Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket

hnjThis slow cooker barbecue beef brisket is incredibly tender and flavorful! Enjoy as is or stack onto sandwiches. Prepare to fall in love!

Some days are crock pot days.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l SimplyScratch.com

I’ve told you about my love/hate relationship with my slow cooker before, so I’ll spare you the deets on how I think some slow cooker recipes taste the same. I will say that if I had to pick my favorite things to crock-pot-it-up, it would be to slowly cook a big piece of meat. Not only does it get the job done, but for me… I like it because it frees me from my ancient oven and its obnoxious fan which gets on my very last nerve.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l SimplyScratch.com


But what I love about this recipe is the smell of it cooking away throughout the day. I started the recipe before the sun went down and then plugged it in right before I went to bed {at 2 am} so that it would be ready for its photo shoot by 2 pm. Such a rough life. So by the time I woke up the smell of barbecued brisket was throughout my home, and at 6:30 am it’s a wonderful thing to wake up to.

This is truly a simple recipe. It’s basically a lot of measuring, stirring, rubbing and waiting and yes I took pictures of it all. But a beef brisket, slowly cooking in a quick barbecue sauce is totally worth every minute of the wait.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com ketchup

You’ll want to grab a large bowl or like I like to use… my grandmother-in-laws retro Fire King 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Love that thing! So go on and add in 1-1/2 cups ketchup. Store-bought or homemade, use what you want.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com dark brown sugar

Throw in a half cup of packed dark brown sugar.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com water

Pour in a half cup of water.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com grated onion

A 1/4 cup {I do a heaping quarter cup} of grated onion. Just pull out your box grater and start-a-grating.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com vinegar

Then pour in 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar…

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com worcestershire

…and Worcestershiretonville sauce. Sorry, that joke is probably getting old, right?

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com minced chipotle

Mince up a chipotle pepper and add that into the sauce as well. This adds a kick, some smoke but nothing my nine-year-old can’t handle. 😉

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com garlic powder

Then measure and add in one teaspoon of garlic powder…

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com pepper

…and 3/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com whisk

Give that a thorough whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the barbecue sauce is smooooth.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com pour bbq sauce

Then pour the barbecue sauce into your slow cooker.

Now we move on to the brisket rub, which means more measuring and mixing, hurrah!

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com paprika

In a bowl measure and add in the 1/4 cup of paprika.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com chili powder

Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com cumin

1 tablespoon of ground cumin.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com brown sugar

And another 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com kosher salt

Add a tablespoon of kosher salt.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com cayenne

Thennnnn a teaspoon of cayenne pepper… 

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com garlic powder 2

…a teaspoon of garlic powder…

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com black pepper

…and a teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com stir

Stir to combine…

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com stirred

Go on and lean in and take a good long whiff. Ahhhhh-ackkkkk-cough! Ha-ha jussst kidding.  

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com rub1

Divide your beef brisket in half and dump the rub mixture over top.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com rub

Now prepare to get your super clean, just washed hands dirty by rubbing the rub mixture into the beef.  Not all of it will stick to the brisket but just make sure all sides, top and bottom, are generously coated. 

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com into the slowcooker

Put the seasoned brisket into the crock pot with the barbecue sauce.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com set to low

Cover and set the temp to low and cook for 10-12 hours.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com 10+ hours later

Once the time is up, remove the lid and take a gander at that beautiful beef.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com remove

Carefully remove the brisket to a cutting board. Carefully because it might fall apart.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com crockpot juices

Pour the sauce liquids from the slow cooker into a large bowl, let it hang out for about 30 minutes so the fat can rise to the top and in the meantime you can get going on the beef.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com trim off the fat

Trim off the top thick layer of fat.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com ready for shredding

That piece right there was my taste-testing piece, plus 8 more pieces but whatever.

First though, look at it. Can you EVEN believe I did this in a slow cooker? I. can. not.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com shredded

Then go on and slice or shred up all that brisket.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l www.SimplyScratch.com skim

The fat should now be floating on top of the sauce. Grab a a giant spoon and a separate bowl, start skimming the fat off the top and into the nearby bowl.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l SimplyScratch.com sauce

You can now do two things. You could place the shredded brisket back into the slow cooker and add the sauce right over top and keep warm until you’re ready to serve. Orrr you cold place it into a bowl and spoon copious amounts of sauce over top and serve asap.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket l SimplyScratch.com

I made us sandwiches with shredded pieces slow cooker barbecue beef brisket piled high onto toasted rolls. I’ve shared the recipe in the printable below just in case you wanted it.

But this slow cooker barbecue beef brisket is so so good all on its own. It’s incredibly tender and flavorful, but that sauce… oh that sauce! The sauce keeps the beef moist and even more delicious.

Dinner is amazing. Leftovers are amazing. You’re amazing.

Slowcooker Barbecue Beef Brisket via www.SimplyScratch.com

Got 10-12 hours?

Make this amazing slow cooker barbecue beef brisket!

Do it.

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is rubbed down with spices and cooked low and slow in an amazing barbecue sauce.

Yield: 6-8 servings depending

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 hours

Total Time: 10-1/2 hours to 12-1/2 hours


1-1/2 cups Ketchup
1/2 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup grated Yellow Onion
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
3/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/4 cup Paprika
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon freshly Ground Black Pepper, plus more as needed
1 (5-pound) Beef Brisket

6-8 Sturdy, crusty Hoagie Rolls

Crock Pot Barbecue Brisket

6-8 slices Smoked Provolone Cheese

1 large Sweet Onion, sauteed until golden in olive oil

Pickled Jalapenos {optional}

Recipe adapted from Chow.com http://www.chow.com/recipes/30796-easy-slow-cooker-bbq-beef-brisket


Combine the Ketchup, dark brown sugar, water, onion, minced chipotles, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic powder and black pepper. Whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved and then pour it into the slow cooker.

In a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup paprika, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, ground cumin, dark brown sugar and kosher salt. Then measure and add in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, garlic powder and coarse black pepper.

Slice the brisket in half and rub the entire thing with the seasoning. Drop it into your slow cooker with the barbecue sauce in the bottom, secure the lid and set your slow cooker to low and cook for 10-12 hours.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and either shred or slice.

Pour the sauce from the crock-pot into a large bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Once the fats float to the top, use a spoon and skim it off and discard.

Add the shredded beef brisket back into the crock-pot and the skimmed barbecue sauce and keep warm until ready to serve.


I toast 6-8 sturdy, crusty hoagie rolls under the broiler for a few minutes.

Top with a heaping amount of saucy shredded beef brisket and a slice of smoked {or non smoked} provolone cheese. Place the sandwiches back under the broiler until the cheese has melted and then top the whole thing with sauteed onions and pickled jalapenos {if you want} and serve! Truly the onions make it work.

And this barbecue beef brisket reheats beautifully and makes EXCELLENT leftovers!


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41 Responses to “Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket”

  1. #
    Steph (Poupetteinthekitchen) — March 3, 2014 at 7:11 am

    i think you might just have nailed the ultimate brisket recipe here! my mind IS blown 😀 thanks for the recipe Laurie! Can’t wait to try it!

  2. #
    Eric — March 3, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I love the crock pot. It’s great for slow cooking meats. What did you serve this with? It would great in a tortilla with some cole slaw.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Those are amazing looking photos also.


    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 3rd, 2014 @ 9:14 am

      Hi Eric! I actually made sandwiches with it {recipe in the printable :)} but you could totally serve this with greens, mac & cheese or just with a fork 😉

  3. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — March 3, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I’m going to need a brioche bun to go with this! Loverly.

  4. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — March 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Mmmmmm….I’ve been looking for a good slow cooker brisket recipe!! So making this, friend!

  5. #
    Cheryl — March 3, 2014 at 11:11 am

    LOL My husband says the same thing…”everything tastes the same in a crockpot”
    May have to try this anyway

  6. #
    emily — March 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    This looks so delicious! Any tips on how to convert this recipe for a regular oven-braise for those of us (fools!) who don’t have a slow-cooker?

  7. #
    Rose — March 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    What cut of brisket did you use?

  8. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — March 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I love how tender meat becomes when it’s slow cooked – this beef looks insanely delicious!

  9. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — March 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    There’s nothing better than a slow cooked hunk o’ beef. I love the addition of the chipotle in the bbq sauce. Pinned!

  10. #
    Leisa Joan — March 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    ok, we just got 1/2 cow delivered & packed in our freezer, so we need something to cook…and this is it!!! any more good beef recipes, just send them over…what is flap meat by the way???

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 5th, 2014 @ 9:30 am

      I think flap meat {a totally unflattering name} is the from the bottom sirloin butt?? I think it’s similar to a skirt steak. We did the half a cow thing before and it lasted FOREVER! So jealous! 🙂

  11. #
    Katie @ The Surly Housewife — March 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I love it when my inbox can read my mind! I needed for find a brisket recipe for our couple’s weekend getaway next weekend. This one is perfect!!

  12. #
    meredith in sock monkey slippers — March 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Delicious! Yum!

  13. #
    Deb — March 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Great directions & photos of the step by step recipe…Next time I do do crock pot cooking this is definitely on my list..Thank You for the recipe

  14. #
    Adam — March 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Do you think this would work with one of those countertop turkey roaster ovens, set on low? I want to do a bigger piece of brisket than my slow cooker can hold.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 6th, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

      Honestly Adam I don’t know. I’m not sure if the lowest setting on your roaster would be as low as a slow cooker. Sorry I can’t help you more with this 🙂

  15. #
    Stacie — March 6, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Could I use this recipe to make pulled pork instead of beef brisket??

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 6th, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

      I really don’t see why not. Go for it and let me know how it works! The only thing is that pork might not take as long to cook as brisket so if I were you I’d look into that 🙂

  16. #
    Denise S. — March 19, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Omg! I can’t wait to make this for my boyfriend and stepson! They will die!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 19th, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

      Ha ha! Let me know how it goes Denise!

  17. #
    Mark — April 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Fantastic recipe! We have tried many, this one was our favorite. Thanks!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — April 15th, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

      I’m so glad! Thanks for coming back to comment

  18. #
    Ashton Yarlett — April 28, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Looks great. Im cooking it overnight tonight so its ready for lunch. Thanks for the great and easy to follow recipe 🙂 I will let you know how it turns out tomorrow

  19. #
    Charles Mulvey — April 28, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Anyone tried freezing the leftovers ?

  20. #
    Flip — June 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Great recipe! I just tried it out and the sauce is amazing! I get a meat share from a local farm so I didn’t have a choice of top or bottom brisket cut. Mine came out a little dry. I’m not sure if it’s from cooking too long (I did it for 10 hours overnight), not cooking long enough for all the fat to render, or if it’s because of my cut of meat. I laid the rubbed meat on top of the sauce in the crock pot. Was I supposed to cover the meat in the sauce?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 10th, 2014 @ 1:52 pm

      Hi Flip! It’s really hard to say without being in the kitchen with you. But it sounds like you got the steps right so my guess was the cut and in which cooking it for 10+ hours may have over cooked it? Do you remember which cut you used?

  21. #
    Rick — June 11, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I too am on the same mission as you. I ignore recipes that do not what I consider basic pantry stocking items. Some times I go months without shopping.

    I agree with the separation of ketchup from basic pantry stocking items. I enjoy a variety of sauces, so it is easier for me to make my own, or when a recipe calls for ketchup I typically just add tomato sauce, vinegar and sweetener. I often fix my own BBQ sauce, more often than ketchup. And I like varying that recipes, trying different versions from around the country and world on different foods.

    This also helps me stay healthier because the less store items I buy the less possibly toxic additives I ingest or ingredients I need to read.

    So, I’m glad you did the ketchup recipe.

    I have not looked through your blog yet, but I will. May I suggest you posting your pantry, include basics and options. Here is a small example.
    Dried herbs: basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, dill.

    My spice list is extending as I really enjoy curry, made from turmeric, just as chili powder is made from dried chilies, cumin (a seed) and paprika (just another chili pepper). So, I never buy taco seasoning and am about to cut out chili powder because I’m learning about different fresh and dried peppers to have on hand. Coriander seeds are cilantro. Chipotle is smoked jalapeno.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  22. #
    Jen — July 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Hey lady,

    Happy 4th this weekend. I plan on making this and your potato salad recipe. Woooooooooooooo!


    • Laurie McNamara replied: — July 14th, 2014 @ 8:56 am

      Yay! I hope it was a hit Jen! 🙂

  23. #
    Nelly — September 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I followed this recipe to the T this past weekend and it was DELICIOUS! We had brisket sandwiches for 4 days straight! Thanks for the recipe.

  24. #
    Sara Moulton — September 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I believe this recipe is an exact duplicate of a recipe that ran in the Chow Blog on August 7, 2013. It was developed by Amy Wisniewski of the Chow test kitchen.
    Shouldn’t it be credited to her?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 25th, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

      Actually it is… on the bottom of the printable recipe. 🙂

  25. #
    Sarah O'hara — October 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Hi I love the way you laid this page out…it made it so easy and fun! I followed it to a T and it’s in the crockpot right now..I have that exact pot as in your pic (and love it!!) and put it in at 5 pm and set it for 10 hrs on low..it will switch to warm and it’s gonna smell like heaven when we get up. 😉 Brisket is the only meat that gets my goat on the bbq grill!

  26. #
    Sarah O'hara — October 12, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Update: Well, I have my “go-to” brisket method and recipe! It turned out perfect..looks just like the pics, and so flavorful!! I love the way it’s so tender and yet I could still cut across the grain and get perfect chunks for sandwiches. This delicious beef on toasted buns and a side of potato salad will be our football lunch today..can’t wait! Thanks so much!!

  27. #
    Robin from Israel — November 4, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I made this the other day and it was FANTASTIC! My teenager even had thirds at lunchtime and then asked for it again for dinner.

    The brisket I had was fairly thick so it took a bit longer to cook than stated. I ended up shredding it that night and then serving it the next day, when it tasted even better for having had a day for the flavors to meld.

    Definitely my new go to brisket recipe and an instant family favorite!

  28. #
    MartinRG — January 25, 2015 at 5:17 am

    All prepped and in the cooker here in London. Will let you know how it gets on. Everyone in the house is waiting impatiently……

  29. #
    Alexandra — January 18, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Best brisket I’ve ever had, cooked it on high for 5 hours and it was falling apart tender, thanks for a great recipe!

  30. #
    Nouhad — November 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I made this today and it was delicious! I added some honey to the sauce and a few more chipotle peppers (my husband loves the sweet/spicy thing) and it was so good!!

  31. #
    Nouhad — December 14, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    This recipe is amazing! The bbq sauce is deep and rich-the peppers make such a huge difference. I’ve made it twice now and it’s now my go to slow cooker recipe.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — December 17th, 2016 @ 7:20 pm

      Hi Nouhad! I’m so glad you love it!

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