(GUIDE) How To Cook Beef Brisket In Pressure Cooker?

Beef brisket is a classic cut of meat known for its rich flavor and tenderness. Traditionally, it is slow-cooked for several hours to achieve the perfect texture and taste. However, if you’re looking for a quicker cooking method without sacrificing flavor and tenderness, using a pressure cooker is the way to go. Pressure cooking not only saves time but also helps to infuse the flavors into the meat, resulting in a succulent and delicious dish.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker. We will discuss the optimal cook times, preparation techniques, pressure cooker basics, and even troubleshooting tips. So, let’s get started!

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Beef Brisket In Pressure Cooker

Before we dive into the details, let’s address the burning question: how long does it take to cook beef brisket in a pressure cooker? The answer depends on the size of the brisket and your desired level of tenderness.

As a general guideline, you can cook a 2 to 3-pound beef brisket in a pressure cooker for approximately 60 minutes on high pressure. For larger briskets, add an additional 20-30 minutes per pound. Keep in mind that these times may vary based on the specific pressure cooker model and the desired tenderness of the meat.


Proper preparation is key to achieving the best results when cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start by selecting a high-quality beef brisket. Look for a well-marbled piece with a thick cap of fat. This fat will help keep the meat moist while cooking.
  2. Trim excess fat from the brisket, leaving a thin layer to enhance flavor and prevent dryness. Be careful not to remove too much fat, as it contributes to the meat’s juiciness.
  3. Season the brisket with your favorite rub or marinade. This step is crucial for enhancing the flavors of the meat. Consider using a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and any other spices you enjoy.
  4. Allow the seasoned brisket to marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. This step allows the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  5. Before cooking, remove the brisket from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. This ensures even cooking throughout.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Beef Brisket

Understanding the basics of using a pressure cooker for beef brisket is essential to ensure a successful cooking experience. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

Pressure Levels

Most pressure cookers offer two pressure levels: high pressure (commonly used for meat) and low pressure (ideal for delicate foods like vegetables). When cooking beef brisket, always use the high-pressure setting.

Liquid Requirements

To create the necessary steam in a pressure cooker, you need to include a liquid. This prevents the meat from drying out and adds flavor to the dish. Generally, you will need around 1-2 cups of liquid for pressure cooking beef brisket. Common choices include beef broth, red wine, or a combination of both.

Preheating And Release Of Pressure

Before adding the brisket and liquid, preheat the pressure cooker over medium heat. This ensures that the pressure builds up quickly once the lid is sealed. Once cooking is complete, you must release the pressure before opening the lid. There are two methods for pressure release: natural release (letting the pressure decrease naturally) and quick release (using the pressure valve to release the pressure manually). The method you choose depends on the recipe and your desired outcome.

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Safety First

Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your pressure cooker. Safety precautions, such as sealing the lid properly, ensure a secure cooking experience. Additionally, handle the pressure cooker with care and use oven mitts or pot holders when removing the lid or handling hot components.

Cook Times For Beef Brisket In Pressure Cooker

Now that you are familiar with the basics, let’s discuss the optimal cook times for beef brisket in a pressure cooker. These times are meant as a general guideline and can vary based on the specific pressure cooker model and the desired tenderness of the meat. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the brisket reaches the desired internal temperature.

  • For a 2 to 3-pound beef brisket: Cook for approximately 60 minutes on high pressure and allow for natural pressure release.
  • For larger briskets (4 pounds or more): Add an additional 20-30 minutes per pound, depending on your desired tenderness.

The internal temperature of a properly cooked beef brisket should reach around 200°F (93°C). This temperature ensures that the collagen in the meat breaks down, resulting in a tender and melt-in-your-mouth texture.

How To Cook Beef Brisket In Pressure Cooker

Now let’s walk through the step-by-step process of cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker:

  1. Preheat the pressure cooker over medium heat.
  2. Add a small amount of oil to the pot and sear the seasoned brisket on each side until browned. This step helps to lock in the flavors and enhance the texture of the meat.
  3. Remove the brisket from the pot and set it aside momentarily.
  4. Add the liquid of your choice (beef broth, red wine, or a combination) to the pressure cooker. Use enough liquid to reach a depth of at least one inch.
  5. Place the trivet or a steamer rack into the pressure cooker to elevate the brisket above the liquid. This ensures that the meat does not become soggy or overly immersed in the liquid.
  6. Return the seared brisket to the pressure cooker, placing it on top of the trivet or rack.
  7. Securely seal the pressure cooker with the lid, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for the recommended time based on the size of the brisket.
  9. Once the cooking time is complete, release the pressure using either the natural release or quick release method.
  10. Carefully open the lid and check the internal temperature of the brisket with a meat thermometer. It should read around 200°F (93°C).
  11. If the brisket has reached the desired internal temperature, remove it from the pressure cooker and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing against the grain. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a moist and flavorful end result.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Beef Brisket

To further enhance the tenderness and flavor of your beef brisket, consider applying the following pressure cooking techniques:


After searing the brisket, deglazing the pot is a valuable step. Add a small amount of liquid to the pot, such as broth or wine, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any flavorful browned bits. This adds depth and complexity to the dish.

Adding Aromatics

To infuse additional flavors into the brisket, consider adding aromatics to the pressure cooker. These can include onions, carrots, garlic, herbs like rosemary or thyme, and even bay leaves. These aromatic ingredients enhance the overall taste of the dish and complement the beefy flavor of the brisket.

Sauce Reduction

After pressure cooking the brisket, you may choose to further enhance the sauce by reducing it. Simply simmer the liquid uncovered on the stove over medium-high heat until it thickens and intensifies in flavor. This reduced sauce can be poured over the sliced brisket for an extra burst of taste.

Broiling Or Grilling

To achieve a beautiful crust on the brisket, you can finish it off under the broiler or on a hot grill for a few minutes after pressure cooking. This step adds a delightful char and enhances the overall visual appeal of the dish.


Despite following the guidelines, issues can still arise when cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker. Here are some common troubleshooting tips to overcome these challenges:

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Tough Brisket

If your brisket turns out tough after pressure cooking, it may be undercooked. Increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes and check for tenderness using a meat thermometer. Alternatively, the brisket may require longer resting time to further break down the collagen and become tender and moist.

Dry Brisket

A dry brisket can result from overcooking or not having enough liquid in the pressure cooker. Ensure that you are using the proper amount of liquid and double-checking the recommended cooking times. If the brisket is consistently dry, reduce the cooking time slightly or decrease the pressure level.

Insufficient Flavor

If the brisket lacks flavor, consider adjusting the seasonings or adding additional ingredients to the cooking liquid. You can also try marinating the brisket for a longer period before cooking to improve flavor penetration.

Variations And Flavoring Options

While the classic method outlined above creates a mouthwatering beef brisket, feel free to experiment with variations and flavoring options to suit your palate. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Asian-style: Use a combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil as your marinade. Serve with steamed rice and bok choy for a complete meal.
  • BBQ-inspired: Coat the brisket with your favorite BBQ rub or sauce. After pressure cooking, transfer the brisket to a hot grill or oven and glaze with additional BBQ sauce for a smoky and tangy flavor.
  • Mexican-inspired: Season the brisket with chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Serve sliced brisket in warm tortillas with salsa, avocado, and lime wedges.
  • Mediterranean twist: Rub the brisket with a combination of oregano, thyme, and lemon zest. Serve sliced brisket with a side of roasted potatoes and a Greek salad.

The great thing about cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker is its versatility. You can adapt the flavors and seasonings to suit your preferences, allowing you to create a customized and delicious dish every time.

In conclusion, cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker is a convenient and time-saving method that doesn’t compromise on flavor or tenderness. By following the outlined steps, you can achieve a perfectly cooked brisket with minimal effort. Whether you stick with the classic recipe or experiment with flavor variations, be prepared to impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering dish. Happy cooking!


What Type Of Cut Is Best For Beef Brisket In A Pressure Cooker?

The best cut for beef brisket in a pressure cooker is one that is well marbled with fat, such as the point cut. This will ensure that the meat remains tender and juicy during the cooking process.

Can I Cook A Frozen Beef Brisket In A Pressure Cooker?

It is not recommended to cook a frozen beef brisket in a pressure cooker. The high pressure and heat of the cooker can result in uneven cooking and can also affect the texture of the meat.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Beef Brisket In A Pressure Cooker?

Generally, it takes about 60-90 minutes to cook beef brisket in a pressure cooker, depending on the size of the brisket. It is important to note that the cooking time may vary depending on the type and brand of pressure cooker being used.

Can I Add Vegetables To The Pressure Cooker When Cooking Beef Brisket?

Yes, you can add vegetables such as carrots, onions, and potatoes to the pressure cooker when cooking beef brisket. Be sure to cut the vegetables into large chunks and add them in towards the end of the cooking process to avoid overcooking.

Why Is It Important To Use Enough Liquid When Cooking Beef Brisket In A Pressure Cooker?

Using enough liquid is crucial when cooking beef brisket in a pressure cooker because the high pressure and heat can cause the liquid to evaporate quickly. This can result in the meat drying out and becoming tough. It is also important for the pressure cooker to build up enough pressure to properly cook the brisket.