Corned Beef in Your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to hone up my Corned Beef skills to serve that perfect dinner. Whether you plan to make a Reuben Sandwich or a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner, you will need Corned Beef either way. I am starting with corned beef that’s already marinating in the package. Someday I plan to try Wellness Mam’s recipe and start with the brisket, but not today. I’m going to make a Reuben Sandwich with my Corned Beef so I could have bought the meat in the deli already sliced. But when I priced it, the lowest price I could find was about $9.00 a pound pre-packaged in the lunchmeat section. Not my first choice. The deli had processed Corned beef for $12.99 a pound. If you want the good stuff without questionable chemicals, you are looking at WAY more than that. Since I only do this once a year, I’m going to swallow my disdain for nitrites and buy the packaged brisket and cook it myself – and I’m going to use the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
The Meat I Bought
I bought my meat at Aldi’s for $1.99 a pound. That sounds a whole lot less than $9.00 a pound, right? Keep reading. We will see what we get in actual meat later in this blog. I bought the point cut, which is always less expensive than the flat cut. I did look for the package that was as flat and square as I could find. It’s not that the point cut is bad, it’s just that the grain can go more than one way and it’s harder to cut. The flatter and more square you can find, the less likely that will be a problem.
As you can see, this package weighed 2.6# and cost $5.17. I had no idea how much meat I would get out of this. I needed a pound to do what I wanted with the meat.
I researched a lot of recipes before coming up with my own rendition. The ones I saw for use in my Instant Pot called for Beer. I don’t like beer and as much as chefs tell me I will never taste it in the finished product, I do and won’t eat it. So, after a lot of research I came up with my own recipe. (Printable Recipe at the end of this post)
Prep was easy. Take out a carton of Beef Broth.
Peel, then cut a clove of garlic in half. Get out a bay leaf. Open the package of meat, drain. Put it all in the Instant Pot and cover the meat with as much Beef broth as it will take to cover the meat. I had about a cup of broth leftover, which I will use to make a singer serving of soup later in the week.
Add the seasoning packet. Close the Instant Pot.
Cooking the Brisket
Press “Manual” on the Instant Pot, then the + button until you reach 90 minutes. Make sure you’re set for high pressure, if not, press the high pressure button. And walk away. Your panel should look like this:
When the Cooking is Done
When the cooking time is done, allow it to depressurize for 15-20 minutes. It should be totally depressurized. Mine was. This what it looked like when I was done:
Using the Meat
As I said, I planned to make sandwiches. It will be much easier to cut the meat when it is cold. So I put the meat on a glass plate, covered and refrigerated overnight. I needed the broth for the sandwich, so I refrigerated that separately.
You could go ahead and use the meat at this point and serve it hot. If you were to serve Corned Beef and Cabbage, add some of the broth to the cabbage and cook about 10 minutes. This will flavor your cabbage.
Remove the Connective Tissue
You may want to remove the connective tissue. This piece didn’t have much fat, but it did have some connective tissue. It was easily removed.
Cutting the Meat
I used my kitchen knife to cut the meat. It cut quickly and easily – really like butter. It tool all of 2 or 3 minutes to slice the meat.
I did have one LITTLE section of meat that had the grain going the other way. I pulled that section off and sliced it separately.
So…How Much Meat did I Have After Cooking?
The yield was…oh, let the picture speak for itself! Remember that the package said 2.6 pounds.
The meat weighed 1#. The other 1.6# was mostly the brine (water, curing compound and spices) and some fat that cooked out. I needed a pound and that’s all I got. So, how much did this Corned Beef cost me per pound of usable meat? It cost $5.17 for the meat, $1.79 for the broth. The garlic was negligible. My price per usable pound for materials alone was $6.96. I also had electricity and my time to prepare it, and the time and cost to wash the dishes. So I did have some savings over the lowest price I saw of $9.00 per pound and I know it was fresh because I made it. Remember, my meat was $1.99 a pound. Prices I saw in the paper tonight were anywhere from $2.49 to $4.99 for brined meat. A stop at the local natural food store had theirs priced at $10.99 a pound. Theirs did not have any nitrates or nitrites.
What about starting with the beef brisket and brining it yourself? The only price I could find for brisket was $2.48# at Sam’s Club, but you had to buy the full brisket. That could weigh 15-22 pounds. According to one man who bought meat at Sam’s, he said that he lost about 2.5# of fat right off the bat on his 15# piece. As he was smoking it, he left a decent fat cap to keep the brisket moist. So, for our application, you would lose more fat there. Say that’s another pound. 15 pounds less 3.5# fat – 11.5 pounds. So our true price for the meat figures this way: 15# x $2.48 = $37.20. But we lost that 3.5#, so really the price now becomes $37.20 / 11.5# = $3.23#. That’s still a better price than what we ended with above. Yes, we still need to brine, but looking at the recipe on Wellness Mama that wouldn’t cost a lot. It does take 5 days to brine. So, figure that into your prep time.
Below is the full recipe. Next week I will have a recipe for the Stuffed Reuben Sandwich using the meat. Enjoy!!
I wanted to make my Corned Beef Brisket in my Instant Pot. I've not had it very long but most the meats I've made in it were tender and juicy. I also didn't want to use my big oven for one little Corned Beef Brisket. You can't bake like a cake or anything at the same time as it would taste of the meat. So, after much research, I developed this recipe. It turned out very well if I do say so myself.
- 2-1/2 - 3 pounds Corned Beef Brisket, (See notes)
- 1 Seasoning pkt from package
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 1 bay leaf
- ` qt Beef Stock
Take brisket out of the package in a clean sink. Rinse if desired, but at least let the juices run down the drain.
Remove excess fat. Mine had very little and I left it.
Place brisket in the Instant pot, fat side up.
Add enough beef broth to completely cover the meat.
sprinkle over the seasoning packet, place the garlic halves along the sides and drop in the bay leaf.
Close cover and steam vent. Press "manual" on the Instant pot. Set the time for 90 minutes and make sure it is set on high pressure.
Allow the pressure to drop manually (don't turn the pressure vent) for about 20 minutes.
Turn the vent to "open" to allow any more steam to escape. Mine was fully depressurized already. Remove cover.
Place meat in glass dish, cover and refrigerate, if using for sandwiches.
Save broth or discard (see notes).
- I bought a "point cut" brisket. Point cuts are less expensive because the grain tends to go several ways and it's harder to cut against the grain. If you're flaking it, that doesn't matter. If you want nice slices, the flat cut might be a better option. If you buy a point cut, look for the flattest and squarest piece you can find.
- When selecting the broth you can choose low sodium or regular. I had regular in the house. When the meat came out it was QUITE salty. But I was using my meat as a filling and some of those ingredients were going to be sweet. I was okay with the saltiness. In the future I would probably buy low sodium as the meat is truly quite salty on its own
- The leftover broth may be discarded or used for another purpose. I used about 1 cup of it when making my stuffed Reuben Sandwich. So I set it aside for that purpose.