Beef Brisket for Tacos, Enchiladas, and Tostadas {Slow Cooker}

Beef Brisket for Tacos, Enchiladas, and Tostadas {Slow Cooker}

I don’t know about you, but I get sticker shock every time I pass the meat department. A few years ago brisket was regularly 0.99 cents per pound if it was bought whole in the cryopack. Then suddenly the price doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled, and yes, even quintupled. Numerous times over the past two years I have refused to buy it.

The meat department’s only saving grace are those bright orange stickers with the words “manager’s special” on them. You probably already know, “manager’s special” is code for “this meat is going to expire today, so we are giving you a great deal on it”.  I stop for those bright orange stickers because sometimes there are some real steals on certain cuts of meat. Such was the case with the brisket I bought for this recipe. It sat there in the meat case crying for me to buy it and give it a good home, so I happily obliged.

I have a tried and true favorite brisket recipe, Easy Beef Brisket, which I used to develop this recipe for shredded beef tacos. A slow cooker makes this dinner a cinch, producing a fork tender brisket infused with spicy southwestern flavor. It is great with tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and taco salads.

The dry rub for this brisket can be adjusted to personal preference. The basic ingredients are things that I keep stocked in my herbs and spices, so it literally only took me minutes to prepare the brisket and get it into the slow cooker.

Crock-pot Brisket for Tacos

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


  • 5 pound brisket, prepped (most of fat removed)
  • 2 onions, cut into 1/8ths
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the dry rub
  • 4 teaspoons chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I used sea salt)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion or onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed Mexican oregano


  1. Mix the dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Divide in half and set aside.
  2. Using 1/2 of the dry rub, rub both sides of the brisket with it. Save the other half of the rub for adding to the brisket at the end of the cooking time.
  3. Cut brisket in half crosswise so that it will fit in the crockpot.
  4. Place some of the onions and garlic on the bottom of the crock-pot. Lay the brisket on top of the onions and garlic. Scatter the remaining onions and garlic over the brisket. I separated some of the onion layers and broke off pieces of the garlic so that there would be more pieces for flavoring the meat. I also put some of the onion and garlic pieces between the overlapping pieces of brisket.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup water around edges. Put lid on crock-pot and cook brisket on low for 8-10 hours.
  6. Remove brisket, allow to cool for a few minutes, then shred with two forks. The brisket literally falls apart at this point.
  7. If desired, do a quick rough chop of the meat to cut it into smaller bite-sized pieces. Remove the onions and garlic from crock-pot. Leave about 2 cups of the juices in the bottom ( it doesn't have to be exact, but don't leave more than 2 cups of juices behind ).
  8. Return meat to crock-pot and sprinkle with remaining rub. Toss to coat well. Turn crock-pot to high and allow the meat to get hot again. In the meantime prepare the accompaniments for the tacos. Taste and adjust seasonings prior to serving. If you prefer more heat, add more chipotle chile powder. You may also prefer a saltier flavor, so add a little more salt.
  9. May be served directly from crock-pot or removed, drained, to a separate serving dish. Please note: the cooking liquid helps to keep the meat from drying out. Serve with flour tortillas and taco toppings such as diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce or cabbage, black olives, salsa, grated cheese, sour cream, or guacamole.


This makes a lot of meat for tacos, enchiladas, taco salads, etc. Left-over brisket can be portioned out and easily frozen in air-tight containers for later use.


Beef Brisket for Tacos, Enchiladas, and Tostadas {Slow Cooker}


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    • Wendy says

      Made this for dinner yesterday, the house smelled so good and it was a huge hit. Placed the brisket in some mini “street tacos” flour torillas and it was awesome!

  1. says

    Oh, boy, Terri! I could eat this beautiful beef straight up! It looks amazing…and, yup, perfect for the Super Bowl! Have a great week, my friend!

  2. says

    This sounds wonderful and I’ve found I particularly enjoy foods that I can “steal” from the grocery store. I often avail myself of orange sticker meat and love to make family favorites at lower than market cost. I really like your recipe and will give it a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  3. says

    This sounds wonderful and I love that it is so easy to make. I am new to your blog, so I took some to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  4. says

    Gloria–thank you!

    Susan–Someone at work had made another brisket recipe that I have on this site and said that she had made tacos with the leftovers. Well, duh. Why hadn’t I ever thought to do that?

    Lizzy–Yes, this is definitely a man crowd pleaser.

    Mary–I love to stock up on those kinds of unexpected deals and I have to remind myself to leave some behind for the next person.

    Lindsay–Thank you so much for dropping by.

    Deborah–Yes, definitely good for enchiladas. Thanks for joining this blog, too. Oh, and thanks for the friendship on TK!

    • says

      Hi Liz. Thank you for leaving so many comments today. You were a busy girl! It makes my insides feel good when someone takes the time to drop me a line. Also, thank you for your comment about my kitchen! It is a happy place to be, even when every single pot is dirty and I have a couple of hours of cleaning to do.

  5. Brian says

    Tried your Brisket Taco recipe today and it was 5 stars. I tried something different instead of your rub, I just used taco seasoning and it tasted grate. It was a big hit in my house. Thanks…


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