This Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket is made using the instant pot’s slow cooker mode with the most amazingly flavorful Barbecue sauce, made completely from scratch. The meat is tender, the sauce is out of this world and this is one of the easiest meals you’ll ever make! And minimal clean-up!
We made it for our New Year’s Eve celebration and it was an absolute hit! The total cooking time was 8 hours, and it was cooked on low. Cooking brisket low and slow allows the connective tissues to slowly dissolve into the meat, resulting in meat that is extremely tender. In a slow-cooker, brisket is cooked in a liquid of any kind, such as chicken stock, red wine or beer. Here we cooked it in the homemade BBQ sauce which added very juicy flavor to the brisket.We put it into the Instant Pot in the morning and by afternoon the house was filled with the fantastic aroma that made it hard to wait for that slow cooker to finish its job.
Which buttons to use on your Instant Pot to make Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket
If you are using Instant Pot for this, like I did, use the following directions to slow cook on low (190-201°F). Use the “+” and “-” buttons to increase or decrease the cooking time.
- Close lid
- Turn Steam handle to venting (we’re not pressure cooking here)
- Press slow cook button
- Press slow cook button repeatedly to set temperature to less (choices are less, normal, or more)
- Press + or – to adjust time
This slow cooker barbecue beef brisket is a so simple to make that I cannot emphasize enough – this will be the easiest meal on your menu, whether it is a celebration or just a regular dinner. It does make great sandwich meat too. The wonder of this beef brisket is not only about the flavor and amazing barbecue sauce with all its slow-cooker juices of the instant pot. It’s also about the amazing texture of the brisket once it’s out of the slow cooker.
How to slice Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket
First important step is to make sure that your knife is very sharp, otherwise it will not be able to produce the thinly sliced meat that we are aiming for here. Use either a carving knife or a chef knife. The blade must be SHARP! If you don’t have a sharpener at hand, but have a cabinet full of coffee mugs like we do, run a sharp edge on your knife along the bottom of a ceramic mug. This should temporarily sharpen your knife.
Next, find the direction of the grain, which way the muscle fibers are aligned and then slice across the grain rather than parallel with it. Put the blade of your knife perpendicular to the grain and start slicing at an angle. Go with the short strokes. Make sure to slice your slow cooked beef brisket thinly.
Hint: When you slice with the grain (as opposed to across the grain), you will get these long, shredded pieces – and this is the indication that you are cutting the wrong way.
Tools needed to slice Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket:
What’s in the Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket’s Rub & Sauce?
First, beef brisket is rubbed with the mixture that includes paprika, cumin, mustard powder, garlic & onion powders.
This step can be done the night before. If that’s the case, place the beef brisket with the rub all over it in the resealable food-storage plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Next, the ingredients of the homemade barbecue sauce are added to the pot and mixed together. Homemade barbecue sauce is made with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar (see complete list in the recipe box). By the way, you can use any of these: distilled, red wine or apple cider. We used apple cider vinegar.
Finally, beef brisket is placed in the sauce. This is my beef brisket after slow cooking for 8 hours in the instant pot (slow cooker mode):
Finish cooking the barbecue sauce in the saucepan on the stove-top. Barbecue sauce is mixed right in the slow cooker and then (after 8 hours of beef brisket cooking in it) it’s transferred to the saucepan, where it’s simmered for 15 minutes until thickened.
Tender and flavorful leftovers anyone?
If you love cooking in your instant pot, you will fall in love with these delicious recipes:
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Sauce
Instant Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice
Instant Pot Country Style Pork Ribs in BBQ Sauce
This Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Brisket is made using the instant pot's slow cooker mode with the most amazingly flavorful Barbecue sauce, made completely from scratch. The meat is tender, the sauce is out of this world and this is one of the easiest meals you'll ever make! And minimal clean-up!
- 4 lb. beef brisket (fresh or thawed, if previously frozen)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In small bowl, stir together all ingredients from the rubbing mixture. Rub this mixture over beef brisket (can be done the day before). If done ahead of time, place beef brisket in the resealable food-storage plastic bag and refrigerate.
Add all the ingredients from the Homemade Barbecue Sauce ingredient section into your slow cooker and mix them all together with a whisk.
Place beef brisket into your slow cooker on top of the barbecue sauce. Using a deep metal spoon, pour some of the barbecue sauce over top.
Set your slow cooker or instant pot to cook on Slow for 8 hours for a 4 lb. beef brisket. Once done, remove brisket from the slow cooker. The instructions follow for the barbecue sauce.
Remove the barbecue sauce liquid from your slow cooker and add it to the medium size saucepan. Bring to a boiling point and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cut a small corner of the brisket to determine the direction of the grain of the meat. The grain should be perpendicular to your knife. Start slicing.
Arrange sliced brisket on a plate or a bun and pour Barbecue sauce on top of the slices. Alternatively, you can also reheat sliced beef brisket in the sauce and serve it warm.
Instant Pot Tips: If you are frequently using your Instant Pot for a variety of recipes, it’s a good idea to have 2 different rings: one for savory recipes and the other for sweet recipes in order to avoid odor exchange. I use this Genuine Instant Pot Ring as my second ring – it is made by Instant Pot manufacturer and has over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon.
Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid is a good way to help keep the food warm without having to put the pressure lid on.