Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket - A super simple way to prepare fall-apart-tender beef brisket! And the sauce is amazing too!

After making this incredible recipe a few weeks ago, my husband Jack and I had half a slab of beef brisket in our refrigerator, just waiting to be used. So what to make? This Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket!

Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest area of cattle and while it’s a very flavorful cut of beef – unless it’s cooked correctly , it can be very tough to eat. So a low-and-slow cooking method like braising – on the stovetop, in an oven, or in a slow cooker – is really the ideal way to cook a beef brisket so it comes out tender.

Our beef brisket recipe today is written for the slow cooker and it allows you to do all of the prep the night before.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket - A super simple way to prepare fall-apart-tender beef brisket! And the sauce is amazing too!

We left the brisket whole and seared it before adding the beef to the slow cooker along with some sautéed onions and a bit of tomato paste. Then we created a fantastic braising liquid of bourbon, cola, beef stock, sugar, mustard, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and a few dashes of hot sauce. (Trust me – all of those ingredients create one amazing braising liquid and it becomes an even more amazing barbecue sauce after it has cooked!)

Then – turn your slow cooker on in the morning and let it do its thing all day long. The brisket comes out fall-apart-tender and super flavorful! And it is amazing sliced up for sandwiches and perfect served along with our homemade coleslaw.

Our friends at Certified Angus Beef® brand are a great resource if you’d like more information about different cuts of beef, and how best to cook them.  You can read more here.  Disclosure: Certified Angus Beef® sponsored a trip for me to visit their headquarters in Wooster, Ohio earlier this year. We were not compensated for this post and simply wanted to share some additional resources for purchasing and cooking with beef with our readers. #ROASTINGSEASON

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket - A Family Feast

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 hours
  • Total Time: 10 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4


Note: This recipe was written for you to sear the meat the night before and store in the refrigerator with all of the other ingredients overnight. It was written this way for a busy working household where you do all the prep the night before and just place the bowl in the slow cooker the following morning and let it cook all day while you are out. When you return at the end of the day, dinner is ready. Or feel free to prepare everything in the morning and let it cook all day. Either way, it will need 8-10 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high. (Slow cookers vary. Our brisket was pull-apart tender in nine hours on low.)


  • 2 pounds beef brisket
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup non diet cola
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
  • Bulky rolls
  • Coleslaw (see our recipe here)


  1. Pat the beef dry and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat both oils in a heavy bottomed pan or pot until smoking hot and carefully lay in the beef. Let it sear without touching for about four to five minutes, flip and repeat. Remove directly to the slow cooker pot.
  3. Reduce heat to medium high and add onions. Cook for one minute and add tomato paste. Stir constantly for another minute.
  4. Add bourbon to deglaze pan. Let reduce by half then add cola, beef stock, sugar, mustard, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and hot sauce. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  5. Pour liquid over beef. At this point, you can refrigerate until morning or place in slow cooker and set for eight to ten hours on low or five to seven on high. While beef is cooking, or the night before, prepare the coleslaw (see recipe here).
  6. Once beef is fall apart tender, remove to a cutting board to rest. Pour the contents of the slow cooker into a sauce pan and reduce to a thick sauce, about 1 ½ cups.
  7. To serve, slice the beef against the grain, place coleslaw on the roll bottom and top with the sliced beef and spoon on some of the sauce you reduced. Serve with lots of napkins.

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  • Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic wrote:

    I love, love, LOVE braised brisket!! This recipe is going on our Short List of new recipes to try.

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious wrote:

    I’m drooling over this recipe! I need to try it out, soon. Also, I love the photos. meat is so hard to make look pretty, but you did an awesome job!

  • anna @ annamayeveryday wrote:

    I love slow cooked brisket and yours looks just delicious!

  • Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) wrote:

    Oh my goodness, this looks unreal! So saucy and delicious!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche wrote:

    This beef brisket is all I am craving right now – it looks so tender and delicious! Definitely a recipe I need to try out.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Thalia!

  • Anita wrote:

    Oh wow, I just got back from Kansas City and am seriously craving some barbecue! This brisket looks amazing!

  • Ginny McMeans wrote:

    The slow cooker is just a miracle worker sometimes! All of your seasonings and ingredients seem like the perfect mix to turn that brisket into something very special.

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes wrote:

    Oh my. You have truly outdone yourself! I’ve never had anything that amazing looking come out of my slow cooker. I have to give this a whirl.

  • kita wrote:

    That first photo… that has to be the pretties brisket I have ever seen!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Kita! (It tastes as good as it looks!)

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom wrote:

    Martha!! oh my goodness. . that first shot of the his Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket! Damn. . that looks soooo good!! Can’t wait to try this!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Alice! (I’m wishing I had some right now…)

  • [email protected] Mom wrote:

    That looks incredible!! I love my crock pot!

  • Amanda @ The Kitcheneer wrote:

    I can literally see my husband drooling over this! Barbecue beef brisket is his fave! I might have to surprise him with this one night!

  • Nikki @ NikSnacks wrote:

    Holy moly! This looks AMAZING! I’m bookmarking this.

  • Kristen wrote:

    I love how it cooked down so tender! This looks like perfect winter comfort food!

  • Sarah wrote:

    This looks delicious! I’m always looking for new slow cooker recipes, and this looks perfect for busy weeknights.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sarah!

  • Kate @ Diethood wrote:

    Seriously?? I’d tear into that like a hungry wolf! haha No, really…that looks damn good!!

  • Cookin Canuck wrote:

    I never think to buy brisket and I now I’m thinking that needs to change. This looks incredible!

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    Wow this looks really good

  • Christie – Food Done Light wrote:

    What a delicious brisket and I love that it is done in the slow cooker. It is going to have such delicious flavor and smokiness.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Christie!

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor wrote:

    I love slow cooker recipes! They make the work week so much easier. And this brisket looks so tender, I want to reach through my screen and grab a plate!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ashley!

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