pressure-cooked Beef tongue


Beef tongue requires moist cooking to become tender. Almost every recipe boils the tongue for 3-4 hrs.
Advantage: plenty of delicious soup. Disadvantage: it takes at least 3-4 hrs.

The occasional recipe uses a pressure cooker instead.
Advantage: considerable shorter cooking time.

I decided to give it a try and dug my big canning cooker out of storage.
This 23-qt. pot is rather large for one tongue, but could be a real timesaver if you wanted to cook up to 10 tongues in a single session e.g. for a large wedding party.

Here’s my report.


This is what you need for 8 servings:

  • 1 beef tongue, 4 lbs.
  • pressure cooker
Pic1: pressure-cooked beef tongue



Pic2: before cooking
Pic3: after cooking
Pic4: all done


Pic5: a bit overdone
Pic6: refrigerate to harden the meat
Pic7: refrigerated


Pic8: slicing
Pic9: sliced
Pic10: stored in broth


  1. COLOR:
    Beef tongue turns dark when exposed to air. Notice the much darker color after pressure cooking, (Pic4) compared to boiling. When you refry for tacos, it also turns very dark. If you do not cover it in the refrigerator, (Pic6) it will turn nearly black in an hour or so. (Pic8) However, this is only a thin surface layer, as can be seen in Pic7+9. It does change the flavor.
    To avoid this darkening, I always store beef tongue completely covered with broth. (Pic10)
  3. SALT:
    Do not add salt to the pressure cooker. It won’t penetrate the skin, and you peel that skin away after cooking. The meat comes out quite bland. I stored this overnight in some (beef or chicken) broth that had some salt. (Pic10) By the next morning, it tasted a lot better.
  4. FLAVOR:
    When you boil a tongue in 10 qts of water, you do get a very strong beef broth, but that also weakens the meaty flavor of the tongue. This does not happen with pressure-cooking. I only had 2 cups of broth from this, about the same amount of water I started with.
    If you've never cooked tongue this way, you may be surprised how much beefier it tastes. This is definitely the way to go for tacos de lengua where you want that extra flavor. I liked it.