Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe + Video (Homemade BBQ Sauce)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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.  This is one of those simple slow cooker recipes that everyone will love!  



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.

This is one of my favorite ways to make an easy meal where I don’t have to stress or worry.

Due to the longer cook time, it makes the perfect brisket texture and taste.

The long cooking time helps any cut of meat like this become tender, making it versatile in how it can be used. 

I love to make brisket sandwiches for game day, or to pair this slow-cooked brisket with a simple side dish for a wonderful Sunday dinner.

Cooking beef brisket in the slow cooker means that you’ll have quite a large batch, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy the flavorful brisket for a few days as well.

The good thing about leftover brisket is that you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge and heat up the slow cooker brisket recipe at various times throughout the week.

Hours of slow cooking create a fork tender meat that you can enjoy for many days! 

spice mix for beef brisket

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.

You can’t go wrong with roasted red potatoes and green beans, but a potato salad would be just as tasty.

Then, gobble up leftover slices and shreds on sliders with coleslaw!

spice rub for beef brisket

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.
rubbing spice on beef brisket

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.
whisking barbecue sauce

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!
slow cooker beef brisket smothered in barbecue sauce

Brisket Recipe Slow Cooker FAQ

Should I brown brisket before slow cooking?

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.

Does beef brisket in a slow cooker need to be in liquid? 

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. 

slices of slow cooked brisket with bbq sauce

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

Don’t miss a thing! Follow us on
Facebook | Twitter Pinterest | Instagram 

slow cooker beef brisket on fork

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe + Video (Homemade BBQ Sauce)

Donna Elick
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is wonderfully juicy and melt-in-your-mouth-tender. Try this crockpot brisket recipe for a make-ahead holiday meal!
5 stars from 6 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Slow Cooker
Servings 8 – 10


  • 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

Spice Rub

  • 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

Barbecue Sauce

  • 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.


Donna’s Notes

Liquid smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauce in most grocery stores. It adds a wonderfully smoky flavor.
MAKE AHEAD: I often will cook my brisket until tender then remove the removable ceramic insert and refrigerate the brisket in the juices. The next day, I skim off all the hardened fat then cook on low for 1-2 hours until warmed through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 617cal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 1387mg | Sugar: 38g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 7mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): slow cooker beef brisket

Originally published December 2019, updated and republished May 2024

Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us, it helps us keep creating new recipes.

The Simple Kitchen cookbook affiliate linked banner


  1. I am reading this recipe and it mentions using Liquid Smoke as a post script…..I can't see where the recipe tells me where to put the LS in, nor the measurement. Can you fill in the gap please? I am so thrilled at the thought of this easy recipe; mouth is watering just writing about it – Thanks for your assist.

  2. Crumb, I reread my printed recipe and WA LA – the answer is IN the recipe about the Liquid Smoke – I was skim reading for those words and the addition "Mesquite" threw my eyes off…. So sorry – can't wait to try this!!!

  3. Just discovered your blog. I have been reading over a couple of the slow cooker recipes, they sound great and I can't want to try them. I love using my slow cooker
    It makes making dinner easy

  4. 5 stars
    I was worried that this wouldn’t be as good as it looks, boy was I wrong! Tender, juicy and perfectly cooked! I will definitely be making this again!

  5. 5 stars
    best bbq brisket ever! We are so spoiled by this recipe, that its a let-down to order this on any menu to date at a restaraunt. Our whole family loves this recipe so much! Also the homemade bbq sauce, puts all store bottles to shame!

  6. 5 stars
    This was amazing. My family loved it. I am going to cook my regular roast this way. That sauce is out of this world. No other sauce for me!

  7. 5 stars
    My husband likes to fix brisket on his Traeger smoker, but he gave me about a 4 pound piece of brisket from the 15 pound brisket we purchased. I fixed my piece in the crockpot, using your recipe, and he smoked the rest on the Traeger.
    Both came out very good, but I think we almost liked the crockpot brisket the best! We will definitely be keeping this recipe and using it again.

  8. 5 stars
    I tried it in the crock pot, it was amazing! My family loved it. The rub and the sauce was delicious. I’ll making again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating