Pressure Cooker Brisket in a Pinch

April 25, 2013 - Written by Diana

Today I had plans for a brisket – all day in the crockpot, or smoking – plans for a slow cook.  Alas, planning isn’t any good without the follow through.  So here I had the brisket – small about a 1 1/2 lb brisket – targeted for dinner, but i was too late to go the slow way.  Brisket cooked fast is chewy and tough, it needs time, unless you have a pressure cooker.  I put that brisket under pressure, went for a walk with the dog and when we came back, it was ready to eat (the stove was attended, so no worries).  The meat pulled apart easily, and the sauce ingredients had all melded together quite nicely for a good swish at the end with the pulled meat.

I’ve used the pressure cooker many times as a way to fix a meal quickly without losing the flavor or moistness. Since there is less evaporation due to the seal, you need a little less liquid but it’s still pretty juicy.  The most difficult part for me is always when I have to wait for the little button to go down, so that I can separate the pot and lid.  It’s always amazing how the meat is ready to fall apart after such a short time.


Heat up the oil on the bottom of the pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, sear the brisket on all sides, while sauteing onions and garlic.  After the meat is browned on all sides, dump all of the other ingredients in, nestle the meat  and put the lid on, and seal it.  After about an hour, take it off the heat and wait for the button to go back down.  Using two forks, pull the meat apart and swish around in the sauce on the bottom of the pan.

The chipotle seasoning can make it spicy, so you can leave that out if you think it will be too hot.


Pressure Cooker Brisket in a Pinch
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
When you don't have all day to slow cook a brisket on the grill, a faster shortcut is to use the pressure cooker
Recipe type: Barbecue
  • 1½ - 2lbs Brisket
  • 3 tbs oil
  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can tomatoes (I used my home canned - Quart jar)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • pepper
  • salt
  • chipotle seasoning (optional)
  1. Heat up the oil on the bottom of the pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, sear the brisket on all sides, while sauteing onions and garlic. After the meat is browned on all sides, dump all of the other ingredients in, nestle the meat and put the lid on, and seal it. After about an hour, take it off the heat and wait for the button to go back down. Using two forks, pull the meat apart and swish around in the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  2. The chipotle seasoning can make it spicy, so you can leave that out if you think it will be too hot.


Baked Oaxacan Chicken

September 27, 2012 - Written by Diana
Baked Oaxacan Chicken

Baked Oaxacan Chicken

This recipe for Oaxacan Chicken was originally for the barbecue, but it’s been a rainy dreary day today, so I baked it in the oven.  The Oaxacan sauce for the chicken is ketchup based (though it was my home made ketchup that I used), with tequila and a little bit of heat.  It’s kind of a spicy sweet sauce, but has a lot of flavor.  There’s plenty of time left to do grilling and I look forward to trying it again barbecue style, but baked in the oven it was perfect for our dinner tonight.  Tomorrow I’m using the leftovers to make some chicken tacos. This recipe is not my own it is by Chef Javier Plascencia, the tequila was provided by Don Julio.  I thought it would have a much stronger flavor with the tequila in it, but really it was very mild.  If you want more heat or less – work with the hot sauce to set the heat level you like.  If you want a lot more heat, try upping the hot sauce and leave it out if you don’t like any.

Oaxacan Sauce

Oaxacan Sauce

Baked Oaxacan Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A great barbecued chicken with a mexican twist.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Barbecue
Serves: 6
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Tequila Don Julio Anejo
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup plum tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mole negro
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup shredded piloncillo, Mexican brown sugar (Substitute: ½ cup dark brown sugar and 1 teaspoon molasses)
  • ⅓ teaspoon Mexican hot sauce (Tamazula, Valentina or Búfalo)
  • 2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces (may be substituted shrimp, mushrooms, onions and anything else)
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic, and tequila. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Mix in the black pepper, salt, ketchup, tomato, mole, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, piloncillo, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Run sauce through a strainer if you prefer a smooth sauce.
  2. ~~~~This is where my changes come in since I baked the chicken.
  3. Place chicken pieces in baking dish in a single layer. Brush with sauce. Place in oven and bake at 350 - after about 15 min, brush with more sauce and place back in oven for another 15 minutes or so until the temp read 160 when taken with a thermometer.
  4. Brush sauce all over chicken.



The recipe and Don Julio Tequila were provided to me to try out.  Any opinions were my own.


Barbecued Bison Ribs

September 6, 2010 - Written by Diana

It took a few tries for the Bison Ribs from the Ohio Bison Farm to get to me.  I made arrangements one Saturday at the farm market to pick up bison ribs the next weekend.  Well, I forgot all about my son’s college orientation and didn’t make it.  The next weekend we were there, but they put the ribs in the wrong cooler and it went to another town.  Finally, we met up and I got my ribs, I was so excited.  I’ve been buying bison from the farm market for a few years now, and have always been pleased with the quality of the meat.  Bison can be tricky because it doesn’t have the fat that beef has, and it’s not as strong, and a little sweeter.  I had a chance recently to smoke a brisket, that gave me a little experience with slow cooking bison all day.  I used a pan and foil to keep some of the moisture in instead of just sitting it on the rack.  That worked out so well the brisket melted in our mouth.  A nice thing about bison is that there is hardly any shrinkage.  You will end up with just as much afterward, because there is so little fat.  You get what you pay for, it won’t drip away, though the bones are pretty big.

I had some Barefoot Wine Sweet Red to make this great barbecue sauce along with a nice wine to sip with it.  Try this for your labor day gathering.  You can use it on any type of ribs, or on top of chicken, beef or pork.

Barefoot Wine’s Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Directions: Mix all of the above ingredients together!

Brush Ribs with sauce and place in zipper bag over night in the fridge.  Let come to room temperature.  Sear on grill on both sides.  Then coat with more barbecue sauce, place in pan with aluminum  over it, then smoke for about six hours.

Disclosure:  I was given a bottle of Barefoot Sweet Red to try out with this recipe. It was delicious, sweet, and fruity/berry wine, however, the ribs didn’t taste fruity or full of berries.  It was a good tasting barbecue sauce, but I would like a stronger wine with it.  I did like the wine a lot and so did my husband, and I think it’s a fun hangout with friends type of wine.  Or a nice sit in front of the tv and watch a movie type of wine.

A little more about Barefoot Sweet Red Wine.

– It’s a sweet blend of Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Barbera, Brenache and Petite Sirah.

-Suggested price is 7.99 for a 750ml bottle

Crockpot Barbecued Chicken Dinner – Excellent Rating From My Son

January 15, 2010 - Written by Diana

Yep, that’s it, I cooked a dinner that my son gave me a huge thumbs up on.  I used the Crockpot to thoroughly cook the chicken in a sauce, then pulled out the bones, gristle and other desirable parts, shredded the chicken left and let it simmer for a little bit. This would make a great Superbowl or family gathering crockpot dish. I peeled all the skin off the chicken and cut off any fat I found. It’s not a heavy barbecue sauce.  I used a rub on the chicken (Denny Mike’s Pixie Dust) and then made my own sauce.  My assistant peeled potatoes, sprinkled on some olive oil and herbs and baked it in the oven.  I also diced up some peeled hubbard squash threw on a pat of butter and sprinkled on dried sage and microwaved it.

When you prepare the chicken in advance (like the night before?), the rest of the meal will come together in a half hour or so without too much work.  The squash can also be prepped in advance.  I peel and cut apart my squash, then dice it up and put it into vacuum seal bags (vacuum sealed of course) so that I can use it as I need it.  If Whole Foods can sell squash that way, then why not do it myself?  It can be frozen after you vacuum seal to save for another meal if needed (hubbard squash are huge).


Crockpot Barbecued Chicken       Barbecue Sauce

Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.

Crockpot Chicken Directions

Peel skin off of the chicken and remove any visible fat. Sprinkle with rub. Layer the chicken in the crockpot.  I used about 14 chicken drums, but you can mix up legs and breasts or even use a whole chicken.  Pour the sauce over the top and turn the crockpot on medium for about 6 –7 hours.  Remove bones, gristle and undesirable stuff from the crockpot. Break up the chicken or pull apart.  Stir back into the sauce and turn on high for a half hour to an hour.

Barbecued Chicken Dinner

Rosemary Potatoes

Peel, Slice and layer potatoes on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, pepper, and rosemary.  Place in the oven at about 375 until done.

Sage Winter Squash

Place peeled and diced squash into microwave bowl with a pat or two of butter, sprinkle with sage (mine came from my garden but you can use the stuff in the can) and microwave 4 –8 minutes until starting to feel soft.

Barbecue Rubs, Marinades and Sauces – Oh My!

June 26, 2009 - Written by Diana

barbecue grill The other day my friend and I were discussing barbecue and she was troubled because she had rubs but never used them because she didn’t know how.  I’m learning a little bit about barbecue, and I’m willing to share my information with you.  Add to the conversation and share what you know too. 


Here’s the fun part, you can do a marinade, and then put on the rub or use the rub before a sauce, or use a marinade, then a rub then a sauce and a finishing sauce. Using one of these preparations doesn’t preclude you from using another, but also it isn’t required to use all for one meal. For my chicken breasts I like the rub taste to be on the chicken itself.  So I put the rub on the chicken, then use some barbecue sauce as a marinade and let the chicken sit in it – either in a bag or bowl for a half hour.  We put it on the grill and towards the end will slather on some more sauce.  I like my sauce to be all cooked down into it, so I don’t put any finishing on it. 

For my fish, I use a marinade with the rub in it.  Use some more while I’m grilling and then make a dijonaise-dill sauce for table side.

For steak I like it mostly plain with a little oil, salt and pepper.  I’ve been reading though that some cuts take to this more than others, so I’m experimenting to see how I like it best. 


What’s your favorite way to prepare your favorite cut of meat?  Do you have any suggestions?

Father’s Day Recipe Resources

June 19, 2009 - Written by Diana

Father’s day is fast approaching – who does the cooking in your house.  Usually, unless we’re grilling, it’s me.  My husband gets a day to relax and read – no work allowed.  It’s true, we don’t have dads, or anywhere we have to be, so Father’s Day is very laid back.  My husband is getting a grill for Father’s Day ( umm, I think I better run out to the store), so we may grill out just to try out his present.  I love the idea of cooking outside and not heating the kitchen, it kind of works against the air conditioning.  Here are some resources you can use to find the recipes to make Father’s Day a delicious celebration.  What’s your favorite Father’s day thing to cook?  Got any ideas?



Italian-Style Marinated Steak

Italian Style Marinated Steak

1/2 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing

 2   boneless beef sirloin steaks (1 lb.)

1/2 cup A.1. Original Steak Sauce

POUR dressing over steaks in resalable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat steaks with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade; discard bag and marinade.

GRILL steaks 4 to 5 min. on each side or until medium doneness (160°F.) Brush steaks with steak sauce; let stand 10 min. Cut into thin slices to serve. Garnish with grilled cherry tomatoes, if desired.


Lamb Burger with Salad Lamb Burgers

1 pound ground American lamb
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, DIVIDED
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
½ cup peeled and minced cucumber
¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese (basil and tomato flavored, preferred)

4 onion rolls, split

1. Preheat grill or broiler.

2. Gently mix lamb with onions, garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Form into four ½-inch thick burgers.

3. Grill or broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches the desired degree of doneness: 145°F for medium- rare to 160°F for medium.

4. Grill rolls, cut side down, only until warm.

5. Meanwhile, mix yogurt, remaining oregano and cucumber together. Cover and reserve in the refrigerator.

6. For each burger, spread 2 tablespoons sauce on each roll half and add 1 tablespoon Feta on bottom roll half. Top with burgers and cover with remaining roll half.

30 Dry Rub Recipes

July 7, 2008 - Written by Deb Ng

Suburban Barbecue

My husband loves to barbecue or smoke food. We have a gas grill and a backyard smoker. He loves to experiment with different marinates and cooking times, and especially likes to create his own dry rubs. In fact, any time any kind of jar with a shaker top is emptied, it’s cleaned and put to use as a new dry rub mixture. In honor of my husband’s 39th birthday tomorrow, I’d like to present you with a list of great dry rub recipes. Enjoy!