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Slow-Cooker Barbecue Brisket

Elizabeth Chambers
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Chef notes

This recipe is so incredibly simple: There's no outdoor grilling required, minimal mess, makes the house smell amazing, and you can set it and forget it! I love shredding my brisket and serving on small rolls with mayo, Dijon, sliced pickle and havarti cheese; it's simple but delicious. I also serve it sliced as an entree with a coleslaw or potato salad on the side. For game day, I love to add brisket to queso for an elevated dip.

Technique tip: Start on low but check the progress of the brisket — you may want to increase to medium.

Swap options: Depending on how spicy you would like your rub, adjust chili powder accordingly. Have fun with the rub ingredients and add extra of what you like! It's very forgiving.

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  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) beef brisket
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Barbecue Sauce
  • cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes hot sauce


For the brisket:

Combine the dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix thoroughly and apply generously to the brisket. Wrap the brisket in parchment with plastic cling film on top and let sit for an hour at room temp, or in the fridge overnight. If overnight, let brisket come to room temp before putting in slow cooker.

For the barbecue sauce:

Combine all ingredients directly in slow cooker. Stir well to ensure everything is completely combined.

To cook:


Place brisket into the slow cooker (it's a tight fit but will work!).


Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.


In last 30 minutes, preheat oven to 390 F.


Transfer brisket to tray or sheet pan.


Transfer all liquid in slow cooker to a saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat until thickened to syrup consistency.


Pour olive oil on top of the brisket and roast in oven for 5 minutes. Remove brisket, baste with 1/3 of the barbecue sauce, then return to oven for another 5 minutes.


Once again, remove brisket, baste with another 1/3 of the barbecue sauce and return to oven for final 5 to 10 minutes, until fully caramelized.


Let the brisket rest and then slice against the grain or shred and serve with remaining barbecue sauce.

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