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Smoky Slow Cooker Brisket

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

You don’t have to man the smoker all day to get barbecue on the table for dinner (even on a weeknight). Instead, slow-cook a brisket until it’s so tender that a meat fork can be pulled out without any resistance, then break out the coleslaw.


  • 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5-lb. flat-cut brisket, trimmed of excess fat if necessary
  • 6 Tbs. tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. molasses, preferably unsulfured
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, stemmed, seeded, and minced (about 2 Tbs.)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, halved and sliced into thin half-moons

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 360
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 90
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Cholesterol (mg): 145
  • Sodium (mg): 430
  • Carbohydrates (g): 15
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 50


  • Mix the sugar, paprika, cumin, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Rub onto both sides of the brisket.
  • Whisk the tomato sauce, vinegar, honey, molasses, and chipotles until smooth. Spread over both sides of the brisket.
  • Set the brisket in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. (The whole brisket should fit in an oval slow cooker; for a round model, cut the brisket in half and overlap the thinner sections.) Scatter the onion on top of the meat. Cover and cook until fork-tender, 8 to 9 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high. Uncover and transfer the brisket and onion to a cutting board; let rest while you finish the sauce.
  • Pour the sauce into a fat separator and set aside for a few minutes. Pour the defatted sauce into a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
  • Cut the brisket against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices and sprinkle with salt. Serve with the onion and some of the sauce.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • Krispie | 09/23/2017

    My husband loved this and I thought it was good. It certainly was easy. I will make this again when I'm pressed for time.

  • Edharma | 09/27/2015

    Delicious, tender, flavorful and easy to make. I used unsmoked fresh paprika, but finished the brisket on the smoker (oak and apple wood) for an hour. I misted it with bourbon while smoking. Magnificent !

  • user-3644195 | 09/14/2015

    (I rated this five stars but it didn't show in the preview.)Excellent. Pefectly seasoned, tender, sauce was delicious. We served as sandwiches on Poupart Bakery po-boy bread (Lafayette, LA - they mail order) - cole slaw and sliced heirloom tomatoes on the side. I would add another half of an onion next time.

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