This slow cooker brisket is beef simmered with vegetables and seasonings in the crockpot until it is fall-apart tender. A simple yet satisfying comfort food classic that’s great for feeding a crowd!
I love to use my slow cooker to cook meats such as slow cooker beef bourguignon, slow cooker pulled pork, slow cooker carnitas and this super flavorful brisket. This dish is great for busy weeknights, yet impressive enough to serve to guests.
This slow cooker brisket is my go-to recipe when I want a unique and unexpected dinner option. The brisket is meltingly tender from the long cooking time, and pairs so well with a variety of side dishes.
What cut of meat is brisket?
Brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the lower part of the chest of a cow. This is a naturally tough cut of meat because it contains a lot of connective tissue. Brisket needs to cook over an extended period of time to become tender. It is absolutely worth the effort, as this is a very flavorful piece of beef!
How do you make slow cooker brisket?
This recipe starts by searing the brisket on both sides until it is golden brown. The brisket goes into the crockpot along with vegetables, garlic, beef broth, ketchup and seasonings. The meat needs to cook for 8 hours on low heat until it is tender. Strain the drippings from the pot and place them on the stovetop to simmer to create the sauce. Slice the meat, pour the sauce over the top, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect slow cooker brisket
- I recommend browning the meat before it goes into the crockpot because this adds a lot of extra flavor. That being said, if you’re pressed for time, you can skip this step and place the raw meat directly into the slow cooker.
- The vegetables in this dish are really intended to flavor the sauce rather than serve as a side dish. The veggies cook for an extended period of time and become very soft. If you want to serve the vegetables on the side, cut them into larger pieces and add them halfway through the cooking time so that they don’t get mushy.
- If your brisket doesn’t fit into your crockpot, you can cut it into two smaller pieces. I typically use an oval 6 quart pot to make sure I have plenty of space.
- Brisket is even better when it’s made a day in advance! Simply slice the meat, then store it in the sauce. Reheat on the stove over low heat, or bake covered in the oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
- You can shred your meat, or cut it in slices against the grain.
- I like to serve my brisket with roasted or mashed potatoes, along with vegetables such as carrots or green beans.
Crockpot brisket variations
I typically make this recipe as indicated, but you can add other flavors to the mix to switch things up a bit.
- BBQ Brisket: Sear the meat as directed, then coat it with spice rub and place it in the slow cooker with 1 cup of beef broth and 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce.
- Mexican Brisket: Sear the meat, then place in a crock pot along with sliced onions, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Shred the cooked meat, then stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro to taste.
- Italian Brisket: Double the amount of Italian seasoning, and add 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato sauce.
Can you overcook brisket?
There is such a thing as overcooking a brisket. You want the meat to be tender, but not overly soft or mushy. The optimal amount of time to cook a brisket in the slow cooker is 8 hours on low heat. Cooking a brisket on high heat tends to make it tougher, and you don’t really want to go much past the 8 hour mark on low.
Once you try this brisket, you’ll find yourself making it on the regular! It’s an easy, hands off way to prepare this delectable cut of meat, and the end result is nothing short of outstanding.
More delicious slow cooker recipes
- Slow Cooker Chicken Drumsticks
- Slow Cooker Chili
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Slow Cooker)
- Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin
- Ham and Bean Soup (Slow Cooker)
Slow cooker brisket video
Slow Cooker Brisket
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 beef brisket 3 1/2 - 4 pounds, I prefer the flat cut
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 3/4 cup carrot peeled, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup celery sliced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the brisket in the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes on each side or until browned.
- Coat a large oval slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Place the brisket in the slow cooker along with the onion, carrot, celery, Italian seasoning, garlic, bay leaf, beef broth and ketchup. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove the meat from the crockpot. Strain the liquid into a saucepan.
- Place the pan on the stove over high heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Place 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch.
- Add the cornstarch to the saucepan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
- Shred the brisket or slice it against the grain. Pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.