We are in the middle of Instant Pot month here on Tiny Kitchen Big Taste and today we’re cooking up a wonderful BBQ Brisket; it is one of my Dad’s all-time favorites.Sometimes in life, I think God winks at you to let you know He’s there and in control. Currently, I am in Colorado helping my mom get moved out of the house here. To be honest with you, I wasn’t looking forward to this trip because I knew all that was ahead of us like going through the house, sorting things we’re going to keep from those that we’re not and looking through my Dad’s old stuff.
For some, moving out of a house may not be a big deal. For others, it can be a huge undertaking. And I am not talking for emotional reasons, I am talking about the sheer volume of “stuff.” I can confidently say that my folk’s place is in the latter of those two categories—this is a HUGE undertaking! But, as I write this, it’s almost all done. The Estate Sale folks show up on Thursday. After almost 35 years in the same house, there is a lot of stuff! Oh man, there is a lot of stuff…which I aptly refer to as “vintage” when looking up the value of anything online. Ha! That one word, “Vintage”…it seems to make things worth twice as much. But, really, when did stuff from the 80s and 90s become vintage?? I digress.
As this will effectively be the last time for me at the house, I really could not have asked for a better finale, so to speak! I mentioned God winks at you; He definitely has many times this past week. Not only has it been a really fun and enjoyable walk down memory lane, but also I have seen the best of the best of Colorado.
From seeing my first Tonka Trucks and Matchbox Cars to an old care package and notes that I saved from my first girlfriend to all my Dad’s space-related memorabilia from his 30+ years working in the space program, it has been an amazing journey through the past.Plus, God has put the beauty of Colorado on full display. A pack of deer—at least twelve of them—were just chilling in our front yard yesterday. Unbelievably awesome! We’ve had a week of fantastically beautiful summer weather…until today…when we had a chilly visit from winter again…which I love! Literally, we had a foot of snow overnight and the snow is settling so peacefully on the branches of the blue spruce right outside our window. So much for heading home to LA today…we can’t even get out of the driveway. Maybe I should take a run down the backyard on my skis. Hmmm???
As I said, it felt like God was giving a little nod and I could not have asked for a better farewell…or, at least, a better “until next time.”
Today is my Dad’s birthday…and this would have been a day he loved. He was a huge skier and so, of course, he loved the snow. So, this day is also a little acknowledgment that Dad is looking down on us sharing in the fun!
I mentioned my Dad loved BBQ Brisket…he would even smoke his own. It would take a ton of time though—upwards of ten hours—to get a really tender Brisket. So, being able to make a BBQ Brisket in about an hour would make my Dad happy…so this recipe is for him!
I love the simplicity of this Instant Pot BBQ Brisket recipe. There are not a ton of steps; it is really straight-forward, but there are three basic things you need to make the best BBQ brisket:
- An Instant Pot: this is what’s going to allow us to make a brisket tender in about an hour.
- Liquid Smoke: this is what’s going to give us that great smoke flavor
- A Good Rub: this is what’s going to give us great seasoning.
Get an Instant Pot
If you don’t have an Instant Pot (or even another brand of pressure cooker), this recipe is, for me, a reason to get one! Of course, I love BBQ! But I have a tiny kitchen…womp, womp. What to do? There is no possible way to smoke up a brisket out on the patio. So, the next best thing…
Pressure cooking the meat makes for a super tender brisket. Brisket is a very tough cut of meat. It is the pectoral muscle of the cow. That’s why you have to cook it so long before it becomes tender. But it has such great marbling that when it’s cooked right, it’s got amazing flavor infused throughout. The added layer of fat on tops helps to enhance that great flavor.
What is Liquid Smoke?
The key to making a brisket in an Instant Pot is to infuse some great smoke flavor. The way to do that is through something called Liquid Smoke. But, what the heck is it?
Introduced in 1895 by Ernest Wright, liquid smoke adds a great, naturally smoky flavor to the meat. To make it, wood is burned and then the smoke is captured in a condenser. The smoke, itself, is captured in the water then filtered to remove any impurities. And thanks to that process, we can make a smoky Brisket in an Instant Pot.
Look for a brand that says “natural.” Liquid smoke got a bad rap in the past as some companies were adding unnatural elements to give a smoky taste. In the US, those companies are no longer, but just look for a product that says natural or that has only ingredients like natural smoke flavor/concentrate and water.
Kansas City Dry RubYou need a good, flavorful rub for a brisket. There are tons of different varieties of dry rub and marinades, like Memphis-style, Texas-style, Carolina-style, Kansas City-style, West Coast-style, among others and each person has their favorite.
When you’re talking BBQ, you can’t go wrong so whichever style you choose, you’re gonna be set!A couple of months ago, I traveled to Kansas City to watch my Auburn Tigers take on and beat Kentucky in the Elite Eight of March Madness (which is college basketball, BTW, for those of you who don’t follow college sports). While I was there, I had the best burnt ends at Jack Stack Barbeque and it got me in the mood for some KC-style BBW. So that’s the reason we’re doing a Kansas City-style dry rub, that’s got a little heat and a little sweet.
We’re using two different kinds of sugars and a touch of cayenne and good ol’ Black Pepper. It gives the brisket a super taste while the salt helps to tenderize and keep the brisket moist. I added just a touch of espresso for good Italian measure. I think it adds a little richness to the flavor.
I really can’t wait for you to try this BBQ Brisket. Let me know if you try the Kansas City dry rub too!
And for you Auburn fans, War Eagle!
Instant Pot BBQ Brisket
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
Kansas City-style BBQ Dry Rub
- If necessary, trim Brisket to 1/4 inch fat or less. Pack Dry Rub onto Brisket. Place Brisket in Ziploc Bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or longer…the longer the better. (Note: you can let it sit in the refrigerator overnight)
- Once marinated, remove paper from Garlic Cloves and cut 1/2 Onion into strips.
- Turn Instant Pot to “Saute,” “High” and press “Start.” When up to temperature, add the Brisket. Let it sear on one side for about 3 minutes. Flip and sear on the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove.
- Add Garlic Cloves and Onion to the Instant Pot and sauté for about a minute.
- Add Beef Broth to deglaze. Scrape off bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add BBQ Sauce and Liquid Smoke. Stir.
- Place Brisket back into the Instant Pot and secure the lid,
- Turn the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook, Meat,” “High” and set the timer for 1 hour. Press “Start”
- Quick release the Pressure. Remove Brisket and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.
- Slice across the grain into “pencil-thick” slices. Enjoy!