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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Barbacoa Beef Brisket [Instant Pot Pressure Cooker]

Barbacoa Beef Brisket

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There are a ton of uses for Barbacoa Beef Brisket… simply sliced and served, use it on tacos, rice bowls, enchiladas or salads, snag some for a late night snack… It’s became a staple in my house now that it only takes under an hour in my Instant Pot compared to the HOURS it used to take in my oven.

Regardless of how many uses, make this Barbacoa Beef Brisket ASAP because its just delicious. Anyway you use it or serve it, you’re going to love it!

Don’t be intimidated by brisket anymore! The pressure cooker makes it easy enough for ANYONE to do, and to do deliciously!

And the best part of making it at home is you can be the judge of how spicy you want this Barbacoa to be - sometimes store or restaurant bought is too spicy for some. It's also pretty dang gratifying.

*I have to apologize for some lack of quality in pictures at this time for this recipe. I had to use my tablet instead of phone because well, I may or may not have dunked my phone in the toilet yesterday (I also tripped yesterday on uneven sidewalk and scraped up my knees pretty bad… but, the show must still go on!) 😜

Barbacoa Beef Brisket

NOTE: This was (accidentally) cut with the grain instead of against the grain of the meat. You want to cut AGAINST the grain for the most tender result. It was still awesome!!... & I forgave my lapse in carving skills :) Picture below shows how to properly cut brisket against the grain. #StayHumble

Essential Tools

Instant Pot, I have the 6 qt IP-DUO60 7-in-1

Sharp Knife, if slicing brisket
Shredder Tool, if shredding brisket


2 1/2 - 3 pound beef brisket, some fat trimmed
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1/4 - 1/2 t ground chipotle pepper
1/2 t paprika
1 t dried cilantro
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/4 t all spice
1 1/2-2 t salt, based on preference
1/2 t pepper
zest only, 1 lime
1/4 t cayenne pepper, optional for extra spice

3/4 cup beef broth or water
1 T worcestershire
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
juice of 1 lime
1-2 chipotle peppers in Adobo, optional (can be spicy for some people)


Combine all spices in small bowl. Rub all over brisket, top, bottom, sides.

Cover with saran wrap and allow brisket to marinate for as long as your time allows, 30 minutes - 24 hours. You might do this the night before or morning of.

Put water, Worcestershire, lime juice and garlic in bottom of Instant Pot (IP) insert, then add brisket.

*You can also take the time to brown the brisket using sauté/browning setting on your pressure cooker before adding cooking liquid. I don’t find this to be necessary so I skip it!

Close lid, and turn Vent knob to “Sealing”

Press “Manual” button (high pressure) and adjust cook time using “+/-“ buttons to 45 minutes.
*If brisket is over 3 pounds, increase cook time. I find a cook time on manual high pressure of 15 minutes per pound works well for brisket.

IP display will show as “On” until it comes to pressure. Once up to pressure, cook time count down will display. When cook time is complete, IP will beep.

Allow pressure to release naturally, full NPR, which should take about 15-20 minutes.
*How do you know when NPR is done? See that picture above of the vent knob? See that silver sort of “pin” to the right of the knob? It will drop when pressure is released.

Open lid, and behold the beauty of your brisket!

Carefully remove and place on cutting board. Reserve cooking liquid. Allow brisket to rest 5 minutes. 

Shred with 2 forks or slice against the grain* with a sharp knife. Pour a few tablespoons of cooking liquid over brisket before serving.
*I also pour some over my leftover brisket before storing in fridge or freezer to ensure it stays moist!

I prefer to slice my brisket unless I am doing tacos or enchiladas. Completely your choice!

NOTE: This was (accidentally) cut with the grain instead of against the grain of the meat. You want to cut AGAINST the grain for the most tender result. It was still awesome!!... & I forgave my lapse in carving skills :)
How to cut brisket AGAINST the grain, unlike mine 🙈

Serve your delicious Barbacoa Beef Brisket as desired, perhaps over Salsa Verde Brown Rice (recipe coming soon!) with black beans and corn like we had tonight! YUM!

Barbacoa Beef Brisket

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  1. do you have more Brisket rub recipes? I love the way they give aroma when smoked in electric smokers so want to know more about them as I'd love to try them out.

  2. Would you reduce the time if the brisket is only 1.75 lbs?