Posted in Eating

Slow-cooker Brisket: Guide for a First-timer

As a legal Texan, I figured I should take my best shot at a brisket. I grew up in a family that lived largely off meats that my father killed (fish and venison). As such I find buying and cooking meats a little intimidating. Que me having to stop a guy in kroger because I showed up with the intention of buying brisket but no idea how to do so (Do I have to ask the butcher? How many pounds do I need? Do you order by the pound or is it a set thing?)

Anyway. After that adventure (turns out you do have to talk to the butcher, you need the flat cut, should be between 3 and 4 pounds, it ran me like $13) I just wanted as simple a recipe as possible. So here’s what I did, the recipe is from here, as is the picture. If you’ve ever made a brisket my  “first timer notes” will sound totally idiotic but I’m just living my best life, and this is my learning process.

After all of my struggles, the brisket was DELICIOUS. Most importantly to me, it was a brisket, it tasted exactly like what I thought it should taste like! An unlikely feat for a first pass at a food I had only eaten at restaurants. With my confidence boosted, here’s what I did.


  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce


  1. Trim some fat off brisket.
    • FIRST TIMERS NOTE: I watched like 4 youtube tutorials on this and still have questions. Primary thing you need to know is this, the thin layer of fat on one side of your flat cut is mostly fine. You’ll want to feel the meat for any hard parts of the fat and shave them off by running a sharp horizontally across the meat, like scaling a fish. You can also make the whole layer of fat thinner for a healthier brisket, but know that the fat also provides some of the moisture and flavor, so you’ll need at least some. One video suggesting cutting a few “pockets” in the fat where the meat pops through to allow seasonings to soak in.
  2. Combine & mix together: thyme, paprika, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and cumin in a small bowl; set aside.
    • FIRST TIMERS NOTE: This is going to seem like a TON of seasoning for the amount of meat you have, don’t be alarmed
  3. Rub the liquid smoke all over the brisket, then using the rub that you just made rub that over the brisket as well
    • FIRST TIMERS NOTE: I was terrified at this point because my brisket was covered in seasoning. When it came out though, it wasn’t a strong taste at all. So feel free to add or sub whatever spices you want on the rub, with 8 hours in the crockpot, it will all mellow out.
  4. In the bottom of your slow cooker pour in Worcestershire and barbecue sauces; place beef brisket on top. Cover, and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until fork tender.
    • FIRST TIMERS NOTE: I did mine fatty side up, so the fat wasn’t actually submerged in the sauce, with the thought that as the meat heated and cooked, the fat would serve as a layer to keep the moisture in, and maybe melt a little and drip into the meat. If you have a better idea, go for it!

Shred and devour friends!