Coca Cola Brisket

This is one of those recipes that really sort of defines the cliche “more than the sum of its parts.” Tasting is understanding.–Sara Roahen and John T. Edge

LC Way More Than the Sum of Its Parts Note

We have to agree with the authors of this book–this brisket is way more than the sum of its parts. And although we appreciate there being only four parts to this recipe, we’ve witnessed about as many different ways to tweak it as there are cooks who’ve made it. Some spice the beef with a dry rub. Or swap ketchup for chili sauce. Toss a heap of sliced onions to the pan. Strew chopped carrots, potatoes, or sweet potatoes around the brisket. Marinate the brisket in a couple cans of Coke overnight before draining and proceeding with a new can of Coke. Slather the final roast with barbecue sauce and return it to the oven, uncovered, for a few minutes. Or, well, we could go on, but you get the idea. Go ahead and make it your own.

One last, but very important, thing. If you’re being observant for Passover, you’ll want to be mindful of seeking out kosher-for-Passover Coke. But we bet you already knew that.

Special Equipment: Faith

Coca Cola Brisket Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 3 H, 25 M
  • Serves 8 to 12


  • 4 to 6 pound beef brisket, visible fat untrimmed
  • 1 12-ounce can Coca Cola
  • 1 envelope dried onion soup mix (yes, seriously)
  • 1 cup bottled chili sauce (may substitute ketchup)


  • 1. To make the Coca Cola Brisket in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.

    To make the Coca Cola Brisket on the stovetop, preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C).
  • 2. Pat the brisket dry with paper towels, if desired, to remove any moisture. Place it in a nonreactive roasting pan or a glass baking dish just large enough to fit the brisket.
  • 3. Mix the Coke, chili sauce, and dried onion soup mix in a bowl and pour it over the brisket. Cover the baking dish or roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the brisket until tender, about 30 minutes per pound, figure 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of your brisket.
  • 4. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the surface of the pan juices and discard. Pour the defatted pan juices into a gravy boat or, if a thicker consistency is desired, pour the juices into a saucepan and simmer until reduced slightly.
  • 5. Trim any visible fat from the brisket, then thinly slice it against the grain. Pile the slices on a platter and pass the warm pan juices on the side.

Slow Cooker Variation

  • This four-ingredient recipe just got even simpler. Place the brisket in the slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the brisket. Cook on low for 9 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest. Skim any fat from the surface of the sauce. If a thicker sauce is desired, pour the sauce into a saucepan and simmer until reduced to the desired consistency. Slice or shred the brisket and serve with the sauce.

    [Editor’s Note: Bear in mind, no two slow-cookers are exactly alike, just as no two cooks are exactly alike. This slow-cooker approach worked really, really well for us, although if you have a different slow-cooker cooking technique you want to try by all means, do so. And, natch, we’d love if you’d share it with us in a comment below.]
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