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This super simple and flavorful Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket is easy, tender, and requires minimal preparation! Whip up some quick and easy caramelized onion and mushrooms, sear the brisket, and toss them in the crockpot with handful of other ingredients for a rich and tasty sauce that you can set and forget!

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Tender and flavorful Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket

Effortless, elegant, and easy- this Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket with caramelized onion, balsamic and mushroom sauce is a show stopping main dish that basically cooks itself! While it does require some preparation and a bit of cooking prior to slow cooking, I promise it’s all worth it, and all pretty simple.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket

What goes into the brisket recipe?

Brisket Dry Rub

  • 1 4-6 lb beef brisket (flat cut recommended).
  • Coarse kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper for good browning.
  • Dried thyme, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes for flavor.


  • 12 whole garlic cloves, peeled and whole.
  • 3 dried bay leaves.
  • Fresh thyme and rosemary.
  • A bit of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Beef broth.
  • Balsamic glaze.
  • A White wine you would drink, such as Sauvignon Blanc. Avoid sweet wines, such as Moscato.
  • A cornstarch slurry (2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water)-for thickening the sauce.

Caramelized onions/mushrooms for sauce

  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced.
  • Butter.
  • Sugar, to help speed up the caramelization process.
  • White wine or water (for deglazing).
  • Baby bella mushrooms.

Prepping the brisket overnight

To make the brisket, you’ll start by applying an easy spice rub all over the meat.Then, toss it in the fridge overnight. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.

Just give the meat a good rub, and let it sit in the fridge until the morning to marinate. When you’re ready to get cooking- let the meat sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to sear, pat it dry with paper towels. This will help the meat develop a nice crust.

spice rubbed brisket

Caramelizing the onions and searing the meat

Before searing the meat, you’ll whip up a batch of my fool-proof caramelized onions, and add in a bit of sliced mushrooms at the very end. This step only takes about 20 minutes, but is crucial to the flavor of the sauce.

Once the onions and mushrooms are ready to go into the slow cooker with the other sauce ingredients, you’ll sear the meat in the same skillet. Less pans is always a good idea.

seared brisket

Low, slow and saucy

With a handful of ingredients, including fresh herbs and garlic, this brisket cooks to fall-apart perfection, and makes a delicious sauce in the process.

All you need to do is remove the meat to slice, and fish out the herb stems and garlic. Then just add a super simple cornstarch slurry to thicken it. And there you have it. Perfectly cooked brisket with an amazing sauce, and barely any effort. The best kind of holiday feast!

sliced brisket with rosemary

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More delicious dinners:

Crockpot Beef Stew with Dumplings

Dutch Oven Pot Roast

Short Ribs with Root Vegetable Purée

Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket
Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket
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5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Balsamic Brisket

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 hrs 40 mins
Marinating Brisket8 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 55 mins
Course: Dinner, Holiday
Keyword: beef, brisket, slow cooker recipes
Servings: 6


  • Slow Cooker/Crockpot



  • 1 4-6 lb brisket (flat cut recommended)
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt 
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (for browning brisket)


  • 12 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary 
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze 
  • 1/3 cup white wine 
  • Cornstarch slurry (2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water)

Caramelized onions/mushrooms for sauce

  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste 
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup white wine or water (for deglazing)
  • 8 oz cremini/baby bella mushrooms, sliced thinly 


  • Prep the brisket:
    Season brisket with salt, pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Rub into meat to coat, then transfer to resealable bag or container, and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, leave brisket come to room temperature for 30 minutes and pat dry with paper towels before staring the recipe. The meat will sear better if it isn’t cold.
    Caramelize onions and mushrooms:
    1.Peel the onions and slice them in half, and then into thin slices.
    2. Add butter to a large cast iron skillet, and heat over medium heat until melted.
    3. Add the onions, and season with salt and pepper to taste
    4. Toss the onions to combine with the butter, and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly softened and some moisture is released- about 5 minutes.
    5. Add the sugar, stir to combine with the onions and continue to cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
    6. Deglaze the pan with 3 tbsp of the white wine (or water), and stir. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated. Continue to add wine or water, 3 tbsp at a time to deglaze the pan, making sure to stir and wait for all liquid to evaporate before adding more liquid. Repeat until full cup of wine or water is gone, making sure to stir and wait for evaporation at each interval. Takes approximately 20 minutes total.
    7. Once the onions are caramelized, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until reduced in size and tender.
    Prep sauce:
    1. While the mushrooms cook, add the beef stock, whole garlic cloves, wine, fresh thyme and rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic glaze and bay leaves to the slow cooker, and stir to combine.
    2. When the mushrooms are fully cooked, transfer onions and mushrooms to the slow cooker with the other sauce ingredients. And set to low.
    Cook the brisket:
    1. In the same skillet you cooked the onions and mushrooms in, sear the brisket. Add 1 tbsp canola oil and heat over medium heat.
    2. Sear brisket 3-5 minutes on both sides, until well browned.
    3. Transfer browned brisket to slow cooker, fat side up.
    4. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, until meat is tender and pulls with a fork easily but doesn’t shred.
    5. When meat is ready, allow to rest for 30 minutes on cutting board before slicing.
    6. Remove fat cap and slice meat against grain.
    Finishing the sauce:
    1. While meat rests, remove bay leaves, thyme and rosemary twigs and whole garlic cloves.
    2. Whisk cornstarch slurry together in a small bowl, and whisk into the slow cooker to thicken the sauce. Allow to cook on low and thicken while meat rests.
    Serve immediately, or place sliced brisket back into sauce and let guests serve themselves.

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