Instant Pot Brisket with Pomegranate Molasses

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Instant Pot Brisket with Pomegranate Molasses uses the same technique as my other instant pot brisket recipe, with a Middle Eastern twist. Serve this brisket for Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, or any time comfort food is on the menu!

Pomegranate Molasses Adds Punch to Instant Pot Brisket 

instant pot brisket with pomegranate molasses on white plate with pomegranate table runner

This post is part of a virtual dinner party called Progressive Eats. This month I am hosting and the theme is pomegranates! Be sure to see the whole menu at the end of this post and hop from blog to blog and plan your own pomegranate party.

Ever since I started experimenting with pomegranate molasses, I’ve become a huge fan of the tart, tangy wallop of flavor it adds to so many dishes from appetizer to dessert. So when I decided to host a fall version of Progressive Eats, it seemed natural to pick the pomegranate, since it’s in season. But the syrupy molasses is available all year long – all you need is a bottle of pomegranate juice and a pot to boil it in. My instructions to make your own are in this post. Or order some online (affiliate links at the end of the post) or visit a local Middle Eastern market where they will always have a few brands on the shelf.

two slices of brisket on white plate with bowl of pomegranate molasses

Pomegranate Molasses – A Perfect Companion to Brisket

While pomegranate molasses’ roots are in the Middle East, its flavor can work in dishes of all kinds including a classic Jewish braised brisket. I often tell people to think of it akin to balsamic vinegar – flavor-wise and in how you use it. Straight up, in marinades, braises, salad dressings, cocktails and so much more.

In this recipe I paired it with beef broth, red wine, a bit of honey to balance the tartness and a can of tomatoes to add even more heartiness to the braising/instant pot liquid. I start with a base of sautéed onions – I mean it’s a brisket after all. And finish the dish with some vegetables – as simple as carrots and potatoes. Or you can use delicata squash, yam or sweet potato, or parsnip.

close up of brisket with pomegranate on white plate with vegetables

How to Make Brisket in the Instant Pot with Pomegranate Molasses

The steps for making instant pot brisket are similar to the steps for braising in the oven but it can all be done in one pot AND it just takes less time.

  • Divide your brisket in equal size pieces that fit in your instant pot when stacked.
  • Using the sauté mode on high, sear each piece of brisket on both sides and remove from pot.
  • While the brisket is searing, prepare the braising liquid ingredients.
  • Continuing on sauté mode, brown the onion.

onions for pomegranate molasses brisket sautéing in the instant pot

  • Place brisket stacked on top of onions.

brisket seared and layered in instant pot

  • Pour braising liquid over the brisket and onions.

braising liquid with tomatoes poured over instant pot brisket with pomegranate molasses

  • Now turn on pressure mode for 60 minutes including a partial natural pressure release at the end.
  • After first pressure cook is done, remove brisket to slice it, add in vegetables, put the meat back in and finish the cooking.
  • When done, put the vegetable and meat on a serving plate or in a container to save for later and refrigerate. 
  • I like to finish the dish with some fresh parsley and fresh pomegranate arils.

Taste the braising liquid that remains in the pot and season it, if necessary. Optionally, you can also reduce it down by turning the pot back on sauté mode. This is not necessary but will further intensify the already excellent flavor of the remaining gravy.

brisket on white plate with small bowl of pomegranate molasses

Tips for Working with Brisket

Brisket is a tough but inexpensive cut of beef. When cooked properly it delivers wonderful flavor and becomes quite tender.

  • If possible, buy your brisket pre-trimmed and with an even thickness. It should still have a layer of fat on one side.

Instant Pot Brisket photo show brisket uncooked with fat side up

  • If you by chance choose to buy a gigantic brisket at Costco, you will pay much less per pound but you will need to trim it. Count on an extra 20 – 30 minutes at least to prepare the meat. Or prepare it another time, portioning out what you will use for the instant pot and store it in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

Instant Pot Brisket showing trimmed side of uncooked brisket on a cutting board

  • Pay close attention to the grain of the meat. When you slice it, you must slice across the grain and not with the grain. If you slice it with the grain it will be tough and fall apart. Look at the side of the meat without the fat and you can easily see the grain. 

Instant Pot Brisket slicing cooked meat on board to show grain

  • Prepare your brisket ahead of time if you can. When you refrigerate it, the fat congeals so you can remove it easily. Sometimes I even make it far enough ahead of time that I freeze it.

Other OMG! Yummy Recipes using Pomegranate Molasses

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses

Instant Pot Brisket with Pomegranate Molasses

Lemony Flank Steak with Pomegranate Molasses

Roasted Delicata Squash with Pomegranate Molasses and Date Syrup

Arugula and Fig Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing

Roasted Fruit with Honey, Pomegranate Molasses, and Port

Minty Pomegranate Mule Cocktail – A Refreshing Twist on a Classic

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate Molasses

Supplies for Instant Pot Brisket with Pomegranate Molasses

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I also have an Amazon shop that includes some of my favorite food and food-related products. I am always updating it – please visit often. And let me know if you need specific products recommendations – I am happy to help!

two slices of brisket on white plate with bowl of pomegranate molasses
5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Brisket with Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a wonderful companion for instant pot brisket! It creates the tart and tangy portion of the cooking liquid, marrying perfectly with red wine, beef broth, honey, diced tomatoes and a pinch of thyme.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Jewish Holiday Cooking, Middle Eastern
Keyword Brisket, Instant Pot
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 22 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 52 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 582 kcal


  • 3/4 cup red wine zinfandel, pinot, or cab
  • 3/4 cup beef stock canned or homemade
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4-5 lb brisket cut in smaller pieces to fit IP if needed
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces baby carrots or sliced carrots optional
  • 12 small red, white, or fingerling potatoes optional


  1. Combine red wine, beef stock, pomegranate molasses, honey, and tomatoes in a medium bowl and set aside.

  2. Set the instant pot on sauté mode “high” and add the olive oil. Salt and pepper the brisket and brown it on both sides - about three minutes per side. Remove brisket.
    Instant Pot Brisket finger pressing saute mode on IP
  3. Turn sauté down to “normal” and add sliced onions to pan along with the thyme. Brown the onions, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes.

    Instant Pot Brisket onions after being sauteed in the IP
  4. Place brisket on onions – layering it as needed, then pour pomegranate molasses mixture over brisket. Close the lid and turn it on to “pressure cook” for 60 minutes.

    braising liquid with tomatoes poured over instant pot brisket with pomegranate molasses
  5. When 60 minutes is up, let it natural pressure release (NPR) for 10 minutes, then let it quick release for about four minutes or until the silver knob goes down.
    Instant Pot Brisket showing 60 minute setting at high pressure
  6. At this point, the meat should be almost tender. Remove and slice it across the grain (crucial to cut against the grain or it will be tough to chew even if it is cooked properly)
    Instant Pot Brisket slicing cooked meat on board to show grain
  7. If you are adding carrots and potatoes or any other root vegetable, add them into the pot, then put the meat back on top of the vegetables. If any of the meat is thinner and seems done, just slice it and don’t put it back in. Put the instant pot on for two minutes of “pressure cook”. When it’s done, let it NPR again for 10 minutes, then quick release and it should be ready to go.

  8. You can now either serve the brisket immediately or let it cool uncovered for about half an hour and refrigerate it to eat later. You can also optionally leave the gravy in the instant pot on sauté and reduce it down to instensify the flavor even further.

    pomegranate molasses brisket plated with vegetables
  9. You can also freeze the brisket for later use. If I’m not eating it right away, I like to put it in a pan that I can use to heat it back up. I line up the slices of meat, add in the veggies and put some of the juice back in. If there is a lot of extra gravy, store it separately – it’s perfect to put out on the table when you serve the meat.

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Everything Pomegranate. From pomegranate juice to molasses to fresh arils straight from the fruit. 

pomegranate tree

A progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. We choose a theme each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious dishes we put together for this virtual party.

A Pomegranate Party




Main Courses



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16 Responses to Instant Pot Brisket with Pomegranate Molasses

  1. Cydney Crampton December 26, 2019 at 9:13 pm #

    5 stars
    Superb and so easy to follow. Doesn’t your mom, Sandy, cut the brisket in slices and return it to the oven? The flavors were perfect. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow night.

    • Beth Lee December 26, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

      Yes! She is the one that taught me to cut it early! The best tip. Isn’t pomegranate molasses terrific? Brisket day 2 is the best! Happy holidays Cyd.

  2. Christine Lemieux November 4, 2019 at 5:25 am #

    Great brisket tutorial, I have never made it!

    • Beth Lee November 4, 2019 at 6:28 am #

      Thanks Christine!- it’s one of those cuts that if you handle it right, it is wonderful but if you don’t, it can be tough and not so pleasant to eat. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Carol Borchardt October 30, 2019 at 5:13 pm #

    5 stars
    Oh, wow! I never thought to pair pomegranate with beef but now that I see your recipe, it sounds like a really lovely combination! I have personal chef clients who love brisket and would also love this!

    • Beth Lee October 31, 2019 at 6:45 am #

      You might want to check out my flank steak with pomegranate molasses – so unbelievably easy but so good – works equally well with lamb. They are not make-ahead dishes like this one but a super simple and flavorful way to use pom molasses and beef.

  4. Tamara Andersen October 30, 2019 at 7:04 am #

    5 stars
    My mouth is watering just reading through the post Beth! I love the addition of pomegranate molasses to this brisket, and even better that you’ve used an Instant Pot! Pomegranate molasses adds so much complexity to savory dishes!

    • Beth Lee October 30, 2019 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks Tamara – I agree – the depth of flavor it adds is hard to match. I just love it!

  5. Karen October 29, 2019 at 7:49 pm #

    Oooooh brisket!! I need to try this recipe. The pomegranate and beef combination sounds sooooo delicious. Plus, the Instant Pot!

    • Beth Lee October 30, 2019 at 3:40 pm #

      I usually make all my brisket for my annual Jewish New Year gathering as a traditional braise. I loved making this so much in the Instant Pot that I actually used it for 1/2 my brisket for the gathering.

  6. Dorothy Reinhold October 29, 2019 at 5:15 pm #

    Is it bad that I want that Pomegranate Molasses on everything? This dish is a stunner!

    • Beth Lee October 30, 2019 at 3:41 pm #

      No not bad at all – once you taste the stuff – it’s hard to stop using it!

  7. Lynn October 29, 2019 at 10:46 am #

    5 stars
    I haven’t had brisket in a very long time. This recipe is tempting me back with these delicious flavours.

    • Beth Lee October 29, 2019 at 3:53 pm #

      You obviously are a master flavor maker so if you like the combo, I know it’s a winner!

  8. Liz October 29, 2019 at 3:57 am #

    5 stars
    Whoa, what amazing flavors in this brisket! And making it in the IP is always a bonus!

    • Beth Lee October 29, 2019 at 7:56 am #

      I actually made at least half of my brisket in the IP this year for my huge New Year’s gathering – it comes out so good and just takes less time.

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