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Best Ever Beef Brisket in the Pressure Cooker

Best Ever Beef Brisket in the Pressure Cooker

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Let me start this post off by saying the pressure cooker is the greatest kitchen invention ever – EVER. And all you folks out there who were looking for that perfect dish to impress someone special – you found it!

One thing to keep in mind is that you will want a trimmed brisket that will fit in the Ninja Foodi. The one we purchased was roughly 4 pounds.

We purchased a flat cut brisket which is full of flavor and it’s nice and moist. It is actually a great one for a variety of brisket meals, such as sandwiches. It can easily be shredded, chopped, or sliced.

1 large yellow onion
6 garlic cloves
1 (3-pound) beef brisket, preferably flat-cut
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup low-sodium beef broth
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup worcheshire
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
⅓ cup ketchup
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon garlic powder

Step 1

Trim off the surface fat from the brisket if the fat is more than 1/4-inch thick. Cut the brisket in half to fit in the Instant Pot and rub the brisket pieces with salt and pepper. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.

Step 2

Thinly slice 1 large onion and place in a medium bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the Instant Pot cooker with the sauté function until shimmering. Add the brisket (sear in batches if needed) and sear undisturbed until browned on the bottom, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the brisket and brown on the other side, 5 to 6 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate.

Step 3

Add the onion, garlic, and big pinch of kosher salt to the pressure cooker and sauté until onions are tender, scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pot, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in beef broth, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, liquid smoke, ketchup, brown sugar, herbs, and spices. Return the brisket to the pot, overlapping the pieces if needed.

Step 4

Pressure Cook at High pressure for 75 minutes and Natural Release for 15 minutes. Remove the lid carefully.

Step 5

Carefully open the pressure cooker and let cool for 30 min or until easy to handle. If serving now, transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let cool an additional 10 minutes. Slice across the grain in thin slices and serve with onions and sauce.

For another day…

Transfer the brisket from cutting board to the fridge and let cool, uncovered until center reaches 38-degrees. Remove from the fridge, wrap in plastic or place in freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 21 days. Take out of the freezer the day prior to serving to allow for proper thawing. Thinly slice the brisket and place in oven-proof serving dish. Mix bbq sauce with some chicken or beef stock, pour over the brisket and heat in 400-degree oven until warmed through. Serve immediately.

Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket

If you haven&rsquot jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet, it is seriously time. I was WAY late to the game here, but it has probably been my most used kitchen gadget lately, which is saying a lot. I have all the gadgets, or I&rsquom well on my way to having them all.

Does The Quality Of The Beef Matter?

Start with a high-quality beef brisket. Pressure cookers can do a LOT with meat, but if you start out with a quality cut of prime meat you&rsquore always going to get better results than if you start with a quality cut of select beef.

Along with a quality cut of meat, you&rsquore also going to need a great rub. Jeremiah&rsquos all-purpose BBQ seasoning mix worked wonders on this brisket. Mix up a batch and liberally coat your brisket before searing it.

Once it is seared, dump a large pint-sized bottle of a sweet hard apple cider into the cooker, place the lid on, and set for 80 minutes on manual. I use Crispin&rsquos Honey Crisp with great results, but any hard ciders on the sweeter side will do just fine. I&rsquod stay away from the cinnamon or ginger varieties myself though. (This post is NOT sponsored by them, I just love their cider and it worked great for this brisket!)

Once the brisket is done cooking, let the pot sit for 10-15 minutes to naturalyl release some of the pressure. Quick release the rest using the vent, wait for the pin to fall, and then check the meat.

Ours was perfect at that time.

Depending on the cut, quality, grade, and marbling of your meat &ndash you may need to go a bit longer. If so, just put the lid back on for another 10 to 15-minute cycle.

Once it is tender, remove it from the cooker and reserve a couple cups of the cooking liquid if you&rsquod like to make your own amazing barbecue sauce with it.

I add a cup of the cooking liquid to this homemade barbecue sauce recipe and then cook it for an extra 10 minutes or so to reduce the liquid a bit and thicken it up a touch. That concentrated beef flavor adds so much to the sauce!

The beauty of this recipe is that even with the homemade rub AND homemade barbecue sauce, your active hands-on cooking time is still well under an hour. I&rsquod say probably closer to 30-40 minutes, actually.

More Instant Pot and pressure cooker recipes coming your way!

About 10-20 minutes prepping the rub and searing the beef, and then another 20 minutes making the barbecue sauce. Not bad, right? If you use ready-made versions, your active cooking time goes down to about 10 minutes. SCORE, and WIN.

This should work really well in a slow cooker as well, but you are going to need a looooonnnng cook time to get it tender. Like 8 hours, I would give it. I haven&rsquot tested this in a slow cooker, however, so if you do please let me know how it turns out! I&rsquod love to see!

I love putting fresh coleslaw on my any of my barbecue-sauced sandwiches. So great to add that crunch to the mix.


To serve, there are two options.

  1. Slice the brisket and place on a serving platter. Spoon the reduced/thickened sauce over top and garnish with fresh herbs of choice.
  2. Shred the brisket using two forks. Return the shredded brisket to the Instant Pot with the sauce. Toss to coat all the meat in the sauce. Serve as desired.

For the sliced brisket approach, I&rsquod recommend some easy sides like Candied Carrots, Roasted Pesto Potatoes (or, Roasted Peri Peri Potatoes to continue the spice theme), Roasted Radishes or some Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes.

Finish by Smoking the Brisket

With your grill/smoker at about 275 degrees and putting out a good amount of smoke, cook the brisket over indirect heat for about 1 hour until the meat hits 190 degrees. Don’t get discouraged if you find your brisket is stuck around 160-170 degrees and isn’t moving. This is known to seasoned barbecuers as “The Stall” and is covered extensively on BBQ sites.

Optionally, you can apply more rub to the meat before going in the smoke. Remember that since this is a salt-free rib, there’s no risk of it being too salty. You’ll only give the smoke more spices to form a delicious bark.

When it’s done, let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket with Mushrooms

Looking for beef recipes in a pressure cooker/instant pot? Try to prepare Instant Pot Shredded Beef or Pressure Cooker Korean Beef


  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 4 pounds (1.9 kg) center-cut beef brisket,fat trimmed and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pound (240 g) fresh white mushrooms,sliced
  • 2 ½ cups (625 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 cups (500 ml) reduced-sodium beef broth


Step 1

Place dried porcini mushrooms in a microwave-safe bowl. Pour water over and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Transfer cooled mushrooms to a small plate, reserving cooking liquid.

Step 2

Rinse mushrooms under cold running water and remove any grit. Pour reserved cooking liquid through a strainer lined with paper towel. Stop before you get to the last bit of liquid.

Step 3

Season quartered beef with salt and black pepper.

Step 4

Heat olive oil in an electric instant pot turned to the sauté mode. Working in batches, brown seasoned meat for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer browned meat to a plate.

Step 5

Add onion to the pot. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic, carrots, and fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are fragrant. Stir in dried mushrooms.

Step 6

Using tongs, scoop out about 2/3 of vegetables, placing them on the plate with browned beef. Stack the brisket pieces on the pot, tucking some vegetables in between meat. Spread remaining vegetables over top. Pour in dry red wine, beef broth, and strained cooking liquid.

Step 7

Close the pressure cooker and lock the lid. Set the machine to cook at high pressure. Set timer to cook for 60 minutes.

Step 8

Remove the pot from the heat. Carefully open pressure cooker.

Step 9

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C)

Step 10

Transfer cooked meat to cutting board. Slice it across the grain about 1/3 inch thick. Place sliced beef in a casserole dish. Top with sauce and cooked vegetables (make sure sauce gets between sliced meat). Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Brisket Recipe


  • 1 cup (250 ml) canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons each: tomato paste and smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice, cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds (1.5 kg) beef bricket, trimmed


Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except olive oil and beef brisket. Whisk until brown sugar and tomato paste dissolved.

Step 2

Heat the olive oil in an instant pot turned to the sauté mode. Add beef brisket and brown, turning once, on all sides, for 3-4 minutes per side. Pour tomato mixture on and all around browned brisket.

Step 3

Close the pot and lock the lid. Set the machine to cook at high pressure. Set timer to cook for 80 minutes (electric pressure cooker).

Step 4

Unlock and open pressure cooker, using a Quick Release Method. Transfer cooked beef brisket to a carving board. Allow cooling for 10 minutes. Discard cooking liquid from the pot. Slice cooled meat against the grain.

Which cuts of beef are best for pressure cooking?

Some cuts of beef are already more tender to begin with than others. Other cuts, especially those that contain chewy connective tissues are tougher and will require longer cooking periods to prepare fully. The connective tissue that is found in beef is usually made from collagen which is broken down when exposed to heat.

When cooked properly and efficiently, these connective tissues can make the beef rich and moist instead of being tough and chewy. A pressure cooker is one of the best tools for melting these connective tissues and is therefore the best to use when dealing with tougher cuts of meat.

The best cuts of beef for pressure cooking

The chuck one of the primal cuts of beef and is acquired from the shoulder, neck, as well as the upper arm muscles. The chuck has lots of fatty layers and connective tissue with plenty of flavour to offer. Because of the fatty layer and connective tissue, the chuck is a great choice for stews.

Short ribs are found on the underside area of the cow which is commonly known as the plate. Short ribs may not have as much meat as the chuck but they offer a rich beefy flavour and even grain that is consistent.

Sirloin is acquired from the front part of the hind legs. Sometimes sirloin comes attached to T-bone steaks but most butcheries sell the two parts separately. Sirloin can be used for grilling or any other cooking method that calls for dry heat, but it also produces great results in stews as well. Sirloin typically has a tender texture with a little chewiness to it.

Oxtails are some of the most delicious cuts of beef. Oxtails come jampacked with gelatin and fat and a whole lot of flavour. Every cross section of oxtail has a bone in the middle that is filled with marrow and as it cooks, the rendered fat from the marrow will seep out, covering the meat with a deep and lovely flavour. You can choose to keep the bones or discard them after pulling the meat off the bones. Oxtails take long to cook, so they are the perfect candidates for pressure cookers.

Brisket is usually acquired from the breast area of the cow and it can be braised easily using a pressure cooker or roasted over an open flame. Brisket cuts come in 2 parts, a lean and a fattier cut. One of the best things about briskets is that they are easy to cook with and after a few minutes in a pressure cooker, they will produce moist and tender results.

Maple Smoked Brisket (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Recipe)

Angela's Featured on

Update 2018: this brisket is one of the many 36 recipes in my new Instant Pot for Beginners eBook! Click below to get your copy!

It's free!


Enter your email to get this FREE printable PDF! You'll also get my weekly letters designed to help you successfully & sustainably transition to a Paleo-style diet.

Ahhhhh I’m so obsessed with my Instant Pot (if you are my Insta friend, you’ve probably already seen me raving).

Like the cautious analytic person that I am, I waited for ages after seeing so many other people obsess over it. Pressure cookers have always scared the crap out of me so I checked all the facts, looked at all the safety ratings/features, and weighed out all the different models. Basically, the Instant Pot wins wins wins. And the price? Crazy.

I’ve been using it probably 3-4 times a week. So far I’ve had really good success with bone broth (gels in just 90 minutes. ), coconut milk yogurt (I prefer 12-16 hours), BBQ ribs, tougher cuts of meat (like the recipe below), and especially organ meats like heart. And it has completely replaced my slow cooker. I’ll continue to post recipes as I’ve got them!

You can read the notes below to find edits to adjust for your meat size. My experience with doneness doesn’t match up with the recommendations made by Instant Pot in this chart, FYI.

Anyhow, this Maple Smoked Brisket people! I’ve been loving using liquid smoke since we got the Instant Pot. You’ll get a nice smoky flavor from just the smoked sea salt and paprika, but you only need a small amount of liquid smoke to get a pretty-dang-close-to-smoked-with-an-outdoor-smoker taste.

It's free!


Enter your email to get a FREE printable PDF of this recipe! You'll also get my weekly letters designed to help you successfully & sustainably transition to a Paleo-style diet.

Maple Smoked Brisket

Remove the brisket from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking. Pat it dry with paper towels and set it aside.

Mix the spice blend by combining the maple sugar, smoked sea salt, pepper, mustard powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Coat the meat generously on all sides. The rub will get a bit sticky due to the sugar.

Set your Instant Pot to “Sauté” and allow it to heat up for 2-3 minutes. Grease the bottom with a bit of high heat cooking oil and add the brisket. Brown on all sides until deeply golden but not burnt. Turn the brisket to fatty side up and add the broth, liquid smoke, and thyme to the Instant Pot. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom and cover with the lid.

Switch the setting to “Manual” (leave at “High Pressure”) and increase the cook time to 50 minutes. Once finished, allow the Instant Pot to release steam on it’s own (EDIT: I’ve found that using the quick release valve can leave large, leaner cuts of meat tasting a little dry so natural steam release is better for brisket).

Remove the brisket from the pot and cover it with foil to rest. Switch the Instant Pot to “Saute” again to reduce & thicken the sauce (optional) with the lid off for about 10 minutes.

Slice the brisket on a bias and serve it with your favorite whipped veg (this recipe for Creamy Whipped Parsnips shown here) and drizzle with the reduced sauce.

-To 2x, 3x, etc this recipe, scale just the spice mix & liquid smoke accordingly to match up with how much meat you’ve got. The broth needed stays the same regardless of the size meat.

-Make sure you find a liquid smoke that has no additives or MSG. You can skip the liquid smoke but you’ll get a more subtle smoke flavor.

-With a bit of experimentation, I’ve found that increasing or decreasing your meat size by ½ lb. (when the meat is kept whole and not chopped up) requires about a 10 minute change in cooking time. For example, 1 lb. needs about 40 minutes, where 2 lb. needs about 60 minutes. The nice thing about the Instant Pot is that it’s quick and easy to throw the lid back on and add another 10 minutes, as needed.

-If using a slow cooker, brown the brisket in a saute pan before adding it to your slow cooker. Add the broth to the saute pan to deglaze and grab all the flavor from the browned bits. Then pour the broth straight into the slow cooker, along with the liquid smoke and thyme. Cook on “Low” for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender and slices easily.