Pressure Cooker Pickle-Brined BBQ Brisket

Tangy brine brings some serious flavor to both the brisket and the sauce in this next-level entrée.

Pressure Cooker Pickle-Brined BBQ Brisket
Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 1 (4.5-pound) flat beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, shredded
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons pickle juice, divided
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine brisket, onion, ½ cup pickle juice, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, pepper, and thyme sprigs. Seal, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove brisket from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Drain and discard marinade. Set an electric pressure cooker* to normal sauté setting. Cut brisket into thirds to fit inside pot. Working in batches, add 1 tablespoon oil to pot and sear one-third of brisket, fat side down, until crisp and browned, 3 to 4 minutes, turning once. Repeat process with remaining oil and remaining brisket. Transfer seared brisket to a large plate.
  3. In same pot of pressure cooker, combine broth, ketchup, brown sugar, chopped thyme, paprika, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons pickle juice, stirring until well combined. Place brisket back into pot, turning to coat, overlapping if needed.
  4. Lock lid and confirm valve is set to seal. Set cook time to 70 minutes on high pressure. When finished cooking, let pressure naturally release.
  5. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and slice, across the grain, into ¼-inch slices. Cover with foil to prevent drying while preparing sauce.
  6. Pour braising liquid into a fat separator, reserving liquid portion and discarding fat.
  7. In a medium saucepan, bring braising liquid to a boil, and cook until thickened and reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Pour sauce over sliced brisket to serve. Garnish with thyme, if desired.