Beef brisket can’t be rushed. It’s known as being a tougher cut of meat so if you don’t cook it low-and-slow, you’ll likely be disappointed. That’s why we like this beef brisket slow cooker recipe. You can set-it-and-forget it and your slow cooker does all of the work for you.
Do you remember the country song by Alabama that says, “I’m in a hurry to get things done, I just rush & rush until life’s no fun.” If that’s your personal theme song, you may have a tough time making a good beef brisket.
Why cook beef brisket low and slow?
Brisket is one of the primal cuts of beef, and it’s from the breast section of the cow. When a cow stands or lies down, much of their body weight is on this area. Since this muscle is used often, it’s stronger, and therefore has a lot of collagen and connective tissue.
By cooking brisket on a low heat for a long time, the connective tissues dissolve and the beef becomes tender. That’s why cooking it “low and slow” over many, many hours is essential.
Flat cut vs. Point cut
Brisket is made of two different muscles, which are separated by a thick layer of fat. The two cuts of brisket are the flat (a.k.a. first cut, the leaner end) and the point (a.k.a. second cut, the fat end).
A whole brisket can weigh anywhere from about 5 to 20 pounds. Usually, grocery stores sell brisket as either the flat or point, not a whole brisket. If you want a whole brisket, you’ll need to go to a local butcher or a local farmer.
If you’re not ready to tackle a whole brisket yet, we recommend starting with either the flat or point cut. It’ll be a slightly smaller piece of beef, and will be easier to cook.
When cooking a whole brisket, remember that the flat and point cook differently — this is why cooking brisket can be so tricky! The flat is slightly leaner than the point and is easier to overcook. The point is very well-marbled and needs a longer cook time.
As a side note, an interesting fact that usually surprises people is that there is only one brisket per animal. When you purchase a quarter or half beef from Clover Meadows Beef, you are “cow-pooling” with others and splitting all the beef in the animal, including the brisket. This means with a quarter or half beef you won’t get a whole brisket. Instead, you’ll get amazing flat and point briskets that will melt-in-your-mouth.
How to cook beef brisket in slow cooker?
There are lots of different ways to cook brisket, but for the best results you’ll want to have a long cooking time at a low temperature. Whether you choose to cook it in your oven, slow cooker, grill, or somewhere else, is entirely up to you.
When we are going to be gone all day and want dinner ready when we come back home, we turn to our slow cooker. This is the beef brisket slow cooker recipe we like. It’s super simple.
If you’d rather use the oven, check out our oven-roasted beef brisket recipe .
Remember, patience is a must when cooking brisket! It needs to cook for about 40 minutes per pound. We recommend using a digital meat thermometer to make sure the beef is done to the correct temperature.
According to a study done by Cook’s Illustrated, “To achieve tender and juicy brisket in a reasonable amount of time (about 4 hours), the key is to hold the meat between 180 and 200 degrees.”
To make sure brisket hits the 180-200°F sweet spot, we like to use the Thermoworks Chef Alarm. It has a leave-in probe that lets us monitor how the brisket it’s cooking.
Rest & Serve
Once the brisket has reached your desired temperature, pull it from the oven. Then, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before you cut and serve. Resting the meat lets the brisket’s fibers relax and widen so that juices redistribute throughout the cut of beef.
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Beef Brisket Slow Cooker
- 1 Beef Brisket
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- A dash of A1 sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the dry rub ingredients; rub over brisket. Place in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Let it sit in the slow cooker for at least an hour. If possible, put the slow cooker in your refrigerator and let it sit overnight so that the beef can absorb the spices from the rub.
- In a large bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Pour half over the brisket; set the remaining sauce aside. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8 hours, or until meat is tender. Serve with the reserved sauce.
- Slice all the meat against the grain, and it will literally be falling apart. Yum!
Other Brisket Recipes You May Enjoy
- Easy Oven Roasted Beef Brisket
- Braised Beef Brisket (oven-roasted)
- What Everybody Ought to Know About Beef Cuts
- 10 Best Beef Rub Recipes
- 3 Touch Tests for Steak Doneness
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