Slow Roasted Barbecue Brisket

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As I get ready to put up our Christmas tree and deck the halls with boughs of holly, in the back of my mind I’m dreaming about barbecue.

Fa, la, la, la, la…   La, la, la, la

When the weather cools down and we can longer run out to the grill, I pull out this recipe to satisfy our craving for barbecue. Okay, maybe it’s mostly my craving for barbecue. I don’t know what it is, but every now and then the feeling just hits and I’ve got to have it. This is one of the recipes that gets me through till grilling season.

It is delicious served on sandwich rolls, as I did here, but I also love to serve it up with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. The luscious sauce is perfect poured over the top of it all.

The ingredients are staples in my pantry so anytime I spy a nice brisket at the store, I know I can throw this together. If you don’t see this cut at your local grocery store, Costco has really nice quality, big briskets available most of the time. If you are cooking for a crowd, double it up and cook two.

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Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand – Thyme, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, fresh ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce.

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And, the star of the show – a 3-1/2 to 5 pound beef brisket. Figure at least 1/2 pound per person when deciding what size to get. You can keep all the other proportions in the recipe the same if the size of the brisket falls within this range.

It’s hard for me to pass up a nice brisket so I tend to buy and freeze them so I’ll have them on hand for when the brisket craving strikes.

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There will be a thick layer of fat on one side of the brisket. I prefer to cut the sucker off before I roast it so that the drippings stay mostly grease free. However, if you leave the fat layer, it will come off very easily after the initial roasting period which I will talk more about below.

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To remove the fat before roasting, use a sharp knife to slice through the edge of the meat and cut through the fat, pulling as you go.

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Don’t be concerned if a little fat remains. A little fat is a good thing and will add depth and richness to the sauce.

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For the spice rub, mix together all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Thyme, smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, salt, onion powder,garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and ground cumin. The cayenne will give it a bit of a kick so if you’re concerned about the heat level, reduce the cayenne to 1/4 teaspoon.

Paprika alert! There are many varieties of paprika available. Be sure you’ve got smoked paprika. It adds a great smokiness to the brisket that you won’t get from regular paprika.

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Coat both sides of the brisket with the spice rub, using your hands to spread it evenly over the meat.

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Place the meat fat side or trimmed side up.

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Pour 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce over the surface of the brisket and then pour on the barbecue sauce.

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Use a knife to spread the sauce out to cover the entire surface of the meat.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in a preheated 300 degree oven. Now walk away and don’t look back for two hours.

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Two hours has elapsed, your house smells heavenly, and you’ve been asked repeatedly “when’s dinner” which means it’s time to remove the brisket from the oven. If you did not previously remove the fat layer you can do it effortlessly now. It will scrape off with a knife just like buttah.

Now flip it over so the other side can cook in the rich, wonderful sauce that has been created during the cooking time. Cover the pan back up with the foil and return it to the oven for about another hour or slightly longer, until fork tender.

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After the end of the cooking time, transfer the brisket to a cutting board.

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If you look closely at the meat, you can see the grain runs a certain direction. For the best result you want to be sure to slice the brisket against the grain.

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Return the sliced brisket to the crazy good sauce.

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Boy #4 had almost half his sandwich consumed before I got over there with my camera. I guess that should tell you something.

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This recipe is great for this time of year when the house is full of folks coming and going, the kids are home from college, and friends and relatives are visiting. Easy, down home comfort food at it’s best.

Take a gander at these other cold weather BBQ recipes.

Slow Roasted Barbecue Brisket
Servings: 6 to 10 servings
  • 3-1/2 to 5 pound beef brisket, trimmed of fat (see directions below to remove fat)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. If you've got a good knife and a steady hand, trim the fat from the brisket. If not, go ahead and move ahead with recipe and we'll come back to this later.
  3. Mix all spices together in a small bowl and set aside. Place brisket in a large baking pan pour spice mixture over. Use your hands to rub over both sides of brisket.
  4. Place brisket fat side or trimmed side up in pan and pour Worcestershire sauce and BBQ sauce over the top, spreading the sauce with a knife to cover surface of meat.
  5. Cover tightly with foil and place in oven. Don't even peak at it for 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours have elapsed, remove pan from oven and remove foil. If you did not remove fat layer previously, you can easily remove it now by scraping it off with a knife. Discard the fat. Flip the brisket so that this side will now cook in the seasoned juices. Cover tightly with foil and return to oven for another hour or till fork tender.
  7. Remove from oven and transfer brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and return to sauce.
  8. Serve immediately on sandwiches or with mashed potatoes, spooning the sauce over the potatoes.


  1. says

    WOW! Smother, cover and cook! Love the process and the results look perfect! I can smell and taste this brisket from just looking at your pics. Sounds like a great way to supply sandwich meat during the holidays! Thanks Valerie!

  2. John says

    I used these directions, and my brisket was very tasty, not not very tender! Any suggestions on what I may have done wrong? I am thinking next time, perhaps reduce the heat to 250 and cook for a longer timeframe?

    • says

      Sorry to hear this John. Yes, I’d definitely increase the cooking time but don’t think it’s necessary to reduce the oven temp. After flipping, let it continue to cook until it is fork tender. I hope you give it another try!

  3. Kim Gilmore says

    Just made this tonight for out of town guests. IT WAS AMAZING. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I didn’t change a thing.

  4. Steve Woods says

    I made this last week as a treat on a rainy sunday afternoon in England and it went down a storm!! Loved it! I’ll be using a bit more BBQ sauce next time but everything else was great!!

    My new favourite thing!!! :)

  5. Henry says

    First of all it looks like this recipe has been on the ‘net since 2012. I came across it a few months ago when searching for an oven roasted brisket recipe. Second, I am from Texas and we are proud of outdoor bbq brisket. There are few things that can beat that. Still, at home I sometimes need to cook the brisket in the oven because it is less hassle and I have other things to do than sit outside a babysit a brisket. Third, I have used this recipe three times now and it is a great recipe. This is the best oven roasted brisket our family has tasted and this is our go-to recipe. I have not altered the rub or sauce ingredients but we altered the cooking time. We go at 275 degrees. We rub the brisket and then roast it for 4 hours. We then add the sauce mixture and roast for 2 more hours and then flip it after 1 hour. While the three hour cook time works pretty good we feel we get better results with our time sequence. Either way my hats off to this recipe; heck the whole dang article with pictures is great too. Thanks for influencing our brisket experience!!

    • says

      I have to tell you, when I got to the part that said “I am from Texas”, I think my heart skipped a beat :) Your comment means so much to me, Henry. If I’ve made a man from Texas happy, I do believe I’ve done my job. Thanks so much for your notes on the cooking time. This is great feedback and I may just give it a try next time it’s on the menu.

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