Can Your Instant Pot Double as a Smoker? We Tested It Out

Because this appliance isn't doing enough already, right? 

What can't the Instant Pot do? Indeed, this all-in-one cooking tool is breathing new life into our ability to get dinner on the table in practically no time and with very little effort. It pressure cooks, slow cooks, sears, sautés, steams, cooks rice, cultures yogurt, makes wine, and more.

Obviously, that's not enough, so we set out to test whether or not you can use your Instant Pot as a smoker.

Why? Because smoking is delicious and traditional methods take forever. We also read online that a pressure cooker can double as a smoker—just fill the cooking insert with wood chips, then drop in a steamer basket and a hearty cut of meat (we opted for brisket) and let the device do the work in a fraction of the time it would take in your backyard.

When heated, pressure cookers raise the boiling point of water and trap steam inside, which is how they decrease cook time by up to 70%. Essentially, if this method can be applied to smoking meat, we'll have unearthed a life-changing cooking hack.

The Testing Process

We started with a 3- to 4-pound piece of brisket and cut it into four pieces, then rubbed it all over with dry spice rub, salt, and pepper. The meat rested for about an hour while our mesquite wood chips soaked in water for 30 minutes. We drained the chips, then dropped them into the bottom of the Instant Pot insert and covered them with an OXO silicone rack. After adding the brisket and 1 cup of chicken broth, we locked the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 90 minutes. (Keep in mind that pressure cookers can take quite a while to come up to pressure. So even if the recipe says 90 minutes, this waiting period can add an additional 45 minutes to your cooking time.)

We let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes and then released the remaining pressure manually. After letting it rest for about 10 minutes, we sliced and served.

The Results

The aroma coming from the Instant Pot was definitely smoky and it was super tender. But was the meat smoked? Not really. It's a myth—your Instant Pot is probably better at doing your taxes than it is at smoking. We still love it, anyways.

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