low Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe

Beef brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. Known for its rich flavor and dense texture, brisket has become a beloved ingredient in various cuisines around the world. Its popularity can be attributed to its versatility in cooking methods, including smoking, braising, and slow cooking. Brisket is particularly famous in barbecue traditions, where it’s celebrated for its ability to transform into a tender, flavorful dish after hours of cooking. The benefits of slow cooking brisket are numerous; this method breaks down the tough connective tissues in the meat, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s both juicy and flavorful. Slow cooking also allows the brisket to absorb the aromas and tastes of spices and liquids it’s cooked with, making it a hearty and satisfying dish.

Choosing the Right Cut

When selecting a beef brisket, it’s essential to understand the two primary cuts available: the flat cut and the point cut. The flat cut, also known as the first cut, is leaner and more uniform in shape, making it an excellent choice for slicing and serving. It’s ideal for those who prefer a neater presentation and less fat in their meat. On the other hand, the point cut, or second cut, contains more fat and connective tissues, contributing to a richer flavor and more tender texture after cooking. This cut is perfect for dishes where the meat is meant to be shredded or pulled apart. When choosing a brisket cut, consider the cooking method and the desired outcome of your dish. For slow cooking, both cuts work well, but the point cut may offer a slight edge in flavor and tenderness due to its higher fat content.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Preparing a slow cooker beef brisket requires a selection of ingredients that contribute to its rich flavor and tender texture. The primary ingredient is, of course, the beef brisket itself. Accompanying this are spices such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano, which form the rub. For the cooking liquid, low sodium beef broth, soy sauce, and ketchup are used to create a flavorful base that the brisket can simmer in.

Substitutions can be made to accommodate dietary restrictions or personal preferences. For instance, coconut aminos or tamari can replace soy sauce for a gluten-free option or to reduce sodium content further. Instead of ketchup, a mixture of tomato paste and a touch of honey or maple syrup can be used to achieve a similar sweetness with more control over the ingredients. If low sodium beef broth is not available, a combination of water and a reduced amount of regular beef broth can be used, or even vegetable broth for a slightly different flavor profile.

The importance of using low sodium beef broth cannot be overstated. It allows for better control over the saltiness of the dish, ensuring that the natural flavors of the meat and spices shine through without being overpowered by salt.

Marinating the Brisket

Marinating the brisket overnight is a crucial step in achieving the most flavorful and tender result. The process allows the spices to penetrate deeply into the meat, infusing it with rich flavors and starting the tenderization process, which is essential for a cut as tough as brisket.

Marinate Recipe and Instructions:

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
    • ¼ cup ketchup or tomato paste mixture
  • Instructions:
    1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano.
    2. Rub this mixture all over the brisket, ensuring every part is covered.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beef broth, soy sauce, and ketchup.
    4. Place the brisket in a large resealable bag or a deep dish, then pour the liquid mixture over it, ensuring it’s well-coated.
    5. Seal or cover, and refrigerate overnight, turning once if possible.

This marinating step not only seasons the brisket but also begins the process of breaking down the tough muscle fibers, leading to a more tender and flavorful dish after slow cooking.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Remove the marinated brisket from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Place the brisket in the slow cooker, fat side up. Surround it with any remaining marinade and additional ingredients like sliced onions and garlic cloves for added flavor.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The long cooking time allows the brisket to become incredibly tender.

Instant Pot Method:

  1. Set the Instant Pot to the “Sauté” function and add a bit of oil. Sear the brisket on both sides to develop a crust, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  2. Add the marinade and any additional ingredients. Lock the lid in place and set the valve to “Sealing.”
  3. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes, then allow a natural release for 15 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. Place the brisket in a roasting pan, fat side up. Add the marinade and cover tightly with foil or a lid.
  3. Bake for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the brisket is fork-tender.

Cooking Time and Temperatures

The key to a perfect brisket is the low and slow cooking method. This approach gently breaks down the tough connective tissues, transforming the brisket into a tender, flavorful dish. For smaller cuts, reduce the cooking time slightly, but always ensure the meat reaches a tender consistency. The exact time may vary based on the size and thickness of the brisket.

Serving and Pairing

Finishing the Brisket

After cooking, let the brisket rest for about 20 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring the meat is moist and flavorful. Slice the brisket against the grain for the tenderest texture. To thicken the sauce, remove the brisket and set the slow cooker to high or transfer the juices to a saucepan and simmer until reduced. Arrowroot powder or cornstarch can be whisked in to help thicken the sauce further.

Serving Suggestions

Brisket can be served in a variety of ways, making it a versatile dish for any occasion. Traditional sides include:

  • Roasted vegetables
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Coleslaw

For a creative twist, consider serving brisket:

  • As a filling for tacos or burritos
  • Shredded on top of a pizza
  • In a brisket grilled cheese sandwich

Experiment with different accompaniments to discover your favorite way to enjoy this delicious dish.


How to Keep Brisket Moist in a Slow Cooker?

  • To ensure your brisket remains moist throughout the slow cooking process, it’s crucial to use enough liquid. The liquid should come up at least a quarter of the way up the side of the brisket. Additionally, cooking the brisket fat side up allows the fat to render down into the meat, naturally basting it and adding moisture. Wrapping the brisket in foil or using a tight-fitting lid also helps trap steam and moisture.

Can Brisket be Overcooked in a Slow Cooker?

  • Yes, brisket can become overcooked in a slow cooker, leading to dry and crumbly meat. This usually happens if the brisket is cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. To avoid this, cook the brisket on low heat and start checking for doneness after about 8 hours of cooking. A meat thermometer should read around 200°F (93°C) when inserted into the thickest part of the brisket, indicating it’s perfectly cooked.

Best Way to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Store leftover brisket in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, place the brisket in a baking dish with a few tablespoons of broth or water, cover tightly with foil, and warm in a 325°F (163°C) oven until heated through. This method helps retain moisture, ensuring the brisket remains tender.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Dealing with Tough Brisket: If your brisket turns out tough, it’s likely undercooked. Continue cooking it until it reaches the desired tenderness. Slow and low is the key.

Adjusting for a Larger Brisket: For larger cuts, extend the cooking time accordingly. Ensure the brisket is evenly covered with rub and submerged in enough liquid to prevent drying out.

Advanced Techniques for Flavor

Introducing Smoke Flavor in a Slow Cooker: Add a smoky flavor by incorporating liquid smoke into the cooking liquid or using smoked paprika in your rub.

Using Rubs and Injections: Enhance the brisket’s flavor by applying a generous amount of rub both under and over the fat cap. For deeper flavor penetration, consider using a marinade injector to inject the cooking liquid or a specialized brisket injection solution directly into the meat.

These tips and techniques can help you master the art of cooking brisket, ensuring delicious results every time.

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Recipe

This Slow Cooker Beef Brisket recipe guarantees a tender, flavorful meal with minimal effort. Perfect for any occasion, it's a set-it-and-forget-it dish that will impress your guests or provide a comforting meal for your family. The brisket is marinated overnight, then slow-cooked to perfection, creating a melt-in-your-mouth texture that's irresistible.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Marinate Time: 8 hours
Total Time 18 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Serves
Calories 347 kcal


  • Slow Cooker or Crockpot
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 3-4 lbs beef brisket
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water


  • Marinate the Brisket: Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the brisket. Place in a resealable bag with minced garlic and sliced onion. Mix beef broth, soy sauce, and ketchup; pour over the brisket. Marinate overnight.
  • Cook: Place the brisket and marinade in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until tender.
  • Thicken the Sauce: Mix arrowroot powder with cold water to form a slurry. Pour into the cooking liquid, stirring until thickened.
  • Serve: Let the brisket rest for 20 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve with the sauce.


  • Marinating Time: For the best flavor, marinate the brisket overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Cooking on High: If short on time, you can cook the brisket on high for 4-5 hours, but the meat may not be as tender.
  • Serving Suggestions: Pair with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or your favorite side dishes.
  • Storing Leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently with a bit of broth to keep the brisket moist.
Keyword Crockpot Brisket, Easy Beef Brisket, Slow Cooker Beef Brisket, Tender Brisket Recipe