Instant Pot Pastrami Recipe

There's a lot to love about Instant Pot recipes, and there's also a lot to love about pastrami. Really though, what is better than a pastrami sandwich on rye bread? According to Taste Cooking, the origin of pastrami started with the Ottoman Turks before moving to Eastern Europe and Romania. The Romanians brought this wonderful tradition to the United States, and it was (and still is) particularly popular in New York City. If you've been to Katz's Delicatessen in The Big Apple, you know how good their pastrami is! But what if we told you that you could make something just as good at home? 

Recipe developer Hayley MacLean came up with a fun and easy way to make pastrami in the Instant Pot. "I love this recipe because it is so easy, anyone can make it. Traditionally, making this deli classic is quite the long, complicated process, including a long brining period and wood-smoking the meat. However, this recipe gives just as much flavor and an incredibly succulent pastrami in a fraction of the time," MacLean raves. 

Keep scrolling to find out how to make your own tasty pastrami that's just as good as what you'd order at a restaurant.

Gather the ingredients for the Instant Pot pastrami

This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients, and it's super easy to throw together. The first thing you will need to get is about 4-5 pounds of beef brisket. Then, be sure to pick up a container of beef broth and liquid smoke to add some flavor to your meat. 

You will need to get a few things from the spice aisle, but it's worth double-checking your cupboard for any ingredients you have at home already. Pick up black pepper, ground coriander, paprika, garlic, onion powder, and mustard powder. 

You will also need to get some dark brown sugar from the baking aisle.

Add the brisket and broth to the Instant Pot

Remove your brisket from its packaging and rinse it under cold water. This will remove the excess salty brine from the meat. Then, take out your Instant Pot and place it on your counter. "I like using the Instant Pot because it makes pressure cooking very simple, and makes the meat so moist and tender. It also dramatically cuts down on the preparation time for this and many other dishes," MacLean shares. 

Place a trivet on the bottom of the Instant Pot and add a cup of beef broth. Lay the brisket on the trivet with the fatty side up. Then, brush it with liquid smoke. "The liquid smoke mimics the smokey flavor traditionally given by the wood-smoking process of pastrami — it is very strong, though, so just a bit is needed. It [adds] such depth to the final taste of the meat," MacLean explains. 

Cook the brisket and make the spice mix

Once you have the meat loaded and ready to go, secure the lid on the Instant Pot. Turn the device to the pressure cook setting and cook on high for 60 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, you will have some extra time on your hands. Grab a small bowl and combine the spices. This includes black pepper, coriander, paprika, dark brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder. Give the spices a few good stirs to combine. If you want to make it a little hotter, you can. "To heat things up, some cayenne pepper can be mixed into the spices before rubbing [them] on the meat," MacLean shares. "This would give a great underlying heat that permeates throughout all the other layers of flavor." 

Remove the brisket and rub with spices

Once your timer goes off and the pressure cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 15 minutes. Then, you can release the remaining pressure by hand. Use the trivet handles to remove the brisket from the Instant Pot, making sure you don't burn your hands.

Allow the meat to cool for about 10-15 minutes on a plate. Once the meat cools off, place it on a large piece of foil and rub the spice mixture all over. Wrap the meat tightly in the foil and stick it in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours, or a maximum of 36 hours.

Finish cooking and enjoy

When you're ready to enjoy your pastrami, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top of the foil. Unwrap the meat and place it on the rack. Pop the pan in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. When it's done cooking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and enjoying.

"Pastrami is traditionally served on a rye bread sandwich with mayo, Swiss cheese, mustard, and piles of sauerkraut or pickles. Another fun version is with thousand island dressing, Swiss, and a creamy coleslaw to balance the warm, spiced meat," MacLean says. "On the side, a classic potato or macaroni salad would be perfect." 

Another plus? Leftovers keep really well! "Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months," MacLean shares. 

Instant Pot Pastrami Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
Typically, making pastrami is a long, drawn-out process. But this recipe for Instant Pot pastrami makes it possible to have homemade pastrami in no time.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pastrami on plate
Total time: 2.08 hours
  • 4 pounds corned beef brisket (up to 5 pounds is fine)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  1. Remove the brisket from its package and rinse under cold water to remove any excess salty brine.
  2. Place a trivet in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup beef broth. Lay the brisket on the trivet fat-side up, and brush with the liquid smoke.
  3. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 60 minutes.
  4. While the brisket is cooking, combine the black pepper, coriander, paprika, dark brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder in a small bowl.
  5. When the pressure cooking is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure. Use the trivet handles to remove the brisket from the Instant Pot and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes on a plate.
  6. When cool enough to handle, place the meat on a large piece of foil and rub all sides with the spice mixture. Wrap the brisket tightly in the foil and place it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, up to 36 hours.
  7. When ready to eat, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a rack on the baking sheet, unwrap the meat, and place it on the rack. Cook for 45 minutes before removing the pastrami from the oven.
  9. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes, slice, and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 1,303
Total Fat 101.8 g
Saturated Fat 40.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 426.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 10.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 2.9 g
Sodium 387.2 mg
Protein 83.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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