DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 8 hrs | Total: 8 hrs 15 mins | Servings:8


Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket
What we have here is my third stab at a slow cooker recipe. It is, in fact, also the third time I've ever used a slow cooker in my life. As of this writing, I've actually created about 7 recipes, but these notes are about the third one.

So far, it's been my observation that extra liquid isn't necessary in just about every slow-cooker recipe that I've read. It's my belief that this liquid is usually added so that the ingredients are "submerged", which seems intended to make the slow cookers "feel good". However, in the end, this tends to create a big puddle of watered down dinner.

I'm not an expert with these things, by any stretch of the imagination. However, let me explain a little bit about what I feel is happening.

Most all ingredients contain some amount of water. When you heat them up, portions of the water are released. In reality, you don't even necessarily need heat. Salt, for example, will also pull the moisture out of an ingredient. Interestingly, so does water (and the nefarious sugar!), but ... we're trying to limit the amount of water (and sugar!), not increase it.

It is my stance that if everything within a crock pot is well seasoned, that the salt and heat will pull the moisture out of the ingredients. This moisture is also FLAVORFUL, being the pure essence of the ingredients. As the ingredients cook in the moisture, they continue breaking down, releasing more flavorful liquids, resulting in the whole kit and caboodle being submerged, anyway.

"What about the first view hours, before the liquid comes out?" you might ask. The slow cooker is pretty hot under that lid. Foods suspended by other ingredients are still getting large blasts of slow and consistent heat from being within a hot and moist environment. Water vapor is all around your ingredients and cooking everything right along! I DO feel there should be at least a very small amount of liquid on the bottom, to just get the ball rolling, but ... only a tiny amount. More will follow!

I suggest reducing the amounts of water in any future slow cooker recipe you might have. I think you'll find it results in more flavor and a slightly more moist and tender product!

Anywhoo ... in this case, I wanted to go with what I think Slow Cookers are used for, anyway: ease and simplicity. This recipe has really has only 2 ingredients, takes only a few minutes to sear the meat and ... 8 hours later ... you're done! YUM!

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
5 lbs (2270g)  beef brisket, trimmed6287.7502.21406.790000
2 tbsp (28g)  light oil (coconut, olive ... or even bacon fat!)2402400000
1 cup (238g)  homemade bbq sauce (recipe)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste0000000
Totals (of 8 Servings):6754.8534.11g413.36g47.45g10.63g0g36.82g
Per Serving:844.3566.76g51.67g5.93g1.33g0g4.6g *


  1. Trim any excess fat off your brisket (leave some fat). Cut into large pieces which will fit in your slow cooker. Season heavily with salt and pepper.
  2. Add 1/2 of your BBQ sauce to the slow cooker and set it for a "low" cook.
  3. Heat up a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Add a lightly flavored oil with a high smoke point. Coconut oil would work nicely. When the oil begins to ripple, add your pieces of meat (do not crowd the pan. You may need to do this in batches). The meat should sear nicely and develop some great flavors. Sear all sides of the meat. When the meat has been seared on all sides, place a piece in the slow cooker and drizzle a little of the remaining BBQ sauce on it. Then, place another piece, followed by more BBQ sauce. The idea is to get a little BBQ sauce between every piece of meat.
  4. When all the brisket is within the slow cooker, add any remaining BBQ sauce.
  5. Cover and allow to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  6. Slice and serve!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


Instead of using a crock pot, I use a brownin bag in the oven.  225 for 6 to 8 hrs acording to how big the brisket is.  Takes care of all that excessjuice!

 Judy  1/9/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 1/9/2015
Hi Judy, there's always more than one way to skin a cat. You could do this in a pot on the stove, on a tray in the oven, in a smoker, on a grill with a big bowl, etc. I've never used a browning bag and a bit curious. Can you elaborate? I'm intrigued!

I think you'll love it, Lamar!

 DJ  5/6/2014


Now that recipe, my friend, looks to be an awesome one. We just got a new slow cooker and I am itching to try this one out in it... just as soon as the budget allows me to buy the brisket.

 Lamar  5/4/2014


Hi Kim, yes. In fact, it really doesn't even need THAT. One side of the brisket is always coated with a large layer of fat. I suggest trimming this down to about 1/4 of an inch, but ... some should stay. Then, sear it with the fat side down. This will QUICKLY begin to render, creating more than enough fat to sear the whole thing. The 2 tbsp of oil serve as little more than "kindling". I hope this helps! :)

 DJ  2/22/2014


Are you searing all 5 pounds of this meat in just 2 T of oil?

 Kim  2/22/2014


Hi Mary, corned beef brisket and beef brisket are both the same cut of beef. However, corned beef brisket has been cured in salts, which kind of dries it out. Then, it is boiled, I believe. Corned beef brisket is a completed "product", made from raw beef brisket. This recipe is using raw beef brisket. It's a fairly large, flat pieace of meat coming from the chest of a cow. I'd suggest asking your butcher. It has a tendency to be a bit tough, which is why low and slow cooking preparations are so good for it. It breaks it down and makes it soft and yummy. Good luck!

 DJ  3/11/2013


Hi DJ, I want to try this recipe. I've got one question: Is there a difference between beef brisket and corned beef brisket? Are they interchangeable? Thanks. And congrats on the Huff Post story!

 Mary  3/11/2013