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.

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.

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.

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.

Throw in a half cup of packed dark brown sugar.

Pour in a half cup of water.

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

Then pour in 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar…

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

Worcestershire sauce. Here’s my homemade recipe! ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ

Then measure and add in one teaspoon of garlic powder…

…and 3/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper.

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

Then pour the barbecue sauce into your slow cooker.

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

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

Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder.

1 tablespoon of ground cumin.

And another 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar.

Add a tablespoon of kosher salt.

Thennnnn a teaspoon of cayenne pepper…¬†

…a teaspoon of garlic powder…

…and a teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper.

Stir to combine…

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

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

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. 

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

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

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

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

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.

Trim off the top thick layer of fat.

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.

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

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.

You can now do two things. You could place the shredded slow cooker barbecue beef 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.

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.

Enjoy! And if you give this Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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 jalape√Īos (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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