Making a brisket in the Ninja Foodi is an incredible time saver and the texture is unbelievably perfect! This recipe works for any style of brisket you want to make, so if you aren't a fan of the mushroom and cranberry gravy, no worries!
I've been making this dish for years and was so excited that it is even BETTER made in the Ninja Foodi! It usually takes 2 days to make and now I can make it about 2 hours!
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This recipe has been adapted from A Taste of Home recipe that I've made many times for the residents of my assisted living. I have changed some ingredients and completely revamped the cooking technique and, I must say, it's even better than before and so much EASIER!
Is Brisket the Same as Corned Beef?
They are not the same thing, but they are the same cut of meat. The difference is that a corned beef is a beef brisket that has been brine-cured and the flavor is completely different.
For this reason, they cannot be interchanged in a recipe. For this recipe you need a plain beef brisket NOT corned beef.
If you have corned beef, then I really recommend this recipe for Ninja Foodi Corned Beef & Cabbage! It's spectacular!
What size Brisket should I get?
I can usually only find large briskets that are 8-12 pounds, but I cut them up into 2-3 roasts.
The size you want for this recipe is between 3 and 4 pounds. This will fit in the Ninja Foodi perfectly and will feed 4-6 people depending on serving size.
I also recommend looking for a brisket with a nice fat cap on it. We pressure cook and air crisp the brisket and that fat on top will get crispy and it is simply delicious.
The one I used in my video didn't have the best shape or fat cap, but it was still very good.
If you want to use a larger brisket, you will need to pressure cook longer.
This recipe results in a brisket that is tender and can be sliced. If you want your brisket to shred, add 20-30 minutes to the cook time and I would cook it in the liquid.
Can I Make the Brisket without the Gravy?
Of course! I happen to love the combination of mushrooms and cranberries and the gravy is outstanding, but it's not for everyone.
There are plenty of ways you can adjust the recipe so that is better suited for you. You can simply omit the cranberries and keep the mushrooms for a mushroom gravy. Or skip both and just have a plain gravy. Or skip the gravy all together and just make the brisket.
I started testing this recipe as a plain brisket that I served with BBQ sauce and it is excellent! Simply salt and pepper or use any rub you like on your brisket and use the same liquid amounts and pressure cooking time.
You can use all beef stock, beer, or even water for the liquid.
I used to own a BBQ restaurant and smoked brisket all the time. One of the BEST BBQ sauces for brisket is this Blueberry BBQ Sauce. It's amazing!
If you prefer a regular tomato based BBQ sauce, then give this one a try!
What to Serve with Cranberry Mushroom Brisket?
This recipe reminds me of the Christmas holiday so much that I like to serve it with all the trimmings of a great holiday meal!
The MUST HAVE with this brisket is Creamy Mashed Potatoes. You don't want dense potatoes or even garlic potatoes, just a simple batch of light and fluffy mashed potatoes is what pairs perfectly with this recipe.
Next up are these Sweet Potato Rolls. Don't let the sweet potato throw you, they taste like one of those sweet Hawaiian rolls. So good!
As far as a vegetable goes, I like to keep that simple. Steamed broccoli or string beans are my favorite pairing with this recipe. Funny, I don't have a recipe for either, but steaming is pretty straight forward in the Ninja Foodi.
Simply add 2 cups of water to the inner pot and place the vegetables in the basket. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to VENT. Select the steam function and set the time for about 8-10 minutes.
Can I Make Ninja Foodi Brisket Ahead of Time?
Absolutely! This recipe can easily be made ahead of time and warmed up just before serving.
After the brisket is pressure cooked, remove the brisket, place it in a sealed container or wrap in foil and refrigerate it until about 1 hour before you want to serve it. Then remove contents of the inner pot and put them into a bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the gravy.
To reheat the brisket when it is still whole, I suggest either steaming it for about 20 minutes or pressure cooking it for about 10 minutes or so with at least a 10 minute natural release.
Then air crisp the top on 400℉/200℃ for about 10 minutes or until the fat gets brown and crispy. Let the brisket rest while you make the gravy. You can also keep the brisket warm in the oven or in the Foodi by turning on the keep warm function.
When you are ready to make the gravy, take the container out of the refrigerator. There will be a fat layer on the top of the juices and you will want to remove ¼ cup of the fat to make the roux and you can discard the rest.
Place the ¼ cup of fat in the inner pot and turn the sear/sauté on high. Sift in the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, then add some of the juices and all of the mushroom, cranberries, onions, and garlic from the container.
Add in just enough of the liquid juices to make the gravy the consistency you like. Slice the brisket and pour the gravy over the slices.
If you wanted to slice the brisket before refrigerating, you can also do that. I would pressure cook and air crisp the brisket as instructed in the recipe. Then slice and place it in a sealed container in the fridge.
You can either reheat the slices in the gravy after you make it or you can put them in a covered container in the Ninja Foodi and steam them or warm them on a low bake/roast function.
I recommend only slicing the amount of brisket you think you will eat and leave the rest whole for leftovers, because it has less chance of drying out when reheated.
I've even used leftovers to make a Mexican pulled brisket dinner by adding the remaining brisket to some liquid and spices and pressure cooking for about 15 minutes. It was delicious!
Can I make this Recipe if I don't have a Pressure Cooker?
Yes, it just takes longer. You can either use a slow cooker on low for about 10 hours or use an oven on 250℉ for 8-10 hours to cook the brisket. Then use the broil function to crisp up that fat cap.
In the slow cooker, you can add all the ingredients (leave ½ of the cranberries to add at the end) and slow cook it all together, except you will want to reserve the flour and make it at the end with the fat from the brisket. You can do that on the stove if your slow cooker doesn't have a sauté function.
If you are using the oven, you would want to cook the brisket in the oven on a roasting tray and simmer the gravy ingredients in a pot on the stove OR you could put everything in a Dutch oven and that would work great! I suggest making the gravy with the flour and fat rendered from the brisket at the end.
You could also add the flour to the seasoning mix and rub it over the brisket and sear it in the dutch oven before adding the liquid and other ingredients and let the gravy make itself. You might need to thicken more at the end depending on how much juice the brisket releases.
How to Make Brisket with Cranberry & Mushroom Gravy in the Ninja Foodi or Pressure Cooker
Pressure cooking a brisket in the Ninja Foodi or pressure cooker is a great way to save time and not skimp on texture and flavor.
Whether you use the gravy ingredients in this recipe or not, the timing and methods will be the same.
Mix up the spice rub and generously rub it all over the brisket.
Add the beef broth, red wine vinegar or red wine, and the brown sugar to the inner pot.
Add half of the bag of cranberries to the inner pot and reserve the remaining half for later. Slice the onions and add half of them to the pot. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the inner pot. Peel and smash the bulb of garlic and add half to the inner pot.
Give a stir and put the rack in the pot in the low position. Sometimes you have to nestle in the rack and it's okay if it doesn't completely touch the bottom, just make sure that the pressure lid closes. If, for some reason, it doesn't. Remove some of the mushrooms and onions and throw them on top of the brisket.
Place the remaining onions and fresh rosemary on the rack and then the brisket on top. Throw the remaining garlic cloves on top of the brisket.
Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release until the pin drops on its own. This. usually takes about 30 minutes.
You do not need to time this, though. It is fine if the brisket sits in the pot on the keep warm for an additional 30-60 minutes.
When the pin has dropped, remove the pressure lid. Remove the brisket and place it on a cutting board or plate. Discard any rosemary stems. Dump the onions into the inner pot with the liquid.
Ladel or pour out the liquid and mushroom/onion/cranberry/garlic mixture into a large bowl.
Place the brisket back on the rack in the low position with the fat side up and into the inner pot. Air Crisp on 400℉/200℃ for about 10 minutes or until the fat has rendered and the brisket is nice and brown on the outside.
Remove the brisket and let it sit on a cutting board or on the rack to rest while you make the gravy.
There should be some fat in the bottom of the pot from air crisping, but it's probably not enough. We need about ¼ cup of the fat from the brisket to make the roux. In the liquid you ladeled into the bowl, you should see some fat rising to the top.
Skim that off the best you can and don't worry if you get juices, as well. Once you think you have about ¼ cup of fat, add that to the pot. Turn the sear/sauté on high and sift in the flour, 1-2 Tablespoons at a time.
Stir to combine the flour with the fat. Repeat with the remaining flour. If you don't have a sifter, it's not the end of the world, just try to get the flour sprinkled over the fat and stirred in so it doesn't create any lumps.
Cook the flour/fat/juice mixture for about 2 minutes. Then, scoop the mushrooms, onions, cranberries, and garlic from the broth back into the inner pot. Slowly add the liquid until the gravy is the consistency you want.
Add in the remaining cranberries and let simmer for a few minutes.
While the gravy is simmering, slice the brisket against the grain. It can be hard to tell sometimes which way the grain is going, but when you slice a piece off look at it and see if the meat fibers are straight across the slice of meat (with the grain) or in a crosshatched pattern (against the grain).
Don't worry if you get it wrong, I did in my video. It happens. The meat will still be very tender because of pressure cooking. If you notice it's sliced with the grain, cut the rest of the slices from the side to the right or left and that should be against the grain.
Spoon the gravy over the meat slices. Serve & Enjoy!
Ninja Foodi Brisket with Cranberry & Mushroom Gravy
- 3-4 pound brisket with fat cap
- 1½ tsp fine grind sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp dried crushed rosemary leaves
- 1 cup beef broth
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar or a dry red wine
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 large onions
- 16 ounces mushrooms
- 1 bulb garlic
- 12 ounces cranberries divided in recipe
- ¼ cup flour
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2-4 sprigs fresh rosemary optional
- Combine the 1½ tsp fine grind sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and ½ tsp dried crushed rosemary leaves. Mix well and use the seasoning mix to rub all over the brisket.
- In the inner pot, combine the beef broth, red wine vinegar, brown sugar and stir.
- Slice the mushrooms and add to the pot along with ½ of the bag of cranberries. Slice the onions and add half to the inner pot. Peel and smash the garlic cloves and add half to the inner pot.
- Place the reversible rack in the low position and line with the remaining onion slices and sprigs of fresh rosemary if desired. Place the brisket on the rack and top with the remaining garlic cloves.
- Put the pressure lid on and set the pressure on high for 60 minutes. Do a full Natural Release, this usually takes about 30 minutes.
- Remove the Brisket and place on a cutting board or plate. Pick out the rosemary stems and add any onions that are on the rack into the liquid. Ladle or pour the contents of the inner pot into a large bowl.
- Place the brisket back on the rack in the low position with the fat side up and air crisp on 400℉/200℃ for about 10 minutes or until the fat on the brisket is brown and crispy. Remove the brisket and let it rest on a cutting board or plate.
- There will be some fat in the inner pot from air crisping, leave that in the pot. Skim off several Tablespoons of fat from the top of the bowl with the juices and add to the inner pot. It's fine if you also add in some juices, but try to get mostly the fat that rises to the top of the bowl of juices. Turn the sear/sauté on high and add half of the flour. Stir to combine. I find sifting the flour in helps to prevent clumps, but it's not totally necessary. Add some more fat from the juices if needed and the remaining flour. Cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add in the onions, mushroom, garlic, and cranberries from the reserved bowl of juices. Add in just enough of the liquid to get the gravy to the consistency you want. It will thicken some as it simmers. Add in the remaining cranberries and simmer while you slice the brisket. Taste the gravy and add salt & pepper to taste.
- Slice the brisket against the grain and place on a serving platter. Pour some of the gravy over the slices. Decorate with fresh rosemary sprigs if desired. Place the remaining gravy into a serving bowl. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.