How to Pressure Cook Texas Style Brisket

by Brynne Chandler
Pressure cookers produce great results in less time.

Pressure cookers produce great results in less time.

Texas style brisket is known for its moist tenderness, and for the fact that it takes all day to cook in the oven, smoker or grill. Pressure cookers are enjoying a renaissance thanks to busy lives and a hankering for home cooking. Putting the two together is as natural as pairing a cowboy and a hat. Pressure cooking brisket gives it the deep flavor and juicy texture that slow-roasting does but in a fraction of the time.

Rinse the raw brisket with cool water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Massage a Texas-style rub into the meat, covering all sides. You can use any commercially-packaged rub, or make your own by mixing coarse salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, onion powder and paprika to taste.

Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil. Heat it over medium-high heat.

Add sliced onions to the oil and cook them until they start to soften. Toss in smashed garlic and stir it well to coat it with oil.

Sear the brisket in the skillet on all sides until the outside has caramelized to a rich, deep brown color.

Coat the bottom of your pressure cooker with olive oil. Move the brisket from the skillet to the pressure cooker using tongs to avoid puncturing the meat.

Transfer the oil, onions, garlic and browned bits of meat from the skillet to the pressure cooker, scraping the skillet with a wooden spoon to get all of the drippings.

Pour a mixture of barbecue sauce and beer into the pressure cooker. The proportions don’t have to be exact, but aim for 1 part barbecue sauce to 2 parts beer. Check your pressure cooker’s manual to see what the minimum recommended amount of liquid is, because it varies.

Secure the lid of the pressure cooker to the pot, and bring the cooker to full pressure over high heat. Cook the brisket for 20 minutes per pound.

Release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This can involve simply turning off the heat, bleeding off the steam through a valve, or placing the pressure cooker in the sink and running cool water over it.

Check the internal temperature of the brisket by sticking an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the top. The brisket will continue to cook as it rests, so it is done when it has reached an internal temperature of at least 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the brisket on a cutting board using the tongs. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Reduce the liquid in the pressure cooker by boiling it for at least five minutes. Slice the brisket across the grain and serve it with the reduced cooking sauce.

Items you will need

  • Paper towels
  • Coarse salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Skillet
  • Olive oil
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tongs
  • Wooden spoon
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Beer
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Cutting board
  • Aluminum foil


  • Add a healthy splash of bourbon to the barbecue sauce and beer to give your brisket an extra smoky bite.


  • Never open a pressure cooker without following the manufacturer’s instructions for bleeding off the pressure.

About the Author

Brynne Chandler raised three children alone while travelling, remodeling old homes, taking classes at the Unioversity of California Northridge and enjoying a successful career writing TV Animation. Her passions include cooking, tinkering, decorating and muscle cars. Brynne has been writing fun and informative non-fiction articles for almost a decade. She is hard at work on her first cookbook, which combines healthy eating with science-based natural remedies.

Photo Credits

  • Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images