To-die-for Beef Brisket that really makes the most out of this cut of beef! This Slow Cooker brisket is cooked in a simple homemade BBQ sauce until it’s deliciously tender and infused with incredible flavour. Serve with a side of Coleslaw or Macaroni Salad and steamed corn. Or pile high onto rolls and make sliders!
This is a reader-favourite recipe included by popular demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!
Beef Brisket recipe!
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 brisket.
I’m all class. All class. 😂
Cooking brisket – in brief
What is brisket? A cut of beef that needs to be cooked slowly to break down the connective tissues. The unique thing about this cut of beef is that it can be slow cooked so it’s fork tender, yet is still sliceable. It also has a better beefy flavour compared to other slow cooking beef cuts like chuck.
Is there another name for brisket? There’s no other name for raw brisket, that is the name of the cut. But you will see it sold in stores already prepared in the form of corned beef, pastrami and silverside which is brisket that’s been brined.
What cut of meat is similar to brisket? There is no cut of beef with the same cooking qualities. For this recipe, the best substitute for beef brisket is rolled chuck, like you use for Pot Roast. Otherwise, try the Beef Ribs or Pork Ribs version of this recipe – both terrific!
How long does it take to cook? 8 to 10 hours in the slow cooker on low, 1 hr 15 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 5 hours in the oven at 320F/160C.
Is brisket supposed to be pink? No. Cooked plain brisket should not be pink, if it is, it is massively undercooked and will be tough. You cannot eat brisket rare. HOWEVER, pastrami and corned beef are pink even after cooking due to the special curing salt they use (like bacon).
How to make slow cooker Beef Brisket
It’s a straight forward beef brisket 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!
Spice Mix – We start off with a spice rub. No need to marinate because we’re slow cooking it – the long cook time essentially has the same effect as marinating. If we were roasting it, I’d recommend marinating it.
Slow Cook – 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.
Caramelise crust – After this, all that’s required is a few minutes in a hot oven (or even under the grill/broiler) to caramelise the crust;
Reduce sauce – Meanwhile, 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?
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 (like in Beef Stew), gravy beef (an Australian beef cut) and short ribs, they “fall apart easily 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? 🙂
Is brisket suitable for shredding?
Those cuts 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.
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, classic creamy Coleslaw or this No Mayo Coleslaw (it’s excellent!), Macaroni Salad, 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! – Nagi xx
MORE GREAT THINGS TO PILE ONTO SLIDERS
• Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Shredded Chicken
• Easy Homemade Pastrami
• Chili – and Slow Cooked Shredded Beef Chili
• Cubanos (Cuban Subs with Mojo Marinated Pork, from the “Chef” movie)
• Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Pork Sliders
Watch How To Make It
This recipe features in my debut cookbook Dinner. The book is mostly new recipes, but this is a reader favourite included by popular demand!
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce
- 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
- Mix Rub ingredients. Rub all over brisket. 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 click here for 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)
Brisket recipe originally published July 2017. Updated to improve writing, and created separate recipe card for oven baked brisket directions. No change to recipe – much loved by readers as is, I wouldn’t dare!
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