Pulled Flank Steak
Here’s our recipe for pulled beef. While the Instant Pot makes excellent pulled beef brisket and other cuts (see our recipes in The Instant Pot Bible), they don’t fare as well from their frozen state. They take so long to thaw and cook that they become unduly soft, even squishy. But we found that flank steak has just the right amount of fat within its fibers that run in one direction, all the better for pulling. A flank steak is usually sold folded up, even if it’s frozen— and only a steak folded in this way will fit in the pot. If you buy a fresh flank steak and freeze it to make this dish later on, remove the meat from its packaging and fold it in half or thirds before freezing it in a sealed plastic bag
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
90minutes 35minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6people 5minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
90minutes 35minutes
  • 28ounces whole tomatoes packed in juice1 can or 3 1/2 cups
  • 2tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2tbsp mild smoked paprika
  • 1tbsp dijonor prepared yellow mustard
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce(a gluten-­free version if that’s a concern)
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves
  • 1 frozen beef flank steak(2 lbs)
  1. Pour the tomatoes and their juice into an Instant Pot. Clean and dry your hands, then crush the whole tomatoes to bits in the pot. (Or use a pastry cutter to mush them up in the pot.) Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, smoked paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, coriander, and cloves until the brown sugar dissolves. Set the frozen flank steak in the pot and lock on the lid.
  2. Option 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 1 hour 10 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  3. Option 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Meat/Stew, Pressure cook or Manual on High pressure for 1 hour 20 minutes (80 minutes) with the Keep Warm setting off. The valve must be closed.
  4. When the machine has finished cooking, turn it off and let its pressure return to normal naturally, about 30 minutes. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Cool for a couple of minutes, then shred the meat with two forks, pulling with its grain the length of the cut as if you’re combing hair or maybe carding wool. Stir these shreds into the sauce in the pot and set aside for 5 minutes, with the lid askew over the pot, so the meat can absorb some more of the sauce. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

• For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must add 1/2 cup beef broth or red wine with the tomatoes.
• Serve the pulled beef with or without buns or tortillas but certainly garnished with sour cream, avocado slices, grated cheese, and/or pickled
jalapeño rings.
• The pulled beef isn’t spicy at all. Either pass a hot sauce at the table or add up to 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes with the other spices in step 1.
• Use the pulled beef as a filling for enchiladas: Wrap it in corn tortillas, lay these seam-side down in a baking dish, and top with enchilada sauce or salsa, all covered with shredded cheese. Bake covered in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, then uncovered until bubbling and gooey.