Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is wonderfully juicy and exploding with flavor. Smothered with spices, this oven seared and slow roasted brisket comes out melt-in-your-mouth-tender.
If you have never made beef brisket in a slow cooker, prepare for your mind to be blown with this easy method for crazy tender, juicy beef every single time.
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
I love using my slow cooker during the holidays. Not only does it free up the oven, but the results are wonderfully tender and every bit as delicious as oven results. And so easy!
Serve slow cooker beef brisket with all of your favorite holiday sides, or keep things simple for a mouthwatering weekend meal.
Then, gobble up leftover slices and shreds on sliders with coleslaw!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Beef brisket – This crockpot brisket recipe is based on a 4-5 pound cut of beef.
Choose a brisket that has an even thickness throughout (or as close as you can get), and trim off any thick sections of fat cap before cooking.
- Worcestershire and soy sauce – Both of these amp up the savory flavor in this slow roasted brisket with just a small amount!
Opt for low-sodium soy sauce as there is plenty of salt in other ingredients.
- Beef bullion – You can also use a concentrated form of beef base like Better Than Bullion, as opposed to the granulated form.
- Spice rub – A homemade blend of intoxicating flavors from paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper.
The rub is not too spicy, not too sweet, but just plain flavorful!
- Barbecue sauce – You’ll find a homemade version in the recipe card below.
While you can certainly use your favorite bottled version, this one is sweet, tangy, and just right for this crockpot brisket recipe.
Beef Brisket Slow Cooker Recipe Tips
- Pat brisket dry. Give the meat a good rinse in cold water, then pat all sides dry with paper towels or a clean dish rag.
This helps keep the meat from steaming and allows it to sear, so you get an amazing flavor and crisp coating on the outside before placing the beef brisket in the slow cooker.
- Let it rest! Don’t let all that hard work go to waste.
After slow cooking and broiling the beef, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing to lock in all of those delicious juices.
- Get perfect slices. Once cooled, slice slow cooker beef brisket across the grain.
This breaks up the fibers that run through the meat, ensuring each slice is extra tender.
- Thicken the sauce. You can simmer the sauce right in the slow cooker or transfer it to a saucepan on the stove.
To thicken, whisk in a slurry of equal parts cornstarch and water.
Slow Roasted Brisket Make Ahead Instructions
Making and serving slow cooker beef brisket on the same day can be difficult — unless you plan ahead — because the meat requires a good 8-10 hours of cooking time.
That is why I like to start this brisket recipe in the slow cooker the day before!
After the meat is cooked, remove the slow cooker ceramic insert and refrigerate it with the brisket and all the juices for 1-3 days.
Not only does the flavor improve, but the beef becomes even more tender and makes prep the next day a snap.
When ready to serve, simply skim off the hardened fat and cook on low for 1-2 hours until warmed through.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Slow Cooker – This is almost my most used kitchen gadget, especially during fall/winter!
It’s just so convenient — and let’s face it, it makes comfort food taste even better!
- Jelly Roll Pans (baking sheets with sides) – I have a stack of these! I use them for everything from cooking, baking, barbecuing, crafts, and more!
Brisket Recipe Slow Cooker FAQ
Yes! Searing beef (or any meat) on all sides before it goes in the crockpot ensures extra juicy and flavorful bites. It’s also a great way to get a delicious crust on the surface.
Absolutely. Your slow cooker beef brisket does not need to be fully submerged, but you will need some amount of liquid for it to cook — and to add more flavor.
For this brisket recipe, the slow cooker needs a mixture of barbecue sauce, Worcestershire and soy sauces, and water for the liquid component.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Slow Cooker Beef Recipes
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket + Video
- 5 pounds beef brisket, 4 – 5 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
- 1/2 cup homemade barbecue sauce, recipe below
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional for more heat
- 1 tablespoon Spice Rub, recipe above
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup seedless blackberry preserves
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mesquite liquid smoke, optional but recommended
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with sides/jelly roll pan with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup. Set aside. Spray 6 quart (or larger) slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
- Trim brisket of excess fat and rinse and pat dry.
- Add 1 tablespoon Spice Rub to a medium bowl for the barbecue sauce and set aside.
- Rub all remaining Spice Rub evenly all over the meat then place brisket on a prepared baking sheet. (You can let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours if desired). Bake for 30 minutes at 425°F to sear meat.
- Meanwhile, add all of the Barbecue Sauce ingredients (recipe to follow) to the 1 tablespoon reserved Spice Rub and whisk to combine. Remove 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and add to slow cooker along with water, Worcestershire, reduced-sodium soy sauce and beef bouillon. Whisk to combine (the bouillon will not be completely dissolved but will dissolve during cooking).
- Using tongs (so you don’t burn yourself) carefully transfer the brisket to slow cooker. It will be large so you will have to squish it in. Not all of it will be under the liquid.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours until brisket is very tender, flipping over halfway through cooking. Remove brisket to a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with barbecue sauce and broil 5-10 minutes, until slightly caramelized. Meanwhile, simmer barbecue sauce until warmed through.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published December 2019, updated and republished May 2023
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