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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 (6 reviews)

  • User avater
    EMM3773 | 03/22/2022

    Tried this recipe with a beef hip roast, and came out amazing - huge hit with even the fussy types. Didn't have canned chipotles, so substituted half a chopped jalapeno. Didn't have tomato sauce either but diluted tomato paste and used that. Added about 1/2 cup of beef broth. Started it in the slow cooker on high for about an hour, then switched to low for another five hours. Delightful! Hot brisket beef tonight and sandwiches tomorrow :)

  • cookykamp | 02/18/2020

    To TMG...tomato sauce is the stuff that comes in the 8 oz cans...clearly labeled "Tomato Sauce"...usually found in the vegetable aisle or pasta sauce aisle of the grocery store. You could substitute ketchup if you wish.

  • TMG | 02/18/2020

    What do they mean by "tomato sauce"??

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