Smoky Instant Pot Beef Brisket

Smoky Instant Pot Beef Brisket - Strive to Thrive Nutrition

My Smoky Instant Pot Beef Brisket has a rich barbecue flavor minus the time commitment (or the smoker or the grill)! As a trained chef and former Sur La Table employee, I own my fair share of kitchen gadgets. I’m not quite sure what we’ll even put on our wedding registry at this point, though my fiancé is still determined that we need to get sous to vide machine…

It’s not that I wasn’t aware of how handy a pressure cooker can be. Growing up, my mom used an old-school traditional stovetop pressure cooker to steam broccoli and other veggies in a matter of minutes, a fact I’ve often reminisced about while waiting over a pot of water. But it wasn’t until I saw all the recipes popping up from the fellow bloggers that I realized how incredibly versatile and useful an Instant Pot could be. Stew in under an hour; fluffy rice without fail; nourishing bone broth in a fraction of the time; and my all-time favorite Kalua Pork recipe that used to take all day in the slow cooker could now get on the table in about two hours.

Smoky Instant Pot Beef Brisket

Smoky Instant Pot Beef Brisket:

We picked up this gorgeous piece of local, grass-fed beef brisket at the farmers market and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to create my own Instant Pot recipe to give you all an introduction to this awesome machine.

Normally a piece of brisket would take hours of low and slow cooking to come out tender and juicy. That means being prepared and having the time available to babysit it. How often does that happen? This recipe, on the other hand, could easily be made on a weeknight after work.

I understand liquid smoke isn’t a common ingredient to have on hand. You can omit it from the recipe if you’d like– obviously the brisket won’t have the same smoky flavor, but it will still be delicious. I’ll admit I was hesitant to use it in the recipe.

Having never worked with it before, I was concerned it would overpower the meat, but it added just the right amount of natural smoky flavor.

If you don’t own an Instant Pot, there are directions below for making the brisket in a slow cooker. That being said, I think an Instant Pot is a totally worthwhile addition to your kitchen. Its uses are endless and I plan to showcase more of them on the blog in the future. This is the model I own, for reference:

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W

Smoky Instant Pot Beef Brisket If you do not own an Instant Pot, see below for slow cooker instructions.

  • 4-5 lbs beef brisket grass-fed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp maple sugar or coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder or cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  1. If your brisket is in one large piece, cut with the grain of the meat into two equal-sized pieces. This will ensure more even cooking.
  2. Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the meat and use your hands to really pat-down and rub it into the meat. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode. Add 1-2 Tbsp cooking fat of choice (avocado oil, lard, bacon fat), and once shimmering, add one piece of brisket to the pot.
  4. Sear meat on both sides until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Add the second piece of brisket and repeat it.
  5. Turn off the Saute function by pushing the Keep Warm/Cancel button. Add both pieces of meat back to the pot.
  6. Combine the stock and the liquid smoke. Pour over the meat.
  7. Lock the lid onto the pot. Set to Manual mode and use the + symbol to increase the cooking time to 60 minutes. Make sure the steam vent on the top of the lid is closed. The Instant Pot will start to pressurize and will begin counting down the time once it has reached pressure.
  8. When the time is up, hit the Keep Warm/Cancel button and let the pot depressurize naturally. This will take around 30 minutes. Do NOT open the steam vent to depressurize manually. This will dry out and toughen the meat.
  9. When the pot has depressurized (you will know when the valve in the top of the lid has dropped and you are able to take off the lid), remove the meat and slice against the grain. Serve with the juices. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Instructions:

Cut and season the meat as above. You can either sear the meat in a skillet before adding to your slow cooker or skip the searing step entirely. Add the meat and the stock/liquid smoke mixture to the slow cooker. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours until tender. Slice and serve.


Find out more beef recipes…