Beef Brisket in the slow cooker

Ahhhhhh say it ain’t so! Yup it’s so.
I found this recipe by accident and I know if you are a hard core smoker, not the coughing and hacking kind, cooking a brisket in the slow cooker is sacrilege.
But I love brisket and smoking one properly at -15 is not my idea of a good day. So here we go with a great alternative. Oh it will still take the day to do it, but you’ll be warmer.

Beef Brisket done in a slow cooker

Normally a brisket is smoked but this looked so good I had to try it
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time11 hrs
Total Time11 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brisket
Calories: 450kcal
Cost: $30.0p


  • slow cooker


  • 4-6 lb brisket first cut recommended
  • 10 whole garlic cloves peeled
  • 3 whole onions sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne ; if you are very spice sensitive just use a pinch


  • First off, If there is wine involved during the cooking process on this one, go easy. It will be a long day.
  • Place half of the chopped onions, 5 of the garlic cloves and the bay leaves in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Rinse the brisket and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides of the meat lightly with black pepper and salt. Or Montreal steak spice. If you’re using a kosher salted brisket, or if you are salt sensitive, skip the salting.
  • Brown the brisket on both sides. If you have a cast iron skillet even better .Some recipes will tell you not to worry about browning, but to me it makes a difference as it seals then juices in the meat. Yes I know it’s a slow cooker but the extra flavour shines through.Make sure you get some nice dark brown bits on there, it really adds to the flavor.
  • Once the brisket is browned, place it in the slow cooker, top off with the remaining onions and garlic and cover. Do not clean the skillet.
  • Next drain the fat from the skillet, don’t scrape out the good stuff, we need it, so leave any pepper, spices, yummy burnt bits, meat pieces…….you get the idea.
  • Return the skillet to the stove.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the water, 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, turmeric and cayenne.
  • Pour the water and spice mixture into the skillet and heat over medium until hot and bubbly, using the liquid to deglaze the pan and loosening brown bits gently from the bottom of the skillet with a spatula. Try not to taste. Mmmmmmm
  • Pour The contents of the skillet over the brisket, cover and place the slow cooker on low for 8- 10 hours, or until fork tender. Tenderness will increase as it cooks, so take it out when it’s tender to your liking. You want it firm enough to slice but tender enough that the edges shred with a fork.
  • Remove brisket from the pan and let it rest on the cutting board fat-side up for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, skim fat from the surface of the cooking sauce.
  • Thicken the left over cooking sauce by first removing the bay leaves, then using an immersion blender to blend the sauce with the garlic and onions directly in the slow cooker or place in a blender.
  • Once your sauce is ready, cut the fat cap off the brisket.
  • Cut the brisket into thin ½” to 3/4”slices against the grain.
  • Return slices to the slow cooker and cover with sauce heating in the sauce for 30-60 minutes more until sauce is hot, bubbly and thickened around the meat.
  • Serve sliced brisket hot with sauce