Looking for an incredibly simple slow-cooker Passover brisket? Well, you've some to the right place! This brisket is simple, delicious, and even better in sandwiches the next day. Make this the star of your Passover meal.
And have you tried to keep your slow cooker from getting too hot? I'm sharing my secret for keeping it lower than the low setting, too!
Why this Recipe Works
Slow cooking brisket can be intimidating, but this recipe makes it easy to master with only a few simple steps.
The wonderful thing is that the slow cooker does almost all the work for you! Plus, you have more time to spend with loved ones over Passover while the brisket is cooking.
Beef brisket is a specific large cut of meat from the lower chest of a cow. It's known to be tougher because the cow really works this section of their body and so the meat has a lot of connective tissue.
However, despite being a tough cut of meat, brisket reaches a delicious level of tenderness and flavor when it's cooked over a long period of time with low and consistent heat. There's nothing quite like the rich, deep flavor of a slow cooker brisket.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Beef brisket – Large meat cut from the lower chest of a cow. It's tough but becomes tender and succulent when cooked on low heat over time. I ask the butcher for a 4-5 lb. center cut for this recipe.
Oil – Any flavorless oil with a high smoke point is perfect for searing meat. You can use canola, vegetable, avocado, sunflower seed, etc. If it's Passover, make sure it is marked kosher for Passover.
Onion – I use red onion, but you could substitute white or yellow onions.
Fennel – Use the white bulb and save the fronds for salad.
Red wine – Any red wine will work, as long as it's one that you like. If it's Passover, make sure it is marked kosher for Passover.
Soy sauce – You can use kosher for Passover soy sauce. This recipe also works with salt instead of soy sauce. Season to your own preference.
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How to Make this Recipe in a Slow Cooker
First, heat the oil in a heavy bottom sauté pan, dutch oven, or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
Season the brisket on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear the brisket, flipping once until it's golden brown all over. Then, ransfer to the slow cooker.
Note: Do not cook the brisket during this stage. You are only browning the outside. If you cook it too much, it will result in a tough brisket. No more than one minute per side.
Add the onion, fennel, carrots, celery, rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, red wine, and soy sauce/salt to your slow cooker with the brisket. Click here for kosher for Passover soy sauce.
Cover with the lid and cook everything on low until tender, which should take about 6-8 hours.
Once cooked, let the brisket rest for 20 minutes with the slow cooker on warm. Then you're ready to serve.
What to Serve with this Brisket
Although this brisket is delicious alone with the veggies it cooks with, I love serving it with these excellent kosher for Passover dishes that round out a great meal:
Looking for more Passover recipes? Check them out here.
Does your slow cooker get too hot? Here's my pro tip!
Unlike classic crockpots, most new slow cookers stay too hot on the low setting. Therefore, the low setting does not allow for "low and slow", true slower cooker cooking. But I have a great hack for you!
First, use a timer that plugs into the outlet, and plug the slow cooker into the timer ($9). Then, set the timer so that every other tick is off. It helps keep the slow cooker lower than the low setting. If you have an older crockpot, no need to do this.
How to Make this Recipe in an Instant Pot
To make this recipe in an Instant Pot using the slow-cooker setting, you would follow all the same steps as if you were making it in a slow-cooker. Here are the things to consider:
- Get a glass lid to allow steam and moisture to escape while the brisket is cooking.
- Press the Slow Cook button on the Instant Pot instead of a different setting.
- Set the duration to 6-8 hours, and "Adjust" to "Less" to mimic the low setting on a Crock-Pot.
- Your Instant Pot will beep when done, and automatically switch to "Keep Warm" for 10 hours.
Brisket and Slow Cooker FAQs
Hindquarters of a cow are not kosher, so brisket is a cut of beef that Ashkenazi Jews have made and enjoyed for many decades. It's a tougher cut of meat, therefore it used to be cheaper, and can be made tender and delicious when cooked over long periods. It used to be served at Passover because it was the frugal choice that could feed a crowd, but it's now also an ongoing tradition.
Leave some fat on the brisket. The fat adds flavor and tenderness, especially the fat that is marbled inside the cut of meat. Trim off the hard fat, leaving the soft fat.
Searing the surface of beef before adding it to a slow cooker seals in the amazing beef flavor and adds a deep golden-brown color and caramelized flavor. Skipping this step will yield a more bland dish. However, the beef will still be cooked whether it is seared or not.
Cook brisket in a crockpot or slow-cooker on low for 6-8 hours, until fork tender.
It is possible, but not likely to overcook brisket in a slow-cooker. Over low heat, the meat gets more and more tender. However, once the brisket easily pulls apart (or reaches the magic temperature of 203F), then you should remove it from the heat so it doesn't tighten up too much and get hard when cooling.
Of course! First, make sure your Instant Pot setting says "sealing" instead of "venting." Cook for 25-30 minutes. You can also use the Instand Pot slow-cooker setting. Just set the duration to 6-8 hours, and "Adjust" to "Less" to mimic the low setting on a Crock-Pot.
More Passover Recipes
Keep your chef's hat on to make these fantastic Jewish recipes – happy cooking!
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Slow Cooker Passover Brisket Recipe
- 4 lbs. beef brisket up to 5 lbs.
- 2 tablespoon flavorless oil like canola, avocado, vegetable, or sunflower seed.
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 red onion quartered
- 1 fennel quartered
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 2 stalks celery cut into 2 inch chunks
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 8 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2-3 cups red wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce aminios, or just more salt
- 1 jalapeño optional
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottom sauté pan, dutch oven, or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Season the brisket with salt and pepper. Sear the brisket, flipping once, just until golden brown. Transfer to your slow cooker.
- Add the onion, fennel, carrots, celery, rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, red wine, and soy sauce/aminos/salt to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until tender, 6-8 hours. Let rest for 20 minutes with the slow cooker on warm.
This post was originally published in February of 2019, but was republished with step by step photos, Instant Pot instructions, FAQs, a video and tips March of 2022.