Incredibly easy brisket made in a slow cooker and cooked to tender perfection in an healthy homemade bbq sauce, and finished off in a hot oven for that gorgeous caramelized crust.
What is brisket?
Besides being one of my favorite ways to eat beef ever you mean? Brisket is a unique cut of meat, usually from the lower chest of the cow. It is inexpensive, because it remains tough unless you cook it over a long period of time, which is why a slow cooker comes in handy for this recipe.
The thing that’s so interesting about slow cooked brisket, is that it can be sliced, and that slices will remain intact without falling apart. It can also easily be shredded. This gives you total flexibility- do you want shredded brisket sandwiches, or do you want some thick slices of brisket to enjoy. Or both at the same time?
Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket- the preparation:
I’ve made brisket previously in the oven and it was great. After making it for the first time ever in a slow cooker however, this is definitely the way to go. What you do:
Spice Rub the Brisket: Rub the raw brisket all over with a mix of spices, including and not limited to : brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, mustard powder or mustard seeds, salt and pepper. We’ll get that spice rub in good to maximize the flavor. You can go on to immediately cook the brisket, or marinade it up to 24 hours in the fridge. I like doing this the night before cooking, and preparing the bbq sauce that same night, so that the next day all I need to do is place both in the body of the slow cooker and turn it on.
Prepare the BBQ sauce:
It’s such a good bbq sauce. Most recipes call for 1/2 cup of sugar, while this only requires a pinch. You simply mix together tomato paste, water, sugar, some herbs, dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. It’s tangy and delicious. I have to thank the Real Food Dietitians for the sauce inspo. I just barely adapted it from them, and from this post Slow Cooker BBQ Beef .
Slow cooker BBQ beef brisket- the cooking:
Cook! You’ll pour the sauce into the slow cooker, add the brisket, and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours . Prod it with a fork, try a little piece after the alloted cooking time, and if you feel it isn’t tender enough, just keep cooking!
Once the brisket is nearly ready, you’ll heat an oven to 390F (200 C). This is so you can rub the cooked brisket with a little oil and bake it in the hot oven for an extra 10 minutes or so or until it caramelizes and turns dark golden brown.
While this is happening, turn the slow cooker up to high and continue cooking the bbq sauce until it reduces and thickens slightly.
I really can’t believe how good something can taste with such little effort!
Can I make this without a slow cooker?
I haven’t tried it, but it should be just fine. You’ll place the seasoned raw brisket uncovered in a roasting pan in an oven 150 C (300F) oven for one hour, then pour in the bbq sauce with extra water-at least 1 cup of extra water. The water should make up about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Cover tightly, and continue cooking for 3-3.5 hours or until fork tender.
How to serve the brisket:
I kept it simple, slicing the brisket and serving with mashed potatoes. I also had a side of shockingly good cauliflower mash for the more health conscious.
Alternately, you could shred the brisket and use it to top sandwiches. Serve with pickles and sweet potato fries .
Cooked brisket will last 3-4 days tightly covered in the fridge, but I doubt you’ll have any leftovers!
Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
- Slow Cooker
For the brisket:
- 1.5-2 kg brisket (3-4 lb)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
For the spice rub:
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds or dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the bbq sauce:
- 1 carton tomato paste (200 g or 8 oz)
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 heaped teaspoon chili powder NOT cayenne pepper, see notes
- 1 heaped tsp paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2/3 cup water
For the brisket:
- Mix together all the ingredients for the spice rub, and rub evenly all over the raw brisket. You can continue with the recipe, or place brisket in the fridge to marinade for 30 min- 24 hours.
For the bbq sauce:
- Mix together all the ingredients for the bbq sauce until well combined. Pour the bbq sauce into the body of the slow cooker.
- Add the sliced onion to the bbq sauce, then place the spice rubbed brisket on top.
- Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or until beef is tender and easily shredded with a fork.
- Heat the oven to 200 C (390 F ). Rub the cooked brisket with a little of the bbq sauce, then . the vegetable oil and place on a roasting pan. Cook for 10 minutes or until the brisket turns a deep golden brown caramelised color. Meanwhile, turn the heat of the slow cooker up to high, and cook the bbq sauce until it reduces and thickens slightly, 10 minutes should be enough.
- Once brisket is out of the oven, brush all over with more bbq sauce, and serve with the remaining bbq sauce, either sliced or shredded.
- To make your own chili powder, mix together 2 tablespoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoons onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Source: www.allrecipes.com
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Hamad Al-Mahmood says
Hello, this recipe looks amazing! I would love to try it, but sadly I do not own a slow cooker. For the oven version, do i only put the brisket in the roasting pan with no added water or anything for the first step and then add the bbq sauce and water? Or should I add some water for the first step too. Also, would searing it beforehand be better or worse? Thank you so much for this great recipe and I’m looking forward to many more.
Farah Abumaizar says
Hi Hamad! Thanks so much for your comment it always makes me so excited when people want to make things I post! So I haven’t yet tried it in the oven, but I researched the oven directions, and found a very well reviewed recipe so I included similar steps to this : https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/texas-oven-roasted-beef-brisket-recipe-1915431
Basically, you’d roast the brisket that’s been rubbed with the spices all over for an hour without any liquid- this will serve as your searing your meat so there’s no need to do that. Then, you add the homemade bbq sauce plus enough additional water that the total liquid comes up to 1/2 inch in the pan, lower oven temp and continue to cook for 3 hours. I hope that helps and please do let me know if you try it how it works out!