Crock-Pot® beef brisket is a dish that involves preparing a cut of meat from the lower shoulder of a cow in a slow cooker. Brisket is a fairly tough cut of beef and usually requires long cooking times to help break down its connective tissue and render it more tender. In most recipes, the beef brisket is placed in a slow cooker along with seasonings and some liquid, then cooked for anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the recommended temperature settings and the size of the cut of meat. Once the brisket is tender, it is typically sliced and served. Some recipes recommend serving Crock-Pot® beef brisket along with the juices remaining in the pot or using them to make a gravy.
Cuts of beef brisket are available in the meat department of many grocery stores and from butchers. Brisket can be sold fresh or as corned beef, so it is important for shoppers to purchase the correct type of meat for their recipe. Corned beef brisket is beef that has been cured with a solution of salt and other preservatives, and it will not provide the proper taste or texture for recipes that call for a regular brisket.
Consumers also should look for a brisket that will fit easily into their slow cooker. Larger briskets can be cut in half and part saved for later use. Small and medium-size briskets may need to be trimmed slightly to fit inside smaller slow cookers. Some recipes also call for most of the fat to be trimmed from the meat, so buyers may wish to look for briskets that have less fat or ask the butcher to remove it for them.
Many Crock-Pot® beef brisket recipes call for the addition of seasonings and some kind of liquid to aid the cooking process. Seasonings usually include salt and pepper, along with other herbs and spices. Cooks can add a variety of liquids, such as water, juices or various kinds of sauces, depending on how they want the final dish to taste.
Once all the ingredients for Crock-Pot® beef brisket have been added to the slow cooker, the pot is covered and the timer set. Many popular recipes can be cooked on low heat for eight to 10 hours or on high heat for four or five hours. Cooking on the low setting may bring out more flavor in the final dish but requires more planning time.
Crock-Pot® beef brisket should cook until tender and then be removed carefully from the pot. Most recipes call for the brisket to be thinly sliced before serving. Depending on the recipe, cooks may wish to serve the remaining cooking liquid along with the sliced brisket or mix in some flour to thicken the juices and make a simple gravy. Others may wish to serve the brisket alone or with a bottled sauce.