Instant Pot Jewish Brisket

BEHOLD! The ULTIMATE Jewish dish – BRISKET!

Not only is the flavor beyond your wildest dreams in the most astounding sweet & savory sauce, it’s also SO EASY to make!

My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember and I’ve always drooled at the thought of any gathering where this is usually served – especially Passover and Rosh Hashanah. And now I am adapting it to be done in the best way possible – right in your Instant Pot!

Normally, it would go in the oven for about 2.5 hours – but the Instant Pot shaved off some of that time and it’s now even more tender than ever! A winner all around!

Here’s How I Made It!:

Let’s start with a good cut of brisket (Costco is a GREAT place to get this!)…

..and let’s slice it in half, against the grain.

Now let’s take some kosher salt and really rub it all onto the briskets on both sides…

…and then sear our briskets on both sides for a few minutes (you can do this in the stove or in your Instant Pot but I feel that the stove does a better job at searing a piece of meat this size).

When done, transfer the briskets to the instant pot with the trivet already in place.

Next, let’s cut up an onion…

…and lay it on top of our briskets and pour the rest inside the pot.

Make the TO-DIE-FOR sauce by whipping together a few special ingredients…

…and pour it over the onions and briskets.  Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

When done, you will inhale one of the most wonderful aromas ever.

Carefully transfer the now tender briskets to a cutting board and let them cool for a few.

Back to the pot and to that marvelous sauce, add a cornstarch slurry, stir it up well…

….and let it simmer for a few moments until it slightly thickens.

Using a good, sharpened knife, slice the brisket against the grain (it’s okay if some of it breaks apart – it’s going to be wonderfully tender, after all!

And take a moment to admire this newfound prized possession (and only try sneaking a piece if Jeffrey isn’t looking).

Transfer the brisket back into the pot to marinate in the sauce and transfer to a serving dish…

…before serving it individually and eating 3 servings of it. Yup! It’s THAT good, folks!  Mazel Tov!

Instant Pot Jewish Brisket
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Jewish Brisket

Instant Pot Jewish Brisket

This spectacular brisket isn't like your typical BBQ-style. It is fork-tender in a sweet & sour sauce and is the centerpiece of many Jewish holidays. But food knows no religion so enjoy it under any roof, any time of year.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 16 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 21 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lb Beef Brisket (I find that Costco has excellent cuts!), cut in half so it fits in your Instant Pot. Leave the fat on for now.
  • Kosher salt for rubbing into the brisket
  • 3-4 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of ketchup
  • 1 tsp crushed or minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp cornstarch + 2-3 tbsp water to form a slurry

Instructions

  1. Take the brisket and cut it in half against the grain so it’s separated into two slices
  2. Rub each side of the brisket with Kosher salt so it’s coated
  3. Turn on the stove to high and in a large frying pan (or in your Instant Pot on “Sauté on the “More” or “High” setting – but the frying pan is easier for this due to size and even searing), let it get hot and then sear each side of the brisket until browned or slightly charred. About 2-4 minutes each side depending on your stove/pan. Just stand over it and check it to ensure you don’t overdo it too much. If you seared in your Instant Pot, remove the liner pot, rinse it clean, dry it and return it to the Instant Pot when done
  4. With the trivet in the Instant Pot, layer one half of the brisket (fat-side up) and cover with about half of the onions. Then, in a criss-cross fashion, layer the other half of the brisket (also fat-side up) on top of onions and other half of the brisket. We are leaving it fat-side up so the juices from the fat course through the meat when cooking to make it super moist and flavorful
  5. Make the sauce by combining the water, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar and garlic
  6. Cover with all of the sauce and then add the remaining onions to the top of the brisket and the sides of the pot if there’s room
  7. Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 75 minutes if you want it SUPER tender (like shred apart, tender) or 65 minutes if you want it tender, but a little firmer
  8. When done, do a 15-minute natural release followed by a quick release
  9. Because they are going to be very tender, CAREFULLY transport the brisket halves to a carving board (again, fat-side up) and let them COOL for a solid 30 minutes. If you decide to carve it up into strips right away before it’s done cooling, it will shred apart – which is fine, but some people really like those long strips of brisket. What you CAN do now is easily shave off the undesired fat and discard (or keep it on if you like it)
  10. Meanwhile, as the brisket’s cooling, make your cornstarch slurry and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” and Adjust to the “High” or “More” setting and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the slurry to the boiling sauce and stir it in good. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes and then turn the pot to the “Keep Warm” setting. The sauce will thicken up some as the brisket cools
  11. Once the brisket is cooled down and easier to slice up, using a GOOD, sharp carving knife slice the brisket AGAINST the grain (meaning the opposite direction that the strings of meat are going in). Cut into strips or chunks. However you want it!
  12. If the meat appears dry, don’t be fooled! We are going to take our sliced meat and carefully add it BACK to the Instant Pot and marinate in that delicious sauce for a few minutes (still on the “Keep Warm” setting). Let it sit in there for a good 5-10 minutes or so.
  13. Place the brisket in a serving bowl and cover with the sauce.
  14. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

If using a brisket that’s 2-3 lbs, reduce the cook time to 55-60 minutes!

Because brisket tastes EVEN BETTER the next day (if that’s even possible), I suggest you make this the day or night before you serve it and then once sliced, transfer to an aluminum pan and let it sit soaked in the sauce in the fridge covered with tin foil. Then, when ready to serve reheat in the oven for about 30 minutes or so at 350 degrees. It also freezes well too!

If making the brisket in an oven (the old-school way) and NOT an Instant Pot:

  1. Bring a dry frying pan to high heat on the stove. Place the brisket in the hot pan and sear (about 3-5 mins) then turn over and do the same thing to other side. (If you have a huge piece of brisket that doesn’t fit the frying pan, you can slice it in half and do this in batches)
  2. Transfer the seared brisket in disposable baking tin tray or casserole dish. 
  3. Cover brisket with the onions, filling in the space around it with any remaining onions.
  4. Mix the vinegar, ketchup, water, brown sugar and garlic in a bowl.
  5. Pour the mixture over meat and onions.
  6. Cover the baking tin or casserole dish tightly with double layers of foil. Put the baking tin on a cookie sheet to catch drippings (plus it will be easier to remove when done).
  7. Bake on 375° for 2 1/2 hours the day before you want to serve this dish. You can even do this 2 days before.
  8. When done, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes and then slice the meat against the grain. Return the meat to the baking dish to be covered in the juices and re-cover with double layers of foil.
  9. Refrigerate overnight. But feel free to also snack on a piece before you do. It’ll be mouth-watering.
  10. On the day of serving, bake, covered with foil, on 350° another 1 – 1 1/2 hours and serve.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Naomi

    I have an easy recipe for brisket with cranberry sauce and onion soup mix. Wondering if you have to sear the meat as I wouldn’t do that anyhow. Do you think I could make it with the same sauce and all??

  2. patricia brennan

    I had never even had brisket before I saw this recipe but it looks so good that I had to try it. It is absolutely delicious.

    • Jeffrey

      Sure! But wrapping them in foil will ensure they don’t turn to mush. If unprotected they will become that way if pressure cooked as long as the brisket.

  3. Angelika Bush

    I made it and we ate it the next day. I served it over home-made fettuccini. My husband ate a big plate and went for seconds. There is no greater compliment than that. That brisket was the best I’ve ever had!

  4. Nancy

    I was given a large amount of mushrooms. Besides your wonderful soups and stews. Could I also cook them I need with the brisket? Loose with the onions or in aluminum foil like the carrots?

    • Kate

      Definitely halve other ingredients! Even just 2 onions was too much for a 2-lb cut of meat. I was a bit worried, but it didn’t burn.

  5. KT

    So we did this (first time having brisket). The flavor was delicious!! But the top piece in the IP came out pretty tough. We had the fat side up, so I’m not sure what went wrong. Any ideas? I’d love to make this work because the flavor was THAT good (even when using no sugar ketchup & a low carb brown sugar sub)!

  6. Adrienne Royes (Shapiro)

    I lost my mother last summer. She had tried for years to make a good brisket and finally gave up, declaring she didn’t like brisket. I made your recipe today , my Mom would have loved it. My only change? Actually an addition
    I had to have some prepared horseradish for dipping, went well with your save.
    Thank you Jeffrey

  7. Maria Kuntz

    I have made this recipe 2-3 times now, and I’m planning on making it again for Passover this weekend. My husband is Jewish, and he has claimed this is the best brisket he’s ever had. Every time I tell him I’m going to switch it up and try a different recipe, he tells me there’s no need and to just make this one again!

    I love that the recipe is so simple, yet yields such a delicious dish!

    I like to make it a day or two ahead of time and reheat in the oven the day I plan on serving it. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe.

  8. Noreen

    Made this in the oven today rather than my pressure cooker and the aroma in the house was heavenly as it was cooking all afternoon. It was delicious!! Thank you Jeffrey!

  9. Jennifer

    Good Morning 🙂

    At Costco is the brisket usually around 4-5 pounds? Or do you have to buy a large cut? I want to make this for Easter (yes a Jewish Passover meal for Easter lol) and plan on going to Costco on Saturday.

    Thank you

  10. Candy

    I made this recipe this weekend. I followed the directions for the smaller brisket. I cooked it for 60 minutes and it was tough. Tasted good and the sauce was good but the meat wasn’t tender. Any idea what I did wrong?

  11. Sue Leon

    Thank you so much Jeffery! This was the best brisket! My wife has given it her seal of approval and told me I need to keep this recipe. I agree. So good.

  12. Marilou

    Made this according to recipe and it’s awesome! Boyfriend had several helpings and said better than the Texas brisket he makes! Thanks! Will definitely make again! So easy!!

  13. Kathleen Allisen

    Unfortunately I’ve cut my brisket into smaller portions for 2-person meals. How would you adapt this for a 1 lb 9 oz brisket? I hesitate to just 1/3 the recipe. Maybe add some carrots to bring weight to 2 lbs and half the recipe?

  14. CECYLIA

    What kind of vinegar do we use? Also, I know this might be a dumb question but I’m unfamiliar with the term. What is a slurry?? Thanks in advance!! Can’t wait to make this!!

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