southwestern pulled brisket

I had the very best New Years Eve meal, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. But first, I must scroll back to tell you my favorite kind of story, one about what an idiot I am. Yes, another one.

what you'll need

Nearly five years ago, we received a slow-cooker as a wedding gift. I looked at it with suspicion, determined it squarely in the realm of 1970s housewives and those that still cooked like them, and stuffed it, still-boxed, in the far reaches of a closet. In the five years that this box has been collecting dust, I started a home cooking site and not a month went by that a person didn’t innocently ask if I have any good slow-cooker recipes and I’d pfft back, “Meh, not my thing.” In the five years that this box has been collecting dust, we have moved twice, each time taking this still-boxed machine with us, and stuffing it in another closet.

And this week, I unpacked it. At 11 p.m. on December 30th, I unwrapped a piece of brisket nearly the size of my baby, browned it in a pan, laid it in the stoneware liner, threw in some onions, a pile of spices, cups of tomatoes and water on top, turned it to low, and at 9 o’clock the next morning woke up and nearly fainted from the deliciousness all around me. Dinner. Was. Made. I had done nothing. And it was the most perfectly cooked piece of brisket I had ever seen. Why did I wait so long? I am consumed with regret.

pulling the brisketsaucing

We pulled the brisket apart with two forks and made soft tacos with it, topping it with Green Onion Slaw, Quick-Pickled Red Onions and pickled jalapeños. We rang in the New Year with margaritas and a Chocolate Stout Cake and Jacob slept right through it all. I don’t think he’ll make the mistake next year. I hope your evening was as delicious, and your new year as brimming with troublemakin’ ideas.

southwestern pulled brisket

Update: This recipe got a light refresh in 2020 with added Instant Pot directions.

speeding things upsee you in 70 minutes!

Southwestern Pulled Brisket

This makes a fairly generously sauced braise, which we love. I like to drain and rinse a can of black beans and warm some up with some of the sauce, to serve with the brisket when we use it for tacos. Or, once the brisket is pulled, you can add beans to the braise. Thank you to Adam Pearson for tipping me to this recipe over a decade ago.

  • 3 pounds beef brisket
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 to 2 chipotle chiles en adobo, from a can [to taste]
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • To serve as tacos: Tortillas, a quick slaw, minced white or pickled onions“>pickled red onion, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeños, sliced avocado, and lime wedges

Prepare the brisket: If you’re planning to use your oven, heat it to 350°F. Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy skillet [or, if it fits, the pot of your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker on the sauté setting] over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total, although I find this can take a little longer in an Instant Pot. Don’t skimp on the browning.

Transfer the meat to a plate (if you used the Instant Pot), or to whatever vessel you will cook your final dish in — Instant Pot (if you’re browning everything in a skillet), slow-cooker, or Dutch oven or baking dish.

Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone (and seriously, get your head out of the way of the steam; inhaling vinegar is no fun!), scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in 1 cup water (for the Instant Pot method) or 1 1/2 cups water (for slow-cooker or oven). Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the slow cooker; add the tomato juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Pour this mixture over the brisket in your final cooking vessel — or, if you used the IP to build the sauce and rested the brisket on a plate, add the brisket back to the sauce in the IP instead.

In the oven: Place the lid on your Dutch oven or cover a the baking dish you’re using tightly with foil. Bake for 3 to 4 hours — i.e. check at 3 hours but put it back if more time is needed — or until the brisket is very tender and can easily be pulled with the tines of a fork.

In a slow-cooker: Cover the cooker, set it to Low, and cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 to 10 hours — i.e. check it at 8 hours, but you might find that a thicker piece needs up to 10 hours.

In an Instant Pot: Press the meat/stew button, and set the brisket to cook at high pressure for 70 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually. Check the brisket; it should be tender and easily pull back with the tines of a fork. If it is not cooked to your liking, return to the pot for another 5 to 10 minutes at the same setting — meat/stew at high pressure.

All methods: I like to briefly remove the brisket, and transfer it to a plate or bowl and use two forks to pull it apart. Discard bay leaves and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Return the brisket to the sauce and serve as is.

Do ahead: Brisket is good on the first day and fantastic on the second and third. Make sure it is covered with the sauce so it doesn’t dry out. Rewarm in a covered dish in an 350°F degree oven, about 15 to 20 minutes.

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562 comments on southwestern pulled brisket

  1. Kimberly

    I am so delighted that you put a slow-cooker recipe on here, I always feel like I should use my slow-cooker, but for some reason have this idea that it can only be used to make stews (not my idea of appetizing) I will have to try this, it looks yummy & so easy! Thank-you!

  2. Definitely gonna make this. Here’s where I climb on top of my soapbox (made of piles and piles of used crockpots) and beg your readers NOT to buy a new slow cooker but to avail themselves of any thrift store anywhere and buy a used one. Don’t pay more than $10. Closer to $5 is better, and now the old ones are so out (burnt orange and avocado, anyone?) they’re now le dernier cri. They are ubiquitous and perfectly good. Reuse, people! Don’t buy the party line that says you have to buy it new!

  3. Kaitlin

    Just made roast and potatoes in the slow cooker yesterday. I still don’t use mine as much as I should. It really is painfully easy and a great way to use tougher cuts of meat. I also second Mimi’s plea to get out to Goodwill and Savers and pick up those used ones. They are perfectly fine used and have that retro chic appeal.

  4. C

    This looks really, really delicious. I’ve been wanting to try those quick pickled onions for FOREVER. I use my crockpot A LOT. It appeals to every aspect of my laziness. Happy New Year!

  5. I was SO glad to see a crockpot recipe! I’m determined to cook more things at home rather than go out and get fast food.

    Will definitely have to try this – but I’ve never seen Spanish onions in Seattle – any ideas, fellow commenters?

  6. Welcome to the dark side, Deb. The denim-jumper sporting, hair-braiding, wooden necklace-wearing Team Slow Cooker.

    I kid, I kid. That behemoth of an appliance is a life-saver, especially with a little one. You get everything together around 9:00 after the coffee’s kicked in and you’re feeling the best you’ll feel all day, and when you’re practically in a heap by 5:00 pm, dinner is nearly done and you don’t have to pull something together like a madwoman with a tiny person clinging to your jeans. Hooray!

    PS–Google” Ultimate Cheater’s Pulled Pork”. THAT’s the stuff. Don’t fear the liquid smoke.

  7. Gorgeous. Yummy. I’m so into this. (I just realized how easy it is to slow-cook beef.) I just love it so much but was always intimidated. I don’t have a slow cooker so will be doing it oven-style. Thanks for sharing an approachable beef recipe and reminding me not to be scared.

  8. he’s gotten so big! just look at his hair!!! (swoon)

    my sister had a college roommate whose mother kindly shared her brisket recipe and it may or may not involve a ton of cranberries and ketchup. it’s freaking DELICIOUS. now if only she’d make it more than once every other year…

  9. I have had a slow cooker for about 25 years which I may have used about once a year. Every meal I made with it was fabulous, though. It broke, recently, and I did replace it but I haven’t used the new one at all. I think your brisket recipe will be the perfect initiation meal for it!!!

  10. Hate to break it to y’all, but as a girl from Texas I feel obligated to tell you that bbq can’t be made in a slow cooker! Not REAL brisket – it has to be smoked for sure, and usually cooked on a grill of sorts. That said – this pulled pork looks delish. And, i absolutely LOVE my slow cooker, i would love to see more slow cooker ideas on SmittenKitchen – which i visit just about every day, and I think i’ve tried about half the recipes. I love that they almost always turn out, something that I cant say of recipes i find elsewhere.
    PS. I often find myself pulling out my computer to show people the baby of a woman i don’t even know! Your adorable little boy almost makes me want one of my own!

    1. Rico

      I agree, as a native Texan I also can’t get behind this recipe. Making pulled brisket in a slow cooker and then serving it with anything but fresh onions and pickled jalapenos isn’t right. BBQ sauce on brisket? It’s not good brisket then. Smoked brisket with salt and pepper as your seasonings is what this humble cut of meat does best with.

      I think a best bet for most home cooks is going to be to use pork in place of beef and nix most of the spices, instead opting to add your BBQ sauce after the pork has tenderized in the slow cooker. Salt should be good enough for the pork when cooking.

      As to toppings for the tacos? Cilantro, chopped onion, and maybe some radishes and you’re good to go!

      1. deb

        I have many close friends from Texas and it’s a long-running joke on this site that nothing I make here (chili, tacos, etc.) would pass muster in Texas. But it’s worth nothing that this recipe makes no claims to be authentically Texan brisket, just a taco filling we love with “Southwestern” flavors.

  11. Lyrical Soul

    I put a tri-tip in the slow cooker last night, and it is heavenly! Hadn’t considered pulling it, but I think I’ll do that… thanks for the inspiration.

    Jacob is adorable! Happy New Year, and I’m making the pickled onions as we speak.

  12. My crock pot has only been used to keep a steaming vat of spiced cider warm for parties, then has been relegated to the closets of 4 apartments in 2 states. As a vegetarian, this isn’t going to make me pull it out, but I always think that I *should* find a use for it.

  13. You know, in the past couple of months I realized that I don’t need a recipe to use my crock pot, which has led me to using it a lot more! My favorite un-recipe is to take a whole chicken, sprinkle some herbs and olive oil on top, and leave for the day!

  14. selina

    I am so excited you posted a slow cooker recipe! I’m an amateur cook with a 2-year-old and have been searching for GOOD slow cooker recipes. I’ve tried a quite a few with mediocre results. I would love to see (and be grateful for) more!

  15. Susan

    I’m don’t use my crockpot as often as I could, either. And everytime I do use it, I tell myself that I must use it more often. It’s so nice to have an effortless evening meal and it’s almost always so very tasty. I guess I just have a hard putting in the effort in the morning.

    I love brisket, but am always amazed at how much they shrink during cooking. It makes it hard to judge how much to buy when planning for a large group. How many did your 3 pounder feed?

  16. stephanie

    Happy new year! Great idea about finding a crock pot in a thrift store. We just moved to a new apartment in another country and had to practically do a whole kitchen appliance plus tools plus crockery re-outfit. After laying out money on cute tools from snazzy home boutiques, I walked into a thrift store by chance and hit gold: whimsical ceramic corn holders for corn on the cob hot from the BBQ, eggshell porcelain gold-rimmed espresso cups from Japan circa 50s in gorgeous hues of tangerine, lemon yellow and sky blue; and the most adorable rose and stripe adorned cake plates for $1 each. Thrift stores are great for kitchen stuff.
    ps. Jacob is the cutest!

  17. Laura

    I am a frequent crock-potter. As a working girl, I often prep the ingredients the night before, plug in the slow cooker in the morning, and come home to the delicious smell of hot soup in the evening. (More than once I’ve walked into my building thinking, “Wow, that smells good… I wonder what the neighbors are making…” and then, while unlocking my apartment door, remember that it’s mine! And I get to eat it!)

    I think most basic soups adapt well to the slow cooker, but my favorites are the black bean soup and the split pea soup in the good ol’ standby Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

  18. I love my slow cooker! It’s first on my list of desert-island appliances.

    After using it for 20 years for soups, stews, chillis, and preparing dried legumes, I recently discovered that it makes a fantastic lamb roast – throw in the lamb, a touch of olive oil (for flavour), a few cloves of garlic and a sprig of rosemary – it’s wonderful! It also makes interesting lasagne, particularly of the vegetarian variety (I’m still experimenting with that).

    Laura is right – coming home tired on a cold winter’s night, and walking in to that fantastic smell and the knowledge that dinner is ready as soon as you are – you can’t beat it.

  19. My MIL gave me a slow cooker for Christmas and I think I know what the first thing I’ll make with it is! This looks soooo good… my husband’s going to be very excited! heehee

    Jacob’s gorgeous btw… his hair is too cute!

  20. chzplz

    for all of you wanting to ease into slowcookerness, the gateway drug is stock. Chicken stock. Whenever you make a chicken, throw the carcass into the slow cooker and fill it so the chicken is about 2/3rds covered with water. Throw in some aromatic veggies (an onion cut into 1/6ths – leave the skin on, rib or two of celery rough chopped, couple of carrots, rough chopped), a couple of bay leaves, peppercorns, any other spices you like in your chicken, and let it stew for 8+ hrs. Let it cool and then strain. Measure 2 cup portions into ziplock bags and keep ’em in your freezer. Your soups and stews will thank you, and you’ll never buy chicken stock again. And you made it with garbage and a few veggies and spices.

  21. Ooooh I’ll have to bookmark this for my mum! She got a slow cooker in November and we have had so many meals out of it. It’s so good for when we’re all in work but want to come back to a nice homecooked meal. Pork in it is really amazing too. And lamb, yum.

  22. Timi

    This was one of our rotational recipes in my youth,Jewish dad,Baptist mom.Served with mashed taters, parsnips and French bread for sopping the juice.Turned my wife on to it and the rotation started again this holiday season.Great blog!

  23. christinaK

    Happy New Year to the most delicious food-blog! The meat looks so tender and incredibly yummy!

    Jacob is so so so cute and adorable!

  24. NoL

    Love my slow cooker…adding your recipe to my list….but was driven to comment today but the absolute sweetness of that baby!!! Even cuter out of the baby burrito (last pic I remember seeing of him)….May your new year be lovely!

  25. linda

    what a wonderful start to 2010…great photos of jacob…& your brisket sounds delicious! i will go the “pearson route” as iam slow cookerless but… just got a dutch oven! thanks.

  26. Slow cooker food can be really good–it’s not just gross stuff made with cream of whatever soup anymore! The Slow Cooker cookbook my Diane Phillips is a book FULL of recipes like the brisket one you have above. It’s amazing, you should really check it out.

  27. Renee

    #18 Clare – I know Texans are sensitive about what is called barbeque, but nowhere in the post does Deb call her brisket “barbeque.” Brisket is just a cut of beef, so I think it’s perfectly appropriate to use that name.

    This looks great, no matter its name!

  28. Hi Deb. My slow-cooker story is almost the same as yours–my mom offered to get me one a dozen times but, food snob that I am, I always turned up my nose. And then came my son. Didn’t take long before I realized that a slow cooker is a new mom’s best friend. Now I use it at least once a week. Try my overnight steel-cut oatmeal. It’ll change your life.

    1. deb

      Serving size — This is supposed to serve 4. I think it can easily serve more but I’ve learned that when it comes to meat, portion size is relative; I just don’t think we go through as much.

      Crock pot/thrift store — Okay, I’m going to be a TOTAL curmudgeon here, but here I go: I cannot agree more that thrift stores are a wonderful place for cookware — there is nothing like an old cast iron or dutch oven, or some pretty old busted looking cake tins. There’s nothing that the new stuff (which is generally light, flimsier, even cast iron) has that the old stuff does not. Gourmet made a career out of photographing on this stunning stuff.

      But if there is one thing that I would not feel comfortable getting used, it would be a slow-cooker. The idea is that you can leave this thing plugged in while you sleep, while you’re at work… this is not something I want to learn has some faulty cord or old water damage. Especially for something that is so inexpensive new. But, hey, that’s just me! I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to old kitchen electronics. Don’t mean to pull the “for the children!” card but my baby sleeps right next to the kitchen.

  29. Susan Updike

    I made slow cooker baby back ribs for New Years Day. My husband raved about them and he also didn’t have to stand on the deck in the cold air cooking them on the grill. Your son is the most adorable thing. His hair reminds me of my “now 28 year old” who had a head full of jet black hair when he was born…unfortunately it’s in the receding stages now LOL
    Happy New Year! Thanks again for your wonderful website. I read it everyday.

  30. Nathalie

    Hi Deb, I normally do not leave comments (you probably have as many as you care and have time to read) but this is the new year and a perfect occasion to thank you for your wonderful posts and recipes, so all the way from Dublin, all my very best wishes to you and your family.

  31. Jamie

    I think I just found my dinner for tomorrow night!! This looks amazing. The crock pot is a wonderful invention. I use it all the time to make baby back ribs that just fall off the bone and are superb. All you have to do is layer the ribs with onions, and drizzle with BBQ sauce (if you want), turn on the crock pot and go about your daily business.

  32. elizabeth

    I have made this recipe many, many times from the Food Network’s cookbook and it is wonderful as printed (with beef), but try a big pork roast, and even chicken is delectable. One of my favorites, as is your site. I don’t have a slow cooker/crock pot either. It sat in the box for years and ended up at the thrift shop, unused. May need to remedy that today.

  33. Oh my goodness! You must have had visions of pulled brisket dancing in your head while sleeping!! These are the reasons that I could never be a vegetarian…

  34. Hey, we rang in the new year with your Chocolate Stout cake, too! I made it for my BF’s birthday in August, and he loved it (even though it was ugly because I guess I didn’t butter the pan well enough and it came out in chunks), so I decided to make it again. This time, I used a new bundt pan that I buttered the heck out of and it came out beautifully!

  35. Thea

    Ha! I love this post. Only three weeks ago, I put my slow cooker to use for the first time, after 7 years of closet-dwelling. I used mine to make yogurt and chili (not at once, of course), but this brisket looks incredible – I can almost smell it through my computer screen. Delicious.

  36. ashby

    I’m so glad you’re now awake to the wonders that are a slow cooker! We use ours at least a couple times a week in the winter – fill her up the night before, plug her in when we leave for work in the morning, and come home to a house that smells delicious and a dinner already made. Who can beat that? I’m especially a fan of doing soups this way, since the flavor has time to get nice and rich, and no stirring is needed.

  37. Jess

    About time you realized the beauty of the crock pot!!! This slow cooker name drives me nuts. It’s a crock pot. The only reason they are calling it a slow cooker is to try to lose the stigma of crock pot, but I say, what stigma??? They are amazing. I would add to the comment above about buying a used one, that if you do buy used, you must make sure it is one where the crock is removable from the heating element otherwise you will never want to use it because cleaning it will be a nightmare. It is essential to have a removable crock, and many of the old ones are not removable. More crock pot recipes, pretty please!

  38. Hey, Deb, not sure you remember me, we met at Ree’s ranch last April, and I have been a faithful Smitten Kitchen reader ever since. I rarely comment (don’t you just hate people like me) but am always inspired by your site and your cooking. I hope this is the first of many crockpot recipes. As a busy mom of three, I use mine a lot, probably once or twice a week, and wish I had more good recipes so I could use it even more often. My families loves soups and stews, which its great for, and there is NO better feeling in the world than looking at the clock at 5pm and knowing your dinner is already done. Best wishes to you and yours for 2010 … keep up the great work.

    1. deb

      Slow-Cooker Size — Mine is 6 quarts, I ended up making a batch-and-a-half of this (because Fresh Direct sent us 4.5 pounds of brisket, grr) and had plenty of leftover room. You could easily make it in a smaller one.

      Hi Kristie — I remember you — you were the one who looked way too good for having three kids! :) Happy New Year to you as well.

  39. AmberGale

    Deb – this sounds fantastic. I’ll tell you my favorite crock pot “recipe” – take a package of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, salt and pepper them, and then plop them in the pot with your favorite jar of salsa (home-canned would be awesome too!), and let it rip. 8ish hours later, take your two forks and create the easiest pulled chicken ever (I like mine with some fresh cilantro thrown in before serving). Use it in anything – on a bun, in tacos, nachos, whatever! It’s great for groups. And Happy New Year to you and your family. Thank you for continuing to blog as frequently as you do with your adorable new addition!

  40. Deb,
    Happy New Year!
    You actually made me want to buy a slow cooker now!

    This is how my mother makes her brisket, in the oven, but it always seems so dry (it’s the Jewish mother way, all her food is dry!).

    Going on line to buy a slow cooker!
    Happy Healthy, and boy that kid has some head of hair!!!!
    Stacey Snacks

  41. Meat is so good in a crock pot because it takes advantage of the preferred “slow and low” method used by BBQ and chili circuit champions. I have 3: a ginormous 6 quart, a more sensible 4 quart, and 1-1/2 quart for hot dips and appetizers like meatballs. And, they’re really great for soups, which, of course, appeals to me the most….

  42. I spent New Year’s Day at a friends brunch watching jambalaya cook in a crock pot, between that experience and this I’ll have to pull the huge 5qt one my mother gave me off the shelf soon. It’s not a never been used pot though, that thing makes great Chicken Stock while I sleep.

  43. Jennifer B

    @ Stephanie – “Spanish” Onions are a non-sweet onion that can store in a cool place for a long time, and you’re right, in the Seattle area they aren’t called “Spanish onions”.

    So go to the store and pick up the standard yellow onions (not the Walla Walla’s or Vidalia’s). Deb didn’t say whether she used yellow, white or red onions, but I’d use yellow onions for this kind of cooking.

  44. Jennie

    I just came across this website yesterday and am in love with it. I can hardly wait to try your recipes. As for the slow cooker – I use mine off and on but the best piece of advice I can add is to try the slow cooker liners. They make clean up a breeze. If you’ve ever made cheese dip in your cooker, you know what I mean. You have a lovely little one and I look forward to visiting this site and seeing more of him AND your fantastic recipes. PS – I love your stories too.

  45. Sarah

    That does sound truly delicious. However, as your son gets older you may appreciate my shortcut meals as well:

    1. Pulled pork burritos: chop an onion and put it in the bottom of the crock pot, place some pork tenderloin or a pork roast, trimmed, on top, pour a jar of salsa verde on top of that, and cook until it falls apart (when I forget to do this until the early afternoon, I use the high setting, when I remember to put it in during breakfast, I use low).

    2. Pulled pork bbq sandwiches: same as above, but instead of salsa verde, pour your favorite bbq sauce on top.

  46. Dan

    Happy New Year! And may I aslo request more slow cooker recipes? I heart our crockpot (made an excellent sweet potato & winter squash soup for New Year’s Eve), even more so since Madeleine arrived. Doing the prep work the night before and having dinner ready when I get home is a great convenience!

  47. Thank you so much for this recipe, and to the comments pointing me to bargain-slow-cooker shopping. Oh, and making stock in the slow cooker. Excellent advice. Mostly though, I am commenting to say that your Jacob is the most beautiful baby ever. He is pure joy to my eyes. Hooray Deb and Alex!

  48. Wow… that sounds amazing! I’m still in the no-slow-cooker camp, mostly because I don’t have a permanent home and the only piece of equipment I can bear to carry around is an immersion blender, but this looks incredible… I may have to change my mind!

  49. It would be more like 4 to 4-1/2 hours in a Dutch oven in the oven for absolute falling apart perfection. It’s the same method I use for pork when weather won’t allow me to cook on the smoker

  50. #43 – Deb did good not calling it bbq – I was actually referring to #5, if her husband is a really big bbq fan he’ll want it smoked! Still, I think i’ll be trying this recipe soon.

    Also, I just wanted to comment that i second Deb – I wouldn’t buy a used slow cooker. But, I got my first slow cooker for $10 from a thrift store – it was completely unused, still in the box and plastic and everything, so it might be worth looking around. I think slow cookers end up there a lot when young people get married, get one as a gift, and think ‘eh, i’ll never use this’

  51. I have the same slow cooker story! Got it as a gift, dismissed it, and then unpacked it earlier this year and have made amazing pulled pork and beef, as well as chili, and my favorite, overnight oatmeal, with steel cut oats, which is creamier than any oatmeal I’ve ever eaten :)
    Have fun with your slow cooker!

    1. Barbara

      Just wondering if I could sub a chuck roast for the brisket? Brisket is SO expensive and I’ve seen other recipes that use chuck. What changes would I need to make to the recipe, if any?

  52. Bethanie

    I stumbled on your blog last year through another blog I read, and also found this slow cooker site in the same way:

    The author vowed to use her slow cooker daily for a year, and blogged the recipes and reviews along the way. Though the “year” is done, it’s a treasure trove for new initiates into the slow cooker kingdom :)

    Now, off to the grocery store! Today is cook for a month day!!

  53. Brooke

    Came upon your blog a couple months ago, and LOVE it! By far one of the best food blogs out there…
    Anyway – I love to cook as well and while I do not use my crock pot near as much as I could or should – we (my boyfriend and I) make a GREAT chicken colorado in it on a semi-regular basis and are always looking for the next great recipe to try in it… I think your pulled brisket is it!! Happy 2010!


  54. Nan

    Well welcome to the slow-cooker party! Better late than never – and now that you’ve gotten the hang of it I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I do. It’s simply the best way to put dinner on the table when you’re busy all day. My very favorite recipe for the slow cooker is Cafe Frio Chicken – you must try it! Along with the dressing, too, it’ll make a believer out of you when it comes to the crock pot. The recipe is on my blog. And Jacob could not be any cuter. Happy New Year!

  55. I love using my slow cooker when I have a cocktail party….. I usually make a pulled pork and leave out all the fixings (pickles. rolls, slaw etc) so guests can make their own throughout the night – its the ultimate drinking snack and its zero work forthe host (unlike the dozens of cookie sheets that have to get heated and watched while your trying to mingle)

  56. We had a slow cooker. We made corned beef in it. Then it cracked and broke. I keep thinking I should replace it, but I tell myself, “How often did we even use it?” And here we are, 4 years later with no slow cooker. This recipe may get me to change my mind. I definitely need brisket tacos.

  57. Christine

    Another groovy thing to use a slowcooker for is spaghetti gravy. You won’t want to throw raw sausage or meatballs into it; brown the meatballs or sausage on the stove first — your garlic (onions, if you use them in your gravy) too — and then add to the crockpot, or bake the meatballs first in the oven. Just remember to leave enough room in the crockpot for the meat. Meatless tomato sauce is great in the crockpot too; the flavors of the spices don’t get lost because you don’t have to remove the lid to stir it to keep the bottom from burning.

  58. Dana

    Ooh, this looks fantastic! Must dig out the Crock Pot. And speaking of!

    @ #57, Jess: not to put too fine a point on it, but…they’re called slow cookers because Crock Pot is a trademark name, in the same way Kleenex is a trademark name for tissues. I’m sure many small appliance manufacturers would love to call their slow cooker a Crock Pot just because everyone knows that name, but they don’t want the lawsuit :)

  59. Susan

    Regarding used Crockpots… there was a recall in 2004 for Rival, Hamilton Beach and Proctor Silex crockpots because of defective handles that could present a burn risk. Google “recalled crockpots” for the articles that include the list of model numbers that were recalled.

  60. I used to ‘pffft’ at slow cooker too. Didn’t get one when I got married (we got married on the west coast but live on the East) but after I got one 2 months ago I was still full of regret for not having bought one the day after the wedding…

    I will definitely be trying this out! *nod*

  61. lacrema

    @#22 Stacy– try using it for making soups, applesauce, oatmeal, yogurt, and meatless spaghetti sauce and chili. I also use mine for cheese fondue (make it on the stove, then plop it into the slow-cooker for dunking time).

    I have been using mine more lately since I’m working late a lot and don’t have the time/energy to cook dinner at 8:00. Minimal prep the night before, put it in the fridge, then into the cooker before I leave for work. Et voila!

    Deb, if you have a good roast beef recipe you should share! I have a few I use but nothing that’s super awesome.

  62. How funny! I love my crockpot, it was one of the first things I registered for when I got married. It’s great for making kalua pork when I’m craving something to remind me of home. But my favorite use for it is apple butter!

  63. Barb C

    Have never tried Brisket, but this looks and sounds so good – will have to try it soon.

    But especially thank you for posting pictures of Jacob – Gorgeous child!

  64. Mary

    Had to laugh at your comments about moving the slow cooker – I’ve had a similar mindset about that particular appliance and routinely looked down my semi-foodie nose at it, until this past year when I put frozen solid ribs (high for 1 hour & low for 7) in it with soy, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar and ended up with a phenomenal dinner with absolutely no effort. I resorted to it in desperation because I am like Shauna – with a toddler, at my best in the morning, and she is too – by dinner I have a crying tired child & am usually pretty frazzled. Its a good thing to make friends with! Let us know what else you try! I stumbled across a web site for a girl that cooked out of it for a year ( a little extreme or me), but she has some good ideas – (I think).

  65. jill

    Just got a slow cooker for christmas. Made New Year’s dinner with it and it doesn’t get any easier — buy two racks of pork baby back ribs. Cut into smaller bunches. Put in the cooker with two bottles of barbecue sauce and cook on high for 5 hours. SO easy and delicious!!! I’m sold.

    Jacob is pretty darn yummy too. Happy New Year!

  66. Melissa

    I also made a brisket in the crock pot just a couple weeks ago. It was delicious!!!! I couldn’t believe how good it came out. And I do use my crockpot frequently but the brisket…oh the brisket… I can’t wait to make another one. I’ll try your recipe. :)

  67. Terri

    I have done something similar with pork and can’t wait to try your brisket version. I see that this has prompted you to add a new category to your recipe table of contents…maybe we will see more “slow cooker” recipes now! Looking forward to that as I do all your others. I especially love finding the references to baby Jacob and seeing new pictures.

  68. Joanne

    Slow Cookers, I learned how to use one by taking my mom’s. She never used hers and it was an unused wedding gift of hers. So I was wary of hers also because there were no safety features, but it was brand new in box. When I decided that new in box be damned and replaced it with a newer one, it’s become an appreciated appliance even thought it’s a space hog. The convenience of prepping dinner early in the day and coming home to a wonderful scent and meal is great. Now my one cheat which I can’t find lately, frozen potatoes. Some reason my grocery stores stopped carrying the bags of frozen stew veggies, and those came with the potatoes. Cutting potatoes before the coffee kicks in is not fun.

    Now on to the baby…. I keep staring at those cheeks, and that amazing head of hair. He’s just too darn much.

  69. Kelly Bowland

    I love cooking up a good brisket!! I used your recipe today and my brisket is in the oven as we speak! *type?* Anyways, it smells absolutely wonderful! Thanks for the great recipe! Cute baby, btw!

  70. No wonder Jacob looks so content and beautiful he gets to sleep next to a kitchen where magic happens on a regular basis. You must drive your neighbours insane with the aromas that come out of your place.

  71. sarah

    Slow cookers are amazing — my mother would buy cheap cuts of meat, put in a cheap bottle of wine and some other things, then leave it on all day and we’d have the best meal at night. I use mine for braising now also, but it also makes a fantastic steel-cut oatmeal.

  72. kaweenee

    LOL!! Welcome to Motherhood!!! Shortcuts are Us! My 28 yo son and my daughter’s 30 yo bf both asked for and got Crockpots for Chanukah! I have always worked outside of the home (as well as inside the home!) and use the crockpot regularly. I even roast turkey and chicken in it and it is terrific!! I can taste the brisket now. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes and commentary. I am addicted to your site and use your ideas regularly.

  73. Rhonda

    Wow, welcome the new year and welcome to slow cooker mania. I did a pot roast for New Year’s Day in the crockpot. And I strain the excess fat too. Every little bit helps, right? My family fights over the ‘sauce’.

    Your little monkey…sigh.

  74. Mary

    Slow cooker discovery: I’ve always had a problem keeping large amounts of gravy at serving temp during long holiday meals. This year I put it in my crock pot at the “keep warm” setting, and it was wonderful! Stayed hot, held LOTS of turkey gravy, and easy to serve with a long ladle. My favorite dish to make in the slow cooker is Swedish meatballs. Cooked long and low, meatballs are soft and tender, and full of gravy-ish goodness! Keep up with the baby pics! He’s every bit as cute as my grandson, who’s just a couple of months older and as cute as they get!

  75. Roxanne

    Slow cookers are life savers! There are lots if recipes that can be made in them–including lasagne. Your recipe looks delicious and I’m trying it tomorrow for dinner with the in-laws. When my kids were little, I’d put dinner in the crockpot in the morning, quick clean the house, then take the kids to the beach all day. We’d return in the late afternoon to a clean house–because we’d been gone all day–the kids were happily worn out, and dinner was ready. It’s a great way to spend the summer.

  76. Pamela

    I love my slow cooker, especially since I found “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two” by Beth Hensberger. Everything I’ve made is delicious– especially the beef short ribs with zinfandel!

  77. I just put this in my slow cooker. The only brisket they had was 6 lbs so I’ve got double everything. I substituted beef broth for the water, because I don’t see the point in ever adding water to a recipe if I can add flavour.

  78. jodi

    I agree with a previous poster – don’t go and buy a new, made in China, slow-cooker, when there are thousands available on craigslist or at a resale/charity shop. Reduce Reuse Recycle!!! Don’t contribute to landfill!!!

    And the recipe is fab. Can’t wait.

  79. Amy

    I’ll have to try brisket in my slowcooker. I always use the oven

    do I have to brown the meat? Or can I just throw it all in the pot?

  80. Janet

    Mary at #93: I think the correct link for the year of slow-cookery might be The one you linked to doesn’t work.

    And Deb, I think it’s hysterical you moved it twice without opening! My sister and her husband gave a wedding present to friends of theirs, wrapped in the same toaster box their friends gave them for their own wedding. Said friends noted the same box, didn’t open the present for years! And it was not a toaster, needless to say. You never know when you might be pleasantly surprised.

    And ooh, baby! Holding his head up and everything! Awww.

  81. AnnieM

    I have to second the tip (or maybe third or fourth) for overnight oatmeal. It doesn’t come out well if you use the huge crockpot, tho. The medium size one is the best, with the crockpot about half to 2/3 full of oats and water. I use a 2 to 1 ratio of water to oats, throw in some cinnamon, and usually some dried fruit before we go to bed. Heavenly aromas in the morning. Leftovers go into individual bowls in the frig and get warmed up in the microwave for the next couple of days. You can also stir frozen fruit right into the piping hot oatmeal in the morning and let it sit for a few minutes while you pour and drink a bit of coffee. Just perfect for a winter morning.

  82. Julie

    LOL. Silly Deb. This is only the beginning. I’ve made everything from spaghetti sauce to roast chicken in a slow cooker. In fact, I made your vegetarian cassoulet in my crock pot. It’s like a dream come true to those of us who have things like classes, jobs and (cough) babies and don’t have a lot of time to spare. There are endless wonders to be had by slow cooking. : )

  83. Dear Deb,
    For probably two years I have admired your Website & availed myself of many of the excellent recipes, with nary a thank-you. So, now in 2010, I must finally thank you very much for your wit, fine cooking, & the sweet baby photos of your little son. (Doesn’t he need a masthead credit in the “About” section, maybe as “snorgler”-in-chief? I learned that word here.)

    Like at least two earlier posters, I make chicken stock in my two Crock-Pots, often simultaneously. I don’t recall the last time I made it on the stove. Overnight on LOW=magic: wake up to strain & maybe clarify the broth. I make it either from zero using a stewing chicken or bony pieces plus seasonings, or from the remains of a roast bird–most especially to wring every last guilty cent from a pricey Whole Foods rotisserie bird.

    The slow-cooked Smoky Pea Soup recipe from is a standard in my kitchen, using a hambone, extra celery & carrots & fresh thyme. Also I’ve tweaked an MSL “Everyday Food” slow-cooker chicken curry recipe enough to have my parents pronounce it authentic (we lived in SE Asia years ago) & my 7- & 4-year-old kids actually enjoy it. I’ve had good luck to date with slow-cooker recipes from the 1992 SUNSET Crockery Cookbook, which is still avail. in the secondhand book market. Soon from that book I want to try the Herbed Turkey Roast (stuffed with prosciutto & fresh herbs), Tarragon Artichokes with Leeks, & Maple-Spiced Indian Pudding (among other recipes for curries & stews).

    Thank you again for your excellent recipes & photos, served with fine humor.

  84. Robin

    I’m so happy you posted a slow cooker recipe! I became a fan of the crock pot last year after baby #2 and use it about once a week. Makes life a lot easier some days! I’m definitely going to try this one soon.

    Jacob is getting so big! It’s funny how sometimes you just look at your kids one day and it seems like they’ve changed overnight.

  85. For Christmas dinner, I made pulled pork in a crock pot. It was incredible!! We usually use a crock pot, but used the dutch oven instead. It really works.

  86. Natalie

    Crock Pot is my absolute favorite way to make dried beans – they cook all night with random veggies and spices while I sleep, then I eat them all week with rice or noodles, and freeze the rest. They’ve always turned out tender after a night on low – even if I didn’t soak them first!

  87. Eve Nicole

    I have lurking and reading your blog for about a year and I really enjoy it! I just made your banana bread this evening. I love my crockpots. I have a tiny one for hot dips, a medium one for buffet kinda things and a large one for family meals. My family loves beans cooked all day in our crockpot.

    Your little man is so very handsome…. beautiful hair.

  88. The only way to make Jacob cuter was to show him in MULTIPLES, which I see that you’ve done! He’s amazing!

    Now that you’ve lived a little vicarious retro-housewife-dom, I’m sure there can only be better and better things ahead.

    ONWARD to 2010! GO DEB!!!

  89. Welcome to the wonderful world of crock pots! I received THREE, yes THREE, crock pots for our wedding and sometimes I wish I had more. NO JOKE! (Like the new one from Williams Sonoma with a nonstick cast-aluminum insert that you can use on the stovetop to brown ingredients before transferring it to the base for slow cooking…all for the bargain price of $300. yikes! Surprisingly Santa did not deliver it this Christmas. But I love it. Sigh… Maybe this year if I am really good…)
    But really, they are the best!

    Happy New Year and THANK YOU for the wonderful recipes.

  90. Wow, this looks great! I went through a crock pot phase a year or so ago–I need to get mine out again. What a great recipe to give it a go. I hope you can post more c.p. recipes!

  91. Jenn

    I know. Crock pot. They carry a lot of baggage. BUT, with a newborn in the house, they can come in VERY handy as several others have mentioned. I have a similar recipe to this and there is nothing quite like waking up to the smell of juicy BBQ meat. And, your boy, it’s a wonder he can lift his head with those juicy cheeks! Now THAT’S some kind of delicious!

  92. I have something of a phobia when it comes to cooking with meat – perhaps it’s a lack of experience more than anything else, but next time we have Friday Night guests, I’m going to try this brisket. Sounds great.

  93. I have always been afraid of the slow cooker. But I suppose if you run it at night… the results look fantastic, but more importantly you son has gotten so big! Very cute.

  94. Mel

    I have always been a staunch un-believer in crockpot, despite my flatmate’s best attempts to convince me of its sterling qualities. All of us in the flat are against it except for him, so he has never pulled it out.

    I think I might change my stance on them now, your post & pictures (as always) are very convincing!

    PS. I am a frequent reader of your blog, and what I love so far the most is your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, it’s my favourite too.

    Happy New Year, from New Zealand!

  95. monica

    I’m stunned that you’d not used your “crock pot” before now. I hope that you do find other recipes to post for us. I use mine at least once a week for meals. Now for parties, I use three…and I could use a small one for sauces or gravies.
    Enjoy that slow cooker, it’ll open up more time ( and you can’t get enough of that!) for park playing with baby jacob.

  96. Amy

    I LOVE my Dutch oven. I quit using my slow cooker for anything but keeping party food warm after I got it. The flavors condense more in the dutch oven and everything tastes heartier. Brown everything in the dutch oven and toss in 350 oven for a few hours and then down to 250-ish until whenever I need it (sometimes adding more liquid)

  97. Caroline

    Deb – this looks wonderful. I bought a slow cooker a couple of months ago, having never previously owned one, and now wonder how I ever lived without it. So far I’ve been making soups, casseroles and curries like there’s no tomorrow. It’s about time I try the ‘joint of meat’ approach and this looks to fit the bill.

    I hope you continue to enjoy your slow cooker.

  98. Dee

    I had a similar experience with a spicy pulled pork recipe. Couldn’t believe I made something so good with no effort. Jacob is super precious and so enjoy the pictures.

  99. Binnie

    Dear Deb –
    Happy New Year! I’ve decided that your website is the Hammacher Schlemmer of food blogs – you know – the best this, the best that – . I never look anywhere else when looking for a recipe anymore, I just go right to you!! So glad you are there, (and the baby pictures don’t hurt either!)

  100. wes

    A slow cooker is a busy mom’s best friend. Usually, when I make the pulled roast (pork or beef), I can just stir it with a wooden spoon when it is done and it just shreds. You can also cook chicken breasts in it to shred for chicken tacos or taquitos (rolled and fried), but you have to pick out the bones. The broth that remains from cooking any of the meats is so rich and flavorful too. I use it to make beans and rice congee when I plan ahead.

  101. Like you I never use my crock pot. I have never done pulled brisket, usually it’s pulled pork and smoked 12 hours on an outside smoker. This looks delicious and we can always get brisket really cheap here in Texas. I will be trying this recipe.

  102. Just as an FYI because I have seen you mention North Carolina style BBQ several times. You can make some wonderful NC pork BBQ in a crock pot. I will email the recipe to you if you want it at some point.

  103. Dani

    This looks totally drool worthy. And now that you’re using the slow cooker I really really hope you try Emeril’s pulled pork recipe on Food Network. Everyone (including me) who has tried the recipe says it is amazing. I can’t wait to try the brisket though.

  104. Ronda

    Sure does look good! Husband just bought me the all clad for xmas. My old one, i had for 20+ years! I use it weekly but mostly for cooking beans. i put them on at night and the next morning they are perfect. My littlest takes a thermos full for his lunch at school or has them for breakfast. Thanks for the recipe!

  105. B

    I have to agree with Deb on the used slow cooker caution. A couple of years ago my parents moved back to the US and bought most of their kitchen stuff at the thrift store, including a slow cooker. The first time they used it it caught fire! Fortunately they were still in the kitchen and were able to put it out right away, but the story could have ended quite differently. Be careful!

  106. I totally laughed at this post…I dissed my slow-cooker for a long time before giving it a try (ditto about my pressure-cooker). I don’t use it for a ton, since much of what I’ve tried turns out like mush, but there are some things that it’s perfect for. Thanks for the chuckle this morning ;)

  107. Mmm… I love brisket tacos. Brisket was one of those first things I tried to make, only I adapted the recipe by accident and use thai chili sauce instead of the normal American version. Best cooking mistake I ever made!

  108. I sometimes forget how great of a job my slow cooker does with cheap cuts such as brisket. It’ll sit, unused, for months, until I remember that it helps me have lazy days and still have dinner on the table. These tacos look wonderful. Must get a brisket, ASAP!

  109. kaweenee

    I just finished cooking this but substituted a shoulder pork roast for the brisket. Added a bit more hot sauce and it smells terrific and is amazingly tender…like buttah!! Yummy dinner!

  110. Sarah

    Welcome to the dark side, Deb! Love my slow cooker & it was SO wonderful when my son was itty bitty & I didn’t have much time to prep dinners.

  111. Martha in KS

    You’ve inspired me! I pulled a pork shoulder out of the freezer & it’s in the crockpot. I even cut off the excess fat & rendered it to feed the birds.

  112. EV

    I have a question about garlic in the crockpot; I feel that every time I use garlic in a crockpot recipe the meal comes out with a bitter taste. I have never cooked the garlic before adding it to a recipe so perhaps that is the trick?

  113. Amy

    Sounds delicious. I am always looking for something that can cook while I am working and be done when I get home. This will be made tomorrow night in our family. Thank you and please try some more in the slow cooker!

  114. Laura

    you are always so right on…i pulled out my crock pot after a million years and made the most amazing chicken soup. we came into our building and smelled it and my husband said it smells “jewish” in here…just like grandmas…i have started eating both gluten free and yeast free so making stock is impt….love love love your blog–your humor and your recipes. you always make me shine…jacob is delicousness…happy happy happy to us all.

  115. judi

    I live alone but when family visits it is not unusual to have 20+ for dinner. My crock pot holds a lot of food, frees up a burner on the stove, and allows the meat to cook away unattended. It then keeps the food warm while we serve and eat. I usually use the oven for brisket but will certainly try this recipe.

    Thanks for the beautiful baby pictures, I enjoy them shen you include them.

  116. Gretchen

    I have used my crockpot as an oven in the summer time for baked beans. I don’t make enough to use just the crock that came with it, so I put it into a 1 qt. covered dish and set that INSIDE the crock pot and let it go. I then don’t have too much food, the kitchen stays cool, and I have a great side dish.

  117. Karen

    Hi – First…..what a beautiful baby. He’s precious!! Second…..I had cooked for 40+ years and never used a crock pot. I bought one and never used it, so I eventually gave it away. Several years later I bought another one, this one was smaller. I found out like you, that they are very handy and produce some wonderful meals. I have trouble finding recipes like some of the other posts said. I am also new to this site and really enjoy it. Thanks.

  118. Annabelle

    I’m sorry? That gem of a little boy let’s you sleep in ’til nine?!
    You are blessed!
    Please do continue to experiment with your slow cooker so that we can all benefit!
    I find I don’t use mine enough although I did cook dried chickpeas in mine today.
    Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

    1. deb

      Annabelle — You just gave me a heart attack and I had to reread this whole post to find where I let slip this top-secret detail. We have one rule about our son’s sleeping habits: We do not discuss them aloud. We know the day he understands that not all babies enjoy sleeping in [Iwillnevertell]-hour stretches at 3.5 months, the jig will be up.

      And yes, there will be more slow-cooker recipes. I will happily cook in fewer steps, whether or not I can blame my newfound laziness on the tot.

  119. I totally understand your reservations with the slow cooker. We found the stewy, hearty recipes worked a treat in it, but things like chili and bolognese are better left to the pan.

    Also I can’t wait to try it – my only experience with brisket has been through American TV, but I’ve determined to make a go of it! Even if I have to print out a beef cuts diagram for my asian butcher!

  120. Jacob, u darling boy, look how big you’re getting! Thks for sharing his pics with us …
    As for the brisket, I have no idea if I’ll ever invest in a slow cooker (maybe when I have a little munchkin of my own!), but my GOODNESS does that brisket look perfect or what!!!

  121. Austex

    Mine is in the slow cooker right now and it’s starting to smell amazing. So hard not to peek till it’s done. By the way, I think if you call it a slow cooker, it’s totally hip and now. Only “crock pots” are old-fashioned and dowdy. (Even though they’re the same thing!)

  122. just like you, i was so anti the slow cooker (that we also got for a wedding present), until i made pulled chicken and it took about 10 minutes. i don’t use it as often as i should, but every time i do, the finished meal seems like a little miracle to me.

  123. Bobanda

    Glad to see you’ve come around to appreciating the Crock Pot in all its glory. While I admit that it has been abused far too many times, it does not deserve its reputation. Now try a pork tenderloin with garlic and orange marmalade. :)

  124. Christine

    I have sworn by my crock pot for years! I just received one which allows you to brown in the insert and that’s even more fantastic for the laziness factor. May I suggest a three pound pork roast and a jar of store bought tikka masala sauce?! Cook for 5 hours, pull apart with forks and add a bag of frozen spinach (thawed, drained and squeezed) heat through for another half hour and serve over rice. Easy peasey and totally yummy!

    The baby is beyond edible! Cute as two buttons!! My son loves seeing the pix of him each week. All best for 2010.

  125. Amy

    I made this last night and it turned out great, despite the fact that I misread the recipe and put in 1 whole can of chipotle chiles instead of just 1 chile. Oops! I realized my mistake about halfway through the cooking time and just removed all the peppers, and then added some ketchup to the sauce to tone down the spice. I can’t wait to make this again using the proper amount of chiles.
    I also made this in a dutch oven instead of a slow cooker, and the cooking time/temp worked just fine.

  126. Kara

    I’m glad you have made friends with your slow cooker. Easiest weekday slow cooker recipe ever: Put a frozen roast in the slow cooker in the morning with potatoes, carrots, onions, salt pepper and a few cups of water. Cook on high all day. But DO NOT stay home while it is cooking or you will claw your eyes out with wanting to eat it. Delicious, easy, AND you come out with amazing beef broth for soup later in the week.

  127. elisabethd

    I made brisket in my slow cooker on New Year’s Day! I could not find a recipe I liked so just threw it in with some onions and liquid smoke and green chiles and a bottle of Shiner (beer). I will happily try your recipe next time. I served it with your Cream Biscuits, which I was so excited about I nearly burned my fingers trying to eat one as they came out of the oven. It was a great meal!

  128. Joan

    I am currently having an illicit and torrid love affair with our local Mexican restaurant’s homemade flour tortillas. It’s getting embarrassing. I have to break it off somehow, and soon, because that interfering busybody, Weight Watchers, is going to rat me out. However, I think I’m going to wait to end things AFTER a menage a trois with the brisket. Holy buckets does that look GOOOOOOOD.

  129. On the menu for this week, for sure. I love my Crock-Pot because it makes it seem like you worked to make dinner when you really just sat around eating bon bons. :)

    Thank you for such inspirational recipe ideas in 2009. Keep up the fantastic work! Happy New Year!

    (Shhhh, but … one of my babies slept like a prince too… 5 hour naps were common as well as thru the night almost instantly. I was quite well-rested… until the second child came along. He totally made up for his brother’s snoozing. Love it while you got it!)

  130. Circle F

    Hi Deb ~ I have never commented on your site but always check in on your recipes as well as smiling a warm smile at the latest pictures of your BEAUTIFUL baby boy.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe .. I love brisket and usually cook it low and slow in the oven w/ Woody’s Cookin’ Sauce .. served with brown beans, cornbread, slaw (made w/cabbage, onions, peppers & sugar, vinegar & oil dressing) .. this is the BEST meal… my mom always requests it for her birthday – but I have never cooked it in a crock pot… I am anxious to try your recipe.

    I love my crockpot and one of my fav recipes is a very healthy … not … recipe of a package of stew meat, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup and 1 packet of lipton onion soup mix. Cook on low for 8 hours, then add 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese …. serve w/noodles. It is SO good. I usually double it. I also do a whole chicken all day … when you get home the possibiliites are endless.

    PS – Since you had not used your crockpot prior to this you might not know that they have crockpot liners .. they are so awesome …. NO messy cleanup!

  131. Bama

    Hi, I made this tonight and it was (near) PERFECT. I, too, wrote down the recipe yesterday and wasn’t sure on the chipotle. So, I compromised and added HALF of one CAN. I decided if it was supposed to be 1 can, I could add some heat later. After 10 hours, it was good and spicy. My husband adored it and I got in my allotment of water for the day ;-).

    Thanks for the recipe. It is a new favorite for my slow cooker. I use it at least once a week and was running out of ideas.

    Oh, and RE: thrift stores…good call. A friend got one from the thrift store and it caught fire the first time she used it. She was home so it was okay in the end, but she will never use one again. And when I’m gone, I always use an external timer because the timer will shut it off if there is a surge or it gets too hot in the wiring.

  132. Slow cooker rocks in that sense! I’m still waiting for the right day to lug this back home, a give-away from my colleague who had decided to forsake it when they were moving. It is still sitting in my drawer at work.

  133. I found your website through “Of Frogs and Men: A Paris Food Blog” and couldn’t be happier!
    I am in love with my crockpot and can’t wait to try this recipe of yours. My husband (who’s from Texas) is always in serious need for southern foods and brisket is by far his favorite…

  134. Sally

    Like #59 AmberGale, I put in boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker along with one jar of salsa (your favorite), one can black beans (or 2 cups cooked) and 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen). Let it cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, then shred the chicken. Delicious in tortillas or served with rice. I’ve also added a quart of chicken stock to that and made soup.

    I cook all my dried beans in the slow cooker — without soaking. Most soups are made in the slow cooker. I use the slow cooker about 2x/week to make soup all year long. (As far as I’m concerned, soup is a food group all its own). I use the slow cooker more now that I’m not working outside the home than I did when I was!

    One of the things I’ve not done in the slow cooker is brisket — and i love brisket. I especially love brisket leftovers. I tease that one day I’m going to write something called “50 Uses for Leftover Brisket.”

  135. Deb, my husband is absolutely insane for meat like that – I have never seen slow cookers here in Brazil, but can get similar texture by using a pressure cooker. I’ll be trying this recipe, hubby will be pleased!

    Your baby is just adorable.

  136. Randee Donovan

    I too had turned my nose up at slow cookers. As a CIA grad, I was just “too good.” Then came a husband, three kids, a minivan, A LIFE, and now I try to use mine at least once a week. You have to search for exceptional recipes (Cook’s Illustrated has some great ones), but it’s worth it. Can’t wait to try this. Happy Cooking!

  137. Robby

    Love a good slow cooker recipe. Cookers are exceptionally efficient energy-wise which is nice. In the summer, you can produce delicious food without heating up the house, which is a huge plus at our house. And nothing beats the act of coming home and thinking, “Mom’s been here and left dinner!”, oh yea, that was me. I often prep the ingredients the night before and stash the ceramic liner in the fridge. If I do that before I clean up from that night’s dinner, it means a super easy meal, with minimal clean up. And I know some will poo-pooh the plastic aspect, but slow cooker liners from Reynolds (no, I get nothing from them) are fabulous for cutting down on the scrubbing for those things that tend to crust on. Can’t wait to add ‘Brisket Tacos’ to our menu!

  138. Karen

    This looks delicious but I made a similar brisket recipe in the Crock-Pot a few weeks ago and it was just OK. The meat had an unpleasant, stringy texture. I often have this problem with the Crock-Pot but I keep trying different recipes because I love the convenience of it.

  139. LINDA

    Oh my, I love that Jacob and the fact that he sleeps so well is amazing. I use my Crock Pot to make pulled pork and I will definitely make a brisket now. I have also made corned beef in it and chicken noodle soup. You rock! Happy New Year. I am awaiting the birth of my 4th grandson today! Yipee! More boys!

  140. Stephanie

    As a 20-something living by herself, I couldn’t believe it when my mom gave me a mini crock pot for Christmas 2 years back. Seriously? When was I going to use this thing was all I could think. Let me tell you, made for an interesting airplane ride home, Security tends to look at you strangely when you put a crock pot through the scanner. Now, I live by my crock pot. I throw a bunch of stuff in on Sunday night, cook it overnight and the next morning, lunch or dinner for a week!

    1. deb

      I have to say I’m a little confused by these slow cooker liners — isn’t the slow cooker just ONE dish? We ran it through the dishwasher. I’d much rather cook in a stoneware dish than a synthetic liner… Discuss!

  141. Tiffany

    I am currently in grad school with a lot of night classes. Making sure my husband and I get delicious meals that are ready right when I get home (or when he gets home and then still good when I get home 3 hour later) without stress from either of us has made the slow cooker required usage in our house. We also use it when we go on picnics and to see movies at the park. Everything stays plenty warm while we pack up and drive over and we get wonderful homecooked meals instead of overpriced burgers.

    As far as the liners go, the stoneware in my big crock doesn’t fit in the dishwasher and is a pain to wash in the sink and my medium one is old and the stoneware doesn’t come out, so we use the liners in those. My little one (yes I have three and use them all) we just wash because it is easy.

  142. Wendy

    Deb, this recipe looks divine – especially the sauce being poured by the spoonful on top of the brisket. My trimmed 8 pounder is currently in my crockpot being cooked for dinner this evening (there’s 5 of us, and I’m hoping to get 2 meals out of it). I did have a question – can you give us a little more insight on the sauce? You said you reseasoned and cooked it down. Did you only reseason with salt & pepper?

    1. deb

      Wendy — I found it a little thin. It was probably fine as-is, especially to just shred the meat into, but I wanted to thicken it a bit so our tacos weren’t too wet and the best flavor didn’t get left in the pan. I strained out the vegetables, stock-style, reasoning that there was no flavor left in them, just a soggy, limp texture. The broth/sauce that remained was ridiculously flavorful, and even more so once I reduced it a bit. It needed more salt and only a little pepper. Be careful to add the salt once you’ve reduced it a bit, if you’re going to reduce it, or it might be too much once you’ve concentrated it.

  143. Marnie

    Brisket and pork roasts are great in the crock pot. Even easier – skip the browning. Why make another pan dirty? It comes out just as tasty and no dish washing until the end of the cooking process. Just a thought for when Baby turns two and you really don’t feel like washing the pan. Also – my neighbors all thank you for their Coffee Toffee and Spiced Nuts! Happy New Year!

  144. nancy

    I too love my crockpot for slow cooked meat recipes.

    I used to slow roast a pork shoulder all day on my BBQ until one rainy Saturday when I pulled out my inherited Harvest gold crockpot from the late 60’s.

    Dry rub the meat and throw it into the crock on low for 8-10 hours. Pull the meat from bone and enjoy as is or add your favorite BBQ sauce.

    Now I have the butcher make a few cuts through the bone leaving the roast intact. This helps get the whole shoulder in the pot with the lid.

  145. I have a little slow cooker that likes to be taken out of the cabinet from time to time…especially when I have zero motivation to do anything remotely multi-step. Can’t wait to try!
    Tell me, did you create a tablescape with this meal? ;)

  146. I avoid anything slow cooker related….the only thing I make that takes hours and hours is a recipe for meat sauce from my grannie in law (is this a real term?) in Rome. I feel like buying a slow cooker just to make this. Your comment regarding the the chiles in adobo. 2 cans would kill the digestive system of anyone…

    ps: Jacob is getting so big! And cuter with every post. Happy New Year!

  147. Lisa B

    My craving for pulled pork is the only time my slow cooker sees the light of day. I’m not a fan of “all in one” pot type meals, but nothing beats the ease of a good pulled pork done in the slow cooker!

    I’ll have to give your recipe a try…I’m constantly in search of an even better pulled pork recipe.

  148. Parenting eventually leads to slow cookers….it’s a fact of life!! I’ll have to try this one….ever looking forward to a recipe for slow cooking that does not include gloopy soup from a can. Your bambino is a handsome little dude. Happy 2010!! Chris Ann

  149. Kim

    I, too, use the Reynolds crock pot liners for ease in cleaning up. I wont crock without them. There is no burnt on ring to clean when you use the liners. And I agree that the older crock pots are SO much better than the new ones. I have one I received when I got married 20 years ago. It’s banged up, scratched up, and missing a handle but it cooks evenly and never burns anything. I recently purchased 2 “smart” crock pots that burn everything no matter what the setting. I even emailed the crock-pot people about it. I love my old crock and wont part with it til it dies. I do agree, however, that purchasing at a thrift store, you do not know what you are getting and as far as a safety aspect it could be iffy.

  150. Joanne

    My mom makes the most delicious crockpot meals and I couldn’t wait to get one years ago. But everything I made was way overcooked – even on low for hours less than the recipe suggested. So I bought another one. Same thing – I put in a pot roast and it was way overcooked in hours less than the recipe called for and I used the same size of roast as the recipe suggested and everything – to a T. A fried of mine was visiting and made her tried and true crock pot recipe and it, too, overcooked. So it’s not just me.

    When I watch it cooking (on low) it is boiling. Is that supposed to happen??? This happened with both of my previous cookers – both Rival. First one was a cheap-o one for $20 and the second is a Smart Pot.

    I don’t want to buy yet another one and have the same thing happen again – anyone else had this problem? Any recommendations for one that cooks more gently?


  151. PG

    Sorry to be slightly off-topic, but do you have a recommendation for a Tex-Mex recipe that works well for a dish that can be eaten at any time over the course of 2 hours and still taste OK? I’m hosting a few people to watch the Texas-‘Bama game Thursday and am still indecisive about snacks. I’m thinking to grab the little bite-sized pecan tarts from Whole Foods, plus make Nilla wafer banana pudding (what can I say, it’s a branded Southern tradition); Alabama has the sweets which means Texas should get the savory. But I’m not serving a proper dinner and people will be wandering in as they get off work, etc., so this savory has to be edible for a long time.

  152. Julie

    It’s in the crockpot now! Smells wonderful. It’s 8 degrees, first day back to school for five of my boys, fire in the fireplace, snuggling with my four year old, thankful to have a delicious meal cooking with no effort after two weeks of constantly being in the kitchen. Thanks so much, have really only used the crockpot for chili and spaghetti sauce when I can’t be home to watch it.

  153. So happy you moved to the dark side! There’s a wonderful Pork BBQ recipe made with BBQ sauce and coca cola for the slow cooker. It’s a-mazing. Works like a charm.

  154. Karen

    Joanne, that’s exactly the problem I have. The one thing that’s been a total success in the Crock-Pot is dried beans. Meat usually ends up stringy and overcooked. Do I need to try cooking it for half the recommended time? One-third?

  155. k8

    At first I was ashamed to admit that the signature dishes that people ask me to bring all the time are all made in the crockpot. I felt guilty that they were so simple. And then I just decided to give myself a break. Doesn’t matter how hard you have to work to make good food. If it’s good, it’s GOOD!

  156. Ariella

    So you put it in at night, it was done in the morning….then did you reheat the entire crockpot on low? or put it on the stovetop and reheat on low? im hoping to put the crockpot on tonight if possible, so let me know! Thank you!

    1. deb

      Ariella — I let the whole thing chill; reduced the sauce and shredded the brisket before we packed it up to go to a friend’s place. We reheated the whole thing in her oven — brisket shredded, in it’s sauce in a large foil pan — low temperature, foil on top, just until heated through.

  157. I’ve been using crockpots since I was married in 1972. I don’t cook a beef roast any other way. Brown the roast in a large pan with a bit of oil, bottle of nice beer or pale ale to deglaze the pan, spray the crockpot with cooking spray, toss in the roast, pour the deglazed mixture and bits over the roast. Season with spices of your choice. Cook away! Your baby is darling…..I always called my newborn kids “rump roasts” when they were wrapped up tight in a receiving blanket. Happy New Year, Nella.

    1. deb

      Something interesting I’m hearing in these comments (and, admittedly, in my bias towards slow-cookers before I knew better!) is how undeserved their reputation as — I don’t know, maybe half-assed, is the term I’m looking for? no, let’s say “slipshod” — slipshod cooking seems.

      What you’re doing in a slow-cooker is no different different from baking something in your dutch oven in the oven for hours at a low temperature; the difference is that because the slow-cooker allows you to be hands-off, you can cook your dishes even lower, even longer because you don’t need to be present in the kitchen or even home when you do. The result, at least from my primitive experiment, is an even more tenderly cooked dish, something equally valuable whether you’re making coq au vin or chicken breasts with a jar of salsa. Low and slow cooking always produces the most developed flavors in stewy, soupy or braised dishes (and barbecue! which is famous for the “low and slow” mantra) what keeps us from doing this daily is, of course, free time but the slow-cooker bridges that gap.

      Yes, I’m converted.

  158. Fred

    I got my first crock pot from an old roommate who left it behind. I grew to love it; it’s awesome for making Carnitas. I used it for years, and recently broke the insert. Much sadness. I went out that day and bought a new crock pot. I can’t imagine not having one. They make great oatmeal, and good chocolate cake.

    Of course to go the other extreme, Deb, do you have any good pressure cooker recipes?

  159. LH

    I too bbq in the crock pot. Pulled pork. The America’s Test Kitchen gurus confirmed what I knew by birthright that the South Carolina mustard sauce is the BEST for pulled pork. You can make your own sauce with their recipe. For crock pot, use picnic ham or boston butt (shoulder) cut; spice rub; toss into crock with onions. Etc. add sauce when you pull the pork. And don’t go putting coleslaw on it – that’s only to cut the too cloying Mephis or Western NC red sauces! :-)

  160. Sally

    I just bought a brisket so I can try this recipe. I inherited our crockpot from my mother-in-law so it’s of ’70s vintage. I have great results with overnight oatmeal, polenta, chicken and rice (brown skinless and boneless thighs with a sweet onion first in some oil- throw in crockpot with chicken broth for double the amount of rice and cook on low for four hours or so– it’s great.) In general though I find I need much less liquid in the crockpot than I would on the stove or oven, and I almost always have to boil the sauce down to really concentrate it.

  161. Too funny. People are always suggesting to me to make things in a slow cooker and I didn’t have one, and like you, I resisted. Why bother making beans that way when I can cook them in 45 minutes in a pressure cooker? Why bother taking all day to make pot roast when it can be done in a pot on the stove in 4 hours?

    Then a friend of mine sent me one–specifically to make beans. I haven’t made beans in it (the pressure cooker still wins there for me). However, I finally used it a few months back. I’ve made stew, navy bean soup (I stuck the whole ham bone in with beans that I cooked in the pressure cooker), meatballs, and a couple of other things.

    And I making stew in it again for tomorrow.

    I do like that unlike my mom’s old version, mine is 1) bigger, and 2) I can take the inside out to wash it. The old one giant ceramic pot kind really turned me off.

    I still haven’t made pork in it for tacos, though I keep reading about it. Very tempting.

  162. OMG! Jacob is huge! He grew so fast. How did that happen? Well, I know exactly.

    Saw you twittering about great brisket smells in the kitchen, was wondering if you were using a crock pot. It’s nice to hear you had a lovely last day of 2009.


  163. Helen in CA

    I’ve been told that the newer crock-pots aren’t as “low” as they used to be. Hence the boiling when set on low.

    My favorite thrift store tests all their electric appliances, so I feel fine about shopping there. (tho I don’t use mine overnight)

  164. Elizabeth in VT

    I survived 21 years of married life without a crock-pot. But I also survived 18 of those years of married life without a microwave. So you know I’m a Luddite at heart.

    After over 10 years of just me and the cat, and the cat refusesto cook, I’ve timidly ventured into crock-pots, to save me from eating dinner at 9pm. Mine is used, and pretty old, but bought from a friend. It’s an old 3-quart (one-piece) Rival, which I’m learning is just the right size for my Very Small Family. Better yet, an old friend from NJ dug around in her attic and found an original Rival recipe book, and sent me that with all her “adaptations”. So once a week I try to crock-pot something, just to develop my skills a little.

    I agree that the juices don’t cook down much. I’ve definitely improved at pouring the juices from the pot to a saucepan (one-piece crock pot, remember). I had a serious worry about leaving such an old crock-pot plugged in while I’m at work. So I either leave it on overnight, or do this cooking on weekends while I’m home.

    My enthusiasm is growing.

  165. heatherc

    Deb – Thanks so much for making the first day back to work and school after vacation a little more tolerable! Loved, loved, loved the recipe – first time in a long time I’ve had brisket that wasn’t too dry. I made 3 lbs for three of us (inc. husband and teen son) and hoped to have lots left over for lunches this week. No luck – there’s a tiny portion left! The slaw was also delish. So glad you’re now a crockpot convert – the combination of your sophisticated food sensibilties and the ease of the crock pot is going to produce awesome new posts!

  166. Jessica

    Deb, these are the crock pot liners that everyone is talking about –

    Basically just an oven bag that lines the crockpot so that you don’t actually have to clean the crock. :-) My crocks fit into my sink, so I don’t really feel the need to use the bags, but my mom’s old crock pot didn’t have a removable crock and it was such a pain to clean when I was a kid!

    I have a very basic crock pot that my husband’s grandma got me when I got married and has worked very nicely, but I just invested in this one ( because after having a crockpot full of chili spill in my lap while my husband was driving, I wanted one where the lid clamped on! It’s fantastic and programmable and included a meat temperature probe that plugs into it and runs through a hole in the lid. You can actually program the thing to cook to 160 or whatever and then it switches to “keep warm”. Love it.

    My favorite crock pot recipes are chili (chili on the stove is just wrong) and pulled pork (a couple pounds of boston butt or country style ribs, a bottle of sauce and about 10 hours – yum!). They rock for potlucks!

  167. Susan

    Caution!!! You still have to be careful of how long you cook some foods. Chciken, for example, can be rendered to a mealy inedible pulp if cooked too long in acidic based sauces. They can even be too soft roasted in a slow cooker without acid..and beef too. Some recipes you don’t want the meat shredding, so test often, even though they tell you that you don’t need to. There are so many recipes floating around that have excessive cooking times on them, so watch out and check with reliable sources before determining that long slow cooking is always good. I know you use reliable sources, which is why I trust your recipes, but reserve your verdict on the slow cooker until you’ve cooked on it longer. Yeah, yeah..wet blanket, I know!

  168. Wendy

    Hi Deb – it’s Wendy again – thanks for the advice on the sauce. Dinner was INCREDIBLE this evening, and with plenty of leftovers, it will be incredible tomorrow, too. I reduced my sauce to less than half, and it “seemed” a little salty and spicy, so I added just a little sugar. It still seemed strong, but once it was over the meat, it was DIVINE!! Yum, yum, yum! Thanks for sharing and again for the sauce advice!!!

  169. I made this today, but used lean pork loin (since the meat man was out of brisket)…….It is amazing! thanks for sharing the recipe!I did every step you suggested….VERY much worth the extra time! The sauce was like GOLD! YUM!! :)

  170. HEAVEN. gawsh i’ve been hankering for a dutch oven, french oven, slow cooker -anything that i can make a roast in- since the weather turned cold. what brand is your slow cooker? and do you have a preference in french ovenry when it comes to le creuset vs. staub?

    thanks for the HEAVENLY recipe!

    xo. lily @ bigBANG studio

    1. deb

      bigBANG — My slow-cooker is Faberware; it’s no longer made. Looks like these two are the best-loved on Amazon, both under $50. (Curiously, the fanciest brands seem to get the worst reviews on slow-cookers!) I get into my preference for Staubs and other stuff in this post. Hope that helps.

  171. Bethannw

    I just put mine in the slow cooker for dinner tomorrow night. I showed the picture to my son, and all of a sudden this was the only thing that would make going back to school tomorrow bearable. He’s got a pretty impressive palate for an 8-year old, and has requested (rather forcefully) lots of stuff on your site, but this was the first one accompanied by full-scale begging. I can’t wait to try it!

  172. Jane McDee

    Hello Deb, just want to say ‘Thank You’ for sharing with us – your recipes, thoughts, pics, a glimpse into your private life. I am grateful for your generosity. May 2010 be even better year for you and your family.

  173. Is this meat I see on this here site?! Looks absolutely delish, Deb! My mom actually has a very similar approach as you did to the brisket- she makes them into tacos. And she loves her little high-tech crock pot with the touch screen and all… It brings her absolute joy that she doesn’t have to be in the kitchen for hours while something is cooking.

    I on the other hand, love being in the kitchen and don’t mind it, but that’s because I am “insane” according to my step-father (aka “The Man”) who is the first to scarf down anything I make.

    p.s. I love how you’ve “converted” over.
    p.p.s Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

  174. Circle F

    Deb ~ you really should try the crockpot liners…. before they were ‘invented’ we used turkey cooking bags….. the ladies in the concession stand at our local schools basketball/football games always used them to keep the canned nacho cheese sauce nice and warm … and let me tell you ….. the liners are a blessing if you’ve ever had to clean out a crockpot with crusty, globby cheese! :o) … oh, and I don’t think they effect the flavor of your food at all.

  175. Connie

    Deb – Your comment on line 229 is right on the money; using a slow cooker is exactly like using a dutch oven, minus the hand holding and babysitting. One big tip – I’ve found that some spices and vegetables lose their flavor after cooking all day, so sometimes I’ll add them closer to the end of cooking. You’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you.

    As for the liners, I’ve cooked 20 + years without them. While the liners might be convenient, I like to scrape out every last bit of browned yumminess in the crock, similar to scraping up browned bits in a pan so you can make a nice sauce or gravy. That’s something you really can’t do when using a liner. For that reason alone (never mind the added cost of liners), I think hot soap and water work just fine for clean up.

    Thanks for all that you do for the cooking community at large, and have fun with using this invaluable time saver. Ditto everyone’s comments – Jacob is absolutely adorable. God bless and take care!

  176. Made this for dinner tonight- it is a definite keeper! The pickled onions may be my new best friend. I cannot help but think of other ways I can reuse these. I omitted the red onion from the slaw- so the pickled onions would really sing. I loved the spicy beef, mingled with the crunchy slaw, the tart onions and the zing of the jalapeno. This is my new favorite winter time comfort food!

  177. Gard

    I have not read through all the comments, so this might already be mentioned.

    A slow cooker heats the food to typically around 170°F and one can easily do this in a regular oven using a cast iron pot or dutch oven. Just heat the oven to 170°F and leave the brisket cooking for 8-10 hours.

    1. deb

      Gard — Thank you. I had the same question but keep getting distracted by, I don’t know, a sqauwking child, every time I’ve gone to look it up.

  178. The flavor was great . . . but I used two cans of chipotles and it was far too spicy for us! My husband complained all evening that his lips were sunburned. I also used chuck roast instead of brisket (the butcher didn’t have any good-looking briskets).

    Next time, I’ll:

    Trim most of the fat before searing
    Use one can of chipotles
    Double the amount of salt

  179. prklypr

    You have no idea what you have been missing, Ms Smitten. A slow cooker is the most *awesome* kitchen tool you have, esp with a baby in the house! You can throw together a slow cooker meal at the same time you are making a stovetop/oven meal – the kitchen’s already dirty and you end up with two meals and leftovers, one with no fuss! Best cookbooks are the Slow Cooker Gourmet series, and Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker. Once you’ve used your cooker a few times, you’ll figure out that all you need is a meat (cheaper cuts are the best!), a liquid (broth, water), an acid (wine, tomatoes, vinegar) and vegetables – herbs are a plus, but add fresh herbs at the end – almost any combo makes a delish meal with lots of sauce/gravy. Makes great soups, stews, chili. All you need to add is rice or pasta, and a salad, and you’ve got a meal! Slow cooked foods freeze beautifully, too. You’ll be hooked in no time :)
    PS: hope yours has a glass lid for peeking – every time you lift the lid, you need to add 20 mins to cooking time due to heat lost

  180. OMG I’m dying. This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

    Welcome to the happy world of slow cooking! I just got mine in November and I am uber-excited and hopeful that you will share many more slow cooking treats with us here.

    Happy New Year!

  181. NicM

    Welcome to the slow cooker world! After working all day, hitting the gym, and finally coming home starving it’s fantastic to have a hot, delicious meal waiting for you.

  182. That’s what I get for trying to calm a teething 7 month-old while cooking. Not only have I seemed to lose my grasp of speaking the English language, apparently now I’m having trouble reading it.

    Thanks for the correction!

  183. Karen

    Comments No. 234 and 252 are useful to me. My crock definitely is boiling away on low so it must be a lot higher than 170. I will try cooking things for much less time. The problem is, the whole reason I use the thing is so I can turn it on, go to work and have dinner waiting when I come home. I’ll have to stop doing that.

  184. Lenore

    Last weekend I was so excited about my new flame-colored Le Creuset dutch oven that I gave pot roast a try in the oven, even though I’ve had great success with it in the crock pot (like “xerox”, at some point the name of a product goes into common usage; so no worries as long as you’re not using it for a commercial purpose.

    Anyhow, after 4 hours in a 275 degree oven, simmering in an inch or two of liquid, the pot roast wasn’t tender at all, despite all the recipes saying that one twice the size should be done at 3 hours. I was so discouraged, but then I pulled out the crock pot and let it rip on low for another 3-4 hours, at which point I had the pot roast of my dreams.

    I usually make soups and other dishes on the stove or in the oven, but anything that’s low-and-slow as well as moist (as in not requiring a crust) goes into the crock pot.

  185. Any type of meat that is fork-tender is always a winner in my book! This southwestern pulled brisket looks absolutely lovely and you’ve captured it so well with your camera! Impressive, indeed. Your baby boy is absolutely adorable :)

  186. I tried brisket in the crock pot once, it was a disaster, tried it in the oven, not edible. I love brisket but now after so many failed attempts, I am not allowed to make it any more!! I will just drool at your photos!
    I do make carnitas in the crock pot and they are a family favorite!! The best tacos in the world!

  187. pam

    ok is it bad that on my busy days, i scroll thru your recipes looking for pics of the baby? i mean…i come back for the recipe later, but the baby…oh yeah…he’s just too luscious to pass up.

  188. mair

    A Year of Crockpotting has some great crockpot reciepes. Stephanie did a year of using her crockpot everyday.

    Like others, I love my CP. toss in a bunch of stuff in the AM, come home to wonderfullness.

  189. Thanks so much for inspiring me to make pulled pork tonight in my slow cooker. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now, and love it. Unfortunately I’m a breast feeding mama whose baby can’t handle any dairy. I’ve booked marked so many things to come back to once I can eat dairy again. If you haven’t noticed, you have a pretty dairy heavy assortment of recipes, which make me drool with envy. Thanks for sharing!

  190. Hey, I made this the other night using the oven method and it turned out EXCELLENT. My husband and daughter loved it. I did something a little different that worked extremely well– when the brisket was done I set it aside in the browning pan, set my husband to work “pulling” the pork while I used an immersion blender to pulverize the sauce. Rather than get rid of the vegetables they became the thickening agent and -viola- I had a rich, thick sauce for the brisket. It was wonderful, thanks for the great recipe.

  191. Rose

    OOOH! I’ve been checking this out daily since it was posted. We are big sports fans and we’re going to have a new entertainment system to celebrate with in a couple of weeks. I’m thinking this will be perfect for the Super Bowl along with some home made margaritas.

  192. Teri P

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was so good. Normally, I don’t like the way recipes turn out in the slow cooker, but this was absolutely wonderful. The suggestion to strain the vegetables out of the liquid and then reduce it made for a very flavorful sauce. My brisket was exactly three pounds and I served 6 of which 3 are teenage boys, and there was nothing leftover. I used one chipotle chile and next time I will try two. Please, please, please try more slow cooker recipes. I would use mine more often if the results were always this good!

  193. Wendy

    @StacyF – I used a 6 qt crock for this recipe, but I also had a 8 pound brisket… and it just barely fit (after being cut into a few large pieces). I cooked it for 10 hours, and the meat seemed like it could go just a bit longer, so as I made side dishes and sauce, I turned the crock on high for about another hour. It was yummy!! We are having our third set of leftovers tonight, I can’t wait. (And I HATE leftovers.)

  194. Tried out this recipe last night and it was a hit! LOVED it. Served it with tortillas, shredded cabbage, ricotta salata, the pickled red onions and black beans and yellow rice on the side. So great; thanks for sharing!

  195. CookinMom

    Steve – I’m in Texas too – and this IS brisket. Brisket is the cut of meat, not how you cook it, because there are also cuts of meat called “roasts.” BBQ brisket is different, which I think is what you’re thinking of.

  196. piba

    I am looking forward to trying it. I too have looked upon the slow cooker with suspicion. I look forward to a category of make ahead slow cooker (ie eat deliciously even with kids) recipes soon:)

  197. Elizabeth

    Hahahahahahaha…you crack me up! I agree though, until you actually use one, you really have no idea the wonderfulnes of a crock pot. In fact a lot of people don’t discover the awesomeness until they become a parent. Work, three kids and a long commute have made me and my crock pot the best of friends. My husband loves to tell the kids, “Sit down and eat, your mom’s been cooking all day”. LOL!!!

  198. christen

    i’m a slow cooker fan and a southern girl and a brisket fan, so i tried the recipe and it was fantastic as promised. i was one of the ones to misread the original recipe regarding the quantity of chipoltles. i thought 1 can worked out just fine but i can see how if you didn’t care for spicy food that might be a bit much. as a side note, i took the pulled brisket into work; my coworkers devoured the sandwiches and were astonished the i had made something so tasty!

  199. Renee

    Less time is not always the answer, people! I know it’s counter-intuitive, but sometimes the answer for slow-cooked meats is MORE time. Many slow-cooked meat dishes that are tough and seemingly “overcooked” after a few hours become falling-apart tender after several more. Slow cooking (whether in a slow cooker or in a Dutch oven) involves cooking meat far beyond the point where it is “done.” Now, if your slow cooker is truly boiling things on low, then you may have a problem. But halving the cooking time is not likely to be the solution for meat dishes.

  200. Stacey

    A cheaper alternative to Staub or Le Creuset you may want to consider is the Martha Stewart line at Macy’s. I have a medium sized Le Creuset, which I love, but needed a bigger one and didn’t want to fork over $250 to $300 to make a large batch of stew once or twice a year. Though I’m not a huge Martha fan, her enamel pots seem to be good quality, but much more reasonably priced (and I’ve seen them at 50% off lately). Also, for those willing to shop at Walmart (and I’m not one of them), they also sell a cheaper dutch oven that Cooks’ Illustrated has rated highly.

  201. Carol

    This was amazing! I served it with kaiser rolls and cole slaw. Thank you once again for making me look like a culinary all star!

    Quick story… I set it up the night before in the slow cooker… in the morning it smelled just average. I was a little worried that it was going to taste just average too. My teenage son asked where I got the recipe from. When I told him it was from “my friend Deb at Smitten Kitchen” he said “don’t worry ’cause if it’s from your friend Deb you know it’s gonna taste great” He was so right!

  202. Elizabeth

    I agree with the poster re: The Martha Stewart enamel pot. I couldn’t afford the larger Le Creuset myself and got the 7Q MS version for a mere $50 on sale. So far, it’s done very well for me.

  203. Jen

    YUM! We just ate this brisket with the green onion slaw and pickled onions. I strained the broth, but I couldn’t bear to part with all the mushy goodness, so I discarded the bay leafs and put the mush with the meat to chill separately from the broth. I used 2 chipotle peppers and it had quite a kick, so when I reduced the sauce I added honey with worked out really well. To help with stringy-ness pulled brisket can have I always make large slices against the grain and then pull from there so you get more like chunks. It was so stinking good!!! Oh and the chocolate stout cake is sitting proudly on our counter waiting for us to dig in. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  204. fortyhands

    Made this tonight – everyone loved it!
    Used the extra chipotle peppers in sauce to make a salsa with fresh cilantro, red onion, tomatoes and lime.


  205. I too recently rediscovered my slow cooker after throwing a pork butt in there with some BBQ sauce- stick it in a bun & top with slaw- soooo good! It also made (heck, I didn’t do enough cooking to take ANY credit) a really nice chicken adobo as well (just be sure to do boneless cause picking bones out of chicken that just falls to pieces when you look at it is no fun) So glad you’re enjoying the slow-cooker!

  206. ces

    My brisket is cooking away right now – I may need to leave my apartment because it smells so good! I think most of us foodie types never gave much thought to slow cookers because the easiest recipes to find online require canned cream of mushroom soup or dried onion dip mix. I am all for ease of preparation but if I take the time to do anything in the kitchen I want it to be from fresh ingredients! Therefore, I am VERY VERY excited for more slow cooker recipes from the Smitten Kitchen!!

  207. i love the way you served these! they remind me of panuchos, which i make vegetarian with beans, avocado and cheese – something so delicious about cabbage and pickled onions on top of homey, rustic food.

  208. Jennifer

    My first post! Deb, I’ve been reading your blog for quite awhile and enjoy it tremendously! Made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! I used a buffalo roast instead of beef brisket. Love the idea of straining out the vegetables and then reducing the sauce. Was surprised how much I liked the picked onions and green onion slaw as toppings. YUM!

  209. sara

    we just finished eating this. it was fantastic. i read the comments while it was cooking, and took the advice of #269, and used my immersion blender on the remaining sauce. yum.

    i don’t have a slow cooker, so i used a 5qt martha stewart dutch oven. (i also strongly recommend the martha stewart dutch oven – it’s great, and cleans up so easily). i cooked it for about 3 hours, and let the pickled onions sit while it was in the oven. i can’t say enough good things about it!

    thanks deb!

  210. MarthaM

    I made this over the weekend. Made more than I can use now, but I’m sure it will freeze. It made the whole house smell wonderful all day long!

  211. Beth

    This was delicious! I made it in the oven and it came out beautifully. Thanks for the recipe.

    AND, you have the cutest baby on the internet!

  212. Christi

    I made this for dinner tonight. Brisket was $8 a pound so I used chuck roast instead ($3 a pound). It was fantastic.
    Thank you for the side dish/condiment suggestions too. Loved the pickled onions and slaw.

  213. This made my husband so happy. I can’t even tell you.
    We added avocado since they were cheap today and it was perfect. Brisket, your (our) favorite slaw (with the red cabbage and green onion dressing), and just barely ripe avocado for a bit of toothsome soothingness. Perfection.
    And how fun for me to do in the morning and have ready at dinnertime. I was growing disenchanted with my slow cooker but this is helping reinvigorate the affair! Thank you.
    And thanks to Christi, above–glad to know it worked well with a cheaper cut.
    PS–if you have the chance, wander over to my blog–though I am frankly embarrassed to “invite you over”–I only have one Smitten Kitchen worthy recipe, and it isn’t even mine but my friend Jodi’s–but it is the world’s easiest slow cooker pork roast and it’s awesome. It doesn’t slice–it falls apart like the brisket–but if that’s what you are looking for, for sandwiches or just non-picky-about-presentation people–amazing. And so so so easy. We make it at least once a month, and usually far more often than that.

  214. Jeanne H.

    Made this last night. The meat was nearly impossible to get out of the insert because it kept falling apart. But it turned out beautifully tender and decently flavored. I don’t know if anyone will get down to this far comment-wise, but I would strongly advise people to not leave out the molasses. I didn’t have any, and figured it was only a quarter cup, so who would notice? The broth/liquid ended up with a thin, rather uninspired flavor, and my husband and I decided to ditch it rather than hassle with reducing it. The molasses was the only thing left out, and although I haven’t tried it with molasses, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be key to take this dish from decent to fab.

  215. laziza

    300+ comments later, just wanted to let you know that we made this last night and LOVED IT. Best brisket I’ve ever had – which seems weird to say about my own cooking – but it was a really great recipe. I had to leave out the chile because of a grocery-shopping mishap, but I’m not sure we missed the heat. Thanks, Deb!

  216. Made this over the weekend and it was as delicious as we expected. But I wanted to let you know about a tip for the vegetables.

    I strained the sauce and the veggies out so that I could skim the fat off the sauce. But, as you said, there wasn’t nearly as much fat as I expected. So I figured that the vegetables wouldn’t be totally laden with it. So instead of tossing them out, I gave them a whir in the blender, separated them into two batches, one of which got extra chipotles whirled in, and one of which got dumped into the reduced sauce. The whirled sauce was unbelievable and made a great additional topping for the tacos. If you’re going to go to the trouble of straining the sauce anyway, definitely don’t chuck the veggies. They make an excellent mole-like sauce!

  217. Lea

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous baby!
    We use our slowcooker monthly for pulled pork, but now I’m anxious to try the brisket. My husband is from Texas and always talks about brisket, but I’ve been intimidated. This looks awesome.

  218. The house smelled AMAZING when we got home from work. I took Lizzi’s suggestion & saved the veggies – used an immersion blender to puree them. It made this amazing thick sauce! Great topper that we’ll use for more than just the brisket!

    I’ve been on an unending quest for slow-cooker recipes that were made from fresh ingredients, not just Campbell’s Soup + meat. Excited for the next one!

    Thanks Deb!

  219. Alex

    maybe someone already asked this, but i’m not going to read 304 comments…

    do you think this would work with pork? like for a pulled pork recipe?

  220. Sarah

    Re: recommended slow cookers

    I looked it up on Consumer’s Reports and America’s Test Kitchen. Both liked Hamilton-Beach slow cookers.

    Hamilton Beach model #33967 (the first one Deb linked to on was recommended by CR. America’s Test Kitchen recommended Hamilton-Beach Programmable Slow Cooker with Temperature Probe ATK didn’t link to a specific model number, but it looks like the same one that CR liked.

  221. Angela

    Hi Deb, I am new here, but some of your recipes look delicious and worth trying!

    I just thought I would mention and comment about the brisket idea. My family and I also decided to make beef brisket for the holidays (xmas dinner actually) and do it all in the slow cooker. In the recipe we used you throw your meat, or perhaps smoosh and fit your meat in the cooker, add a can of cranberry sauce, and dry french onion soup, and turn it on. This was our first use of a slow cooker on meat of this size, and did not accurately estimate the time. So, you would definitely start this at night, 10pm, and it would be ready to eat around noon of the next day.

    First of all, it was also the most delicious brisket I had ever had. It was easy to pull apart, and strange enough did not have one smidgen of a taste of cranberries. As bad as it sounds…. I just finished off the last few leftovers a few nights ago in a sandwich, which was still delicious after all these days.

    Not to sway people from your recipe, but I thought I would chime in with how easy and delicious red meat can be with just cooking it in the proper device. I will never cook brisket or roast for that matter any other way!

    I am off to find that cookie recipe I read about……

  222. It was delicious. A friend popped in – lucky him – and we invited him to have some as well! I was so happy to share. I have a get together this weekend and I’m seriously considering scrapping the taco’s and making this again, instead!

    Word from the wise – taking the extra step to reduce the liquid leftover (straining out the veggies) is COMPLETELY worth it!

  223. Oh, P.S. I prepared everything the night before, put it all in the ceramic crock pot bowl, and left it in the fridge overnight. There is no way I’d ever be browning meat before coffee & running to work. First thing the next morning, I put the bowl on the counter to warm up a bit, and right before I left, put it in the Crock Pot base & turned it on.

    Even us non-morning people can do this one!

  224. Christine

    Might I suggest stealing some of the sauce to mix with black beans. It was fantastic! I’m adding 4 peppers next time – sure to cure the winter sniffles.

  225. Dan

    Hi Deb:
    Made these yesterday……….make the house smell so great all day. Couldn’t wait to eat them. Made some homemade flour tortillas (very easy), and they were so much better than store bought.
    Thanks for all the great recipes.

  226. Excellent recipe. I cooked mine in the Dutch oven on 325 for about 3 1/2 hours. It was so tender. I did add 1/2 cup ketchup to the sauce to thicken it a bit. I would take the suggestion that you gave to strain the broth, chill it to skim the fat off the top. I made sandwiches with the pickled red onions.

    Needing to do the dishes in the bath tub is a whole other story. Great recipe!

  227. Jen

    I made this yesterday and it was delicious!!! I served it taco style with the green onion slaw, the cilantro flavor was a nice touch. This was also my first slow cooker experience, now I am on the hunt for more recipes. It was delicious and easy to make, can’t get better than that!

  228. Maria

    Wow – I made this yesterday and it was crazy good. My boyfriend was nibbling on the strained veggies before I discarded them, and he expressed his displeasure that I was throwing all that yumminess away! Maybe next time (and there definitely will be a next time) I’ll try the immersion blender, but I thought the sauce was near perfect without them too! Thank you so much for the recipe, I cannot wait to try the pickled onions.

  229. Laura

    Delicious! Made it last night for a casual dinner party w/ some friends and it was a huge (and I mean huge) hit. It was my first ever slow-cooker recipe!

    The quick pickled onions really added something as well.

    Just a small note: living in the UK, I wasn’t able to get all the ingredients and had to substitute molasses for honey and adobo peppers for some regular pickled chilli peppers. It didn’t matter, it was still delicious! Don’t let a lack of precise ingredients stop you from trying this recipe! I’m going to make it again this weekend so I will actually enough leftovers to freeze.

  230. Whit

    I made this! And it was spectacular! Only thing I did differently was my method to thicken the sauce. Removed, meat, bay leaves and chipotle – skimmed fat – then pureed right in crockpot with my immersion blender – perfection! Pulled meat with two forks and popped it back in. Served with the pickled onions, avocado slices and sour cream.

  231. I am making this tomorrow! I am very excited to see how it turns out. I frequently use my crock pot in the winter! Makes for a most delicious meal after coming in from a long day and voila – – – dinner is DONE!

  232. So i obviously did not make this the other day but decided it would make for some great football food. Well..i wasn’t the one watching the football but I will pretend I was! This recipe is AMAZING!!!

  233. Okay, I recently had a similar Aha! moment with my Crock Pot. I was hosting a dinner party, wanted to do a Moroccan dish and came across the Lamb Tagine with Dried Fruit recipe from the L.A. Times. “8 hours on low?” The happiest sentence in all of cooking! Now, if I can only figure out how to fit one of those 7 lb. brisket beasts from Costco into my Crock Pot so there are loads of leftovers…

  234. Jonathan

    Used an immersion blender to blend up the sauce. Really enjoyed the flavour of the sauce. I was surprised at how much liquid was produced though. So much so, that rather than using it all at once, I bathed the meat with the sauce and then used the remaining sauce as a base for a nice soup the next day.

  235. love this variation, thanks Deb! But I cannot agree with cooking at 350F. I use a big dutch oven (don’t own a slow cooker) and usually do a brisket at 300F (for a big brisket, about 5-6 hours) and wouldn’t recommend going above 320F if you’re in more of a hurry. just my 2 cents

  236. Lindsay

    YES!!! Thank you for the great crockpot recipe!! I use mine a lot, but after I start my new job next week, I’ll probably rely on it more often! I can’t wait to get more crockpot recipes from your site in the future.

    By the way, I have fallen into the lazy trap of using the liners every time. Basically it’s all due to laziness. After using them dozens & dozens of times, I have nothing negative to say about them.

  237. Eve

    I just did this on my creuset and it was fantastic.. I was able to brown it on the stove top. Removed the meat and saute the onions, etc. Everything in one pot. I had only 2 pounds so I adjusted the recipe.. place it in the oven at 350.. but after 1.5 hours I lowered it to 300.. Just perfect. Not too much sauce left, mostly dead veggies. Next time I will just cook it at 325 or 300..

  238. Kenny

    I would like to have this recipe put on the record as totally awesome. Though instead of Brisket, I chose to go with a smaller cut of meat, and more of a “british” roast cut, the results were amazing none the less. The reason being the Brisket at the store was 5 pounds, and more slab of fat than meat than i wanted, and the Roast cut was 3.something pounds with only fat in one part…the leaner cut won the fight, let alone being 10 dollars cheaper.

    The Green Onion Slaw is wonderful as well, strong flavored though I might add some more Mayonase to help…tone it down some?

    The Pickled Red Onions are amazing, I subsituted regular ionized salt instead of pickling/kosher salts due to not carring too much of colour change due to iodine(which there was really none) and was only slightly “cloudy”, and used some garlic flavored Red Wine Vinegar(as I was affraid to add too much garlic myself/be too strong, I went the route of pre-made). The flavor awesome sweet garlic/pickled flavor (I would say somewhat bread-butter pickle flavorish.). And now I have urges to pickle things…

  239. Jolene

    We served this last night for our monthly family (of choice) dinner. It was a hit! We served it with the pickled red onions (a must) and maque choux, and gave folks buns and tortillas.

  240. Melissa

    We made this during the blizzard on Weds (I raced out in the morning and bought the only brisket at Whole Foods) – it was great! We ate it taco style with a mexican coleslaw, corn salad and salsa. Night 2 we ate it over fresh gnocchi, and I have a feeling some little sandwiches will be consumed during the Olympics. Thanks for an honest-to-goodness good slow cooker recipe – hope you find more!

  241. Patty

    We had this for dinner tonight, as soft tacos, complete with the pickled onions, (I absolutely adored them!), and the slaw. My only complaint is that I didn’t use a larger piece of brisket…there aren’t nearly enough leftovers! Because I knew I’d be constrained for time this morning, I made the onions last night, as well as all of the prep for the meat…just stuck it in a pan (my slow-cooker liner is too large for my crowded fridge), covered in the fridge until this morning, then dumped it in the slow-cooker. I don’t know that it added any additional flavor to the meat, but it did help time-wise. So yummy! You are correct, Deb, this will be a regular around here. Thanks for another great slow-cooker recipe.

  242. Beth

    Hey Deb and Everyone, I know this is an old post but if someone could answer this question I would be grateful, as it is a common dilemma (for me). I have the brisket going in the slow cooker right now, 11:40pm, and I’m having it for a dinner party tomorrow night. I am too busy tomorrow to do the prep, so I put in on tonight. What do I do when its finished tomorrow? Do I leave it on warm all day, or will it get destroyed? Should I put it in the refrigerator until dinnertime? Please advise! Thank you everyone!


    1. deb

      Beth — I like to put mine in the fridge when it is done (a casserole dish will chill it a bit faster, and can be used to rewarm it). When it is completely cold, or an hour before you are ready to serve it, remove it, scrape all of the fat off the top (and side of meat, if there’s a bit there) and then rewarm it in the oven at a moderate temperature, in its sauce. Seeing as brisket is actually tastier on the second day, it’s a good thing to get it done sooner.

  243. Ashley C

    Hi – does anyone know of any source for slow cooker recipes using “real” food. I received a slow cooker for christmas, and have used it exactly twice. Once for this recipe, and once for Martha’s slow cooker tex-mex chicken and beans, both of which were delicious. I’m not quite comfortable enough with it yet to experiment with 5 qts of ingredients, and most of the recipes I’ve found involve cans of cream of mushroom soup, velveeta, or both.

  244. Definitely leave 10 hours for cooking. I made the mistake of starting this 8 hours before we wanted to eat. We ate an hour late, and it still wasn’t shredding easily. Even so, it tasted delicious. But beware that the tacos were extremely messy and drippy. Definitely a dish to serve to casual friends who don’t mind if their clothes get covered in taco juice. Also made the slaw with the two full peppers. It was very spicy. I’d probably do 1 or 1 and a half peppers next time. All in all a delicious meal. I will make it again, but next time will cook it the day before I plan to serve it.

  245. Sally

    You mentioned in one of your Passover dessert posts that you really ought to post a good brisket recipe. Would you please? Plus maybe some Passover ideas for what we call “sides” in Texas? I’ve been asked by a group of 20 or so Methodist youth to prepare them a Passover sedar, and though there are a jillion recipes on the web, I’d love your ideas because you cook real food that doesn’t call for a million hard-to-find or expensive ingredients but tastes wonderful! I’m already planning to make several items from your dessert post, including the matzo caramel “crack.”

    1. deb

      Sally — Can I offer you a holdover recipe? I’ve been taken with this one. I know this sounds crazy but you can totally skip the fresh onions. (I find most good Jewish brisket recipes have smoother sauces.) And you can put it in a slow cooker for 10 hours on low.

  246. Ashley C

    Hi Deb, what I should have said was, “does anyone know of any source for MORE slow cooker recipes using real food.” I made your black bean soup the other night, and it was amazing, and so fun to be nearly hands-free. The delicious cumin element led me to make two more of your cumin-y recipes, the red lentils with cabbage, and the roasted cauliflower and potatoes. Absolutely wonderful. What I mean by “real” food, is whole, or mostly whole foods, not canned soups. From what I have come across, the majority of slow cooker recipes out there utilize a scary amount of processed or convenience foods. My goal with my slow cooker is to be able to cook the way I like to cook, but with less watching-the-pot time, and potentially even more intense flavor.

    1. deb

      Ashley — “My goal with my slow cooker is to be able to cook the way I like to cook” … Amen to that! I wholeheartedly agree and I’m constantly looking for more excuses to bring it out. I’ll try to keep them coming!

  247. Sally

    Deb, thanks for the speedy response! I like the way he browns it at high heat and then lowers it for the long haul. The “Joy of Cooking” leg of lamb that is my go-to recipe uses the same technique. The sealed-in-foil recipe is how I cook brisket so it’s tender, only I cover mine with a bottle of Shiner bock beer, Tex-Joy steak seasoning, seal it and cook low for several hours, and then add bbq sauce about 30 minutes from the end. But this will be good for teenagers–different flavors, but on meat they know! I hate to keep asking for more, but can you guide me to some good “sides?” I’m already sold on several of your Passover dessert recipes! I’ll report back on our efforts!

  248. This is such a fantastic recipe! I made your beef version, only with top round roast, for a group of volunteers, and it was a HUGE hit! I’m making almost the same recipe, only with pork, for dinner tomorrow, and I can’t wait. Thanks once again Deb, for inspiring me in the kitchen!

  249. Karen

    Deb, thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I have never really cared for brisket much, but your recipe really caught my eye. Well, I finally made it on Sunday & was amazed! It is better than I could ever have expected. I did substitute a can of diced tomatoes for the whole ones, since I had them on hand and figured they were all just going to be flavor-mush anyway. The pickled onions were fabulous as well, and a perfect compliment to the meat. There are a couple of rings left and I’m hiding them – I think they might be just dandy in my salad for lunch. So thanks again! And you’re right, I’ll be making this again SOON!!

  250. Tiffany

    Hey Deb!

    So I finally got to make this reciepe which I’ve been meaning to do for 4 months. It was so amazing. It made the house smell delish and they were perfect tacos. We ended up putting sharp cheddar cheese and slices of granny smith apples on them instead of your recommended toppings and it cut back the spice just a tad. Thanks so much!

  251. mike

    onece again—youve outdone yourself!

    your site is the one of the very very best recipe databases i have found. keep up the good work.

  252. Joanne

    Well, the kitchen gods have not been smiling on my house lately. First I made a quinoa recipe from 101 Cookbooks blog that all reviewers loved – was not good. Then I made the orange chocolate chunk cake that evoked swoons here – was…ok… Then I made this the other night with a thinner beef roast (7 bone?) and I didn’t decrease the cooking time sufficiently – ended up with dry, dusty meat. But, not to throw anything away, I soaked the dry meat in the sauce and ladled it over a baked potato. The sauce was really spicy (and I eat quite a bit of hot food in LA) using only 1 chipotle chile, and the balance of the sauce was just off – tasted kind of sour and icky and the only change (I thought) I made was to add some extra tomatoes I had in the house. Will try again someday because of all the other positive reviews, but sadly, this went into the trash.

  253. Terrific recipe. Thank you, Smitten Kitchen. I did make (as any cook would) a few modifications to suit the guests: used roaste chipotle powder, but cut the amount to 1.5 t.; browned the meat then trimmed the fat before braising so that I could later pureed the vegetables with the sauce (which produced a nice mole style).
    Served over polenta with sides of sauteed cabbage tossed with roasted walnuts and soy dressing, and squash cubes with roasted garlic.

    Muy, muy, popular. Second helpings all around. Next time will add some unsweetened cocoa powder to enhance the flavor Mayan-style.

  254. jackie

    I was sent this website from a friend! Such a good girl she is to do this for me! I. Can’t. Wait. To Try. THIS!!! OH! and the baby. Could he BE any cuter!!!!
    Your photographs are as delicious looking as the food! Well done. Must go back now. Read more. Drool more.
    Ta ta for now :-)

  255. Hi Deb! Having recently made the tangy spiced brisket and planning to make this one this weekend, here’s my question. Can I skip the browning step here, too? Or is it critical here for flavour?


    1. deb

      You can skip it. With pulled pork, that crisped edge of the “pulls” is more noticeable, and tasty. But deliciousness will still abound if you don’t brown it.

      1. Mary

        If I skip the browning, then do the garlic, onion, & spices just go directly into the crockpot; also do I then skip the vinegar step, but still put the water into the crockpot? Thanks!

  256. With my own two little hands

    Holy smokes, that was awesome. I don’t have a slow cooker so I did everything in a dutch oven and threw it in the oven for 3 hours like you suggested. I used one whole fresh serrano pepper instead of the chipotle peppers and the result is a subtle smoldering heat which is quite tasty and not unpleasant. I normally dread leftovers but I can’t wait to eat that again tomorrow.

  257. Rosa

    Wow! Thanks for the recipe. I scaled this up for a 13 pound brisket and cooked it for 10-11 hours in the oven. I didn’t have 10 consecutive hours to cook, so I braised it for 6 hours one night, then 5 hours the next day. Worked fine, though I did cut it in half before the second time in the oven to help move things along. Adding this because I was concerned that stopping the cooking would interfere with the tenderizing process, but no problems there.

    Great hit for a big crowd. We served it with stovetop mac & cheese and whiskey glazed carrots. We’ve enjoyed the leftovers (freezes great once shredded) in tacos and on buns.

    One tip for those in southern California — Smart & Final stores carry 10 to 15 lb whole briskets. We cooked the whole thing, but I could also see cutting it in half and freezing (or smoking the other half…. yum, that’s a party!)

  258. Jeni

    Began the 5+pounds of brisket last night, and I’m so glad I did. It took about 14 hours to get it tender enough to pull apart with forks. Did the strain and cook down step, but the sauce never got much thicker. Didn’t matter, because it was yummy, but I might try blending everything together next time. And there will be a next time. It was too delicious for words with the pickled onions, avocado, and plain yogurt.

  259. Kattie

    I made this last night. I didn’t have canned tomatoes, the peppers or molasses but I subbed tomato sauce, chipolte pepper flakes and honey and it was GREAT!

  260. I just made this and it might be the best thing to EVER come out of my slow cooker! I made sandwiches since we had some buns, but I know it would be delicious in tacos like yours.

    This is a great recipe for the fall–I think it would be terrific served over mashed potatoes or polenta.Thanks so much for sharing such a fabulous recipe!

  261. Erin

    I just made this for dinner, and it is AMAZING. I did not have any molasses, so I used agave syrup instead. I used the brisket for tacos, and topped them with cilantro cole slaw. Nomnomnom.

  262. Laura Lee

    I made this yesterday for Halloween and it was absolutely delicious!!! I went with one chipotle chile and it was perfect. I did take your advice and strained and reduced the sauce. I served the brisket sandwich style on small soft rolls accompanied by the pickled onions and slaw. Everybody was licking their plate! I also only used one serrano chile in the slaw and it definitely had some heat! Thanks for a great recipe yet again! Everything I have made off your blog has been a huge hit! Thanks!

  263. AS

    I’ve made this several times now in a 6 qt Staub pot in the oven. I’ve found that you need to add about half a cup more water in order to have anything left in the bottom when it has finished cooking. I usually cook it for about 4 hours, shred it, mix in the sauce, and then keep cooking a little bit longer. I highly recommend this recipe when done in the oven with these directions. I also put in 4-5 chipotles since I like spice and it is great for those who want it spicy!

  264. Melissa

    I just got home from a Hanukkah Brisket Cook-off where I brought this dish as my entry. There were 6 different varieties of brisket – from smoked Texas-style to Greek style to Traditional Jewish Grandmother style – and I WON with this fabulous recipe!!!! My friends were shocked that I was entering with a recipe that I had never tried before, but I knew I could count on for a terrific fool-proof recipe. Thank you, Deb, for all of your help.

  265. Jaime

    Hi Deb!

    I’ve been smitten w/ your site for quite some time now and I thought I’d finally chime in. I love cooking and, like you, have had to work on adapting and cooking in tiny (ridiculously tiny) NYC kitchens. I had been cooking up a storm – especially while pregnant – but after I had my son 18 (oh my god!) months ago, I kind of let cooking for my husband and I come in a distant second to cooking homemade meals for our new addition. Well, no more! Our new kitchen in our Park Slope apartment is pretty great, and I decided that I’d had enough Hunan Delight (although I still LOVE it!). It was time to get myself back on the cooking saddle. Reading your website helped me regain my cooking acumen and it has allowed my son to try a ton of great foods and widen his little palette. Mushroom lasagna, lentils, chana masala – he’s tried it all! His favorite to date is this very recipe! So, as a NY mom yourself, I thought you’d appreciate the fact that I am preparing a double order of the brisket, slaw and pickled onions for 10 of my sons buddies (all June 2009 Park Slope babes – so cliche, I know) and their parents tomorrow for our holiday party. I know we’re going to have some happy kiddies, moms and dads on our hands, and I wanted to say thanks for providing this (and all of your) fab recipes! If you ever want to venture out to the Slope, we’d love to have you!

  266. Marsha

    I make this same thing, tho the variations are endless: I use a thick chuck roast and season it according to whim. No real need to add any extra liquid, as it makes its own–sort of stews in its own juices (literally) after the fat begins to melt from between the connective tissue, which it does when cooked at low heat for a looong time. I freeze it in small containers to have on hand. GREAT added to a heady tomato sauce over some papperdelle or fettucini with lotso shrooms. So yummy! Usually do it in the oven (about 280 degrees) for around 4 hours, but last time (2 nights ago) cooked it in the slow cooker, seeing as I started it at about 9pm (late night inspiration–what a foolish idea now that sleep is as precious as it is…). Basic idea is from Laurie Colwin, rip, “More Home Cooking.”

  267. Marilyn

    Great Recipe. The brisket was obviously wonderful, but really, that sauce was out of this world. I had so much left over, I couldn’t toss it after the brisket was gone. It’s been frozen for future use.

  268. Margaret

    I had tweak it the recipe a bit, due to ingredients I had on hand. Instead a 3lb hunk of brisket, I simply used 1 1/2 lbs of prepackaged beef ‘stew meat’ (whatever that means). Instead of canned tomatoes, I used a little over a cup of fresh. Instead of a canned chile, I chopped up a fresh one. Right before I put it in the oven I sprinkled about a teaspoon of cinnamon on top (similar to a recipe for machaca I have made before). And since I used the last of my coriander on Thursday to make your chana masala, I garnished my burrito with cilantro and a spritz of lime. YUM.

    I made this in my Dutch oven at 350 for 3ish hours and it turned out perfectly.

    Thank you for posting such a delicious recipe!

  269. Christina

    This is seriously amazing. It’s totally worth it to thicken the sauce, and make the pickled onions. It’s a bit of work, but like I said, it’s all worth it!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this– I know I’ll be making it for years to come!

  270. jenniegirl

    Awesome use of a crock pot. Had to get mine out of the basement and put it to use! It woke us up with the yummy smell-and now I can’t wait till dinner..(it’s 8 am!) Thanks for the recipe-Love it!

  271. Vy

    Deb, I’ve had this recipe bookmarked forever and I finally had the occasion to drop some money on the beef brisket to make this (I’m in college–brisket is expensive to me). I made it for mother’s day and my usually-very-picky mother loved it. Thank you so much for posting this!

  272. You can also use cheap chuck roast. The original Barbacoa recipes used cheek meat. Yes, cheek meat! I have not used that yet, but I’ve made barbacoa/pulled beef/brisket in my slow cooker and used chicken stock and a whole bunch of cilantro, onions, and garlic and browned the chuck and then cooked it for 10 hours on low in a slow cooker. Oh, and 6 juniper berries. I’m going to try your recipe though! Here’s a photo of mine with recipe if you are interested:

  273. This has become one of our favorite things to eat. I’ve done it with brisket, boneless shortribs, and chicken thighs once in a pinch. As a born n bred Southwesterner, these are flavors that I love. My New Englander boyfriend thinks he doesn’t like Mexican/Southwestern food, but with every dish I make, I’m slowly converting him.

  274. Karen

    I’m so happy to have found this recipe. I have a brisket that is calling to me from my fridge, but turning on my oven in the 90 degree heat just isn’t doin’ it for me. I am also happy that you found your slow cooker last year and hope that you’ve used it many more times since then. As it happens, my grandfather invented the original Crock-Pot (although under a different name at the time) and I am always thrilled to see it put to such good use. And I love your site too, by the way, make your fried green beans with almonds and pickled red onions all the time. Totally addictive. Thanks much.

  275. Jane

    Deb, this was amazing! In the process of looking for the Chillies I managed to unearth a wonderful wholesale food supplier round the corner from me that sells some amazing American ingredients not readily found in Australia so it was a win win!

    This will be my go to dish for our burritos, paired it with your slaw, some black beans, guacamole, tomato salsa and rice…it was to die for and perfect for our Saturday night Rugby get together with friends :)

  276. I am making this right now and can’t wait. I LOVE your recipes, but never liked to cook just for myself so I had to wait until I got the chance to cook for others. Now, I have a hubby to cook for and I’m enjoying trying out all your recipes I’ve had stored up!

    The downfall of the slow cooker: I am so excited to eat this dish. I just checked the time, to see how much longer I have to wait to eat it, but only 15 minutes had passed :)

  277. Put this on at 10am in large Dutch oven at 160C, doubled recipe w 3 1kg pieces of brisket. Just turned oven off now 2.15pm to let it finish/cool. Smells wonderful, test tastes great. Pulled beef /pork not traditional here (Oz) but becoming very popular. Slipping out for some tortillas for serving tonight.

  278. YUM! It was amazing. And this may sound really weird, but I saved all the leftover sauce and have been pouring it on salads. My husband laughs at my “meat salad dressing.”

  279. helen

    absolutely delicious and a perfect use of the crock pot. we didn’t have the tortilla…just layered in bowls. the onions were a perfect contrast to the tenderness of the beef, and the coleslaw was perfectly creamy…i might reduce the olive oil the next time though – another winner

  280. Claire

    How would you adapt this to a boneless pork shoulder? This sounds amazing, but my friend is coming to dinner and doesn’t eat beef. I think it would be equally amazing with a pork shoulder, but would I have to change the recipe at all in terms of cooking time, amount of liquid, etc? What do you think?

  281. I made this yesterday and it was a HUGE hit with my roommate! Even better for lunch today, the flavors having had even more time to hang out together :-) We topped with the pickled onions as well as sour cream and avocados to add some cool & smooth contrast.

  282. Marilyn

    Deb, you’re recipe has made me popular. I am no longer relegated to just dessert, but now am also the bearer of brisket. Recently, I substituted a certain Lime flavored “Lite” beer for the water and oddly, the results were wonderful. Yes, feel free to cringle, but I’ve honestly had some delightful successes with using this trashy, but tasty beer in slow cooker meat recipes.

  283. Manda

    I just wrapped this brisket in handmade tamales and it is delicious! We’ll be enjoying this off and on (from our stash of 3 dozen in the freezer) for months to come.

  284. I just recently found your blog and I LOVE it! I am newly married and love your recipes! {plus I am a new blogger and your site is great inspiration}

    This one caught my eye because for the 1st time since I got married I decided to pull out that crock pot and do something with it even though it’s not my favorite thing. I LOVE it now! I would love for you to check out my post about it!


  285. Dianna

    First off, I love your blog!!! I have cooked a handful of different recipes and have loved them all.

    Second, I made this last night as a trial run before serving it at a big party this weekend. I bought a 3 lb. brisket. I cooked it over night so split the difference and set the timer for 9 hours on the slow cooker. My slow cooker works that after it is done cooking it goes to warming. I took it out at about the 10.5 hour mark and it was overcooked. The taste and flavor was great but the meat was overcooked and didn’t pull, you had to cut into the meat. I was planning on making a 15lb. brisket on Sunday. Any suggestions on how long I should cook it for to avoid overcooking? Thanks tons in advance.

  286. Grace

    Finally got around to making this (I printed it when you posted in 2010!). Talk about being consumed with regret…I should have made this l o n g ago. So so so tasty. The only modification I made was to 1/2 the amount of dressing for the slaw recipe, I just can’t stomach too much dressing on my slaw. Another winner Deb – thanks!

  287. Trimbie

    I’ve just made this and devoured it for the second time, and will be making it many times in the future. This recipe is absolutely delicious! And so easy to make. I had to omit the chipotle chillis (I couldn’t find any in here in Scotland), but it was still super tasty. I like to reduce and blend the sauce, and freeze the leftovers to have with chicken or something else that needs spicing up. We ate it fajita style with lots of salad, bell peppers, rice, tortillas and sour cream. Yummy.

  288. Nancy

    Help! What did I do wrong? I went to a good butcher to get the meat,so I don’t think that is the problem. I followed the recipe, and turned on my Cuisinart slow cooker. I checked it at 8 hours, and then at 10 (when I took it out and ‘cut’ some off for dinner). I put the rest back and cooked for another two hours. I finally turned it off after 12 hours and really PULLED it apart. The taste was good, but I don’t think this is what was supposed to happen. If it is the slow cooker, how can I adjust the recipe so that it cooks in a reasonable amount of time?

  289. Kate

    I’ve never commented before (though I’ve made many of your recipes) but thought I might as well throw my 2 cents in. I just made this and am sitting waiting for boyfriend to get home so I can start devouring this. After 3 hours in my Le Creuset it’s absolutely perfect, with a side of that Ina Garten pickled slaw. Yum. Thanks!

  290. Celeste

    Thank GOODNESS I found this….I made this super yummy brisket a year ago and couldnt remember where I got the recipe from. After talking to my mother-in-law about her brisket (sorry to say, not my fav…actually I have never found a brisket I have liked besides this one from Deb) I was craving this lush delish one I had once before. I have scoured my FineCooking one-pot mag and binder of recipes to no avail (there is a pile of mags on the ground as we speak!)….and PRAISES I found it purely by accident (or the cooking faries led me here) Watch out fam- I am making brisket this weekend If you havent already- this is a must try!

  291. freddy

    I am another pressure cooker convert. I have made this recipe in the slow cooker in the past, but thought I’d try it this time in the pressure cooker. The only modifications I made were to carefully pour the tomatoes onto the top (not mixing them in) to avoid them burning to the bottom, and then I cooked the meat per Lorna Sass’ timing chart (in the case of a 3 lb brisket, that was 55 minutes + natural release). It worked beautifully! (I finished it per your instructions with no other changes: chilled sauce, removed fat, pureed, cooked down, mixed with shredded meat.)

  292. Julie

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it a number of times and we always serve the leftovers over a fresh tortilla with an egg on top. I will echo the comment that says it’s worth it to strain and thicken the sauce. Yum!

  293. Amy

    Question: I have made this recipe many times and I usually have lots of the sauce left. It pains me to throw it down the drain but I don’t know what to use if for. Any ideas?

  294. Emily

    Hello! Any thoughts on trying this with pork instead of beef? I’ve been looking for a pulled pork recipe that doesn’t involve buying a bottle of barbeque sauce. From other comments it sounds like maybe I should brown the pork first?

    I’ve been a fan for a long time, you create wonderfully delicious things. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Hi Emily — I haven’t done a big pork shoulder in the slow-cooker before, but you could definitely use any recipe that gives cooking times for it and use these spices instead. And then invite me over, because it sounds amazing.

  295. Emily

    Just for future reference: this was AMAZING with pork. I used a 3 pound pork shoulder, which took about the same amount of time as the beef (9-ish hours). We devoured it in no time. If I manage to find a way to make it to one of your book signings, I’ll bring you some!

  296. Melissa

    Hi Debs-
    I love this recipe and plan on cooking for friends. Just a bit concerned about the amount of chilli powder. Will 1tbsp blow my brains off? I am Indian and hence used to my Spice.. but not sure about 1tbsp.. Can you calm my fears please :)

    1. deb

      Melissa — Most chili powders are blends and only a small portion of them is heat. And in most grocery store brands, barely even that so the tablespoon adds more of an intense flavor than mouth-burn. However, try you chili powder first. If it’s on the spicy side, you can use less. But with all that brisket and juices, you’ll probably barely notice it in the end even if it is. Good luck!

  297. Erin C.

    Ummm… WOW. Somehow this med student found extra time so she decided to try this recipe out. I put everything in the crockpot around 1030am and by 830pm it was PERFECT! Who needs a knife when this will literally pull apart with a fork?!? ayyyy soooo good!! I served it with roasted red potatoes (substituted those for the sandwich or taco suggestion) and coleslaw. Oh! and I also made the oatmeal pecan chocolate chip cookies I found on your website for dessert as well :) This is the first time I’ve tried out your recipes and I’m definitely hooked…!! My boyfriend thanks you too! Definitely making this for a future dinner party!

  298. Kathy

    Just had to say your baby is adorable! And I’m about to throw this recipe together in crockpot and am hoping to wake up to brisket heaven.

  299. Amy Meo

    I made this for new year’s- loved it! Friends coming up for a ski weekend in NY and I’m making it again. It’s the perfect dish for a crowd. And I love my crock pot, by the way, it’s been my kitchen friend for years!

  300. Yuri

    I made this yesterday for dinner, and it was amazing! My boyfriend ate about half the brisket. Ha! I’ll definitely be making this again. :D

  301. DB

    I made this receipe this weekend. AWFUL. Tasteless, dull and boring. Threw it out after the first couple of tastes. What a waste of money and time.

  302. Jes

    Made this Sunday and it was EXCELLENT. Full flavored and pleased even my picky 16 year old brother. I took the suggestion to reduce the sauce, but instead of straining the liquid from the solids I blended them in (aren’t immersion blenders the best?) and then reduced it. It turned out closer to a mole sauce that way and I didn’t feel like I wasted any of the great flavor from the onion, garlic, and tomato. Great recipe!

  303. Ing

    There’s always enough sauce left (1 pint to a quart) for us to braise browned chicken thighs once we’re done with the brisket, making this amazing dish even better.

  304. Amy

    I know the tomato is in here for flavor and for the acid to tenderize, but I’m allergic to them. Any suggestions on how to make this without them? Beef stock and a little extra vinegar, perhaps?

  305. deb

    You might try roasted red peppers? I don’t think that it will be anything less than tender even without the tomatoes, so it’s mostly about body and flavor. Peppers could get you close, I think.

  306. Art Bacaon (yes, I know)

    Alternative to tomatoes for tenderizer:
    If you are opposed to msg, try beef stock and Papaya (cut up). The Papaya is a natural tenderizer and gives an interesting flavor. Only use 1 or 2 Papayas

    1. deb

      Angelique — I don’t have a pressure cooker so I’m not sure, but I think so. But if you have another brisket recipe you’ve used in one, or would trust that uses one, I’d just use it’s cooking time/directions with these ingredients.

  307. Around here, we call October “Crocktober” Crockpots are great for the busy, working households and they create some wonderful healthy recipes as well. Thanks for posting this recipe..

  308. Tanja

    Made this overnight. You never now what’s going to happen with a crock-pot. I am often dissapointed, but not this time! Great success. My brisket is juicy and moist. Thanks!

  309. Shelly

    Made this today for supper but used the dutch oven in the oven. I recently purchased a new slow cooker which is more programmable than my old one which just had low/high/reheat. What I found with it was that I found my crock pot boiled things. If I set it on high (and even on low) it would bubble away and the texture of the meat would become something like I imagine any boiled meat would be. I loved it for chills and soups but not for pulled pork or brisket recipe. My new one is able to cook at a much lower temperature which I prefer for meat texture, but, at the end of the day, if I don’t have to be out of the house I prefer the low and slow oven method. This recipe is wonderful btw .. will definitely be a keeper.

  310. Sarah

    So delicious. Love this recipe. I made this for superbowl and served it with small tortillas and the cabbage cucumber slaw from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook to make tacos.

    Rather than straining the sauce/gravy, I removed the cooked meat and then used an immersion blender in what was remaining (after removing the bay leaves) and this made the perfect sauce for the pulled brisket meat.

    I also doubled the recipe and made one in the crockpot (so perfect) and the other in a dutch oven in the oven. The one in the oven was a bit dry as a lot of the juice/moisture evaporated during cooking but fortunately I had enough leftover sauce from the crockpot that all turned out ok.

  311. DN

    It was incredible!!! I made it for Shabbat dinner in honor of my husband’s birthday. We had it with sweet carrots and again on ciabatta rolls the next day, at room temperature (the ciabatta helped with the juice, since it doesn’t sog easily and has lots of holes to catch it in and a nice thick crust to contain it). I left out the chilies.
    I cooked it for about 11 hours in the slow cooker (overnight) and it fell apart easily. Thanks so much, Deb.

  312. Naomi

    Love this recipe, it came out fantastic, I reheated in the sauce like you described, did not need to skim the fat as there wasn’t much there. Can’t wait to have this as a sandwich tomorrow! Thanks so much!

  313. Hey just wondering if you had an explaination/instructions for the picture of the bowl of onions? Was that the “cooked-until-dead” veggies that you strained or some caramalized onions that you made to add to the sandwich wrap?

  314. Hi Deb,

    This recipe sounds amazing! I’ve been looking through the meat recipes though and didn’t see any recipes that asked for a smoker… I was wondering if you might be able to suggest one?


  315. Prudence

    Hi Deb,

    The brisket I bought has a layer of fat on top. Should I trim this off or will it be ok to leave it and just skim the fat off the top at the end?


    1. deb

      Prudence — I’ve definitely had that before. You’re going to have an opportunity to almost fully de-fat it later (I scrape it off once the meat has cooked and then remove any solidified fat on top of the liquid after it’s been fully chilled). But, if it really feels excessive, you can trim it down to a thinner layer (but keep some on) before cooking it so you’ll have less to remove later.

  316. One of our family’s favourite recipes. Served this to a child who may be the pickiest eater on earth (friend of my son’s) and he couldn’t get enough! Love to make it ahead and reheat it for tacos/burritos. With enough fresh toppings it still feels like a summertime meal.

  317. Gretchen

    My husband and I just finished our second meal from this recipe. This time we used corn tortillas with your pickled onion recipe and he declared it in the top 5 of his favorite meals at home. I use your website for new recipes about 90% of the time so we eat a lot of smitten kitchen goodness! Thanks!

  318. Rachel

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It has become a go to to feed a crowd. I double the sauce ingredients, use 5 lb of chuck roast (cheaper), do dutch oven for three hours instead of the slow cooker, with a pot of black beans and a giant slaw (no real recipe). Corn tortillas, a batch of pickled jalapeno/carrots/red onion, chips and salsa + guacamole, some cookies for dessert and I feed 15 ppl no problem. If I’m expecting more I add spanish rice. Usually even have leftovers, and it’s really affordable. It is such a success, esp because everything is done in advance and then everyone is in charge of assembling their own dinner. Vegetarians or gluten averse people are happy, meat eaters love this beef. It’s easy to assign some of these jobs to other people if they want to help.. Really, a great party meal, can’t thank you enough!

  319. Jennifer

    I made this twice, the first time using pork loin shoulder and the second time using pork butt. My slow cooker was not big enough so I used the oven method. Both times turned out INCREDIBLE. Thank you!

  320. Anne Marie

    Ok… it’s 2p and this is in the crockpot for tomorrow’s dinner. Planning on taking it off around 10 tonight (or before) and straining the veg etc, and hoping to let the flavors sit overnight so they’re just perfect for tomorrow’s dinner. Also doing the slaw and pickled onions. Guests are VIP – will report back!

  321. Imalinata

    This was fabulous!! Had it for dinner with company over and they were all raving about it.

    I doubled the recipe so had to cook it in the oven and it took 6.24lbs of brisket 5 hours to cook to be easily shredded. Since it was two pieces, about midway through I rotated which piece was on the bottom/top so that the same one wasn’t sticking out of the sauce the whole time.

    Blending the veggies into the sauce before adding the shredded meat back in was perfect.

    I forgot the can of chipotles in adobo when I was at the store so I subbed 1tsp chipotle chili powder per chili instead. For a double batch, 2tsp was just the right amount of spice so that the toddler set could eat it, but it wasn’t too bland for the adults.

    The pickled onions were great on the tacos and I now need to come up with more things to put them on.

  322. Meghan

    Deb, would you still recommend browning? I recently made your tangy spiced brisket, with beautiful results. In that recipe, you recommend simply skipping this step, cutting the work load pretty significantly, as you found it didn’t add much to the final product. I noticed this recipe was published before the other, so I’m just curious about where your current wisdom lies.

    1. deb

      Meghan — Funny enough, that recipe was actually written first, I just publish things all out of order sometimes. :) (Not that you’d know this or should have!) So, I always brown this one and I never brown that one and it seems really illogical but that one to me is a Jewish-ish one, for which I’m used to a soft braise, and here I really want some black edges that you miss when you don’t do barbecue over a grill. Both ways work, however, and it’s totally up to you.

  323. Madeline

    I’m planning to make this for dinner one night this week, and am hoping to put it in the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook while I’m at work all day. Is there a way I could prep it the night before and have it ready to just turn the slow cooker on in the morning? What would you recommend? Thank you!!

    1. deb

      Madeline — I don’t see why you couldn’t brown it and put everything in the slow-cooker bowl, refrigerate it overnight and turn it on in the morning. However, personally, I prefer to run it overnight and then transfer it in the morning to the fridge. It’s even better after it rests all day, and it’s very easy to remove the fat from the top before rewarming it in its juices that evening for dinner.

  324. Cheril

    This was GREAT!!! I made as written except adapted for pressure cooker (Instant Pot). I browned the beef in a skillet to better control heat rather than in pc. Same with the vegies. In order to determine how much liquid I would need I added the sautéed vegies on top of the beef, without the water. I added the rest of the ingredients then added only enough water to cover. Too much liquid is not desirable in pc. Then 60 minutes in pressure cooker plus natural release time. BOOM amazing!

  325. Debra

    This is absolutely delicious and will become a regular in our house!
    Two questions though:
    1. how high up the brisket should the liquid come? I felt like my brisket was 3/4 covered and worried it was covered too much. I also think my slow cooker runs hot (was simmering/boiling on low heat) so that may have affected the final outcome a bit.
    2. I ended up using an immersion blender while the sauce was still hot (after removing brisket, bay leaves and chipotle pepper) – did I miss the opportunity to skim the fat from the sauce? I noticed quite a bit of it when I first peered into the slow cooker but once I blended – and chilled it – there isn’t anything on the top to skim off. Next time should I chill first before blending?
    Thank you for another incredible recipe!!

  326. Katie H

    Deb, this has been my go-to recipe for when we have a crowd (taco style). It’s so easy and always a crowd pleaser. Thanks for such a great meal!

  327. Sally

    You posted a recipe for black bean soup and raved about how your slow cooker worked with dried beans. What kind of cooker do you have? I admit that I had one and got rid of it because it didn’t do a good job on beans!

    1. deb

      Sally — I have an old, no longer made one from Faberware that was on clearance for about $18 at the time. There are much better rated ones out there.

  328. Helen in CA

    So, being in Northern CA instead of NYC, brisket is not readily available. And when it is, it’s quite expensive (deemed a specialty meat I guess).

    So….substitutes? Chuck or ???

    Many thanks

    1. deb

      Helen — I’d go with anything else that braises and shreds well. I bet even short ribs could work here, or whatever you’d use for a pot roast.

  329. I’m so excited to make this–it will be my second time making a SK brisket recipe (the first being the Tangy Spiced Brisket, which practically made my husband go apoplectic upon trying it).

    Quick question: Do you recommend resting the meat after cooking it, like you do with that recipe? Or is it not as important since this one is pulled rather than sliced?

    1. deb

      It’s basically always a good thing to make brisket ahead if you can, it always gets a little better with resting, but no, it’s not as essential here if you’re not going to have time.

  330. danana

    Hi Deb – I am one who wishes you could post more recipes using a slow cooker. We use ours a lot, especially in the fall & winter – coming home to the scents of tomato sauce or roast – yum! I also was afraid to tell you that I used your piri piri chicken recipe in the crock pot – ! We are going to make it for friends who like it spicy and have a grill, but the sauce sounded good so I decided to try it with some chicken thighs….I love your site and your recipes; I’ve never tried brisket before but will probably try this, this week. Thank you thank you! PS we are a two crock-pot family, one large and one small, perfect for the hubby and I.

    1. deb

      Thanks — we are a three crock-pot family. I know. It’s not healthy. You can see the slow-cooker recipes to date here. The thing is, I love using mine but am not sure I can handle writing any more recipes for them because they’re SO inconsistent across brands. One of my favorite things to make it them in beans. I see not other way to even bother making dried beans. But you can see on this and this recipe that perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 the people who made it ended up with hard, undercooked beans — the rest found it perfect. I cannot write recipes for THAT much of a range in cooking times. Soliciting advice here, too, because I find them useful but perhaps not worth the gray hairs the recipe publishing has caused.

      1. danana

        That’s interesting – I didn’t realize there was a difference between brands, etc. which would make it tricky to write a recipe. I discovered a baked bean recipe (the book, “We Took to the Woods” by Louise Rich has one in there) that I have been thinking about trying – she cooked hers in an oven all day, so I wondered….I mostly stick to sauces, especially a good spaghetti sauce, sometimes with sausage or meatballs, can make sandwiches or put over pasta; Sloppy Joe’s are really good! We also have a mean mashed potato dish that is only for holidays (too fattening for too often). Other than that, I like to do roasts. If you would like some recipes, let me know (especially for the potatoes!) Thanks for the response, I am going to step into the world of brisket today when I go to the store (never tried one before)…..

  331. EL

    I made this for a ‘taco party’ on Friday night, very much inspired by yours, here in Cape Town, South Africa. I couldn’t get (unfrozen) brisket, so made this recipe with a big piece of beef shin, on the bone – no slow cooker, so did it in the oven at 350 degrees (170 Celsius ;-) ) for more like five hours … Took the meat off the bone about four hours in. I know this is a fair degree of deviating from your recipe, but the result may have been the best thing I’ve ever cooked. Helped along with grapefruit margaritas, too :) Thank you for the inspiration!

  332. I have never posted but I can’t help myself here! I LOVE this recipe, love this website. I’ve made this in the crockpot – but I then wanted to make a 6 lb brisket and didn’t have a crockpot large enough. SO, I did NOT sear or brown the beef. I did boil the liquids together as suggested. I placed the liquid at the bottom of a large roasting pan and sliced up a few yellow onions and added them to the liquid. I added the brisket, with salt and pepper on it, to the top. I triple wrapped the roasting pan and put it in the oven. I cooked it 225 for 10 hours — you can go up or down as needed. I like low and slow.

  333. Carrie

    I made this after someone mentioned to me that they had liked it and unfortunately it was the worst thing I’ve ever made in the slow cooker. 1.5 cups of water was way too much. It was bland and watery and I followed the recipe to a T. The meat was tough and tasted boiled. If I ever made this again I would omit the water completely or as maybe a quarter cup.

  334. Bruno

    my wife made this recipe other than the last step. For a cooking recipe this assumes a lot of knowledge, skips steps and is no linear. We liked it, but needs to be re-written for the no nothing man in a way that can be easily followed.

    You say ” I strained the sauce (to remove the cooked-until-dead vegetables and bay leaves), chilled it so the fat would be easy to remove” but when is the fat actually removed. Is it the bits floating at the top that is removed or the fat still on the meat (see last comment).

    “then reheated and reseasoned it well” reseasoned what? the meat or the sauce? Does this just mean putting the meat back in the sauce or re-applying from scratch the ingredients. did my ingredients just double? later you focus on the sauce, why am I reseasoning that, the spices are still in there.

    ” simmering it down (to about 2/3 the volume) to thicken it a bit.” again, what is it, just the sauce?

    “We poured it back over the brisket as we pulled it, and then, when we got where we were going”; I am at such a lose I dont know where we are going.

    “reheated the whole pan on low. (You could also thicken the sauce without skimming the excess fat — there was actually not as much as I’d anticipated.)” so I am out of the crockpot now and into a pan? also why are we talking about skimming again shouldnt that have been mentioned at the top?

    Again good recipe, but more clarity for the no nothings would be great.

  335. Elisa

    When you say you strained then “reheated and reseasoned it well” what were you reseasoning it with? and how much. any insight would be appreciated.


    1. deb

      You’re right — it’s not that clear. So, I strained the sauce. Chilled the strained sauce and the fat floats to the top and solidifies; very easy to remove. Once I removed it, I reheated the sauce, simmering it until reduced and seasoning it as needed. It’s actually better to reseason it later; if you do so earlier, as I seem to suggest you should, you risk it become way oversalted once it has reduced. Enjoy!

  336. Andrea

    I just wanted you to know I’m not a big fan of cabbage but thank you for introducing me to this slaw recipe… I thought the same about the serranos and my husband as he cut them up said…2…really? It was great! I’m pregnant and I’ve been following your recipes for a few years but they are getting lots of use lately! Keep up the great cooking! Your stories always put on a smile on my face!

    1. deb

      I haven’t made it with pork but I don’t think it would be bad at all — I’m assuming for pulled pork tacos? For pork, use a cooking time and heat level that’s worked for you previously.

  337. Judy

    This is my go to recipe for beef brisket and pulled pork shoulder – for years. Never fails!
    From time to time I make it with a jar/tub of salsa when I don’t have chilies or a can of tomatoes. Just as good. The pickled onions and green onion slaw are perfect to go with. Thank you!

  338. Joelle

    Yes! Made the entire menu- brisket, cole slaw, pickled onions, stout cake. The process took many hours, though 10 of them while slept (brisket), but it was completely worth every effort. Yes, to two serrano chilis, yes to taking the time to reduce the sauce the meat cooked in to make an incredible even saucier sauce. Because I had a teen son eating who doesn’t love cabbage or onions, we added homemade guacamole and some freshly chopped watercress to the offerings with the tacos- fantastic. Cake is dense and moist and decidedly delish. The ganache was the dessert clincher. This was a perfect festive meal to ring in New Year’s Day, but I won’t wait a year to make it again.

  339. Rachel

    I made this for a NYE dinner, along with your chicken fajitas recipe, and the red wine velvet cake. This made for a delicious and hearty meal. The leftovers have been delicious too!

  340. KatieK

    I made this for tonight’s dinner. Cooked it ahead in the slow cooker last evening, 10 hours. I drained the sauce from the meat and chilled it, so that I could remove the fat, which was about 4 tablespoons. I did try to reduce the sauce and should have done it longer. After shredding the beef with two forks, I reheated everything. I thought it was a bit dry but my family thought it was fine. Had I been awake, I would have checked at 8 hours to see if it was done at that time. The sauce was great!

  341. i’m so excited to serve this at our dinner party tonight. i’d like to try the “slightly more work” way–where I reduce the sauce, chill, reseason and put on top of the meat before reheating it, but I need a bit of guidance on how to best reheat–do i throw it back in the slow cooker to reheat? Do you have an idea of how long it will take? Or throw it in oven? I’m just nervous to ruin the delicious concoction that is currently simmering in my slow cooker…any help very appreciated!!!

    1. deb

      I don’t know how long it will take in a slow-cooker because it’s definitely the slowest way to do it. Usually I just put it in the oven at 325; it probably warms in 20 to 30. Make sure it’s in the sauce at all times.

  342. Made this during the big thundersnow storm in NYC last week, and it was a hit! However, it was an instant pot fail. I tried to pressure cook on high for an hour, and the meat was still very tough. Made two more pressure cooking attempts for an additional 30 then 45 minutes, and it was still tough! So we gave up on dinner and used the slow cooker function for 7.5 hours overnight, and the results were delicious. Not sure why the IP didn’t work–maybe it was the cut of meat?? Would love to know where we went wrong ;)

    1. deb

      I think pressure cooker for an hour is too much, and the meat was overcooked vs. still tough. I suspect that brisket is better in closer to 35 minutes, but will have an update (with professionally tested brisket times!) on this recipe very, very soon.

      1. ornabakes

        Hi Deb, thanks for all the great recipes. I’ve made this in a slow cooker and it was delish but now need to make enough for 12 – 14 peeps in my instant pot. I’m thinking 6 – 8lb of brisket (in two batches) will do it…? Have you tested it with the instant pot yet? I’d so appreciate any tips! Thanks 😃

      2. Florence

        Hi Deb – This sauce was amazing! But, I made it in my Instant Pot and it came out tough. I actually did not follow your 60 minute recommendation, because I saw various people on the internet say that if you brown the brisket and cut it up to fit in the pot (which I had to do), then you have to reduce the time to 15 minutes/pound. For 3 pounds I did 40 minutes on meat/stew setting with 14 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure, but meat was tougher than I would have liked. In general, I find cooking meat in my IP requires so much trial and error sometimes I wonder if its worth it (slow cookers you can easily open and check for doneness.) I’m going to try again, however.

  343. Kim W.

    I do not have a slow cooker, but I cooked this at 350 for 3 hours in a Dutch oven, as Mr. Pearson suggested, and it came out perfect. Next time I will definitely add some extra chipotles for some more kick or maybe a few some roasted poblanos at the beginning with the onion and garlic. Fantastic recipe, Thanks Deb!

  344. Rita

    I omitted the water completely and still had plenty of sauce left over. I think that the amount of water you need to add depends on your slow cooker – I have a Crock Pot and find that I often need to reduce the amount of water in recipes. Used two chipotle peppers, which was the perfect amount of heat. Couldn’t find brisket so used rump roast instead. Took the cooked meat out, blended the sauce with an immersion blender, pulled the beef and ladled about half of the sauce over it (still had lots of sauce left over). Great, versatile recipe!

    1. deb

      I’ve never made this on the HIGH setting but that does seem to be the recommended cooking time for high heat. If you’ve made another slow-cooker brisket recipe on high for 4-5 hours, it will work here too.

    2. Jessica

      How did this turn out for you on HIGH? I’m tempted to use that setting rn since I’ve gotten a late start, but I’m worried I will ruin the whole thing!

  345. Patty

    Okay, I am planning way ahead for my family beach vacation and I’m going to do a test-run. I am planning to cook the brisket the day before so it can rest – and I want to chill the liquids so I can skim the fat. Do I remove the brisket from the liquid and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap/foil while I allow the liquids to cool? Can the brisket sit overnight in the fridge (not in the liquid) so I can get to it the next day? Or will the brisket get dry? (I am hoping I can cook it ahead and take it to the beach, wrapped, in a cooler, along with the de-fatted, thickened liquids.)Help, not only am I brisket-impaired but I am a vegetarian and I so want to make a nice dinner for my extended family the first night at the beach. (Will make the sweet potato tacos for the two vegetarians in the fam and those who want to try them.) Thank you!

    1. deb

      Leave the brisket in the liquid, always. It should be mostly submerged, so the solidified fat will be easy to remove. I think this will be a huge hit!

  346. Jeannie

    Delicious! I made this with a chuck roast, in the slow cooker for 10 hours. This recipe doesn’t seem picky. I was out of chili powder so I increased the cumin and coriander. I chilled the sauce but didn’t find much fat separated. I strained all the veggies and reduced the sauce, but felt bad throwing out the onions. Has anyone tried leaving them in? I would have preferred more chipotle chiles for heat, but I think 2 was perfect for my guests. Will definitely make this again!

    1. Mo

      I’m trying to make this for a gathering tomorrow and am a bit nervous about the water based on a few comments posted here. Did you use the listed amount of water, and were you using a Crock Pot or some other variety of slow cooker?

  347. Amanda de Leon

    I just purchased an Instant Pot and so far, I have only used it once to make a stew that turned out AMAZING and tender too! I was wondering if this recipe can be made in an Instant Pot as well. Are there any adjustments to this recipe that I need to make? Thanks!

    1. deb

      I did! Well, I hired a recipe tester, but haven’t posted because I haven’t cross-tested yet but of course it sounds completely right: She reduced the liquid (since there’s so little evaporation). She used the saute function for the first parts, then 60 minutes at high pressure on the beef/stew function. My hunch is that you could check it at 50 minutes if you wish. She did 10 minutes of natural release before doing a manual release for the rest of the time; my hunch is that you can do manual or natural release here and it doesn’t matter, both will work.

      1. Lydia

        Thought I’d comment with my successful pressure cooking timings for other people. I have made this multiple times over the years in a slow cooker, but that timing didn’t work today, so did it in the pressure cooker, which made it a great after work dinner. Cooked it on high pressure for 58 mins in an Instant Pot as had a fairly thick 1.7kg brisket. Timings were perfect, flavourful and falling apart. Did all the frying etc in the pressure cooker itself, so clear up was easy. Natural released for 10 mins then manual (don’t think this made any difference, but I was chopping veg, so it happened anyway). Used 100ml of water instead of the full amount and will probably reduce that further next time. Puréed the sauce with an immersion blender and then reduced it further. Am in the U.K. so used chipotle paste instead of chipotles in adobo which isn’t readily available here. Everything else stayed the same.

  348. Lynn E Grey

    One of the best recipes I’ve done in the crockpot is the pork carnitas recipe from Epicurious. It’s not specifically dedicated to the crockpot but definitely turns out well, especially if you fry the pork to the point where you get those crispy edges. yummy.

  349. Patty

    Okay, I just made your braised shortribs for a family Sunday dinner and had to check the recipe to see how to bring them to temperature after letting them rest overnight in the refrigerator – and there was my answer, right in the recipe – thanks!
    Now, I can tell you how successful this pulled brisket was for a family meal last summer. I was planning to make them at the beach, but that plan fell through. So I made them later in the summer, when all of my adult children were visiting, and they were a tremendous hit! It turned out my older daughter had made this exact same recipe when my husband and oldest son had visited her a year before. Thanks for your patient advice, Deb. As a vegetarian I have been accused of cooking meat wrong – this recipe was a winner! Now I’m crazy for pickled vegetables!

  350. Ahem, that was supposed to go here, of course:
    OMG. Dash the Texan originality discussion, the brisket is super yummy and I am glad I made the sauce with just one chile en adobo today although we normally eat quite spicy. Luckily, I remembered there are two toddlers to feed too…. Slaw and brisket are prepped for tomorrows lunch, our pickles are maturing in the fridge and we can hardly wait to ‘officially’ (contrary to, uhh, let’s have another taste before we go to bed) tuck in.

  351. Michelle

    This brisket is DIVINE. I made it exactly as written with 2 chipotles in adobo because our guests like spice. I don’t like do much spice but it was actually perfect. I did 10 hours in the InstantPot using the slow cooker function on “Normal” (as I read this is equivalent to a regular slow cooker on low). I pulled out the meat, strained the sauce, reduced, and added it back to the shredded meat. With warm corn and flour tortillas and pickled onions, it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had!!

  352. Sherri

    Making this for a 10 person dinner party. Assuming when the sauce is chilling in the fridge leave the meat out and covered? Or do you refrigerate the whole thing. Also if I can make it 24 hours in advance, is that better and chill everything’s together or still strain first and then scrap top off as best I can with meat still with it.

  353. Marie

    I made this yesterday using silverside instead of brisket, as that was more easily available to me here in the UK. Used the 3hr Dutch oven method & it turned out perfect. Thanks!

  354. amysindiabound

    I made this last night in the oven and it came out delicious — will definitely be making it again! I followed the oven directions here — made it in a dutch oven @350 degrees for a little under 3 hours. I had to leave the garlic out because it upsets my stomach, but otherwise stuck to the ingredients listed. I used a sieve to take out some of the solids in the sauce (although I ended up adding some of it back in to help thicken the sauce — I wonder if just pureeing the sauce would work?) and then stirred some into the shredded meat and thickened the rest in a pot to use as topping for the tacos. SO GOOD.

  355. Shelley

    Hi! long time reader. I credit you with my love of cooking and recommend your site to everyone who ever asks for a recipe suggestion.

    I make this brisket often and came in search and noticed it’s not filed under beef.

  356. Faygeleh Fresser

    Longtime fan inspired to finally write a comment! WOW! I did it in the oven at 350 for about 3 hours and it’s unbelievable. It took all my strength to only eat a quarter of the recipe as I packed it away for tomorrow’s dinner. This ropa vieja style pulling of the beef is everything — I’m going to try it out with your other brisket recipe too, and serve it over some kind of matzah pancake. Also, the gorgeous aroma of this took over my whole apartment building. I don’t think anyone minded…

  357. Carey

    I love this dish and have made it many times. Recently, I made a new discovery and wanted to share. My kids like the brisket less saucy, so I always have a ton of the sauce left over. I saved it last time and used 1/3 of it to sauce a pulled roasted chicken. Then, I used this seasoned chicken meat to make taquitos (a smear of cream cheese plus 2 tbsp of chicken on a small corn tortilla – rolled tight and pinned with a toothpick). I deep fried them, but you could brush them with oil and bake them. They were amazing!!!

  358. Heather

    This is a go to recipe for me, though I use a pork butt. It’ll definitely perk my husband up and the amazing smells will make being stuck at home a little easier. I have time, so I might as well cook! This afternoon I’ll try my first sundried tomato focaccia.

  359. Sarah Feldman

    This is tagged as “freezer friendly” could you offer some tips on how to reheat? I feed 7 teenage boys, and because they all but inhale food, I like to have some backups in my freezer.

    1. deb

      Either tightly packed in an airtight container, or in a freezer bag with the air pressed out. Make sure to freeze all the liquid; it will keep the brisket moist as you rewarm it.

  360. Emma

    Hi! Just putting this on as it’s a staple, though I’ve never done the longer second option. How long do you tend to leave it to chill?

  361. Shelah

    This looks delicious (and so does your little one)! I know so many people love their slow cookers, but I’m wondering if this could be adapted for my Instant Pot. It does have a slow cooker function, but I’d love to try this using pressure. Any ideas on how to adjust the recipe?

  362. Deb Wilson

    I made this in the oven – it came out great. I cooked it for 3 1/2 hours total and it was fall-apart tender.

    I used a large heavy bottomed stock pot. Before I put it into a preheated 350 degree oven, I brought everything to a simmer. At that point I covered the pot top with foil, put the lid on, and placed it in the oven. I checked it at 3 hours and decided it needed another 30 minutes. At that point it was perfect. We can’t wait to have it as tacos and served on a bun. I think it would be great over buttered noodles as well. Super delicious, very easy. A real winner.

  363. Inga

    Hey Deb – this is pretty much how I dress my chuck roast tacos! Pickled red onions, cilantro, red cabbage – and – crumbled feta and Valentina hot sauce to take it to the next level. Big fan of all you do!

  364. Jennifer

    Hi! I really want to make this recipe but I would need to eliminate chili powder and chipotle peppers for my toddler. Should I make other changes as well to balance out the flavors? Thanks!

  365. Susan

    I made this in the oven. Instead of shredding, I refrigerated it overnight in the sauce and then sliced it thin and reheated it. We had it with our latkes on Hanukkah. It was incredibly tender and the flavor was amazing. Everyone loved it. I was hoping for leftovers…no such luck! I can’t wait to make this again. Thanks!

  366. Tina

    Brisket wasn’t available at either store I ventured out to, so I used chuck roast instead. I added maybe a half a cup of water, but that was likely too much. If I make this with chuck roast again I wont be adding the extra fluid. I followed the cooking instructions of my favorite chuck roast in a Dutch oven, 15 minutes at 350 degrees and then the rest of the time at 250. This was delicious and I’ll be making it again. The coleslaw recipe was a fantastic accompaniment!

  367. Karen Hofferman

    I made this in the Instant Pot and it was amazing. Honestly, we have not had great success making braised meat in the IP and our attempts at pulled anything are usually tough. However, I made this according to recipe, making sure to thoroughly brown the brisket, then cooking on the Meat/Stew setting set to high for 80 minutes (I increased the time because my brisket was closer to 3.5 lbs). When opened the pot I was SHOCKED! The brisket had maintained the brown crust, something I though was impossible with an IP. The brisket was falling apart at the touch. I used an immersion blender for the sauce. Family said it was one of the best briskets we’ve ever had!

  368. Laura Rideout

    My brisket is quite fatty. I noticed in the photo that your brisket is very lean. Did you trim all the fat off? Also your can of tomatoes look bigger than 14 oz. Did you use a larger can?

  369. I made these with canned green jackfruit and they are delicious. I substituted sweet soy sauce (1/2 the amount) for the molasses to add some lovely umami flavor and use butter instead of oil. I use an insta pot and pressure cook for 8 mins then slow cook for another 25 until the jackfruit pulls apart. Longer instapot cooking times make it mushy, so I prefer a quick presssure cook and then a more controlled slow cook after.

  370. Genevieve

    Help, please! I had groceries delivered and rather than raw beef brisket, I was given raw corned beef brisket (with a little spice pack included). Can I cook it the same way? Will it taco?

  371. Jennifer

    Oh my goodness-this was so good. All I have cooked the month of June is wheat thins and colby jack. I made this for the 4th for my family and it was so amazing. I actuslly made the pickled onions, (usually I am an avid step-skipper) and I will never again have a fridge without them.
    Made it in the oven and used half-cooked tortillas. Very sad they will come to an end and kinda yelled at my sister when she snuck out with a tupperware full to bring back to my brother in law…usually I am a leftover pusher so this was a plot twist.

  372. Shaz Surti

    Hi Deb

    Just wondering what you mean by molasses? Im from the UK and we associate molasses with treacle. But there’s also pomegranate molasses as well. Would you be able to clarify?

    Shaz Surti

    1. Natalie

      I’m fairly certain it would not be pomegranate molasses, that would have a very different flavor. In another comment she mentions treacle, or if you can get brown sugar that contains molasses.

  373. Barbara

    This sounds fabulous! I’ve been searching and wondered if this is the recipe featured on the Hanukkah episode of Taste the nation?

      1. Barbara

        Holy moly and happy Hanukkah. My family said this is hands down the best brisket I’ve made! The whole book purchase is worth it just for this perfect recipe. Looking forward to trying some more from the book :)

  374. Andie

    Y’all, I searched the comments for “enchiladas” and didn’t find it. I’ve had this as tacos and it’s amazing, but as enchiladas it’s mind-blowing. No better use for the sauce IMHO. Dip corn tortillas in leftover sauce, fill with leftover meat and some cheese, bake, serve with cilantro and guacamole and maybe a scattering of the pickled red onions.

  375. Heather

    I’ve made this several times with a pork butt and it’s amazing every time! It’s one of my husband’s favorites and everyone I’ve served it to loved it. Tonight I didn’t get it started early enough for the slow cooker, so I put it in the oven. Fantastic aes always and I’m looking forward to the leftovers.

    1. deb

      You’d want to adjust everything around it — it’s not a sweet sauce at all, but the amount of salt and vinegar are measured against it so they might overpower without it.

  376. Christine

    Mainer here…slowed cooked in the oven on a cool fall day…2nd time making, only with guest…brisket is too much with just me & hubby. Yum! Anticipating later today…thanks bunches Deb!

  377. Angie

    I made this with lots of vegetables like I would a pot roast – carrots, celery, etc. The first night we ate it in taco, then leftovers in an enchilada casserole with reduced braise liquid for the sauce, & the last of the leftovers in a beef and barley soup. Delicious!

  378. M

    This recipe is terrific. Can’t say enough good things about it.

    One call out; the link for the pickled onions in the ingredients list is broken. I was able to find it in the recipe description, but still. They’re really good, so would hate for anyone to miss them.

  379. Wild

    This is so simple and so good. It looked easy as I read through the day before. Just needed a couple of items from the market so that was easy, too. Did my browning with my first morning coffee. Into the slow cooker with my second coffee and dinner was virtually complete before morning dog walk…….
    Outstanding flavor! Two chiles in adobo were just perfect.
    Thanks for a terrific recipe.