Slow Cooker Brisket Recipe (So Easy and Delicious!)

Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: December 4, 2023

My carnivore diet had a steep learning curve and I've tried dozens of brisket recipes over the past decade. However, once I tried one particular slow cooker brisket recipe, I was blown away by how easy and delicious it was.

I'll share five easy steps for this succulent and flavorful brisket with BBQ sauce so you can try this amazing recipe for yourself.

Quick Summary

  • Slow cooker beef brisket recipe involves trimming the beef, seasoning it, preparing the cooking liquid, slow cooking the beef, and letting it rest before serving.
  • The recipe uses a homemade BBQ sauce and the brisket is cooked slowly for 8-10 hours until it's fork-tender.
  • Leftover brisket can be used in various dishes like tacos, nachos, enchiladas, pizza, and sandwiches.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 hrs
  • Total: 10 hrs 15 mins
  • Number of Servings: 8 - 10


Raw meat on a plate

Here are the ingredients that you will need for the slow cooker beef brisket:

  • 3-pound beef brisket (flat cut)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or a neutral oil like vegetable, canola)

The RUB Mix:

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 3/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

The Homemade BBQ SAUCE:

  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml ketchup
  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup / 110g brown sugar, packed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your taste of spiciness)

5 Simple Steps to Make a Slow Cooker Beef Brisket:

Cooked meat on a plate

1. Trim the Beef Brisket

Remove any pieces of fat from the beef brisket using a sharp knife. The fat cap should have a layer of fat 1/4 inch (and no more than 1/2 inch) thick to allow the smoke and seasonings to permeate the meat.

I removed any membrane or larger chunks of fat from the meat side and made sure that I left some grease on the meat in order for the brisket to turn out moist and juicy.

2. Season and Prep the Beef Brisket for the Slow Cooker

I mixed the onion powder, garlic powder, and rub spice mixture in a small bowl. I then rubbed this mixture all over the beef brisket.

I placed the beef brisket in the fridge in a baking dish covered tightly in a plastic wrap for 1-2 hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to marinate in the meat.

Combine the onion powder, brown sugar, and the other sauce ingredients for the homemade BBQ sauce in a small bowl before adding them to the slow cooker. Mix everything, and then add the brisket.

Also Read: What to Spritz Brisket With?

3. Prep the Cooking Liquid and Vegetable

As with the oven and stovetop techniques, use a cooking liquid as easy as chicken stock or Worcestershire sauce.

However, in this slow cooker recipe, I will be using homemade barbecue sauce because I enjoy the flavorful kick that it gives.

If you want to add vegetables to your dish, cook any vegetables you desire.

4. Slow Cooking the Beef Brisket

The brisket tastes best when cooked slowly. So I covered and cooked it on medium heat for 8-10 hours, or until the beef brisket was fork-tender.

If you're in a hurry, you can also cook on medium-high heat for 4-5 hours.

5. Let It Rest and Serve Sliced Brisket Hot With Sauce

When the beef brisket is slow-cooked through, remove brisket from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat so that brisket slices all leak out evenly when you slice brisket thinly.

14 Sides Dishes to Serve With This Meal

Small cooked potatoes in a bowl

After cooking this slow cooker beef brisket recipe, you might think only of the traditional side dishes like mashed potatoes or steamed broccoli.

But there are so many other delicious things that can go well with slow cooker beef brisket. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • Roasted Radishes
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Baked Beans
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Fruit Salad
  • Pasta Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I prefer to serve my beef brisket with creamy mashed potatoes because both flavors seem to go together perfectly.

Sometimes I add carrots and bay leaves for extra sweetness and flavor. They make a memorable extra for a lovely family and friends gathering.

How to Store and Reheat a Brisket?

To store and reheat a brisket, you'll first need to know if it is cooked or not. If you are storing raw brisket, it can last for up to one year in the freezer.

Don't forget to wrap it tightly in plastic, foil, or an airtight container.

If you are storing cooked brisket, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat, place it back in the slow cooker on LOW for 4 hours or in a 350°F oven until heated through.

Reheating leftover brisket is just as delicious as the freshly cooked kind. Be sure to store it properly so that you can enjoy it later.

What to Do With Leftovers?

Close up of a cooked brisket

With leftover brisket, you can make absolutely delicious foods such as Brisket Tacos, Nachos, and even Pizza. Let's take a closer look at some of the ideas for beef brisket dishes: 

  • Brisket Tacos: These tacos are packed with flavor and easy to make. Shred the brisket and add it to your favorite taco shells with some shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes or tomato paste.
  • Brisket Nachos: This is a fun way to use up leftover brisket. Top your favorite tortilla chips with brisket, cheese, black beans, and jalapenos. Then bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Brisket Enchiladas: These enchiladas are packed with flavor and easy to make. Shred the brisket and add it to your favorite tortillas with some shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and green chiles.
  • BBQ Brisket Pizza: This pizza is so easy to make and delicious. Top your favorite pizza dough with BBQ sauce, brisket, and shredded cheese. Bake at 425°F until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • BBQ Brisket Sandwich: Top your favorite sandwich bread with BBQ sauce, brisket, and sliced cheese. Grill or toast until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Also Read: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat Recipe

4 Other Ways to Cook a Brisket

Raw meat with ingredients on a table

Besides smoking, corning, and pastrami brisket, there are a few other ways to cook this challenging piece of meat.

These methods include:

  1. Braising - This cooking method involves cooking the brisket in a large instant pot with some liquid (water or broth) at low temperatures for several hours. The brisket is then ready to be served with the braising liquid.
  2. Stewing - This cooking method involves cooking the brisket in a large pot with some liquid (water or beef broth) at high temperatures. The brisket is then ready to be served with the stewing liquid.
  3. Pressure Cooking - This cooking brisket method involves cooking the brisket in a pressure cooker with some liquid (such as water or beef broth) at high temperatures for an hour or more.
  4. Crock-Pot - This cooking method involves cooking the brisket in a crockpot with some liquid (water or beef broth) at low temperatures. The brisket is then ready to be served with the crockpot liquid.

When cooking a brisket – which is indeed a challenging cut of meat – consider slow-cooking methods such as smoking or braising. These techniques allow the tough collagen in the brisket to slowly break down over several hours, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.

- Sabah Drabu, co-founder of CookinGenie

Other Slow Cooker Recipes:


Should Brisket Be Submerged in the Slow Cooker?

No, the brisket should not be submerged in the slow cooker. There should be enough liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker to cover the bottom of the brisket.

What Cut of Meat Is Similar to Brisket?

The closest cut of meat similar to brisket is the chuck beef roast. Chuck roast is a tough cut of meat that benefits from slow cooking methods like braising or stewing.

How Do I Know When My Brisket Is Done?

You will know your brisket is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 190°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the brisket before removing it from the slow cooker.

Is Brisket Supposed to Be Pink?

Yes, brisket is supposed to be pink. This is due to the high-fat content of the meat. The pink color will fade to gray as it cooks.

My BBQ Beef Brisket Is Dry and Tough. What Did I Do Wrong?

If your BBQ beef brisket is dry and tough, it may have been overcooked. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the brisket before removing it from the slow cooker. You may also want to try cooking it on LOW for a longer period of time.

Is There a Difference Between Crock Pot Brisket and Slow Cooker Brisket?

Yes, there is a difference between crock pot brisket and slow cooker brisket. Crock pot brisket is made with cuts of meat from the cow's shoulder or chuck, whereas slow cooker brisket is made with a cut of meat from the cow's breast.

Is Beef Brisket the Same Thing as Corned Beef?

No, breed brisket is not the same thing as corned beef. Corned beef is brine-cured, whereas a cut of meat called the brisket end is known as the brisket flat and contains less fat. The two taste distinctively different owing to this brining technique.

Is Beef Gluten-Free?

Yes, beef is gluten-free. It also contains a low percentage of saturated fat.

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About the author

Iva Carter
Associate Editor
As a foodie and blogger, Iva loves to share delicious yet quick dinner recipes. When she's not in the kitchen concocting meaty delights, you'll find her playing with her dog, Sylvie.
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