Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is flavorful, juicy, and meltingly tender! It’s the ultimate make-ahead meal for dinner and parties.

A photo of two buns with delicious 3-day beef brisket , served with red cabbage slaw on a white plate against a dark wood background.

Tips for Success

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.

Slow Cooker: You want to cook the brisket on HIGH for 8 to 10 hours. It sounds like a long time, but that’s how long it takes to break down the fat.

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

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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!

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A photo of two buns with delicious 3-day beef brisket , served with red cabbage slaw on a white plate against a dark wood background.
5 from 2 votes
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Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is flavorful, juicy, and meltingly tender! It's the ultimate make-ahead meal for dinner and parties.

Servings 12
Calories 555 kcal

Ingredients

For the rub:

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

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the brisket:

  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2 pound) beef brisket
  • Texas toast or rolls, for serving, optional
  • Red cabbage and scallions or prepared coleslaw, for serving, optional

Instructions

To make the dry rub:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder, liquid smoke, and salt. Rub all over the brisket. 

  2. 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 barbecue sauce:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, prepared mustard, Tabasco sauce, and salt. 

To make the brisket:

  1. Transfer brisket to slow cooker. Pour barbecue sauce over brisket. Cover and heat on high for 8 to 10 hours.

  2. Remove brisket to a cutting board cover with foil while thickening barbecue sauce (optional). Slice brisket thinly across the grain. Serve on grilled Texas toast or soft rolls with pickles and coleslaw if desired.

To finish barbecue sauce:

  1. Transfer cooking liquid to a medium saucepan. Over medium-high heat, simmer until sauce is thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. 

 

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This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is flavorful, juicy, and meltingly tender! It's the ultimate make-ahead meal for dinner and parties.

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7 comments

  1. 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.

    • 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.

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

  2. 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. :) 

  3. 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

    • 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!

  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.  

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