Slow Cooker Barbecued Beef Brisket

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Slow cooker champion recipe is what this meal is.  It comes from a wonderful cookbook, The Best Slow and Easy Recipes from America's Test Kitchen.  If you like beef brisket or Texas-style barbecue, then this recipe is somewhat blasphemous but also right on the money.  We tried it out Thursday night and invited some friends over to help us eat this huge piece of meat.  This is a party or large family recipe (or you will eat leftovers for a week).  The beef comes out so tender and moist that you don't even need sauce, but the "au jus" and barbecue sauces are great additions, as well.  We served this up with some potatoes (recipe to come later this week) and baked beans. 

This recipe takes a long time- almost a full day when you include preparation, but almost all that time is inactive prep or cooking time, so it's also great for when you don't have a ton of time to be attentively attending to something.  The recipe itself is easy, and brisket is a good price, at least at our markets, so it's a fairly economical meal.  The one thing that you want to make sure you note is that because of brisket's fat content, 1 pound of meat will only feed about 1-2 people generously, so don't think that you can feed the entire neighborhood.  We cut the 6 lb brisket I got in half and just fed 6 people with no leftovers. 

Slow Cooker Barbecued Beef Brisket
from The Best Slow and Easy Recipes from America's Test Kitchen

¼ c packed light brown sugar

¼ c paprika
1 Tb. Onion powder
1 Tb. Garlic powder
1 Tb. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. cayenne
1 (4-5 lb) beef brisket, preferably flat cut
1 cup barbecue sauce
Cider Vinegar
Ground black pepper

1. Mix the first 6 ingredients plus ½ tsp. salt together and then rub the mixture evenly over the meat. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

2. Unwrap the brisket and lay it fat side up in the slow cooker. Spread the barbecue sauce evenly over the brisket. Cover and cook until the meat is very tender and meets very little resistance when pierced with a fork, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.

3. Transfer the brisket to a 9x13 baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt the slow cooker and remove as much fat as possible from the surface using a large spoon. Season the sauce with additional sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Poke the brisket all over with a fork, pour 1 cup of the sauce over the top, and let it rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain. Arrange the meat on a serving platter and serve, passing the remaining sauce separately.

  • We bought a 6 lb brisket and cooked half of it. We cooked it around 11 hours.
  • Drew seasoned the sauce- some vinegar and sugar.
  • We used the Dean Bros. BBQ sauce from the cookbook we have of theirs.

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