Brisket is the king of beef in Texas, my experience and steps learning the best technique for Instant Pot Brisket.
The day I got my Instant Pot I knew I had to make Instant Pot brisket and Texas-Style. The goal was to test out different methods to see what would be the best technique for brisket tenderness.
Learning to use a pressure cooker to cook brisket can be a challenge. The testing helped me learn what is possible with brisket cooked in a pressure cooker.
The brisket is a cut of beef from the front part of the steer. Located around the chest area. Brisket is usually smoked at a low temperature of around 250 degrees for 8 to 20 hours.
The brisket is comprised of 2 muscles, The-Point and The Flat. With The-Flat being, the most common, and The-Point being the smaller of the two muscles. The-Point is where the extra moist slices come from.
How Long Does Beef Need To Cook In The Pressure Cooker?
Today, we are going to cook a pressure cooker brisket and have it done within 1 hour and 15 minutes/ 75 minutes. If you cut the beef into smaller pieces, around 2 to 3 inches the cooking time can be reduced to 45 minutes.
Does Brisket Get More Tender The Longer You Cook It?
The brisket is considered a tough muscle that requires long cooking times to tenderness. But if you do not have 8 plus hours to smoke it low and slow on a BBQ pit, a pressure cooker is the way to go.
Pressure cooking brisket for more than the time stated in this post will result in overcooked and tough beef.
Pressure cooker brisket is a new way to most for cooking brisket, all done within a short period of time. Using a quality dry rub on the brisket is the first step. You'll see our free recipe below. Next is a high-quality stock to help protect the meat while it cooks.
Here's a look at the brisket I purchased. I used The-Point for today's Instant Pot Brisket.
Texas BBQ Dry Rub Recipe
- 1 ½ Tablespoon Chihuahua, Mexico Smoked Salt (optional) Substitute: place kosher salt in large tin and smoke your own salt using an indirect fire, on low heat of 200-225 degrees for a few hours.
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt If you do not have smoked salt, use a total of 2 ½ Tablespoons of sea salt. Or more if the brisket is very large.
- 1 Tablespoon San Antonio Chili Powder - Normal chili powder is OK
- 1 Tablespoon New Mexico Chili Powder - Normal chili powder is OK
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoon Cumin
- 2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 2 teaspoon Herbs de Provonce - contains savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flake
- 2 Tablespoon Turbinado Sugar
The liquid added to the Instant Pot is an opportunity to add more flavor and to protect the brisket while it cooks. Adding too little stock is a mistake made by many.
Homemade beef stock in culinary school was referred to as liquid gold.
Make your own liquid gold, check out our post on making homemade beef stock
Can You Quickly Cook Brisket?
Excellent question. Pressure cooker brisket is the quickest method to tender beef. Following the steps below will help ensure your beef comes out just the way you like it. Tender...
🍲 Pressure Cooker Brisket
My first few mistakes with the Instant Pot offered me perspective and a feel for how the Instant Pot pressure cooks. Cooking over the stove we get to feel the heat from the stove, and we can see what’s cooking in front of us.
The Instant Pot is the opposite, you have to trust you’ve made the right decision before you put that lid on and set your timer.
This is where y’all get to join me in my lesson of learning to master the Instant Pot. I’ll be making all the mistakes for you. Explaining what worked and what I learned from the mistakes.
First Lesson With Instant Pot Brisket
Here's what I tested, setting options...
- Using the sauté option. This option allows you to cook with the Instant Pot like you would over the stove. The pot heats up and you can cook with the lid off.
- Controlling the heat with the three settings of LESS, NORMAL and MORE.
- Inspect the photo below of the control panel. You can see the temperature settings located below the clock timer.
Second Attempt At Instant Pot Beef Brisket
- I salted the brisket on all sides.
- Sear the brisket on all sides, taking your time and sealing in the flavor.
- Add either beef stock, chicken stock or vegetable broth. I added enough to go partly up the sides of the meat.
- This would be normal braising technique liquid levels, but not with Instant Pot brisket using pressurized cooking. The Instant Pot needs the extra liquid to help protect the meat while cooking.
- Cooked the brisket on high-pressure using the “MORE” heat option for one hour.
- Mistake: This might have worked with more liquid added) Overcooked the Brisket
- (TIP: Do not use the “More” heat option for cooking meats over 20 minutes in the Instant Pot)
Step 1 - Begin by seasoning the beef brisket with salt and your favorite BBQ dry rub. Or try our now free Texas BBQ Dry Rub recipe.
Allow the seasoned beef brisket to come to room temperature on the counter. If your beef brisket is too large to fit in the Instant Pot, cut it into manageable-sized pieces.
Step 2 - Sear the beef brisket using the sauté option with the temperature set to "High" temperature. Use a high smoke oil like peanut oil or canola oil. Do not use olive oil, olive oil's smoke point is too low.
Step 3 - If you would like to add vegetables to the Instant Pot this would be the time. After searing, remove the beef brisket and place it on a plate. Change the temperature from "High" to "Normal". Sauté the vegetables, selection of onion, carrot, and celery. If the oil looks over-used from the searing, remove and add new oil.
Once the vegetables have been sautéed, add the brisket back to the Instant Pot. At this point, season the brisket with black pepper. In Texas, we love black pepper with meat. Very traditional. Yet, adding it before searing can cause bitterness.
Instant Pot Brisket Settings
- Select the high pressure setting on the front panel.
- The Instant Pot temperature needs to be set to "Normal" heat.
- Adjust the timer to 1 hour and 15 minutes, 75 minutes.
Step 4 - Add the stock to the IP. I suggest using beef stock or chicken stock. Add enough liquid to cover the brisket by ⅔ the way up the side.
Pressurizing the Instant Pot
First off, the IP is a very safe kitchen device.
Begin by placing the lid on top and securing it into place.
Safety Tip: Make sure the plastic O-ring is inserted within the lid.
With the lid secured, move the valve on the lid to the "Sealing".
The Instant Pot will automatically turn on with the lid in place. You will see the display screen say, "ON".
Once the Instant Pot is pressurized the timer will appear and start to count down.
When the timer goes off you will hear a series of beeps. Now What?
Time to release the pressure. Move the lid valve from "Sealing" to "Venting".
TIP: Don't use your hands as the steam is still hot. Use an object like a fork or a knife to move the valve.
Next, the Instant Pot will start to de-pressurize.
- Take note of the small circle on the lid. This is the pressure pin. If the pin is pushed outward (pin is level with the top of the lid). In this photo, you can see the pin is lower down inside the lid. This shows you the pressure has been removed and is safe to open the lid.
Allow the Instant Pot brisket to cool down and rest for an additional 5 to 10 minutes inside of the Instant Pot before removing the lid.
Next, place the Instant Pot brisket on a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into the meat. This will help make sure the meat stays tender. Slice the meat against the grain.
Instant Pot Brisket FAQs
Answers: it depends on the brisket. Pieces with more fat will freeze for a long time. If you plan to freeze it for a short few months, you'll be ok. Make sure you package it with the remaining stock and completely cover the brisket with the liquid for best results.
When it comes to slicing meats, always look to cut across the grain for max tenderness. Cutting with the grain will result in a chewy brisket and not a good idea.
Instant Pot Recipes To Try
- Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs - Fall Off The Bone
- Teriyaki Beef Sirloin Instant PotTeriyaki Beef Sirloin Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Roast With Chimichurri Sauce
- Instant Pot Traditional Texas Chili
- Brisket (/ Buy what looks good. If you end up with too much you can freeze the leftovers.) 2 pound
- Peanut Oil (Searing The Brisket) (/ Canola & Vegetable oil is ok) ¼ cup
Texas BBQ Dry Rub
- Chihuahua, Mexico Smoked Salt (optional) (Substitute: place kosher salt in large tin and smoke your own salt using an indirect fire, on low heat of 200-225 degrees for a few hours.) 1 ½ Tablespoon
- Sea Salt (If you do not have smoked salt, use a total of 2 ½ Tablespoons of sea salt. Or more if the brisket is very large.) 1 Tablespoon
- San Antonio Chili Powder (Normal chili powder is OK) 1 Tablespoon
- New Mexico Chili Powder (Normal chili powder is OK) 1 Tablespoon
- Black Pepper 1 Tablespoon
- Cumin 2 teaspoon
- Paprika 2 teaspoon
- Coriander 1 teaspoon
- Garlic Powder 1 teaspoon
- Onion Powder 1 teaspoon
- Herbs de Provonce (contains savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.) 2 teaspoon
- Red Pepper Flake 1 teaspoon
- Turbinado Sugar 2 Tablespoon
Add To The Instant Pot
- Beef Stock (Try our Clean Beef Stock Recipe) 6 cups
- Liquid Smoke 2 teaspoon
- Butter (Or use Lard, 4 ounces) 1 stick
- Black Pepper 2 Tablespoon
Texas BBQ Sauce
- Recipe In Note Section Below
- Cut the Brisket into manageable sizes that will fit into the Instant Pot, if needed. Keep the pieces large if possible.Smaller pieces will cook quicker. That will require reducing the cooking time.How much time to reduce? 15 minutes. Cook for 1 hour.
- Season the brisket with salt and the BBQ dry rub. Allow 10 minutes at room temperature to help the seasoning penetrate the meat. Overnight in the refrigerator would be best for the flavors to penetrate the brisket.
Instant Pot Settings
- Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and set it to Saute.
- Set the temperature to the "MORE". This is the hottest temperature option. Tip: There are three Instant Pot temperature settings. "Less", "Normal" & "More".
- Next, sear the seasoned beef brisket in the Instant Pot. Sear on all sides, being sure to take your time searing the meat sealing in the favor. Golden brown on all sides.Tip: Use peanut oil due to the high smoke point. Do not use olive oil as it will oxidize from the high temperature. Other options, canola oil, vegetable oil.
- If you would like to add vegetables like onion, carrots, celery. Remove the brisket and saute the vegetables now. Then replace the beef brisket back into the Instant Pot afterward. Make sure the brisket is closer to the bottom of the Instant Pot verse closer to the lid/top.Tip: At the very least, place some cut-up onions underneath the brisket to keep it away from the very bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Next, add in the beef stock. Add enough to cover the brisket ⅔rds the way up the sides. You might need more than 6 cups if using vegetables.
- Next, add the butter, the liquid smoke, and the extra black pepper.
- Secure the lid. Make sure the plastic circle ring in the lid is inserted.
- Set the Instant Pot on High Pressure
- Set the Instant Pot heat level to "Normal", switch back from "MORE"
- Move the exhaust valve to "Sealing".
- Set the Instant Pot timer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The IP will begin to pressurize at this point. You will see on the front panel the word, "ON". Once the IP has pressurized the timer will begin to countdown from 1 hour and 15 minutes.Smaller beef brisket, reduce cook time to 1 hour.
- After the timer goes off.The Instant Pot has a new timer that will appear on the control screen and will begin counting up in minutes. This is your new timer for just how long the meat rests in the Instant Pot before opening. Options: Natural Release & Quick Release. Today we are using Quick Release.
Quick Release Method
- Using a spoon or fork, move the lids exhaust valve to "Venting" after the timer goes off.
- Hot steam will be released from the valve for around 3 to 5 minutes. The Instant Pot is depressurizing. Wait a total of 15 minutes before opening the lid.
Instant Pot Safety - Opening The Lid
- Not Safe To Open: Instant Pot pin is pressed outward and is not safe to open.
- Safe To Open: Once the pressure has been removed, you will see the pin on the lid fall back into the lid. This indicates that the pressure has been safely released and you can open the lid.
- After 15 minutes place the brisket on a cutting board, tented with aluminum foil, and allow another 5-10 minutes to pass. Resting the meat...
- Slice the brisket "against" the grain to ensure tenderness.If you slice "with" the grain the meat will be tough to chew.
Finishing - BBQ Sauce
- Below within the NOTEs section is a great homemade BBQ sauce recipe to try. After the brisket comes out of the Instant Pot paint on BBQ sauce and roast in the oven for a few minutes.Something To Try: a splash of fresh lime juice, incredible. Garish with Cilantro.
- Using a Fatty Cut of Brisket - Look for a brisket cut called the "the point".
- Use enough liquid to pressurize braise the meat. ⅔ up the sides of the beef brisket.
- Use quick release, plus 15 minutes in the Instant Pot with the lid ON.
- Cooking with a tomato sauce in the IP (The acid from the tomatoes helps tenderize the Brisket) is not Texas-style, but so very good.
- Pairing the dish with a sauce never hurts
- 1 cup Ketchup Hunts Brand – No High Fructose Corn Syrup - Helpful with controlling the sweet level yourself.
- 2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Honey Mustard - Use what you like
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Favorite hot sauce - add all ingredients first then taste season and adjust before adding more hot sauceTOP Secret Ingredient:Wasabi Sauce – Wasabi is not HOT but is spicy with a floral and fragrant similar to horseradish. Making this a secret flavor weapon. The hot side of Wasabi is upfront then quickly calms down. Not like spicy peppers that have capsaicin, which is an oil. Once the oil from a pepper touches your tongue that spiciness isn’t going away quickly as Wasabi does.
- 1 Tablespoon Wasabi paste
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Salt & Cracked Black Pepper - to taste
- Texas Style Ingredient: ½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke