Beef Brisket Slow Cooker – Meaty, flavorful, and tender beef infused with incredible flavors from Creole seasoning and homemade barbecue sauce. Irresistibly moist and juicy and cooks effortlessly delicious in a slow cooker. You won’t believe how simple the ingredients are!
I can’t wait to share this surprisingly easy and tasty beef brisket slow cooker recipe. In fact, hubby and I stood around devouring it the moment I finished the photo shoot. You’d hear oohs and aahs echoing through the room as we helped ourselves huge forkfuls of this brisket.
And the best part is it uses simple pantry ingredients for such a flavor explosion meaty dish. The melt-in-your-mouth beef with intensely delicious flavor is irresistible. You will totally go GA-GA over this dish!
What Part Is the Beef Brisket?
Beef brisket is the cut that comes from the breast of the cow near the ribs. This typically tough cut of meat is perfect for slow cooking to fork tenderness. Corned beef and pastrami usually use brisket. It also has the most decadent natural beef flavor. Yum!
It’s no secret that slow cooking our brisket here adds an extra flavorful beefy goodness to our dish. But what makes it even more delectable is the added seasonings.
- Beef Brisket – This beef cut is best slow-cooked to achieve that fork-tender meat you can slice without it falling apart.
- Dry Rub – Besides salt and pepper, I also season my beef with homemade Creole seasoning. Your favorite steak seasoning works, too.
- Aromatics – Sauteing garlic, onion, and thyme is an extra step you shouldn’t skip because it’s essential for especially stews and soups.
- Seasoning – Worcestershire and soy sauce give this beef brisket in the slow cooker its rich and savory umami flavor.
- Barbecue Sauce – Homemade barbecue sauce tops the brisket with a bolder flavor as it cooks, then again as a glaze. Regular barbecue sauce will also work fine.
How to Make Beef Brisket in a Slow Cooker
Season, Sear, and Saute
- Season the Beef – Generously season the brisket with salt and pepper, followed by steak seasoning or any favorite seasoning.
- Sear and Set Aside – Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet or cast iron pan over high heat, and when hot, add brisket (fat side down). Sear for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned, flipping once. Transfer to a board or plate.
- Saute – Add sliced onions, garlic, and thyme in the same pan. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes or until fragrant and onions is translucent. Add in Worcestershire and soy sauce and cook for another minute.
- Cook on Low – Place sautéed onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, then add the brisket. Top the brisket with three-quarters of the barbecue sauce. Cook on low for about 8 hours or high for about 4-5 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.
- Glaze and Serve – Turn off the slow cooker and let the beef rest for about 15 min with the lid on. Remove brisket, place on aboard, brush the top with the remaining barbecue sauce, slice, and serve.
- Meat Substitutes – Aside from beef, this recipe will also work on pork, lamb, and goat. However, the cooking time will not be the same.
- Healthy Additions – Vegetables make a great addition. So you can add carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, and cabbage before adding the brisket to the slow cooker.
- Hot and Spicy – If you’re up for a flame-throwing party, you can go with habanero, serrano, jalapeno, or Scotch bonnet pepper. But if that’s too adventurous for you, a dash of hot sauce or sriracha will do the trick. 😉
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip browning the beef. I always believe in taking this extra step because it adds more flavor with that slight crust.
- Do not bother to marinate the beef because the slow cooker will provide enough time for the meat to marinate.
- If you’re short on time, you can cook it in a pressure cooker instead. Using the same recipe, cook the beef for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. However, you’ll need to add about a cup of water to avoid getting the burn notice if you use an Instant Pot. You can reduce the sauce at the end if needed.
- If you want to oven-roast it instead, cook the brisket in a covered pan for four hours in a preheated 320℉/60℃ oven. Then remove the cover and bake for another 30 minutes. Baste the meat with pan juices to prevent drying.
Cooking your brisket for a good 8-10 hours may be too long, especially if you’re serving this beef brisket on the same day. What I usually do, though, is cook it until tender the day before, remove the ceramic insert from the slow cooker, and refrigerate the brisket along with its juices. Then the next day, I skim off the hardened fat, put the pot back in the cooker, and reheat the brisket on low for 1-3 hours until warmed through.
Serving and Storage Instructions
This recipe is excellent straight out of the slow cooker while it’s still nice and hot. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then slice it and add it back to the pot.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer-safe resealable bag. It will keep in the fridge for 5 days or 2 months in the freezer.
You can reheat leftover brisket in a 325°F/162℃. Transfer to the baking dish and splash some broth or meat juices before covering the baking dish tightly with foil. Then bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
Tip: Although doable, I don’t recommend reheating the brisket in a microwave as it may make the meat tough and rubbery.
Slow cooking it for more time breaks down this meat’s connective tissues, resulting in a juicy and tender beefy goodness. But overcooking it will give you a mushy beef brisket, so try not to cook it for more than 10 hours.
I don’t usually add water because the barbecue sauce usually adds enough moisture. You’ll also get some juice from the brisket. But you may want to add a little if you’re worried it might dry out. Even better, just add a little beef broth for better flavor.
Slow cooking gets the most out of beef brisket. For a 4-5 pound brisket, cook it on low for 8-10 hours and 4-5 hours on high. Of course, you’d want to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of the brisket. You could also roast it in the oven for about five hours (or more) at 320F/160C.
What to Serve with Beef Brisket Slow Cooker
More Amazing Beef Recipes
The slow cooker is undeniably helpful, especially if you’re a busy mom like me. So here I’m giving you 12 Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes you can add to your weekly meal rotation. Let me know below which recipe you like best.
This blog post was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated with additional tips.
Beef Brisket (Slow Cooker)
- Generously season brisket with salt and pepper, followed by steak seasoning or your favorite seasoning.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet or cast-iron pan over high heat, and add brisket (fat side down) when hot. Sear for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned, flipping once. Transfer to a board or plate.
- In the same pan, add sliced onions, garlic, and thyme. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until fragrant and onions are translucent. Add the Worcestershire and soy sauce and cook for another minute.
- Place sautéed onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, then add the brisket. Top the brisket with three-quarters of the barbecue sauce. Cook on low for about 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, depending on the size of the brisket.
- Turn off the slow cooker and let the beef rest for about 15 min with the lid on. Remove brisket, place on aboard, brush the top with the remaining barbecue sauce, slice, and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Do not bother to marinate the beef, the slow cooker will do that for you.
- Don’t worry about adding water; the beef should have enough juice for the cooking process.
- Cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket; check beef about an hour before it should be done to determine if it requires more time.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.