Overhead photo of Slow Cooked Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce
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4.94 from 129 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce

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!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 hrs
Total Time10 hrs 15 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: beef brisket, Brisket, Slow Cooker Brisket
Servings: 8 - 10 people
Calories: 476kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 kg / 3 – 4 lb beef brisket (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or a neutral oil like vegetable, canola)

Rub:

  • 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

BBQ Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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)
  • 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.

Notes

1. Beef - 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. See post for more info. Best sub is chuck beef roast that's rolled and tied. 
AUSTRALIA: Best to get it from a butcher so you can ask for a thick cut which is best. Woolies and Aldi sell rolled brisket which is thinner. Harris Farms also sells brisket but they are small pieces. Recipe will work for these, see notes below for cook times for different weights.
2a). Cook time - 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: Click here for directions.
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 lb brisket, I would slow cook for 10 hours on low.
3. How to serve - See in post for what to serve this with. 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. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 269g | Calories: 476kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 756mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 11% | Vitamin C: 3.8% | Calcium: 1% | Iron: 36%