Yes, I am aware that the very title of this post – Instant Pot BBQ Brisket – is an oxymoron. It’s not really BBQ Brisket if it’s made in an Instant Pot, is it? Proper BBQ Brisket is smoked low and slow, and the BBQ Sauce is optional and served table side. For that culinary delight, I opt to get it from a BBQ joint made by someone who knows what they’re doing. But for the upcoming Labor Day / Rosh Hashanah twofer holiday, this version is perfect for the epic sandwich creation I’m planning on serving.
Instant Pot BBQ Brisket is quick, easy, and definitely worth doing.
Every time I have a brisket to cook, I default to my most favorite way of cooking it, which is Sous Vide Brisket. More on that later. For now, we’re talking about how easy it is to make brisket in the Instant Pot.
The inspiration for finally publishing this post, which has been in my drafts for years: Rosh Hashanah meets Labor Day. The Jewish New Year is when we eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet year ahead. And Labor Day is when we have backyard BBQs. To celebrate them together, BBQ Brisket Sandwiches on Sweet Hawaiian Rolls with Apple-Fennel Slaw (coming soon!) and Hot Honey is how we’re doing it.
To make this instant pot BBQ brisket, you’re going to season it with a homemade spice mix before cooking, and toss it with BBQ sauce after it’s cooked and thinly sliced. There are all sorts of options here. Let’s discuss.
For the spice rub, I personally grab my individual spices out of my pantry and mix ’em up. I have very few blends on hand, mostly because I have control issues. If you’re like me, cool. If you have a pantry full of blends, use one of those that makes sense here, like Coffee BBQ from Balanced Bites Spices or Smokehouse Rub from Primal Palate. Or just use whatever BBQ-y type blend you have on hand. Just make sure to add salt if it’s not included in the ingredients list!
You have options for the BBQ sauce, too:
- easiest: Purchase a jar, like I did.
- easy: Make my super simple Spicy (or not) BBQ Sauce
- not difficult but more involved: Make my Best BBQ Sauce.
Alright, on to the last option; which is – oddly enough – to use another recipe altogether. As I mentioned earlier, my favorite way to make brisket is sous vide. On the low and slow spectrum, this could be considered the lowest and slowest: The meat is cooked in a water bath for several days at the temperature you want it to eventually get to. In other words, the cooking temp never exceeds the finished temperature of the meat, resulting in a texture similar to really good BBQ brisket.
If you have an immersion circulator and want to give it a shot, just use my Sous Vide Brisket recipe but with one of the spice rubs above, and finish it on the grill with your preferred BBQ sauce.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 brisket, about 4 pounds
- 1 cup water
- BBQ sauce (see note)
- In a small bowl, combine the seasonings (salt through coriander). Season the brisket liberally.
- Pour the water into the insert of your instant pot and place the rack inside. Put the brisket on the rack and lock on the lid (Make sure the rubber seal is in place first and the vent is set to sealing)
- Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, and then all to naturally release for 10 minutes before switching the vent to venting and releasing the remaining pressure.
- Remove the brisket to a cutting board and slice thinly against the grain. Toss with BBQ sauce, or serve it along side.
Keywords: instant pot bbq brisket
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