Crazy delicious and easy beef brisket that will make your mouth water. This Slow Cooker Brisket is coated with wonderful spices and a killer homemade barbecue sauce, then slow cooked all day until perfectly tender. Slices like a dream and tastes incredible.
Tender Barbecue Beef Brisket
Growing up Jewish, beef brisket was (and still is) a staple at Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and Hanukkah dinner. But I never really liked it – the flavor was very strong and rich, but not at all sweet. And as a kid, that was not palatable.
It wasn’t until I was in my early forties when my sister served a brisket made in the crock pot with barbecue sauce that I changed my tune. It was tender, flavorful, and amazing.
What is Beef Brisket?
Cuts of beef like short ribs and beef chuck in a beef stew have a lot of connective tissue which allows the meat to fall apart easily after slow cooking all day. Brisket, on the other hand, holds its shape great even after slow cooking for a very long period, and can still be sliced. Yes, it’s plenty tender enough to shred, but it’s also extremely lean. We prefer beef chuck for recipes that call for shredding, since the higher fat content renders more juicy pieces.
If you’re browsing the deli case at your local market, you might notice other meats referred to as brisket, such as corned beef brisket or pastrami brisket, but those are a type of brisket that’s been already prepared and brined. Don’t confuse slow cooker corned beef (also delish!), which has been salt cured, with this barbecue brisket recipe – cooked plain brisket is never pink.
Beef Brisket Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Beef brisket: 3 pounds raw beef brisket, fat trimmed
- Barbecue sauce: We love our homemade bbq sauce, or your favorite store-bought brand is fine.
- Brown sugar: For a hint of sweetness and molasses.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds depth of flavor, and balances out the sweet, savory, and tangy taste of the barbecue sauce.
- Liquid smoke: This adds a wonderful mesquite flavor to the meat.
- Seasonings: Dried thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
There’s virtually little effort involved in this beef brisket recipe. Only 15 minutes to get it ready. You don’t even need to braise this bad boy first. The results are anything but basic, though because we’re using a spice rub with a lot of wonderful spices and our homemade bbq sauce.
You’ll combine the spices and rub the beef all over. Then place it in the slow cooker along with the barbecue and Worcestershire sauce. Toss to coat, put the lid on and let is slow cook all day. When it’s done cooking, it rests, and then cut across the grain into thin slices.
How long does it take to cook brisket? 8 to 10 hours on low in the slow cooker (or 3-4 hours in the oven at 325 degrees F.)
To make this Slow Cooker Brisket Recipe, follow the steps below included in the printable recipe card.
Allow the brisket and sauce to cool completely, then transfer to separate airtight containers. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Or in freezer-safe containers for 2 months. To reheat: transfer brisket to a baking dish and tent with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until warmed through. Warm the sauce on the stovetop in a small pot or saucepan.
What to Serve with Barbecue Beef Brisket
This recipe pairs well with a lot of different side dishes. We really love it over mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. It’s also fantastic alongside our cornbread, potato salad or macaroni salad. Or pile strips onto buns and top with our favorite coleslaw. Holiday dinner, Sunday dinner, weeknight dinner, potluck – this recipe works for all occasions!
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
- 3 pounds beef brisket , fat trimmed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, thyme, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and cumin.
- Rub beef with the liquid smoke to coat, then rub with the spice mixture.
- Lightly coat a 6-quart oval slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the barbecue and Worcestershire sauce; stir together. Add beef and coat with the sauce.
- Cover and cook on low until fork tender, for 8-10 hours.
- Transfer beef to a cutting board; let rest, loosely covered with foil, about 20 minutes.
- Cut meat across the grain into 1/2-inch slices and serve with the sauce.