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Tender and Delicious Brisket in the Pressure Cooker

Want to know how to get deliciously tender and flavorful Brisket in a fraction of the time? Spoiler alert: Use a Pressure Cooker and choose the right cut of meat! Today, I’m sharing my easy pressure cooker brisket recipe and the best tips on how to cook a brisket in the pressure cooker!

Pressure cooker brisket

We all love brisket around here but it can be so expensive to purchase from a restaurant! Around Austin, brisket can be anywhere from $15 to $20.99 per pound! That’s a lot of $$$, so most of the time we cook our own brisket.

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Smoking a brisket versus pressure cooking a brisket.

You’ll get no argument from me, smoked Brisket is absolutely delicious.

The downside of doing your own smoking is that you really have to plan ahead since it can take all day to smoke a huge brisket. 

Brisket is great for a special family meal or get-together but we generally aren’t that good at planning ahead, and truthfully neither one of us has the patience to sit around and deal with a smoker all day.

My solution?

Make the Brisket in a pressure cooker! ( love my Instant Pot for cooking ALL KINDS of meats and stews.)

I’ve discovered I can make a pretty darn good 2 to 3-pound brisket in the pressure cooker, in a fraction of the time, it would normally take to cook a brisket in the oven, slow cooker, or smoker. (Be sure to check out my pressure cooker shrimp boil and how to make 5 POUNDS of chicken in 15 minutes and other pressure cooker recipes.)

✔️ Why you need to try this Instant Pot Beef Brisket

  • Beef Brisket is a tough cut of meat that needs a significant amount of time to become tender. The pressure cooker takes the cooking time down from about 8 hours to less than an hour and a half!
  • This recipe is so easy! No slaving all day around a hot smoker.
  • This beef brisket recipe is not complicated. All you need is a few seasonings and a dry rub. No liquid smoke or bbq sauce. (I think liquid smoke tastes unnatural and I like to add the barbeque sauce when serving.)

🥫 Ingredients + Tips 

  • 2 to 4 lb Brisket | The fattier the better. If the fat is already trimmed from your cut of brisket, look for one that has lots of marbling.
  • Oil | I like olive oil for this
  • Barbecue spice rub | Our favorite is Stubbs Beef rub, they also have it in BBQ, but use whatever is your fave.
  • Montreal steak seasoning | If you don’t have this on hand, you could rarely use any type of steak seasoning or make your own.
  • Worcestershire sauce | Don’t be tempted to leave out the Worcestershire sauce. This important ingredient adds a ton of flavor to your meat. (Worcestershire contains vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, onion, garlic, tamari, and more. So it really adds a kick of flavor.

🍳 How to Cook Brisket in the Pressure Cooker

  1. Coat all 4 sides of the brisket with equal amounts of BBQ seasoning and Montreal steak seasoning.
  2. Set your Pressure cooker to the browning or saute setting (If you don’t have this option, you can do this step on the stovetop.) Add olive oil to the cooking pot and sear all 4 sides of the brisket.                  dsc_9321-copy
  3. Turn brisket in the pot so the fattiest side is facing up. Add more seasoning if desired.
  4. Add 2 cups water and Worcestershire sauce to the pressure cooker pot. (take care to not pour it over the meat and wash off the seasoning.)
  5. Cook the brisket at high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  6. When cooking time is complete, do a natural pressure release. Remove brisket from pot and transfer to cutting board or serving dish. Let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  7. Slice brisket against the grain and serve!
Instant Pot brisket recipe

🔍Tips for cooking a brisket in the pressure cooker:

  • When choosing a smaller trimmed brisket at the grocery store, you need to look for a piece with the most fat. The fat will keep the meat moist during cooking. (If you are unable to find one with a good amount of fat, I have heard you can layer the top with bacon in a pinch to help keep it moist.)
  • Don’t skip the searing step – it helps lock in the flavor and juices.
  • If you have the time and for an even more flavorful brisket, you can season the brisket with the dry rubs the night before and store it in a ziplock bag with a few tablespoons of water or beef broth and Worcestershire sauce in the fridge.
  • A three-pound cut of brisket should fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker. If your cut is too large, you can cut it in half to fit.

📌 Electric Pressure Cooker Recommendations

pressure cooker brisket

Look at that brisket!!!

Everyone in the family loves this recipe. I’ve made it three times now and we keep eating it before I can photograph it! I have no doubt that it won’t be long before someone requests that I make another brisket again.

brisket in the pressure cooker

✏️ FAQ’s

How To Store Leftover Brisket?

Wrap the brisket well in plastic wrap or butcher paper and place it in an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. For best results in the freezer, remove as much air as possible from the freezer container. I like my food saver for this.

To reheat, allow the brisket to thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes at 50% power.

Can I Skip The Searing?

Searing the meat is not 100% necessary for the pressure cooker as it will not “lose it juices” in a pressure cooker. However, brisket is expensive and searing the meat gives it an additional depth of flavor and color that helps make a pressure-cooked brisket even more delicious.

Can I Add Liquid Smoke For That Smokey Flavor?

If you like the taste of liquid smoke, feel free to add 3 to 5 drops of the liquid smoke to the pressure cooker along with the water and Worcestershire sauce.

How Much Time Do I Add For A 5 To 6 Pound Cut Of Brisket?

You don’t need to add much time, only about 10 extra minutes, but you might need to cut your brisket into 2 pieces to get it to fit in the pot and add an additional 1/2 cup of water.

Can I Make A Gravy With The Brisket Juices?

Yes, you can totally make a delicious gravy with the leftover cooking liquid

Add 1 cup of the brisket cooking liquid to a saucepan, heat over low heat until just simmering. Slowly whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time (make sure each tbsp is fully incorporated before whisking in the next) until the gravy starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

🍴 What to Serve With Brisket

A few great side dishes would be:

📝 Let us know what you think!

Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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How to Cook Brisket in the Pressure Cooker

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Description

Use a pressure cooker to get deliciously tender and flavorful Brisket in about an hour and 20 minutes with this easy brisket recipe and the best tips on how to cook brisket in the pressure cooker!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Coat all 4 sides of the brisket with equal amounts of BBQ seasoning and montreal steak seasoning.
  2. Set your Pressure cooker to the browning setting (If you don’t have this option, you can do this step on the stovetop.)  Add olive oil to the cooking pot and sear all 4 sides of the brisket.
  3. Turn brisket in the pot so the fattiest side is facing up.  Add more seasoning if desired.
  4. Add 2 cups of water and Worcestershire sauce to the pressure cooker pot. (take care to not pour it over the meat and wash off the seasoning.)
  5. Set pressure cooker to high and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  6. When cooking time is complete, do a natural pressure release.  Remove brisket from pot and let rest about 5 minutes.
  7. Slice against the grain and serve!

Notes

When choosing a smaller trimmed brisket at the grocery store, you need to look for a piece with the most fat.  The fat will keep the meat moist during cooking.  (If you are unable to find one with a good amount of fat, I have heard you can layer the top with bacon in a pinch to help keep it moist.)

28 Comments

  1. I have a generic pressure cooker, am just waiting till it breaks to buy a real IP. Haha

    Mine goes to 30 min on high pressure. I set it at 1 hr 20 min on the low pressure setting. I’m hoping this does not turn out poorly. I might need to cook it longer I suppose. Any suggestions? I’ll let you know how it goes, lol…

    1. The one I used to have went to up to 60 minutes on the meat setting. I set it for the full 60 and after the timer went off, I set it a second-time fr 30 minutes. I do recommend the high-pressure setting if you have one. Good luck.

  2. I love to smoke meats with wood as well. If you want that same great flavor in less time, cook your meat in the pressure cooker FIRST, then finish it off in the smoker. I’ve done this with ribs, brisket, ham etc.

  3. I have a smoker and I’m thinking of maybe trying a flat on the smoker for 3-4 hours and then putting it in the instant. To me, brisket isn’t really brisket without the smoke flavoring. I guess others without a smoker could add some liquid smoke.

    1. I actually prefer a less smokey flavor. It’s the spicy rub that I enjoy on a good brisket. My thought is maybe pressure cook it first and then finish it in the smoker.

    2. I have a smoker as well,Iwant to try a rub and smoking with pecan wood,then pressure cook to finish it . How did it turn out? I’m in a cold climate and don’t want to watch the smoker in 30° temps for 10 hrs with a cold one in my hand .

  4. I’m new to using an electric pressure cooker, what adjustments would I need to make if I have a brisket approximately double the size?

  5. I have used my stove top pressure cooker with this recipe three times. It turned out great every time.

    I added potatoes, carrots and onions around and on top of the brisket.

    I set the stove timer for one hour after steam started leaking out.

  6. Made this last night in my stove top pressure cooker and it was fantastic!! I only had the spicy Montreal steak seasoning so I used that instead and it was finger licking good. My two teenage boys couldn’t get enough. I cooked a 4+ pound and there was barely any leftover between 4 people. I’ll have to go for a larger cut next time so I can use the leftovers for my lunch the next day.

  7. I cooked the brisket exactly as the recipe says. It burned on the bottom and was rather dry. My pressure cooker is a stovetop cooker. I don’t know what adjustment to make. Any suggestions?

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t have any suggestions on how to use a stovetop pressure cooker other than perhaps it needed more liquid. Maybe someone who knows will chime in.

    2. I used a stove top pressure cooker as well and it turned out fantastic. You might have had the heat turned up too high. I set it to high when I first put the cover on to bring up the pressure quickly, but once the steam starts pouring out I set it to very low. Just enough so the pressure valve barely moves and very little steam is coming out. It’s worth another try for sure, we gobbled it down once it was ready!

  8. Did an hour and 20 minutes and it was tough. Put it back in for another hour. Here’s hoping. D

    1. It probably depends a lot on the size and how much fat was in your cut. I have a chart in one of my books somewhere on how long to cook per lib. See if I can find it…

  9. Hi! Great recipe, thank you! In the PC XL you did 1hr20mins? It’s what I have so I want to be sure…seems like a lot of time…I think the longest PC XL cook time I’ve seen is 40 mins… Just checking 🙂

    1. Yes, I did 1 hr and 20 minutes. Which means I had to stop the cooker part way through and add time since the pp cooker xl only goes to 60 minutes. I don’t know how it would turn out if cooked for less time, but you can try it and add more time if needed.

  10. Would it take that long with a stovetop cooker and what pressure?

    1. I’ve never used a stove top pressure cooker so I can not give any advice, sorry!

    1. Thanks, it was a fresh brisket. I’ve heard people talk about cooking roasts and other cuts of meat from frozen, but they’re so expensive I would not take the chance of ruining it, lol.

    2. I’ve cooked frozen briskets (small ones, maybe 1.5 to 2 pounds) and a couple other cuts from frozen – they come out great. As good as fresh? Obviously not. But I catch the marked down cuts from my local store and put them in the freezer. I’ve found that letting them thaw does really ruin the texture. Pressure cooking from frozen fixes that issue.

      The problem, of course, is you can’t brown it. But find a recipe that doesn’t call for browning, check the times to cook frozen beef (it’s like an extra 20%, don’t quote me), and give it a shot.

      1. Sometimes, I end up putting cuts of meat into the freezer if I have not cooked it within a few days of purchasing it. I’m going to try it from frozen next time I do this!

        1. Frozen chicken breasts work very well also.

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