Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket


For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup 
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper  

For the brisket:

  • 1/4 cup paprika 
  • 1 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more as needed 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed 
  • 5 lb. beef brisket


  1. Place all of the barbecue sauce ingredients in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker and stir to combine. 
  2. Place all of the measured brisket ingredients except the brisket in a medium bowl and stir to combine. 
  3. Place the brisket on a cutting board and cut it in half widthwise. Evenly coat it with the spice rub and place the 2 brisket pieces in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until fork tender, about 10 hours. 
  4. Transfer the brisket to a clean cutting board. Pour the barbecue sauce from the slow cooker into a medium heatproof bowl and set it aside. 
  5. Remove the excess fat from the brisket and discard it. Shred the meat with two forks. 
  6. Use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the barbecue sauce. Return the sauce to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine it with the meat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.