Brisket was made for slow cooking! This easy brisket paleo, whole30, and low-carb brisket can be made in your slow cooker or your Instant Pot.
Healthy comfort food. That’s how I think of this recipe. This recipe one is what I call a trifecta recipe because it’s paleo, whole30, and low-carb. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder – those are the only seasonings used in this recipe. Season the meat generously with the seasonings; the amounts listed are approximates for the size of cut of brisket that I used.
Brisket, A Tough Cut Of Beef
I think it’s safe to say that brisket is one of the most popular cuts of beef for braising or slow cooking. Beef brisket is a cut of meat from the breast of a cow. It’s a tough cut of meat to cook with but the great thing about slow cooking or electric pressure cooking (Instant Pot) is that even the toughest meats will be cooked to melt-in-your-mouth tender.
In general, I believe you should cook brisket until it’s so tender it shreds easily with a fork. If your brisket isn’t that tender, keep cooking it.
To Sear Or Not To Sear
That is the question. For the Instant Pot, it’s an included instruction. For the slow cooker, searing your meat before adding it to the slow cooker is listed as optional. I chose to pan sear my brisket beforehand.
I will always leave this as a recommended but optional step. I have made plenty of briskets and roasts in the slow cooker without searing them beforehand and they came out just fine.
Make This Ahead of Time
Brisket can not only be made the day ahead of time and reheated, some might argue that it’s actually better that way. After it cools, I put the entire slow cooker or Instant Pot base right in the refrigerator. The next day, you will be able to easily remove the fat that has hardened.
This is also a good time to slice against the grain if you’re going to do so because the meat is easier to cut cold. To reheat, add the brisket back into the slow cooker or Instant Pot and reheat on the warm setting.
If you’re using a Crock-Pot brand of slow cooker, did you know that the base is oven safe? Yup, you can pop the entire base in the oven for temperatures up to 400 degrees.
Keep – it – simple. That’s what my Mother always told me and that’s what I did here. The gravy is nothing more than beef broth, meat fat/drippings, and a thickening agent. I clearly did not sift my gravy (too lazy) but of course you can if you want to. To thicken the gravy up, you’ll need to use a thickening agent.
My go-to is arrowroot flour/starch because it’s paleo/whole30 compliant, easy to find, and doesn’t leave a chalky taste in the food. You can use your preferred thickening agent, depending on your dietary needs. I like a thick gravy but if you want a gravy less thick, use less slurry.
Other brisket and roast recipes you might enjoy:
To serve this brisket, cut against the grain or shred it.Print
Slow Cooker/Instant Pot Brisket with Gravy (Low-Carb, Paleo, Whole30)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: serves 4 1x
- 2–3 lbs brisket, fat trimmed
- 1 medium-size white onion, sliced
- Salt (approx 1 – 1.5 tsp)
- Pepper (approx 1/2 – 1 tsp)
- Garlic Powder (approx 1 – 1.5 tsp)
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (for IP)
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth or bone broth
- Slurry thickener: 3 tbsp arrowroot starch, 6 tbsp (optional)
Optional step – pan sear the brisket in 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil or ghee until browned on each side.
- Season brisket generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add brisket and onion to the slow cooker. Pour broth on top.
- Cook HIGH 4-5 hours, LOW 8-10.
- Remove brisket from the slow cooker. Mix together arrowroot starch & water and pour into the slow cooker. Stir to mix well and heat an additional 5-10 minutes on HIGH or until gravy has thickened.
- Add brisket back into the slow cooker until ready to serve.
- Season brisket generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Turn the Instant Pot saute. Once hot, add oil and the brisket and sear a few minutes on both sides until browned. Remove brisket and set aside.
- Add onion and garlic, and cook a few minutes, stirring frequently until the onion soft. Pour in broth and deglaze by scraping off any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add brisket back into the Instant Pot.
- Select manual setting. Adjust pressure to high, and set time for 90 minutes. Naturally for about 10 minutes, then quick release for remaining pressure.
- Remove brisket from the Instant Pot.
- Turn the instant pot/pressure cooker to “saute” and pour the slurry into the IP. Cook the gravy approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
- Return the brisket to the Instant Pot until ready to serve.
We’re a household of 2 so I cooked a small 2.5 pound brisket in my 3.5-quart slow cooker. If you have a 6-quart slow cooker or Instant Pot, you can double this recipe to feed a larger crowd.
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