Make Ahead Holiday Beef Brisket: An Easy Slow Cooker Recipe

The holiday season is all about sharing delicious meals with loved ones. When it comes to Christmas dinner, there’s nothing better than a melt-in-your-mouth Holiday Beef Brisket. This savory and tangy dish can be made ahead in your slow cooker, allowing you to enjoy stress-free festivities. Let’s dive into the details of this mouthwatering recipe from Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ!

What is Holiday Beef Brisket?

Holiday Beef Brisket, also known as Jewish Brisket or Christmas Brisket, is a tender and flavorful dish often served as the main course during Christmas celebrations. It combines the rich flavors of beef brisket, onion soup mix, and cranberry sauce to create a delectable holiday feast.

Ingredients for Holiday Beef Brisket

To make this scrumptious dish, you’ll only need a few ingredients:

  • Beef Brisket: Opt for a first or flat-cut brisket that’s more even in thickness and has less fat. This cut of meat offers a deep, beefy flavor when cooked low and slow.
  • Onion Soup Mix: A dry packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix adds savory notes to the brisket.
  • Cranberry Sauce: A can of cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly provides a tangy flavor to the brisket sauce.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These essential seasonings enhance the flavor and help tenderize the brisket.

Holiday Beef Brisket

How to Make Holiday Beef Brisket

Making Holiday Beef Brisket couldn’t be easier! Simply follow these steps:

  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the brisket and place it in a large slow cooker.
  2. Evenly distribute a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix over the brisket.
  3. Add a can of cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly to the slow cooker, spreading it over the brisket.
  4. Cook the brisket on low for 8 hours until it becomes fork-tender and easily falls apart.
  5. Once cooked, remove the brisket from the slow cooker and let it cool. Wrap it tightly in foil and refrigerate.
  6. Store the cooking liquid in a separate container in the fridge.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, slice the chilled brisket and arrange it in an oven-proof dish.
  8. Remove any excess fat from the chilled cooking liquid and pour it over the beef.
  9. Heat the dish in a 350°F oven until it’s hot and bubbly.
Further reading:  How Much Brisket Do You Need?

Holiday Beef Brisket Sliced

Tips for a Successful Holiday Beef Brisket

Here are a few tips to ensure your Holiday Beef Brisket turns out perfect:

  • Make ahead: Prepare the brisket a day or two before you plan to serve it to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Minimal prep: This recipe requires minimal prep work, making it perfect for effortless holiday cooking.
  • Slow cooking: Brisket needs to be cooked at a low temperature for a long time to achieve its tender texture. A slow cooker is ideal for this dish.
  • Meat selection: Use a 3-7 lb beef brisket for this recipe and adjust the amount of onion soup mix and cranberry sauce accordingly.
  • No stirring required: Let the brisket cook undisturbed in the slow cooker to ensure optimal tenderness.
  • Separating the brisket: Before removing the cooking liquid, scrape any brown bits from the sides of the slow cooker into the liquid.
  • Slicing and serving: Slice the brisket while cold, cutting it across the grain of the meat for maximum tenderness. Place the sliced brisket in a baking dish and pour the sauce (without the fat) over it. Cover and heat until warmed through.

How to Store Holiday Beef Brisket

If there are any leftovers (which is unlikely!), you can store the Holiday Beef Brisket properly:

  • Refrigeration: The brisket can be refrigerated without the sauce for 3-4 days. If stored with the sauce, it can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • Freezing: Without the sauce, the brisket can be frozen for 4-12 months. With the sauce, it is safe to freeze for up to 3 months. Remember to use a container with a tight-fitting lid or a freezer bag for storage.
Further reading:  How to Wrap Brisket for Perfect Results


Q: Can I use a different type of meat for this recipe?

A: While beef brisket is the traditional choice for this dish, you can experiment with other cuts of meat. However, keep in mind that cooking times and flavors may vary.

Q: Can I add other seasonings or spices to the brisket?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite herbs, spices, or seasonings to customize the flavor profile of the brisket.

Q: Can I make this recipe in the oven instead of a slow cooker?

A: Yes, you can! Simply follow the same instructions, but cook the brisket in a covered roasting pan in a preheated oven at 325°F for 3-4 hours or until fork-tender.


Holiday Beef Brisket is the perfect main dish for your Christmas dinner. With its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and delightful flavors, it will surely become a family favorite. Make it ahead in your slow cooker, and enjoy a stress-free holiday feast. For more mouthwatering recipes and barbecue inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.

Happy holidays and happy cooking!