Instant Pot Pulled Brisket

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recipe by Bruce Weinstein

  • Time icon
    Total Time
    2hrs 10mins
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

This recipe is a not-quite-French-inspired braise turned into pulled beef. It’s also not-quite-Jewish tzimmes turned into Midwestern American comfort food. And it’s also like all of them combined. (Somehow.) If not left whole, briskets come in two basic cuts. The flat cut (or “first cut”) is less fatty than the “point cut.” However, consider trimming even the flat cut of most of its exterior fat, just so it has about 1/4 inch or so over the meat. The sauce will then have a brighter flavor. The brisket needs a long time under pressure so that you can shred it, rather than just slice it. That said, it might not even be done with the timing stated. Brisket can be notoriously fussy, becoming tender at various times because of a range of factors well beyond just the size of the meat. If you find you can’t shred the meat easily, put the hunk back in the sauce, bring it back to HIGH pressure, and cook for another 10 minutes, followed again by a natural release. • You must halve the recipe for a 3-quart cooker. • While you can serve this pulled brisket on potato rolls with pickle relish or pickled jalapeno rings, it’s also great over mashed potatoes. • To omit the wine, substitute beef broth and add 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar. • For a sweeter sauce, substitute 1/4 cup raisins for the prunes. • For a more complex flavor, substitute pomegranate molasses for the balsamic vinegar.

Inspired by:

recipe updated May 6, 2020


  • Balsamic vinegar icon
    Balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp (30ml)
  • Canned diced tomatoes icon
    Canned diced tomatoes
    397g (about 1¾ cups)
  • Red wine icon
    Red wine
    ½ cup (120ml)
  • Frozen pearl onions icon
    Frozen pearl onions
    about ½ cup (120g)
  • Baby carrots icon
    Baby carrots
    8g (8g)
  • Prunes icon
  • Green olives icon
    Green olives
    6 (60g)
  • Fresh thyme icon
    Fresh thyme
    1 tbsp (2g)
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
  • Salt icon
    about ½ tsp (3g)
  • Black pepper icon
    Black pepper
    about ½ tsp (1g)
  • Beef brisket icon
    Beef brisket
    5¾ cups


  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Inner pot

Step preview

  1. Add balsamic vinegar, canned diced tomatoes and red wine to the inner pot and mix
  2. Stir frozen pearl onions, baby carrots, prunes, green olives, fresh thyme, garlic clove, salt and black pepper into the inner pot
  3. Add beef brisket to the inner pot
  4. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  5. Pressure cook - Meat, High, 1 hr 30 min
  6. Cancel - Keep warm
  7. Natural release
  8. Use a meat fork and a big slotted spoon to transfer the brisket (whole or in pieces) to a cutting board
  9. Use a flatware tablespoon to skim excess surface fat from the sauce in the pot
  10. Heat - Sauté, Normal
  11. Heat until simmering while stirring occasionally
  12. Simmer until thickened - approx 8 min
  13. Meanwhile, shred the brisket using two forks—or perhaps a knife to cut thick slices that can then be shredded with a fork
  14. Once the sauce has reached the right consistency, stir the shredded brisket into it and cook, stirring often, until coated
  15. Cancel - Sauté
  16. Set the lid askew over the insert
  17. Set aside - approx 5 min
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