After developments in a certain Twitter scandal unfolded this week, it seems only fitting (as good culinary journalists, of course) to acknowledge this news with some tips for a good ol' fashioned wiener roast. Was that a low blow? Hmm... perhaps not the choicest of words. But let's face it: With summer at our heels and everyone looking for a good excuse to eat outdoors, Weinergate couldn't have occurred at a better time - besides, it's all in good fun.

In our opinion, anything cooked over an open flame tastes infinitely better, a perfect stage for brats and sausages. Here are just a few recipes to get you started. And while various forms of tubed meat will surely be the focus of this time-honored tradition, there's plenty more to offer up your guests in the way of sides, desserts and of course, icy cold beverages. 

Weinergate may have us snickering like adolescent boys for some time, but if it means getting together with friends and family for an ad hoc barbecue, we're all for it! 

Mustardy Brats with Sauerkraut

Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens' Grill It! book

1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 small)
1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard or Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup drained sauerkraut
6 uncooked bratwurst (about 1¼ pounds)
6 hoagie buns, split and toasted
Yellow mustard or Dijon-style mustard (optional)

In a small skillet cook sweet pepper and onion in hot butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in brown sugar, the 1 teaspoon mustard, and caraway seeds. Add sauerkraut; toss gently to combine.

Fold a 36x18-inch piece of heavy foil in half to make an 18-inch square. Place sauerkraut mixture in the center of foil. Bring up 2 opposite edges of foil; seal with a double fold. Fold the remaining ends to completely enclose sauerkraut mixture, leaving space for steam to build. Use the tines of a fork to pierce the skin of each bratwurst several times.

For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above pan. Place bratwurst and foil packet on the grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 20 to 25 minutes or until bratwurst are no longer pink and juices run clear (160°F), turning bratwurst and foil packet once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirectcooking. Place bratwurst and foil packet on grill rack over the burner that is turned off. Grill as directed.)

Serve bratwurst in toasted buns with sauerkraut mixture and, if desired, additional mustard.

Bacon-Wrapped Dog

Courtesy of Sam Zien’s Just Grill This!

1 onion, cut into thin slices
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 kosher dogs (see BTW)
6 slices bacon
6 hot dog buns (good ones)

Diced jalapeños
Diced tomatoes

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

In a nonstick pan over medium heat, cook the onion and peppers in the oil, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Wrap each dog with a piece of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Grill until the bacon is done -- about 8 minutes. When the bacon is done, so is the dog--remove from the grill.

Lightly toast the buns on the grill. To serve, put some mayo on a bun, add the bacon dog, then add the onions and peppers. Add mustard, jalapeños, and diced tomatoes and serve.

Grilled Bratwurst Hoagies with Creamy Coleslaw

Courtesy of Aaron McCargo, Jr.'s Simply Done Well Done
Serves 4

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
4 bratwurst sausages
4 steak or hoagie rolls, 8 to 10 inches long each, split

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill and oil and the grill grates, or heat a countertop grill.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sugar, sour cream, cider, chives, lemon juice, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the cabbages with the dressing. Use right away or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Grill the bratwurst, turning frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through and browned. Put some coleslaw in each roll and top with a bratwurst. Top with a little more cabbage, if desired, and serve.

Tell us: What is your favorite way to prepare brats? Do you parboil them first, or grill them from the beginning? Be sure to share your favorite recipes, condiments and sides with us below!