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How to Cook a Brisket in a Crock-Pot

author image Zora Hughes
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.
How to Cook a Brisket in a Crock-Pot
A sliced brisket on a black pan. Photo Credit: maria_esau/iStock/Getty Images

Using a slow-cooker may not be the most traditional way to cook a brisket, but it is one of the simplest methods, especially if you want it super tender. Brisket comes from the lower breast of a steer and is a tough cut of meat. Cooking brisket low and slow allows the connective tissues to slowly dissolve into the meat, resulting in meat that is extremely tender and easily pulls apart with a fork. In a slow-cooker, brisket is cooked in a liquid of any kind, including chicken stock, red wine and beer, adding juicy flavor to your brisket.

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Step 1

Season your brisket generously with salt and pepper, then cut the brisket in half, if necessary, so that it will fit inside of your slow cooker. Coat the insert of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 2

Coat a large skillet with olive oil or canola oil and place over medium-high heat. Sear the brisket in the hot oil on all sides, until it's well-browned. Use metal tongs to turn the brisket in the pan.

Step 3

Add the aromatics of your choice to the slow cooker, such as sliced onions, minced garlic and shallots, to add more flavor to the brisket.

Step 4

Place the brisket in the slow cooker and add enough liquid to come about halfway up the brisket. You can use water, chicken stock or beef stock to cook the brisket in the slow cooker. You can also combine stock with tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, wine, beer and even cola soda for a variety of flavorful combinations.

Step 5

Cover the slow cooker and cook the brisket on low heat for 6 to 8 hours, or on high heat for about 5 hours. The low heat method is preferred to ensure a very tender brisket.

Step 6

Transfer the cooked brisket to a cutting board carefully, using large serving forks and let it rest for about 15 minutes. You can either use the forks to shred the brisket to serve it as pulled beef, or slice it thinly using a sharp chef's knife.

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