Beef brisket is a slow-cooker success

Published 11:43 am Monday, April 16, 2018

Ultimate Beef Brisket

– 3-4 lb trimmed beef brisket

– 1-1/2 cups water

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– 2 oz liquid smoke

– 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

– 1-1/2 tsp coarse salt

– 1-1/2 tsp pepper

– 1 tsp onion salt

– 1 tsp garlic salt

– 1 tsp celery salt

Rinse brisket and place in crock of slow cooker.

Pour water, liquid smoke, and Worcestershire sauce over meat.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, and celery salt evenly over brisket.

Gently lift the edges of the brisket so part of the liquid runs under the meat.

Put the lid on the crock and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Take crock out of the refrigerator and place in slow cooker base.

Program slow cooker for 8 hours on low heat.

When cooking is done, remove meat to a large cutting board and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Slice brisket against the grain and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.


When I decided to prepare today’s recipe, which comes from, I was in the mood for beef. After staring into our freezer, saw a brisket and thought, “That’s it!”

I pulled the brisket from the freezer and moved it to the refrigerator to thaw.

While looking through my “other meat” folder, I found several brisket recipes, the only thing I had to do was decide which one to fix. The first one I found called for cooking it in the oven for about five hours at a really low temperature and that’s the one I knew I’d make.

I decided I’d get the brisket ready and then go home at lunchtime and put it in the oven to cook. Supper would be on the table in no time.

Well, things happen, and the night before I was going to prepare the brisket, something came up and I wasn’t going to be able to go home at lunchtime. So back to the “other meat” folder I went.

I looked at about three brisket recipes where you cooked it in a slow cooker and decided on ultimate beef brisket for no particular reason, because they were basically all the same.

Most of the recipes called for marinating the meat eight hours or overnight. Overnight was my plan, so I mixed all of the seasonings in a small bowl and then mixed the liquid ingredients in another container.

I pulled out my shallow slow cooker because I had a small brisket. The recipe calls for a three- to four-pound brisket, and mine was only two-and-a-half pounds.

I varied the recipe a bit and instead of pouring the liquid on the meat then sprinkling the seasonings on top, I rubbed the seasonings all over the brisket then poured the liquid over it.

I also didn’t bother trimming the fat off the brisket, I just put it in the slow cooker fat side up. My theory on that was the fat would melt down into the meat and make it more tender.

When pouring the liquid over the meat, I was careful to pour slowly so as not to wash the dry seasonings off of the meat.

I put the lid on the pot and placed the whole thing in the refrigerator to marinate.

Because the recipe states the brisket is to cook eight hours and because the one I had was smaller than the recipe called for, I decided to take the whole thing to work and let it cook there. I’m away from the house almost 10 hours each day, so I was afraid if I let it cook at home, it would be way overdone by the time we were ready to eat.

I put the slow cooker in the refrigerator at work until about 10:30 a.m. and then plugged it up under my desk because I was afraid if I put it in our break area someone might lift the lid to figure out what was cooking and that is a no-no when using a slow cooker.

I had to leave the office to run a few errands during my lunch hour, and when I returned, the smell coming from under my desk was something else and my co-workers wanted to know what in the world I was doing.

I laughed and told Cynthia and Courtney I was cooking my supper and they both wanted to know “What’s for supper?”

When I told them, they both said they wanted the recipe — almost in unison — if it was good. I promised to bring any leftovers for them to taste the next day.

When it was time to go home, I crawled under my desk and unplugged the cooker. It was really hot, and there was lots of juice in the pot. I decided I better place the whole thing in a box and, for good measure, I placed a big rubber band across the top and around the handles, hoping that would keep the lid in place. I wanted the box there to catch any spills that might happen while driving on country roads getting home — it had nothing to do with my driving.

When I got home, I was extremely happy that I’d done that because the juices had spilled out; not a lot, but enough that I would have had a mess to clean up in my car. The only trouble I had was when I turned into our driveway.

Since our gravel is a bit rough, the slow cooker jostled quite a bit on the way up the drive.

Once in the house, I plugged in the slow cooker ands set it to the warm setting.

Then I began getting the rest of our meal prepared. Brad arrived home about 30 minutes later, and we were ready to eat.

I know you are supposed to cut brisket a different way, so we looked it up on the cell phone. Once we watched a short video, we were confident we could do the job.

I gave Brad the honors of slicing the meat. The first thing he did was slice the fat off the top. At that point we could truly see the grain of the beef and he began cutting.

The meat sliced easily, and after a prayer, we were ready to fill our plates. The meat was tender and we both liked it. However, I didn’t taste much of the marinade. In spite of that, I nailed this recipe and I will make it again, but I’ll double up on the spices.

One other thing I’ll probably do is use less water and more liquid smoke and Worcestershire. I’m looking forward to finding brisket on sale so we can do this again.

Oh, and by the way, there was no brisket leftover so Cynthia and Courtney were out of luck.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.