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Slow-Cooker BBQ Joint Beef Brisket Recipe

Making food from scratch is one of those things that I take pride in. Pancakes? We have ‘em at least once a week, always from scratch. Biscuits? When I get the hankering I turn to a great recipe that I found on The Perfect Pantry. Cookies? Always from scratch. Macaroni and cheese? Usually from scratch.

But that said, I have a strong aversion to any recipe that strikes me as being fussy. Making puff pastry from scratch? Too fussy – I am happy to purchase the Artisan Puff Pastry from Trader Joe’s instead. Croissants? I would love to know how to make them, but I’ve read recipes for them dozens of times and it’s just too time-consuming.

So, when it comes to the rare occasion when I pull out the trusty Crock-Pot, I expect that whatever I make will be easy and fast to pull together. Isn’t that the whole point of using it? I thought so.

This is all a very long lead in to saying that I really find the recipes in Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook to be way too fussy. I’ve tried several recipes from this book over the years. Every time, I find that they have too many steps. Brown in a frying pan, cook this, mix that … it’s stealing the ‘quick and easy’ from the whole Crock-Pot idea.

So, it was with great reluctance that I decided to make the Tangy Tomato Brisket recipe from this book (worst name ever — it’s more like a BBQ joint brisket). As usual, I prepped my mise en place and reread the recipe to find that there were way more steps than I wanted. That meant the brisket got into the pan later than I wanted and I had to adjust the heat and time to accommodate it …

But I wouldn’t be telling you about this recipe if it wasn’t good. And good it was. I loved it. The sauce was rich and spicy-sweet, like my favorite BBQ joint’s brisket. It was fork-tender and tasted delightful with the onions …

It’s not for a busy mom on a workday – it cooks too fast (5-7 hours on low) and takes too much to pull together (prep time is roughly 30 minutes, maybe 40). But for a lazy Sunday? Perfect. And if you cook it just a little longer than you can shred it with two forks and serve it up on rolls … I bet a little cheddar would be good too.

Slow-Cooker BBQ Joint Beef Brisket Recipe

Slow-Cooker BBQ Joint Beef Brisket Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Adapted slightly from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 3- to 4- pound beef brisket
  • 2 large onions, , cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, , crushed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt, , pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown the brisket for three minutes on each side then remove from skillet and set aside. Add the onions and cook until browned, stirring constantly. Beware smokiness -- you might need to keep a window open to keep the smoke detectors happy. Once the onions are done, remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika. Coat both sides of the brisket with the sauce then set on a plate.
  3. Add half of the onions to the slow-cooker. Then add the brisket. Top with the other half of the onions, and then the remainder of the sauce.
  4. The book says to cook on low for 5-7 hours. However, if you need to speed it up, cook on low for 4 hours and on high for 1 hour.
  5. Slice against the grain and serve with the sauce and onions ...

FC Mom

Sunday 17th of January 2010

TOTALLY agree that their recipes are too fussy! Makes me insane! I often head over to A Year of Slow Cooking blog (crockpot 365) because her recipes are so much more realistic. I also made this brisket and LOVED IT, and will do it again this week despite the prep work because it is so good and makes amazing leftovers. I'll see if I can cut the prep time somehow.

Natasha - 5 Star Foodie

Thursday 15th of October 2009

The beef brisket in a slow cooker sounds amazing, must be fall-apart tender!

Sarah Caron

Thursday 15th of October 2009

Lydia, it totally is brisket weather! Yesterday was such an unwelcome brush with cold. I am not ready for winter to start.

Zoe, I almost never use mine. But for this, it was worth it.

ER - Pretty much any grocery store

Emily, thank you!!


Thursday 15th of October 2009

Yummy....the recipe looks like it should taste pretty delicious. Even the image makes me feel like I could snatch a bite from it. I can't seem to wait to give it shot for sure. Thanks a lot for the post.

easy recipes

Wednesday 14th of October 2009

Where can I buy Worchestershire sauce?


Sunday 3rd of February 2013

any super market with the steak sauces.

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