Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is delicious, juicy, and meltingly tender! The quick dry rub adds maximum flavor, while the sweet and spicy homemade barbecue sauce brings it all together. Just add it to your crock pot for the ultimate make-ahead dinner and party meal idea!

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is delicious, juicy, and meltingly tender! The quick dry rub adds maximum flavor, while the sweet and spicy homemade barbecue sauce brings it all together. Just add it to your crock pot for the ultimate make-ahead dinner and party meal idea!

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Need to make a different amount of this recipe? Click and slide the number next to ‘servings’ on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

Can I cook brisket in a slow cooker?

Yes you can! Cook on HIGH for 8 to 10 hours. It sounds like a long time, but that's how long it takes to melt the fat. (Melted fat = delicious!)

What goes well with beef brisket?

With hot barbecued meats, I love cold, crunchy side dishes such as Apple coleslaw and Asian Broccoli Slaw. These are fantastic on the side or directly on the sandwich!

I also love Baked Beans, Calico Beans, and Three Bean Salad.

Round out your Brisket menu with other classic side dishes such as Macaroni and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Green Beans.

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is delicious, juicy, and meltingly tender! The quick dry rub adds maximum flavor, while the sweet and spicy homemade barbecue sauce brings it all together. Just add it to your crock pot for the ultimate make-ahead dinner and party meal idea!

How long do you cook brisket in the oven?

If you prefer to bake your brisket in the oven, Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place in a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Add 1/2 inch liquid to the bottom of the pan (beef broth, chicken broth, or water). Lower oven to 300 degrees, cover pan tightly and continue cooking 3 hours longer.

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is delicious, juicy, and meltingly tender! The quick dry rub adds maximum flavor, while the sweet and spicy homemade barbecue sauce brings it all together. Just add it to your crock pot for the ultimate make-ahead dinner and party meal idea!

Tips for Beef Brisket

Brisket: Well-stocked grocery stores will likely have brisket, but it's not always sitting out and available.  I usually have to ask a butcher for help. He will trim a piece just for me in the size I specify.  So if you don't see it, don't despair.  Just ask.

Brisket Shrinkage: Brisket shrinks about 40-50% during cooking. So if you start with 5 pounds of brisket as directed, you'll likely end up with about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds cooked brisket.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce: This is a self-saucing brisket! You can always add more if you want to.

Serving: I love brisket on sweet, soft rolls or grilled Texas toast perfect for sopping up extra sauce. Prepared coleslaw makes a great topping if you're into that. If you like the crunch of coleslaw but don't want the extra calories, just shred some purple cabbage and scallions for a light, easy topping fix. It tastes great!

5 from 3 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is delicious, juicy, and meltingly tender! The quick dry rub adds maximum flavor, while the sweet and spicy homemade barbecue sauce brings it all together. Just add it to your crock pot for the ultimate make-ahead dinner and party meal idea!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 445kcal

For the rub:

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

For the brisket:

  • 5 pounds beef brisket
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • Texas toast or rolls, for serving, optional
  • Coleslaw or red cabbage and scallions, for serving, optional

To make the dry rub:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder, liquid smoke, and salt. Rub all over brisket. 
  • Place in a gallon-sized zipper-top plastic bag or in a dish with a cover. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

To make the brisket:

  • Transfer brisket to slow cooker. Cover and heat on HIGH for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Preheat broiler on HIGH. Remove brisket from slow cooker and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Brush brisket with barbecue sauce on all sides. Broil until sauce is sticky and bubbly, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove brisket to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Slice brisket thinly across the grain. Serve on grilled Texas toast or soft rolls coleslaw or red cabbage and scallions, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal

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  1. Sheri Mathews

    I don’t know if you still answer the comments, but I have spent the last three days looking for a way to cook a flat top 2 lb. brisket I bought recently. I don’t have a grill or smoker and the heat has been too brutal to use the oven. This recipe sounds perfect; I have the meat marinating with your dry rub overnight and will put it in the slow cooker tomorrow. My question is related to the reader who does not like bbq sauce. If one does not use tbe bbq sauce is the meat cooked without added liquid in the slow cooker? I’ve cooked a pork tenderloin that way (ie a dry rub over all sides placed in crock pot on low for 4 to 5 hours for 1.5 lbs of pork. and it turned out exactly as I had hoped. I basically made pulled pork and could add bbq sauce later if desired or make enchiladas or quesadillas. I didn’t add a single drop of liquid to the crock pot while cooking and wonder if beef brisket can be done the same way?

    1. meggan

      Hi Sheri, thanks for your question! Yes, a brisket can be done the same way. The fat will melt and provide more than enough cooking liquid. The barbecue sauce is added at the end, long after the meat is cooked, and honestly is totally optional. So you should be fine! I hope that you find this method works really well for you. I think that it will. I appreciate your support and good luck! Thanks. -Meggan

  2. My mouth is already watering. This looks absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to try it out.5 stars

  3. Traci

    Hi! This looks amazing!! Do you have any idea how I could make it in an Instant Pot instead of a slow cooker? Thank you so much! :)

    1. meggan

      Hi Traci! YES! At least I think so. Looks like you’d use the Manual setting for 50 minutes on your Instant pot. After 20 minutes of natural release, cover the valve with a dishcloth and turn the valve to quick release. When the red button (float valve) on the lid goes down, the lid is safe to open. Does this make sense? Please let me know. Thank you!

  4. This looks like a wonderful brisket recipe!!  I often cook with buffalo which is a lot drier than beef so I am excited to try this method out and see if it works.  

  5. Julie

    Hi Megan
    Now starting day 2 of the beef brisket and I have a question. The brisket is in the slow cooker for 10 hours and then it will be refrigerated overnight in the juices. After that are the juices discarded?
    Very excited about this brisket.
    Thanks
    Julie

    1. meggan

      Hi Julie, I’m so excited FOR you! I hope you love the brisket as much as I do. The beef juices can either be discarded or strained away from the onions and used as beef broth. It’s really great beef broth! I should update the recipe to say that, sorry about that. Thanks for your comment!

  6. This sounds really good Meggan! I have a pork BBQ recipe I do and every beef recipe I try makes me a little unhappy with the final result. I’d love to give this one a go! And I’m NOT scared of 3 days of prep. :) 5 stars

  7. Ralph Marxen

    Hi, I was just wondering if you had any suggestions on replacing the barbeque sauce with something else, as I’m not a big fan of barbeque sauce. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Hi Ralph! Thank you for stopping by! A really good beef brisket doesn’t need barbecue sauce at all, so you could simply just leave it off without a problem. My brother has a real, proper smoker in his backyard and when he did a brisket recently, none of us wanted to spoil it with sauce and just ate it plain. I think my slow cooker version is equally good on its own. If you are still interested in a sauce, though, I feel like a gravy would be good, and you will have more than enough beef broth left in your slow cooker that you could turn into a gravy. It would completely change the dish, but if you like gravy, I’m sure it’d be delicious. I was thinking about some other fruity sauce condiments I know of, but they might be too close to barbecue sauce. In any case, if it were me, I’d just eat the brisket plain. It will certainly not be dry. Best of luck to you! Thanks again for your support.

    2. Ralph Marxen

      I think I will try that. Thanks a lot for getting back to me. I appreciate that!5 stars

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