Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
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Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Top Round Sandwiches

Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Sandwiches |

Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Sandwiches

Before we start: I know this is not Real Barbecue™. It’s not better than beef cooked all day (and all night) in a smoker. But it is good, and it is easy.

To make it easy, I keep the prep to an absolute minimum. I want 2-inch cubes, so I look for a 2-inch thick Top Round roast in my grocer’s meat case – then I only need to cut that roast lengthwise and crosswise into roughly 2-inch cubes, trimming any major lines of gristle as I go. (Don’t buy pre-cut stew meat, even if it’s top round – stew meat is cut into 3/4-inch to 1-inch chunks, much too small for this recipe.) I always have a batch of barbecue rub in my pantry and barbecue sauce in the fridge, so the rest of the recipe is easy. Sprinkle the beef with the rub, put it in the pot with some water, and spread the barbecue sauce over the top. (Don’t stir it much – sauce that sticks to the bottom of the pot may burn while under pressure.)

The last trick, if it is one, is not adding all of the sauce from the pot. (I’m always amazed at how much liquid is in the pot after pressure cooking.) The sauce is thin, but full of flavor, from beef juices mixing with barbecue sauce. Shred the beef, then only add as much of the sauce as you need to make it wet. (I pour the rest of the pot sauce into a fat separator and pass it at the table for anyone who wants more, or likes sloppy beef.)

Video: Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Top Round Sandwiches (2:19)

Video: Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Top Round Sandwiches []

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Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Top Round Sandwiches

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 sandwiches 1x


Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Top Round Sandwiches – a quick weeknight dinner with big beefy flavor.


  • 2 pounds beef top round cut into 2-inch cubes  (or chuck, or bottom round)
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 hamburger buns

Barbecue Rub (2 tablespoons of my Homemade Barbecue Rub), or use your favorite store-bought rub

  • ¾ tablespoon paprika
  • ¾ tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon fine sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Barbecue sauce (1 cup of my Easy Barbecue Sauce), or use your favorite store bought sauce

  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Franks Red Hot)


  1. Spice the beef and make the barbecue sauce: In a small bowl, stir the barbecue rub ingredients (paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme), breaking up clumps of brown sugar with your fingers. Sprinkle the beef cubes with 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt, then the barbecue rub. In a medium bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce ingredients (ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce) until smooth.
  2. Everything in the pot: Pour the water into the pressure cooker pot, then add the spiced beef in an even layer. Put the barbecue sauce on top of the beef and spread it around evenly. Don’t stir too much – we want the water on the bottom, the beef in the middle, and the barbecue sauce on top, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  3. Pressure cook for 30 minutes with natural pressure release: Lock the lid on the cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 more minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
  4. Shred the beef, add the sauce, and serve: Remove the beef from the pot with a slotted spoon, then shred the beef with a pair of forks. Ladle liquid from the pot onto the shredded beef until it is saucy enough. (I add about a cup of sauce from the pot to the beef.) Spoon onto the buns and enjoy!


  • Traditional beef barbecue toppings are thin-sliced onions and pickles. The tart flavors are a nice counterpoint to the rich, sweet beef.
  • Want to use more of the sauce from the pot? Pass it at the table. Like I said in the headnotes, I pour it into a fat separator to pass at the table.
  • Smaller cubes? Cook 1½-inch cubes for 22 minutes, or 1-inch cubes for 15 minutes. That said, cook to the size of the largest cubes. If most of your cubes are 2 inches, that’s fine. A few smaller ones won’t hurt.


  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Sandwiches - Tower of process steps. Cut the beef into cubes, sprinkle with BBQ rub, top with BBQ sauce, shred with forks, serve

Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Sandwiches – Step by Step Tower

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket
Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with Barbecue Rub and Sauce
Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Thanks for this! I needed some quick top round & this worked perfectly. I skipped the BBQ sauce & tossed the shredded meat in mustard & fresh pressed garlic.

  2. Brenda says

    Excellent! Made recipe as written except had 2.5 lbs of beef stew meat. Worked great! The meat did release a lot of liquid so after the pressure released I added 2 tbls of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbls of water. We served over white rice. Thank you for a great and simple receipe.

  3. Linda says

    Do I double the time in the stovetop PC if I doulnle the recipe? I’m new to PC and not totally confident in my cooking times yet. I’m thanks for the help and the recipe!

      • Linda says

        Thank you Mike! I doubled the recipe, thankfully I have a large stovetop PC, and used the 25 min cooking time…it turned out wonderfully! Thank you for the great recipe and detailed instructions!

        Super dinner!!!

  4. Bought some top round by mistake. Googled, found this recipe and gave it a go. I made the sauce and the rub and used a smaller cut because I started with a thinner cut.

    This was delicious. Will be making it again for sure. Thanks for the write up!!

  5. Oooo thank you ever do for making the video AND the printed directions ☆☆☆☆☆ thank you. I’ll be trying that recipe tonight!!I hope!

  6. Joe says

    Hi Mike
    Can I make more than 2 pound on a 6 quartz instant pot? Maybe 4 pounds?

  7. Sigrid Trombley says

    Looks good. Mike’s photo shows sliced pickles (I assume dill) on the sandwich. I think pepperoncini peppers would be a tasty substitute or addition as well.

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