 4-5 pieces and cook until the bottoms develop a crust but are not burned. Use a spatula to flip each stack and immediately top each with a slice of cheese. Wait until the cheese is melted, and then use a spatula to move each pile to top a burger patty.
  7. Assemble the burgers. Slather a little mustard on the pretzel bun and top with a burger, and you're done! Enjoy!

Yield: 4 sliders

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Total time: 45 mins.

Tags: sliders, burgers, tailgating, regional

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders featuring Johnsonville original bratwursts
I used Johnsonville brats which weigh a little over 4 ounces each. Some brats weigh in more than that; just go for a bit over 8 ounces total.

Unsalted pretzel slider buns from Eastern Standard Provisions
You can see my grill set up for my Big Green Egg here. I had a spider rig and heat stone on the bottom. I have the griddle in on the bottom rack of an Adjustable Rig (this lets it get preheated) and then a standard BGE grate on top. If using a gas grill, just put the food over a burner that is turned off, so it's not directly over heat. For a kettle grill (Weber), bank your coals to one side and cook over the other.

Cooking bratwurst indirectly on the Big Green Egg kamado grill
I usually grill brats directly or a combo of direct and a brat hot tub. Since the grill was already indirect, I just cooked them this way. It was just being lazy, nothing strategic.

Griddle on a Big Green Egg
Once the brats were done, I pulled out the heat deflector and got the grill up to 450°f quite quickly.

I improvised and pressed my ground chuck between two quarter sheet pans to get square patties to fit the shape of the burger.

Not perfect, but it works.

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders cooking on the Big Green Egg
This griddle plate that I salvaged from another grill is my all-time favorite because it fits perfectly on the support bars of my Adjustable Rig so I can adjust the height up and down as needed. Here my fire was getting a bit low, so I had it on the lower setting. I'd have it in the middle or upper positions if the Kick Ash Basket was still full.

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders on the Big Green Egg
Burgers wrapped in a delicious golden cheese blanket.

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders
Putting a delicious brat on a burger makes sense, and crisping it up first on the griddle is a game-changer!

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders
Crispy, tasty, and cheesy!

Oostburger Pretzel Sliders
Be forewarned, these might be sliders, but they aren't slight. Each has 4 ounces of burger, 2 ounces of bratwurst, and double cheese - they aren't going to leave you hungry!

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