Slow Cooked Barbecue Brisket

for the dry rub:
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced (dried) onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon chipotle powder

6 lb beef brisket
2 large onions, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

for the sauce:
1/4 cup thick Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons mesquite liquid smoke

The night before you want to make the brisket, whisk together the dry rub ingredients. Lightly score the meat on both sides with the tip of a knife. Rub the dry rub* into the meat on all sides. Place in a resealable bag or marinating container and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, line the bottom of a oval 6-quart slow cooker with the onion rings. Quickly sear the meat on both sides. Place the brisket on top. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the meat. Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Slice the meat and discard the onions.

*Store any leftover dry rub in an air-tight container.

My thoughts:

It is still pretty warm here in Baltimore; not hot but not quite “almost autumn” weather yet. But thoughts do turn to more heavy, autumnal foods this time of year. The slow cooker is perfect for this occasion, it didn’t heat up the house but it it made a lovely brisket. When I was developing recipes for my cookbook last year I discovered the trick of placing a layer of onions on the bottom of the slow cooker. They give off a fair amount of liquid so you don’t have to add much (no one wants brisket soup) and they keep the meat from just sitting in its own rendered fat. The meat does look “dry” for the first few hours of cooking but by the end, you will have a brisket that is perfectly juicy.


  1. Yum, I bet this would be awesome slow-smoked as well. Love the rub recipe!
    Glad I found your site!

  2. This sounds divine, about how many servings does it make?

  3. Made this today and my husband declared it one of the best things I have ever made!

  4. There kind of aren't words to say how good this is!
    I made this for a party this weekend, and people were practically knocking each other over to get to it.

  5. I have been making this since Rachel posted it in '10. Served it to all kinds of people and for all sorts of is always amazing and everyone LOVES it! Pro tip: Go ahead and make 2X the spice rub mix…that way you will have it on hand for next time. There will be a next time! Trust.

  6. I'm so glad you've been enjoying it all these years! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.