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I have barely started on this post, and I’m apologizing. To the Texas Barbecue purists: Yes, I know this is not real Texas barbecue. I’ve had many fine briskets in Texas, and made a few more in my backyard in Ohio. (That’s right, I’m not from Texas).
But I get this question a lot – how do I make brisket in my pressure cooker?
I’m not going to run from it any more. Come at me, barbecue purists. 1
This recipe is based on my PC experiments with corned beef, because corned beef is actually cured beef brisket. I use my trick of cutting the brisket across the grain into 4 pieces, so the smaller pieces cook through quicker and easier. (I tell myself I’m just getting a head start on the slicing.) I am amazed at how tender the beef is when it comes out of the pressure cooker. This is fall-apart brisket – be gentle when you lift it, and when you slice it.
I use a simple seasoning, like they do in Texas – salt and pepper. And…a hint of Ancho chile powder. You can skip the Ancho – I’m annoying the Texas purists by adding it – but I like the hint of smoke it brings to the recipe. Traditional sides are barbecue sauce, sliced onions, and dill pickles. (Slices of cheap white bread would also be appropriate, but I can’t bring myself to buy a loaf of Wonder bread.)
After all this apologizing, why am I doing this? Because…oh, my. Brisket. Sure, it’s not 12 hour smoked, low and slow. But there’s nothing like the big beefy flavor of brisket. And, I don’t always have an entire day to set aside to barbecue. If you want brisket in about 90 minutes from the pressure cooker, try this recipe. Even the barbecue purists would finish a plate.
Video: Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket – Time Lapse (1:17)
Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket – Time Lapse [YouTube.com]
Pressure Cooker Beef Brisket – tender beef brisket, ready in about an hour and a half thanks to the pressure cooker.
- 4 pound beef brisket (flat cut)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Thin-sliced onions
- Dill Pickles
- Texas style barbecue sauce
- Prepare the beef brisket: Cut the brisket crosswise into 4 equal pieces, each about 2 inches across. Sprinkle the brisket with the salt, ancho chile powder, and black pepper. Put the brisket in the pressure cooker pot, trying to get it into a loose single layer – but don’t pack it in. If the pieces don’t fit, add a second layer crosswise to the first layer, like you’re building a house with Lincoln Logs. Pour the water and Worcestershire sauce over the beef.
- Pressure Cook for 60 minutes with a natural pressure release: Lock the lid, then pressure cook at high pressure for 60 minutes in an electric PC or 50 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes more. Unlock the lid, opening it away from you – the steam is hot. Test the brisket with a fork – it should be easy to poke a fork through the thickest part of the thickest piece. If it’s not done, lock the lid and cook for another ten minutes at high pressure.
- Slice and serve: Carefully lift the pieces of beef out of the cooker and transfer to a carving board. Strain the liquid in the pot into a fat separator. Slice the brisket into 1/2 inch thick slices, drizzle with a little of the defatted sauce, and serve, passing barbecue sauce at the table.
- Doubling the recipe – you should be able to fit twice as much beef in the pot – just cut it into 8 pieces instead of 4. Each piece should be about 2 inches across. Don’t add more liquid – there is enough in the base recipe to bring the cooker up to pressure. Cook for the same amount of time; cooking time is determined by how long it takes to cook each piece of brisket, not how many there are.
- Cutting against the grain is key to this recipe. Brisket has long muscle fibers. If you cut with the grain of the beef, you get long, stringy pieces of beef. Cutting across the grain cuts those muscle fibers, and the result is perfect bite-sized pieces of beef.
- Leftover brisket is heavenly. Brisket sandwiches, brisket tacos, brisket scrambles…I’m tempted to buy another brisket right now.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos
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