Hot Corned Beef Barbecue – St. Patty’s Dinner with a Twist

It’s that time of year again to make Hot Corned Beef Barbecue in the Instant Pot! Well, actually it’s time to make boiled corned beef and cabbage. Granny wasn’t Irish, and we are only a little bit Irish, so let’s shake things up.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how Granny managed to work full time, raise two kids, keep a tidy household, and also get fancy and square meals on the table every single night. In contrast, I work 32 hours a week and have a husband who changes diapers. I also have a microwave, a car, Peapod, a zillion recipes on Pinterest, and a hundred takeout menus. Yet, I often feel like a turtle in a windstorm trying to get dinner on.
So this week I needed a quick recipe, and Granny’s Hot Corned Beef Barbecue recipe fit the bill. Well, kind of. Her recipe calls for canned corn beef. Canned meat in a skillet- I guess this is how Granny got this meal on the table quickly. I wanted to use a fresh corned beef brisket, so I had to find another way to make this a speedy meal. Luckily, my diaper-changing husband gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas. This time-saving appliance has changed my life!
Corned Beef Brisket with BBQ sauce and onions in the instant pot

I adapted Granny’s recipe for a 3lb corned beef brisket. I know it is not totally Irish to make corned beef into a BBQ sandwich. In fact, according to my calculation, what we have here is a Reuben minus the Russian dressing, plus Granny’s BBQ sauce. It was done in ninety minutes and was perfectly juicy and delicious. I can’t help but think what Granny and the ladies of her day would have done with their extra time if they had Instant Pots. And imagine the amount of feet-putting-up-time they would have had if they had slow cookers, husbands who changed diapers, a microwave, a car, Peapod, and a zillion recipes on Pinterest.

BBQ Corned Beef Sandwich form the Instant Pot with a Pickle, Cole Slaw, and Swiss Cheese
Fun fact: I recently heard on a podcast that housewives in the fifties averaged 53 hours of housework per week. Working women did an average of 34 hours on top of their work hours. And they say this statistic hasn’t changed much. Do with that information what you will, but I hope that includes buying an Instant Pot and making this Corned Beef Barbecue. Also, my research shows that we modern day cooks can pop this in a slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 10-12 hours. Click here to listen to the podcast by the History Chicks. I highly recommend it! Listen to it while you cook…or while your husband changes diapers.

Hot Corned Beef Barbeque Recipe Card from Grannys Recipe Box

I hope your St. Patrick’s Day is a happy one and includes a side of barbecue sauce this year!

Hot Corned Beef Barbecue Sandwiches in the Instant Pot
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Instant Pot Heating Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins

This is a twist on traditional corned beef and cabbage that makes a perfect dinner for St. Patty's Day or any family dinner. St. Patrick's Day sandwiches with a side of barbecue sauce!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Beef
Servings: 8
Author: Anne P
  • 1 3-4 lb Corned beef brisket
  • 2 t Chili powder
  • 1/2 t Garlic powder
  • 4 T Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 T Worcesteshire sauce
  • 2 t McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 1/4 c Ketchup
  • 1 1/2 c Beef broth
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 8 Hamburger buns
  • 8 Sweet pickles
  • Sour Kraut for sandwiches
  • Swiss cheese for sandwiches
  1. Measure chili powder, apple cider vinegar, Worcesteshire sauce, ketchup, Montreal seasoning and garlic into a skilled with 1 1/2 c water and mix.

  2. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. until most liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened.

  3. When thick, pour hot barbecue sauce mixture into the Instant Pot with beef broth, chopped onion, and 1/2 c water. Put corned beef brisket into the liquid or on the wire rack for your Instant Pot, if you have one. 

  4. Close the lid, lock, and press meat/stew. Set the time for 90 minutes. When the meat is finished cooking, allow the steam to do a natural release. After ten minutes turn the steam release to manually vent. 

  5. Place hamburger buns, split side up, under preheated broiler for about 2-4 minutes until lightly toasted. Chop meat and place desired amount on each bottom bun half. Top with sour kraut, swiss cheese, and a spoonful of barbecue sauce from the bottom of the Instant Pot if desired. Put tops on the sandwiches and garnish with a pickle on a toothpick.

Recipe Notes

You can also can cook this recipe in a slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 10-12 hours.

Hot Corned Beef Barbecue in the Instant Pot Long Pin