Smoky & Tender Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Beef Brisket

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Make this tender, flavorful Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Brisket in a fraction of the time it would take to cook it in the oven. An overnight marinade helps give it a smokey flavor you’ll love. 

Instant Pot brisket sliced on a cutting board with bbq sauce.

While this beef brisket recipe is great any time of year, I really love to cook it for holiday get-togethers! 

This pressure cooker brisket is simple to put together, and it’s a crowd pleaser. It’s also easy to dress up with sides, and you can stretch it by serving it sandwich style.

Several years ago, my sister made beef brisket for our family Christmas party and shared her recipe. The minute I saw it, I couldn’t wait to convert it to my pressure cooker. (Learn how to convert your family favorite recipes to your pressure cooker.)

Tender, juicy Instant Pot brisket with a 60 minute cook time!

What Is Brisket?

Beef brisket is a flavorful cut of meat that comes from the front, chest area. (I love this illustration—it’s a really great guide to cuts of beef.)

Beef brisket is an awesome choice for pressure cooking! It’s a tougher cut of meat that cooks up tender and juicy in the pressure cooker. (For more on brisket, check out this detailed guide.)

If you’re planning to slice it, I recommend using flat cut brisket. Flat cut brisket has a layer of fat along the bottom, which is easy to remove after cooking. (It’s what I call for in this recipe.) 

Beef brisket cooking inside an Instant Pot.

When you cook the brisket, you’ll want to cook it fat side up. 

If you’re worried about having dry brisket, you’ll want to look for a cut of meat that is well marbled.

When brisket is cured in a salty brine, it’s called corned beef. Don’t use brine-cured brisket in this recipe. (If you’re interested in a great corned beef, try my Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage recipe.)

BBQ beef brisket sliced in front of an Instant Pot.

How to Cook Brisket in an Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker

This Instant Pot Brisket recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Mealthy MultiPot. 

Why Use the Overnight Marinade?

The brisket marinates overnight to tenderize the meat and lock in that great smoky flavor!

I don’t recommend skipping it.

The spice rub helps tenderize the meat and really infuses it with the flavors. 

The extra flavor is worth planning ahead to let this can sit in your fridge overnight.

BBQ beef brisket cooked in an Instant Pot sliced on a cutting board with rolls in the back ground.

Fitting Brisket in Your Pressure Cooker

How much brisket fits what size pressure cooker? A lot of that depends on the shape of your particular cut of meat. 

Flat cut brisket is usually rectangular, but it’s not always exact. Both of the pictured cuts of brisket are around 3 pounds, but they’re quite different in shape.

Two different cuts of brisket cooked in an Instant Pot

 Most 3 pound cuts should fit in a 6-quart pressure cooker without any issue. 

You may have to cut the brisket in half to fit it in the cooking pot. If this happens, try to fit the pieces side by side rather than stacking one on top of the other.

You can fit larger briskets but be sure to test this out before cooking. If the brisket doesn’t fit across the bottom of the pot, you can cut the brisket into pieces. This will work great for sandwiches or BBQ Beef Brisket Tacos (see page 55 of the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook).

As always, larger pressure cookers will be able to fit larger cuts of meat. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to add more liquid. 

Close up of sliced Instant Pot brisket

How to Serve Instant Pot Brisket

After the brisket is finished cooking, remove from the cooking pot and allow to rest for a few minutes. Use a serrated knife to slice into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices, then arrange on a platter.

Use an instant-read thermometer to verify your brisket is at least 195°F after cooking.

Just prior to serving, add some of the warm cooking liquid to additional barbecue sauce, and drizzle it over the top of the slices.

If you’re serving a crowd, you could also shred it and serve it on rolls.

What to Serve with Beef Brisket

One of the things I like about beef brisket is that it pairs well with most sides. So if you’re providing the main dish and asking guests to bring a side, you have a lot of options. Here are some of my favorites:


Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Hash Brown CasseroleThese cheesy Instant Pot potatoes are the perfect comfort food, and they’re my favorite homemade side for this Instant Pot Brisket. 

pressure cooker cornbread from the InstaPot or any electric pressure cooker

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot CornbreadThis shortcut recipe starts with a Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, so it comes together super quick. However, if you prefer from-scratch cornbread, I have a great recipe for Buttermilk Corn Bread on page 261 of my cookbook, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook.

A sheet pan with Instant Pot garlic roasted red potatoes

Instant Pot Roasted Red PotatoesYou can pressure cook these potatoes in advance. Prior to serving, just coat them in melted butter, garlic, and herbs, sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese, and brown them in your air fryer or broil them in an oven

A basket of Lion House Rolls with on roll on a plate

Lion House Rolls from my baking site, Barbara Bakes | When I really want to take a meal to the next level, I’ll bake up some homemade rolls. These These rolls are an old-fashioned favorite and cook up big and fluffy. They’re also easy to make!

Garlic Parmesean Instant Pot Duo Crisp French Fries

Garlic Parmesan Air Fryer French Fries from Barbara Bakes | If you have an Instant Pot Duo Crisp, a Ninja Foodi, or a Mealthy Crisp Lid, you can make these awesome Garlic Parmesan french fries. 

Beef brisket sliced on a cutting board in front of an Instant Pot

How to Reheat Instant Pot Brisket

Since brisket can be a more expensive cut of meat, I like to reheat it in the pressure cooker. This helps ensure it doesn’t dry out.

To reheat brisket, use the pot in pot method: Place a trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooking pot, and add 1 cup of water. Place a cake pan or oven-safe dish on top of the trivet, then cook at High Pressure until the meat is cooked through. 

If you’re reheating a lot of brisket, I’d start with 5 minutes of cook time and adjust from there.

You may want to cover the pan with foil, but it isn’t necessary for brisket. If you do use foil, you’ll need to increase your cook time.

Update: To show you how easy this Instant Pot Brisket is, I’ve made a quick video. I use the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus in this video, so you can get a glimpse of it in action!

Pressure cooker brisket sliced with a bowl of bbq sauce.

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Brisket

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

The secret to this tender Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Brisket recipe is the overnight marinade. You'll get long-smoked flavor in a fraction of the time!


  • 1 teaspoon seasoned meat tenderizer
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3 pounds beef brisket, flat cut, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a small bowl, combine meat tenderizer, celery salt, seasoned salt, and garlic salt. Rub spices into brisket. Put brisket in a large, heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Add the liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Seal the bag and refrigerate to marinate overnight.
  2. In the pressure cooking pot, stir together the barbecue sauce and water. Add the brisket fat-side facing up and any accumulated juices. Select High Pressure and 60 minutes cook time.
  3. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops carefully remove lid.
  4. Carefully remove the meat from the pressure cooker to a large platter. Slice the meat across the grain.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together a little cooking liquid with additional BBQ sauce. Drizzle the mixture over the meat just before serving.


If necessary, you can cut the brisket in half to get it to fit in a 6 quart pressure cooker. Try to place the pieces side by side rather than stacking them to ensure the two pieces cook evenly.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 555Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 607mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 49g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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Tender, juicy Instant Pot brisket with a 60 minute cook time!

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