(GUIDE) How To Cook Brisket In Pressure Cooker?

Cooking brisket in a pressure cooker is a convenient and efficient way to create a tender and flavorful dish. The high-pressure environment of a pressure cooker helps to break down the tough connective tissues in brisket, resulting in a succulent and melt-in-your-mouth texture. In this article, we will explore in detail how to cook brisket in a pressure cooker, including preparation, cook times, optimal techniques, troubleshooting tips, and variations to add a unique twist to your dish.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Brisket In Pressure Cooker

Cooking brisket in a pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time compared to traditional methods like braising or slow cooking. The exact cooking time depends on the size and thickness of the brisket, but as a general guideline, you can plan for around 30 to 40 minutes per pound of brisket. This includes both the pressurizing time and the actual cooking time under pressure. However, it’s important to note that these times are just a guideline, and factors such as the specific pressure cooker model and the desired tenderness of the meat may affect the overall cooking time.


Before cooking brisket in a pressure cooker, it is essential to properly prepare the meat to ensure optimal flavor and tenderness. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Trim the excess fat: Brisket often has a thick layer of fat on one side. Trimming off most of this fat will prevent the dish from becoming excessively greasy. Leave a thin layer of fat to add flavor and retain moisture during cooking.

  2. Season the brisket: Season the brisket with your preferred rub or seasoning blend. A popular choice is a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Make sure to coat the meat evenly on all sides for a well-rounded flavor.

  3. Let it rest: After seasoning, allow the brisket to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This resting time helps the seasoning to penetrate the meat and enhances the flavor.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Brisket

Before diving into the cooking process, it’s important to understand a few basics about pressure cookers and how they work. Pressure cookers utilize steam and built-up pressure to cook food quickly. The high pressure and temperature inside the cooker help to break down tough meats, resulting in faster and more tender cooking.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind when using a pressure cooker for brisket:

  1. Choose the right pressure cooker: It’s essential to use a pressure cooker that is large enough to accommodate the size of your brisket. Ensure that the pressure cooker has a secure and tight-fitting lid that will lock into place when cooking under pressure.

  2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Every pressure cooker model may have different instructions and safety features. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before using your pressure cooker to ensure safe and effective cooking.

  3. Release pressure safely: Always follow the recommended pressure release methods specified by your pressure cooker’s manufacturer. This typically involves either natural release, quick release, or a combination of both. Natural release allows the pressure to release slowly, while quick release rapidly releases the pressure. The chosen method will depend on the recipe and desired tenderness of the meat.

Cook Times For Brisket In Pressure Cooker

As mentioned earlier, the typical cooking time for brisket in a pressure cooker is around 30 to 40 minutes per pound. However, it’s crucial to understand that this is only an estimate. The actual cooking time will vary depending on factors such as the size and thickness of the brisket, the pressure cooker model, and desired tenderness.

To determine the precise cooking time for your brisket, consider the following guidelines:

  1. Size and thickness: Measure the thickness of the thickest part of the brisket to determine its size. This will help you gauge the cooking time more accurately. Thinner cuts of brisket will generally require less cooking time, while thicker cuts will require more.

  2. Desired tenderness: The level of tenderness you desire will also impact the cooking time. If you prefer more fall-apart meat, you may opt for a longer cooking time. For a slightly firmer texture, reduce the cooking time slightly.

  3. Test for tenderness: The best way to ensure your brisket is cooked to your liking is by testing the tenderness with a fork. After the recommended cooking time, use a fork to gently pull apart the meat. If it is still tough and does not easily shred, cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.

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Remember, it’s always better to slightly undercook the meat and then cook it for a little longer if needed. Overcooking can result in dry and less flavorful brisket.

How To Cook Brisket In Pressure Cooker

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of cooking brisket in a pressure cooker:

  1. Preheat the pressure cooker: Some pressure cookers require preheating before adding the food. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to preheat the pressure cooker, if necessary.

  2. Sear the brisket (optional): Searing the brisket before pressure cooking can add an extra layer of flavor. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat and sear the brisket on all sides until browned. This step is optional but recommended for enhanced flavor.

  3. Add liquid: Add liquid to the pressure cooker to create steam and maintain the necessary pressure. Common choices include water, beef broth, vegetable broth, or a combination of these. Aim for about 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid, depending on the size of your pressure cooker.

  4. Place the brisket in the pressure cooker: Carefully place the prepared brisket into the pressure cooker, ensuring that it is fully submerged in the liquid. If the brisket is too large to fit comfortably, you may need to cut it into smaller pieces. Securely close the pressure cooker lid.

  5. Set the cooking time: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set the cooking time and pressure level for your specific pressure cooker model. Use the guidelines mentioned earlier (30-40 minutes per pound) to determine the initial cooking time. Remember to factor in the time it takes for the pressure cooker to reach full pressure.

  6. Cook under pressure: Once the pressure cooker reaches full pressure, the cooking process begins. Maintain the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can monitor the pressure by observing the pressure indicator on the cooker. The pressure release valve should remain closed during this time.

  7. Release the pressure: Once the cooking time is complete, you have two options for releasing the pressure: natural release or quick release. Natural release involves turning off the heat and allowing the pressure to come down naturally over time. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the brisket and cooker. Quick release involves carefully manipulating the pressure release valve using a long-handled spoon or tongs to rapidly release the pressure. Be cautious of the hot steam when performing a quick release.

  8. Test for tenderness: Once the pressure has fully released and it is safe to open the pressure cooker, check the tenderness of the brisket using a fork. If it shreds easily and is tender, it is ready to serve. If it is still tough, return the lid to the pressure cooker and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes under pressure.

  9. Rest the brisket: Allow the cooked brisket to rest for a few minutes before slicing or shredding. This resting period helps redistribute the juices and enhances the tenderness and flavor of the meat.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Brisket

To achieve the best results when cooking brisket in a pressure cooker, consider implementing the following techniques:

  1. Searing the brisket: While optional, searing the brisket before pressure cooking can enhance the overall flavor and appearance of the meat. Searing creates a caramelized crust that adds depth to the dish.

  2. Natural release vs. quick release: Opting for natural release will allow the meat to continue cooking in the residual heat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful outcome. However, if you are short on time or prefer a firmer texture, a quick release is a viable option.

  3. Using a trivet: Placing a trivet or a wire rack at the bottom of the pressure cooker can prevent the brisket from sticking to the pot or getting overly soaked in liquid. This helps to promote even cooking and prevents the meat from becoming soggy.

  4. Adding vegetables and aromatics: Enhance the overall flavor of your brisket by adding vegetables and aromatics to the pressure cooker. Onions, garlic, carrots, and celery are great options to infuse savory flavors into the meat.

  5. Creating a flavorful sauce: After pressure cooking the brisket, you can use the remaining liquid in the pressure cooker to create a flavorful sauce or gravy. Simply strain the liquid, add desired seasonings and thickening agents such as cornstarch or flour, and simmer until the desired consistency is achieved.


Even with careful preparation and following instructions, issues may still arise when cooking brisket in a pressure cooker. Here are a few common troubleshooting tips:

  1. Tough brisket: If your brisket turns out tough or chewy, it may not have cooked for long enough. Return it to the pressure cooker and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes under pressure. It’s ideal to slightly undercook the brisket and then cook it for more time if needed.

  2. Overcooked brisket: If your brisket becomes dry or falls apart too easily, it may have been overcooked. Reduce the cooking time slightly in future attempts or try adjusting the pressure level to a lower setting.

  3. Insufficient flavor: If the flavor of the brisket is not as robust as desired, you can try adjusting the seasoning blend, adding more aromatics such as onions or garlic, or marinating the brisket overnight before cooking.

  4. Liquid too thin or too thick: If the cooking liquid ends up too thin, you can strain it and simmer it on the stovetop to reduce and thicken it. On the other hand, if the liquid is too thick, you can add additional broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.

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Remember that each pressure cooker model is unique, and there may be slight variations in cooking times and methods. It may require some trial and error before finding the perfect cooking process for your specific pressure cooker and desired preferences.

Variations And Flavoring Options

While cooking brisket in a pressure cooker yields a flavorful and tender outcome on its own, you can add various flavors and ingredients to create a unique twist. Here are a few ideas to try:

  1. BBQ brisket: After pressure cooking, transfer the brisket to a baking sheet and brush it with your favorite BBQ sauce. Broil the brisket in the oven for a few minutes until the sauce caramelizes and develops a flavorful crust.

  2. Asian-inspired brisket: Add Asian flavors to your brisket by marinating it in a combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of sesame oil before pressure cooking. Serve the sliced brisket over a bed of rice or alongside stir-fried vegetables.

  3. Mexican-style brisket: Create a Mexican-inspired brisket by seasoning it with a blend of chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic. After pressure cooking, shred the brisket and use it as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.

  4. Red wine braised brisket: Instead of using water or broth, substitute red wine for a rich and flavorful braise. The wine will infuse the meat with complex flavors and add a touch of elegance to the dish.

  5. Spicy brisket: If you enjoy a little heat, experiment with adding spices like cayenne pepper or chipotle powder to your seasoning blend. The spices will give your brisket a fiery kick and add depth to the overall flavor profile.

Feel free to get creative with your flavorings and adjust the quantities based on personal taste preferences. Cooking brisket in a pressure cooker allows for versatility and the opportunity to experiment with different seasonings and ingredients.


Cooking brisket in a pressure cooker is a game-changer, providing a quicker and more convenient way to achieve tender and flavorful results. By following the proper preparation steps, understanding pressure cooker basics, and implementing optimal cooking techniques, you can create a delicious brisket dish that will impress even the most discerning palates. Remember to experiment with different flavorings and variations to make the dish uniquely your own. With a pressure cooker, the possibilities for creating mouth-watering brisket are endless!


What Is The Benefit Of Cooking Brisket In A Pressure Cooker?

Pressure cooking allows for faster and more even cooking of the brisket, resulting in a tender and juicy finished product. The high pressure and steam combination helps break down the tough connective tissues in the brisket, resulting in a more tender meat.

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

The cooking time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the brisket, but on average, it takes about 90 minutes to cook a 3-4 pound brisket in a pressure cooker. Keep in mind, it may take an additional 15-20 minutes for the pressure cooker to reach the desired pressure before the cooking time begins.

Do I Need To Sear The Brisket Before Cooking It In A Pressure Cooker?

While searing the meat can add flavor and help with browning, it is not necessary when cooking brisket in a pressure cooker. The high-pressure cooking process will still result in a tender and flavorful brisket without the need for searing.

Can I Use My Pressure Cooker To Cook Frozen Brisket?

No, it is not recommended to cook frozen brisket in a pressure cooker as it increases the risk of bacteria growth. It is important to thaw the brisket completely before cooking it in a pressure cooker to ensure safe and even cooking.

How Should I Season The Brisket When Cooking It In A Pressure Cooker?

You can use your preferred seasonings and rubs for the brisket, but it is important to keep in mind that the intense pressure and steam may result in flavors being more concentrated. It is best to use seasonings sparingly and adjust the amount according to your personal taste. Additionally, be sure to add enough liquid, such as broth or water, to the pressure cooker to prevent the brisket from becoming dry.