Crockpot Brisket in BBQ Sauce, take #2

The recipe for the first time I cooked brisket is here:

Crockpot Brisket in BBQ Sauce

Patrick is coming for dinner today so I convinced Lorraine that we should do brisket again (this took little effort!), this time with a regular brisket, not a corned beef one. 

Patrick cooked a brisket a few weeks ago and made some changes (both sons are chips off the block in that regard). I introduced the spirit of his changes and had to make a few alterations based upon ingredients at hand.

Crockpot Brisket in BBQ Sauce, take #2


  • 4 lb brisket


  • 1 Tbsp white sugar (calls for brown sugar, oddly enough we have none in stock)
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Indian chili powder (supposed to go in the BBQ sauce, I goofed)


  • heaping spoonful of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup commercial BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup mixed mustards (see bel0w)
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix Rub ingredients. Rub all over brisket. It can be refrigerated up to 24 hours — I left it on the counter for 30 minutes while preparing the BBQ Sauce.

I don’t stock onion powder, so I substituted dried minced onion — I put all rub ingredients in a coffee grinder to grind the onion and mix everything. I often do this even if there is nothing needed grinding, as it mixes the spices very well.

Combine BBQ Sauce ingredients in a slow cooker, stirring to mix well. Add the brisket — if it’s tight squish it down to make it fit.

I made a lot of substitutions here.

  • Garlic? I used a large size table spoon (flatware, not a measuring spoon) and put in a heaping spoonful, probably 2 to 3 Tbsp.
  • Ketchup? Lorraine buys smaller bottles as there are only 2 of us, so I used less ketchup, added BBQ sauce and mustards.
  • Mustard? Recipe calls for ground mustard powder, and while I have it in stock, I decided to change things. We had a few Tbsp spicy mustard in a bottle so I added a bit of chicken stock and shook the heck out of it to dissolve the mustard, then added to the crock pot. I repeated this a couple of time until the jar was clean. Then I added 1/4 cup Texas Pete Mustard Sauce ‘cuz the whim struck me. Plain ‘ole yellow mustard would probably work fine.
  • Brown Sugar? I didn’t have brown sugar so I used molasses. We had a bit in in a bottle so, again, I added a bit of chicken stock and shook the heck out of the jar, then poured it into the slow cooker. I did this twice more to clean the jar. Honey would have worked as well.
  • Cayenne? Since I put Indian chili powder in the rub, I omitted it here.

I put the cooker on High for 4 hours and then Low for 3 hours, then put it on Warm. An hour before we ate I turned it off and left it covered. [The original recipe said to put the cooker on Low, and a 3 lb brisket takes 8 hours, a 4 lb brisket takes 10 hours.]

I lifted the brisket onto a cutting board with 2 large spoons and let it rest for 10 minutes. then I scraped off all exterior fat and started slicing, removing interior fat pockets as I went.

While the brisket rested I strained the sauce and put into a large saucepan. Brought it to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduced to low for 15 minutes. This reduces and thickens the sauce, and it thickens more as it cools.


Warning: Indian and Mexican chili powders are NOT interchangeable. Mexican chili powder has other ingredients such as oregano and cumin. Indian chili powder is pure ground chilies and is often like cayenne on steroids.

Fat: The brisket has a large fat rind and large interior fat pockets. Next time I’m going to remove the large fat pockets before cooking.

Vinegar: last time I used a mixture of cider and rice wine vinegar; this time I used all cider. The vinegar flavor was not overpowering, as I originally considered.


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