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Saucy, Smoky & Simply Delicious: Slow-Cooker Barbecued Brisket

Be the boss of your next barbecue and let your slow cooker do all the heavy lifting.
By Stephanie Wise
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I’m constantly surprised by what otherwise fussy recipes can be made (and made easy!) in the slow cooker. From cakes to casseroles to roasts and egg bakes, there are seemingly endless possibilities with the trusty small appliance.

That goes for this slow-cooked barbecue beef brisket recipe, too! What was once a recipe I was afraid to approach is now a go-to for all sorts of occasions, from holidays to dinner parties to backyard picnics. 

If you’ve never made beef brisket before, in all its savory and saucy goodness, now is the time. It’s a simple as creating a rub for the meat, pouring a homemade barbecue sauce over the top and letting it cook low and slow. At the end of the day, you’ll have a tender and flavorful cut of beef that tastes great on its own or on a sandwich. Here’s how to do it: 

First, make the rub. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, spices like chipotle chili powder, cumin and garlic powder, plus some salt and pepper. Rub it all over and into the brisket and place it in a slow cooker. If the cut of meat you purchase doesn’t fit well in the slow cooker, you can cut it into more manageable chunks, as I did.

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Combine ketchup with onion, Worcestershire and apple cider vinegar in another small bowl and pour it evenly over the brisket in the slow cooker. Pour in some broth or water, too, then cover the slow cooker.

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Cook the meat on low for at least six hours, until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the largest cut of meat reads at least 160°F.

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Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes so it can reabsorb some of the juices before you slice it. Use a sharp serrated knife to slice the meat against the grain into thin, long slices. Add the remaining ketchup to the sauce in the slow cooker and stir until smooth and slightly thickened.

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Serve the brisket with the sauce poured over the top. It tastes great as a side dish to classic barbecue accompaniments including potato salad, cornbread and coleslaw, but my favorite way to serve it is as a sandwich with creamy coleslaw on top. You’ve got to try it!

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However you choose to serve it, get ready to make this easy slow cooker brisket a part of your regular menu.

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