Make your BBQ or cookout easy with this slow-cooker beef brisket recipe. Rauchbier, a smoky German beer, gives this fork-tender brisket real pit-barbecue flavor, but you can use any beer that suits your taste, or even substitute beef broth, to achieve mouthwatering results. While the brisket is cooking, whip up the quick pickle recipe and stir together a garlic mayo to top off the sandwiches.

Carolyn Malcoun
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2014


Recipe Summary

6 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare brisket: Combine paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over brisket. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the brisket and brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.

  • Add beer (or broth) to the pan along with any remaining spice blend from your cutting board; increase heat to high. Cook for 5 minutes, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Pour over the brisket. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 9 hours.

  • To prepare pickles: Meanwhile, combine white vinegar, cider vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 1 minute. Add pickling spice and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour into a large, heatproof glass bowl and add cucumbers and onion. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

  • To prepare garlic mayo: Mash garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon on a cutting board. Combine the garlic mixture with mayonnaise in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • When the brisket is done, transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

  • Pull the brisket apart into shreds with 2 forks and then coarsely chop the shredded meat. Combine the chopped brisket with the liquid in the slow cooker.

  • To serve, drain the pickled vegetables. Spread each bun with 1 tablespoon garlic mayo and top with about 3/4 cup brisket and 1/2 cup pickles.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the pickles (Step 3) and garlic mayo (Step 4) for up to 2 days.

Equipment: 6-quart slow cooker

We like to use “flat, first-cut brisket” because it's leaner than the fattier “point cut” brisket. If the briskets aren't labeled that way, ask the butcher to help you select the right cut. For these brisket sandwiches you'll need about 3 pounds after trimming.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

401 calories; protein 34.2g 68% DV; carbohydrates 33.9g 11% DV; exchange other carbs 2.5; dietary fiber 4.5g 18% DV; sugars 7.4g; fat 12.9g 20% DV; saturated fat 3.4g 17% DV; cholesterol 91.3mg 30% DV; vitamin a iu 910.9IU 18% DV; vitamin c 3mg 5% DV; folate 39.6mcg 10% DV; calcium 84.6mg 9% DV; iron 4.2mg 23% DV; magnesium 71.2mg 25% DV; potassium 512.7mg 14% DV; sodium 768.3mg 31% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 20% DV; added sugar 4g.

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Wouldn't change a thing I made this in my new instant pot using Trader Joe's beef brisket. Easy to freeze and reheat. A little spicy (which I like). Go the extra mile and make the pickles and garlic mayo. I always make a recipe as per the instructions and then tweak it if I like it. No tweaking necessary with this recipe! Delicious on nachos burritos etc. Pros: Tastes delicious freezes well Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Yummy! I have tried a lot of crockpot recipes and never been really impressed..until now. This tastes AMAZING! Not at all like it was made in a crockpot. Just try it and you will agree. The tenderness and flavor of the brisket mixed with the vinegar crunch of the pickles and onions on top complements the garlic mayo spread on the bun perfectly. Genius! Pros: Easy to make Cons: None Read More