Crockpot brisket smothered in a sweet and savory BBQ sauce is made by cooking the beef low and slow until tender and moist from all of the cooking juices. Dump everything in the slow cooker and let it do the work for you then finish it under the broiler if you want a caramelized crust. Or don’t, it’s amazing either way. This is the easiest way to make beef brisket any night of the week!
Slow cooker beef brisket is how I like to enjoy the flavors of the BBQ without having to fire up the grill.
Michigan weather often doesn’t cooperate for outdoor grilling so getting these flavors in the slow cooker, without heating up the kitchen, is a great backup.
The beef is cooked low and slow in a sweet, tangy, smoky BBQ sauce until fall-apart tender.
The fat renders its own juices that add to the flavors of the sauce. I like to place it under the broiler at the end so that the dry rub and sauce caramelize to form a crispy exterior.
In the end, you don’t need a reason or season to make this crockpot brisket recipe. It’s simply amazing so you should make it whenever you want. Like, right now 🙂
Why you’ll love this Crockpot Brisket Recipe
Simple recipe – Through and through, this couldn’t be an easier recipe to make. Add your ingredients to the slow cooker and let the magic of the crockpot do the rest.
Pantry staples – This easy crockpot brisket recipe gets its flavor from simple pantry items like soy sauce, paprika, and brown sugar, to name a few. I love it when we can enjoy complex flavors from simple ingredients.
Always a hit – The whole family will love every bite of their tender brisket. The saucy, juicy, sweet, and savory flavors make this a delicious meal for family dinners!
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Brisket – I use a 5-7 pound brisket in a 6-quart crockpot. This makes about 8 servings. This cut of beef is flat cut with plenty of connective tissues in it. It usually comes with a layer of fat on it, which helps with flavor and moisture. I like to trim it ahead of time, but you can do it after if you’d like.
- Beef Broth – We need a flavorful liquid to help keep the meat moist as well as prevent burning. Low sodium can be used if you’re worried about the salt content.
- Worcestershire Sauce & Soy Sauce – Both add a savory umami flavor to the broth that adds the most amazing flavor to the juicy beef brisket.
- Dry Seasoning – Smoked paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic salt, black pepper. You’ll notice that the recipe states you’ll season the beef by sprinkling the seasoning on top of the brisket. If you prefer, you can season the beef with the dry rub ahead of time.
- BBQ Sauce – Use your favorite store-bought or homemade bbq sauce! I have a couple I use, one is a KFC honey BBQ sauce copycat and the other is a homemade spicy BBQ sauce. Use what you like!
- Parsley – An optional garnish.
How to make Crockpot Brisket Recipe
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: Add the beef to the slow cooker and pour in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce as well.
- Step Two: Sprinkle the paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic salt, and black pepper overtop the brisket. Then, add 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce over it.
- Step Three: Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until the crockpot brisket is fork tender.
- Step Four: An optional step is to remove the brisket from the pot and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with the remaining BBQ sauce and place it under the broiler so that it forms a nice crust on the outside. Enjoy!
What to serve with this Crockpot Brisket Recipe
Crockpot brisket is flavorful, tender, and versatile with plenty of ways to enjoy it.
Our favorite way is to use slices to make a sandwich, and fill one hour dinner rolls with additional BBQ sauce and creamy coleslaw for some messy good sliders! Sometimes we’ll make brisket tacos, or shred it for nachos too.
For a holiday gathering or sit-down Sunday dinner you can also slice up your slow cooker beef brisket and serve it with some mashed potatoes and oven roasted garlic green beans. It’s also an easy dinner idea any night of the week!
Other side dishes that would pair well with your beef include:
- Easy homemade honey cornbread
- Stovetop macaroni and cheese
- Simple garlic knots
- Slow cooker corn on the cob
Tips & Suggestions
- If you have time to prep ahead, rub the brisket with the dry spices and cover and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight. It doesn’t need it, but it’s a nice bonus if you have the time.
- For a little heat, add some red chili flakes or red pepper flakes to the pot.
- You can add a couple of drops of liquid smoke (a little goes a long way) to the sauce if you can’t find smoked paprika.
- It’s just as easy to cut thin slices of this crockpot brisket beef as it is to shred it. If serving slices, you want to slice against the grain. To keep it moist, add it back to the pot to sit in the cooking liquid until you’re ready to serve it.
- Once the beef is done cooking, let it rest on a cutting board before slicing into it. This will allow the juices to settle and redistribute throughout the meat.
How to reheat and store Crockpot Brisket
How to store leftovers
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container. Allow the meat to cool first before closing the lid.
How long will slow cooker brisket last in the fridge?
Up to 3 days which is great since there are plenty of ways to use leftovers.
Can I freeze cooked brisket?
You can keep it frozen for up to 2 months. I like to wrap it in plastic wrap or foil before adding it to a freezer bag or container to prevent freezer burn. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
How to reheat slow cooker beef brisket?
The best way to reheat crockpot brisket without drying it out is to use the oven on low. Cover it with foil, make sure to add any juices you had stored along with it, and warm through at no higher than 350 degrees.
How can I tell when my brisket is done?
For brisket cooked in a crockpot, the texture matters as much as the internal temperature. You’ll know it’s ready when a thermometer inserted into the middle of the beef reads somewhere between 195 and 215 degrees. However, the edges also should pull away when poked at with a fork.
Can I cook it on high heat instead?
You can cook crockpot brisket on high for 5 hours, however, if you’ve got the time, I’d say don’t rush it! Low and slow is best for this cut of beef.
Should I brown the meat ahead of time?
That’s totally up to you! I don’t, as I find it’s super flavorful and moist without the extra step, but you certainly can.
Need more slow cooker beef recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.