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This Instant Pot brisket is a flavorful protein that you can have on your table with little effort! It’s a great option to feed a group or for your weekly meal prep efforts.
This brisket is so, so good, y’all! The Instant Pot is my go-to during the winter for making soups, stews, and other comforting meals like pot roast, but I think that it REALLY shines in the summer when I’m looking to avoid turning on my oven in this Texas heat. This BBQ brisket is perfect for those days! Thanks to this pressure cooker method, you can have tender, flavorful, fall-apart brisket in a fraction of the time vs. having to grill or bake it for hours. If you’ve never made a brisket before, have no fear – this recipe is so easy and nearly foolproof, and results in perfectly juicy brisket every time.
BBQ Beef Brisket Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this tender brisket!
- 1, 3-4 pound trimmed beef brisket – When you go to the store to buy your brisket, you’ll see two types – whole brisket and trimmed brisket. Brisket is a large cut of beef, so whole briskets are typically about 10-15 pounds, and you’ll notice that they are very fatty. What you’ll want to buy is a trimmed or flat cut brisket. These come in 3-4 pound packages, have much of the fat cap trimmed off, and are best for making sliced brisket. If you can’t find a trimmed brisket, go ahead and ask the butcher if they can get you one! If they can’t, you can buy a full brisket, trim it yourself, and then freeze what you won’t be using for this recipe.
- BBQ Dry Rub – For this recipe, we’ve made a slightly spicy BBQ rub for the brisket with a combination of chipotle chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and a touch of brown sugar. If you don’t want to make your own spice rub though, feel free to use a store-bought rub!
- BBQ Sauce – You’ll want to have a bit of barbecue sauce for serving your brisket. You can either make your own homemade BBQ sauce or use your favorite store-bought sauce.
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Brisket
Once you’ve rounded up your ingredients, it’s time to get cooking! Here’s what you’ll need to do.
- Cut the brisket. First, you’ll want to cut the brisket into 3-4 smaller pieces and trim any excess fat. Since brisket is a large cut of meat, if you put it into the Instant Pot whole, it won’t fit well, which leads to uneven cooking. By cutting the brisket up into equal pieces, you ensure that each piece is cooked perfectly.
- Season the meat. Next, you’ll season the meat liberally with the dry spice rub, salt, and black pepper. If you’d like, you can do this step the night before, then wrap the brisket pieces in plastic wrap to let them marinate overnight for more flavor.
- Sear the brisket. While this step is optional, I really encourage it if you have time because the caramelization helps build a lot of flavor! For this step, you’ll set your Instant Pot to the saute setting and add about 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil to the pot. Once it is hot, add 2 pieces of brisket at a time and sear for 3-4 minutes on the top and bottom sides, until browned. Remove from the pot, then repeat for the remaining pieces of brisket.
- Add broth or water. Next, you’ll add one cup of broth or water to the pot. Let it come to a boil, then use a whisk to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Turn off the pot, then add the brisket back in.
- Seal and cook. Next, you’ll seal the pot, then set it to cook for 70 minutes on high pressure. Since brisket is a tough cut of beef, this longer cooking time will allow the fat and connective tissue to really break down and become super tender. If you have time, we recommend doing a natural pressure release once the 70-minute timer goes off, but if you’re short on time, you can manually release the pressure by turning the pressure release valve.
- Slice. The final step is slicing your brisket! If you want brisket slices, all you’ll need to do is slice the brisket against the grain. If you’d rather chop it (to use in chopped beef sandwiches, for example) the direction you slice in won’t matter!
How to Serve Brisket
I like to serve my brisket sliced and topped with BBQ sauce, with some of my favorite BBQ side dishes like Creamy Green Apple Coleslaw, Broccoli Crunch Salad, and German Potato Salad. Here are a few other ways you can serve it!
- Chopped BBQ Sandwich – Chop up your brisket into bite-sized chunks, then mix with your favorite barbecue sauce, layer onto bread or a bun, and top with coleslaw.
- Brisket Tacos – Brisket makes for a fantastic taco option, use the meat as-is, or give it a quick sear and top off your taco with our Mexican coleslaw. This is a great option for using up leftover brisket the next day!
- Brisket Bowls – Layer sliced brisket over potato salad or white rice and top with BBQ sauce, pickles, and onions.
Can I make this in a slow cooker?
Yes, this will also work in a slow cooker! Simply sear your whole brisket in a hot pan on the stovetop, then add to the slow cooker with 2 cups of beef broth and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until the brisket pulls apart easily with a fork.
Just for You
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For the Dry Rub:
For the Brisket:
- 1, 3-4 pound trimmed beef brisket
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 1 cup beef broth or water
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
- BBQ sauce for serving
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dry rub until fully incorporated.
- Cut brisket into 3-4 equal pieces, then season the brisket with the dry rub mixture, making sure it’s applied liberally and applied to all sides.
- Add the butter or oil to the Instant Pot and turn to “saute.”
- Once hot, add the beef to Instant Pot in two batches, searing brisket for 3-4 minutes per side until browned, then remove from pot. Note: searing the beef all at once will cause overcrowding and will prevent the beef from browning nicely.
- Once all beef is browned, pour in the broth and scrape the browned bits on the bottom with a whisk, then add the beef back to the pot.
- Close the instant pot, making sure the valve is set to “sealing” rather than “venting.” Set to cook on high pressure for 70 minutes.
- Once the brisket is finished cooking, let the Instant pot release pressure naturally (about 15 minutes) until the lid easily opens.
- Slice the beef against the grain and serve with BBQ sauce. Garnish with sea salt and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!