Tender, juicy, flavour infused slow cooker Beef Brisket smothered in a homemade BBQ Sauce. This is the stuff food dreams are made of! Quick to prepare, then let your slow cooker, pressure cooker or oven work its magic!
An easy, incredible Slow Cooker Beef Brisket!
I really am not a girls’ girl when it comes to food. I don’t gaze in wonder at stunningly decorated multi-tier cakes. I don’t ooh and aah over pretty little chocolates. I have no interest in learning how to make candy.
But I do go gah-gah over sights like this – a giant hunk of flavour loaded meat.
I’m all class. All class. 😂
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER BEEF BRISKET
It’s a straight forward recipe though there is a fairly long list of spices because we’re making a homemade rub and homemade BBQ Sauce here. Totally worth it – there’s no bottled sauce that compares to this!
We start off with a spice mix to rub on the beef brisket. No need to marinate because we’re slow cooking the brisket. If we were roasting it, I’d recommend marinating it.
Then place the ingredients for the homemade BBQ Sauce in the slow cooker (vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and spices), add the beef and leave to slow cook for 8 to 10 hours.
After this, all that’s required is a few minutes under the grill/broiler to caramelise the crust, and to simmer the liquid in the slow cooker to reduce it down to a syrupy sauce consistency <– This right here is our homemade BBQ Sauce!
WHAT IS BEEF BRISKET?
Beef brisket is an up-and-coming cut of beef in Australia. It’s started appearing on supermarkets shelves which I’m super excited about!
Brisket is a cut of beef made for slow cooking, not fast cooking. It’s unique characteristic compared to other slow cooking cuts of beef is that it holds its shape even after hours and hours of slow cooking and can be sliced. When you slow cook other cuts of slow cooking cuts of beef like chuck, gravy beef (an Australian beef cut) and short ribs, they fall apart because there is more connective tissues running throughout the meat which breakdown with slow cooking.
However, as you can see in the photos in this post, brisket holds together and can be sliced. But the slices are ultra tender and could be shredded easily, see? 🙂
Brisket also shreds well, but I prefer using chuck beef or ribs for shredding as they have more fat running through the meat and so the shredded pieces are nice and juicy. Though brisket has a layer of fat on the surface, there actually is not that much fat or connective tissues running through it, so if you shred it then it’s pretty lean.
Come to think of it, it’s a great leaner option for shredded beef recipes! 🙂
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BEEF BRISKET
For this particular recipe, I’m keeping this Slow Cooker Beef Brisket whole and slicing it. Serve up a hearty Southern style supper with sides of Homemade Southern Style Baked Beans, Corn Bread (or try my favourite Corn Bread Muffins!), Creamy Corn Casserole, Coleslaw, Potato Salad or mashed potato.
Or pile it onto sliders – this is the way I usually serve it because brisket is a perfect recipe for feeding a crowd!
This is one of those recipes that I consider trans-seasonal. Meaning – it’s terrific for those in the dark depths of winter, and everyone sweltering in the summer sun! Use your slow cooker or pressure cooker to avoid steaming up your whole kitchen with the heat from the oven, or perhaps if it’s freezing where you are then you prefer to use the oven!
Whatever your choice, you’ll find the directions in the recipe below. My favourite way of making slow cooked meats like this is to use the slow cooker. It’s the most hands off and easiest.
Happy weekend everyone! – Nagi xx
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce recipe video! I speed through the part where I put the rub on the brisket to save you copping an eyeful of my BabyHands…. That brisket looks GIANT compared to my hands!! 😂
Video above. Beef brisket slow cooked until tender, then finished in the oven to get that gorgeous caramelisation, basted with a homemade BBQ Sauce that the brisket is cooked in. Slice it and serve as part of a hearty Southern style supper or pile it up high on sliders! See notes for PRESSURE COOKER & OVEN.
- 1.5 – 2 kg / 3 – 4 lb beef brisket (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or a neutral oil like vegetable, canola)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 3/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml ketchup
- 1/2 cup / 110g brown sugar , packed
- 2 tsp EACH black pepper , onion powder, mustard powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste re: spiciness)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Place Rub in a bowl and mix to combine.
Rub all over brisket with your hands. If time permits, leave for 30 minutes – 24 hours in the fridge, but I rarely do this.
Combine BBQ Sauce ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix then add the brisket – squish it in if needed, like I did (see video).
Slow cook in slow cooker for 8 hours (1.5 kg / 3 lb) to 10 hours (2 kg / 4 lb). (Note 2 for pressure cooker and oven)
Remove brisket onto a tray.
Pour liquid in slow cooker into a saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium high heat and reduce until it thickens to a syrup consistency (it thickens more as it cools).
Meanwhile, drizzle brisket with oil then roast in a 200C/390F oven for 15 minutes until brown spots appear. Remove then baste generously with Sauce, then return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove and baste again, then return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes until it caramelises and looks like the photos. (See note for BBQ option)
TO SERVE: Slice brisket thinly across the grain and serve with remaining BBQ Sauce. This is terrific served as a meal with sides or piled high onto rolls with Coleslaw as sliders. See Note 3 for more ideas.
1. This recipe will work on any slow cooking cut of beef but it works best with brisket because it holds its shape once slow cooked until tender, so it can be sliced. Other slow cooking cuts of beef like chuck beef, gravy beef and short ribs have more connective tissues running through them so they fall apart after slow cooking so they can't be sliced. You could use a chuck beef roast that is tied together, but the pieces will fall apart more when sliced.
AUSTRALIA: I get my brisket from the butcher, it is still relatively undiscovered so it is cheaper than steak but a bit more expensive than chuck. If you can, ask the butcher to give you the THICK end of the brisket. Woolies and Aldi also now sells rolled brisket. Harris Farms also sells brisket but they are small pieces. See notes below for adjusted cook times.
2a). The cook times provided yields a tender brisket that is sliceable but tender so the slices tear easily, as demonstrated in the video. Don’t stress too much about cook time - brisket is a cut of beef that holds together pretty well even cooked to the point of being shreddable. So even a 1.5kg / 3 lb brisket slow cooked for 10 hours should still be sliceable. Brisket that isn’t tender is tough and chewy but if you pull it out too early, don’t worry, just keep cooking!
SLOW COOKER on HIGH: Same recipe, 4.5 hours for 1.5 kg / 3 lb or 5 hours for 2 kg / 4 lb. Follow same directions.
PRESSURE COOKER: Same recipe, 1 hr 15 minutes for 1.5 kg / 3 lb or 1 hr 30 minutes for 2 kg / 4 lb. Follow same directions.
OVEN: Put the Sauce ingredients in a roasting pan, add 2 cups water. Mix, add beef, cover with lid or double layer of foil. Bake 160C/320F for 4 hours, then uncovered for 30 minutes, checking every now and then to ensure the liquid doesn’t reduce down beyond a BBQ Sauce consistency (add water if it does). By this time, the brisket should be tender – check on edge with fork. Remove brisket, scrape sauce into a saucepan (easier to control consistency). Return brisket into roasting pan, turn heat up to 180C/350F. Simmer sauce over medium heat until thickens into a syrup consistency then slather onto beef. Roast beef, basting once or twice as required, until the surface caramelises per photo (time depends on how thick your sauce is).
2b) DIFFERENT SIZES: For a 800g - 1 kg / 1.6 - 2 lb piece of brisket, I would still slow cook for 7 to 8 hours on low because the cook time is more about brisket width rather than length.
For a 2.5 - 3 kg / 5 - 6 kg brisket, I would slow cook for 10 hours on low.
3. How to serve brisket: Brisket is terrific served as a meal with sides or used in sliders. This is a Southern Style dish so I would use sides like Homemade Southern Style Baked Beans, Corn Bread (my favourite are these Corn Bread Muffins) or Corn Casserole, and a salad (Coleslaw and/or Potato Salad would be classic pairings!). Browse all my Salads for other ideas!
For Sliders, I use soft rolls (brioche buns are pictured in the post) with Coleslaw.
4. Finish on BBQ: fantastic chargrilled flavour: Brush grills with oil, then preheat BBQ to medium high. Place beef on the grills and leave until browned, then turn the beef over and brown the other side. Baste the beef generously and turn, then baste again. Do this repeatedly until there is a nice caramelised glaze on the brisket, then remove.
5. MAKE AHEAD: Slow cook the brisket but do not bake, then transfer into a storage container with the cooking liquid (don’t reduce it down) and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer brisket only into a baking dish and cover. Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes or until warmed through. Then turn up oven to 200C/390F, remove cover and proceed with recipe to brown and baste the brisket surface. Transfer sauce into saucepan and warm – you may not need to reduce. Use for basting per recipe.
6. SERVINGS: I usually budget for 250g/8oz of raw meat per head, to err on the side of caution. This shrinks to about 200g / 6.5 oz per head once cooked. That's a generous pile on rolls!
7. Nutrition per serving, assuming a 2 kg / 4 lb beef brisket with some fat on the surface (i.e. not trimmed of all fat), 10 servings, assuming all the sauce is consumed.
LIFE OF DOZER
So. Much. Sand.
Anyone for a puppy kiss? 😝