clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Instant Pot Barbecue Beef Sandwich Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 sandwiches 1x


Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches are 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, mix 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 ½ teaspoon of 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 an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, then add the spiced beef in an even layer. Pour the barbecue sauce on top of the beef and spread it around evenly. Don’t stir too much - we want layers, with 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 some pot 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, but not swimming in sauce. (I add about a cup of sauce from the pot to the beef.) Spoon onto the buns, pass some extra BBQ sauce at the table, 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.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American