Instant Pot Brisket
Instant Pot brisket is the quickest way to get tender, tasty meat without sacrificing flavor. You’ll get a melt in your mouth beef in half the time!
Brisket takes a notoriously long time to cook because it needs to cook low and slow for hours for that perfectly tender beef with amazing flavor.
I should say it USED to take a long time to cook. With the Instant Pot instead of cooking something low and slow all day you can throw your pot roast, short ribs, or even your beef brisket into the pressure cooker and in half of the usual cook time you have the same tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef.
It’s so quick and easy you’ll be able to make brisket for dinner any night of the week!
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Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll want for a delicious brisket from your Instant Pot:
- Brisket – You’ll need about a 3 pound brisket. If it is a little bit bigger or smaller that’s OK. I try to get just slightly bigger than 3 pounds because I often end up trimming the fat.
- Seasonings – Kosher salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika is all the spices and herbs you’ll need.
- Olive Oil – If you don’t have olive oil, you can use canola oil instead.
- Aromatics – An onion (yellow or white) and fresh garlic is all you need.
- Veggies – I use carrots and celery for the brisket.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The vinegar is really important because it is what tenderizes the meat so that it just falls apart and melts in your mouth.
- White Wine – You could substitute more apple cider vinegar if you prefer.
- Beef broth – Adds extra liquid and flavor to the brisket when cooking in the Instant Pot.
- Sweeteners – Ketchup adds some sweetness and a bit of tart. Brown sugar adds the remaining sweetness to the brisket.
New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!
Step 1 – Rub and sear the meat. Start by rubbing the outside of the roast with 2 teaspoons of salt and the black pepper. Once the outside of the meat is ready, set the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the olive oil.
Once the olive oil is hot, add the brisket and cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until the outside starts to turn a carmel color. If you need to, you can cut the brisket in half and sear it in batches.
Remove the meat when all sides are seared and set aside.
Step 2 – Cook the veggies. After you remove the meat, cook the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for 7 minutes or until the onions are tender. When the onions are ready, pour in the vinegar and wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the inner pot. If you don’t get them all, you could get a burn notice on the Instant Pot!
Step 3 – Stir in the other ingredients. Select CANCEL to turn off the SAUTE mode. Stir in the beef broth, ketchup, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, and paprika. Finally, return the brisket to the pot.
Step 4 – Cook. Place the lid on and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to cook on manual HIGH PRESSURE for 70 minutes.
Once the timer goes off press, CANCEL to stop the cooking. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, turn the valve to VENTING and release any remaining steam.
Remove the brisket and place it on a large platter.
Step 5 – Make the gravy. With the brisket removed, set the pot to SAUTE and cook the juices for 10 to 15 minutes or until they begin to thicken. Once they start to thicken, press CANCEL to stop cooking.
Pour the gravy over the brisket and serve hot. Enjoy!
Trimming the Meat
Trimming the brisket is a bit of an art form. If you trim too much, the brisket will dry out, but if you trim too little, it will be overly fatty and greasy.
You basically want to even out the layer of fat on the brisket making it an even ¼ inch thick. It is easiest to do this when the brisket first comes out of the refrigerator since the fat will be very solid when cold.
To safely trim the fat, wse a sharp knife and slice away the fat cap or the top layer of fat. You should leave just about a ¼ inch thick layer.
Your butcher may have already done some of this for you, so if you don’t feel like your brisket is overly fatty, you may have to do very little trimming. In some stores, you could request that they trim the fat for you and they may just do it.
How Much Liquid Do You Need?
For an Instant Pot recipe you need at least 1 cup of liquid. You’ll use a little over a cup for this recipe with 3/4 cup of beef broth, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 cup of white wine.
The beef will release juices as it cooks, so you will have plenty of liquid to create a delicious gravy to pour over top of your brisket.
How Long Do You Cook It?
The meat cooks for a little less than 2 hours in the Instant Pot. That includes:
- browning for 2 minutes on each side
- the time the Instant Pot takes to come to pressure but this can vary
- 70 minutes cooking on high pressure
- 20 minute natural release
That is about half the time of an oven-cooked brisket which cooks for about 4 hours in the oven and even longer in the smoker!
How to Cut It
After you spent all that time making the perfect brisket, we’ve got to talk about how to slice it!
To get perfectly tender slices of meat, you’ll want to use a sharp knife to slice across the grain. The grain of the meat is the thin little creases or lines that run in a diagonal pattern across the top. Slice the meat in the opposite diagonal direction.
Cutting it this way makes the meat more tender because you are effectively cutting the muscle layers into smaller pieces. If you cut with the grain, you would just be slicing the muscle into thinner pieces but not really breaking apart the structure.
Can I Make It Ahead of Time?
Yes! This is one of those meals that gets better the longer it sits! Making it a day or two ahead of time for a holiday gathering, party, or family dinner is perfect.
Once you have finished cooking the meat, let it cool completely in its juices. Then remove it from the juices and store the meat in an airtight container.
You should store the juices separately. This will allow you to skim the cooled fat from the surface before making the gravy. I recommend making the gravy right before you plan to serve the brisket. You’ll also need the juices to reheat the meat.
On the day you are serving the brisket, place the meat in a large roasting pan or oven safe dish and pour the juices over it. Cook at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes or until warmed all the way through.
Once it is fully warmed place your juices in a pot and cook them down to make the gravy.
Looking for More Instant Pot Recipes?
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Instant Pot Shrimp Boil
- Instant Pot Meatballs
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Instant Pot Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- More Instant Pot Recipes…
Instant Pot Brisket
- 3 pounds Brisket, cut into two 1.5 pound pieces
- 3 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large Carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
- 1 stalk Celery, sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
- ⅓ cup White Wine
- ⅓ cup Apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup Beef broth
- ⅓ cup Ketchup
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- Rub the outside of the roast with 2 teaspoons of salt and the black pepper.
- Set your Instant Pot (IP) to SAUTE and add the olive oil.
- Add the brisket to the pot , cut in half if needed to make it fit (if you do this you will need to brown in batches). Brown the meat on top and bottom, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Once browned remove from the pot and set aside.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook for 7 minutes, until the onions are tender.
- Add the white wine and apple cider vinegar. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Make sure to get them all off so you don’t get a burn notice during cooking.
- Press CANCEL to turn off the SAUTE function.
- Add the beef broth, ketchup, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, and paprika. Stir into the liquid.
- Return the brisket to the pot placing it fat side up.
- Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Set to cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 70 minutes.
- When the timer goes off press CANCEL to stop cooking. Let the pot do a 20 minute natural release. Once done turn the valve to VENTING and release the remaining steam.
- Unlock the lid and remove the brisket, placing it on a large platter and spoon the vegetables and juices over it.