by Olena

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef or Turkey

Olena Osipov
4.9 from 8 votes

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef or Turkey thawed in your electric pressure cooker in minutes. Then use in any recipes calling for ground beef or ground turkey. No more “forgot to thaw meat” at 4 PM!

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

I can’t tell you how many times Instant Pot frozen ground beef or turkey has saved the dinner! I don’t have enough fingers to tell you how many times at 4PM my brilliant healthy dinner idea was ruined by “[email protected], forgot to thaw the meat”.

Sounds familiar? Aha.

Cooking frozen ground beef in Instant Pot in 20 minutes is one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes or even hacks, to be correct. Thawing frozen meat in hot water or boiling doesn’t work when you need dinner fast. That’s why I love my Instant Pot so-so-so much!

Are you still on a fence about the whole Instant Pot movement?  Huge mistake. Now, if you are thinking of getting one see which one is for you – there are many.

Ingredients

  • Any frozen ground meat: Like ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork, venison, lamb etc.
  • 1 cup cold water

How to Cook Frozen Ground Meat in Instant Pot

  • Prep: To Instant Pot, add 1 cup water and place frozen meat on a trivet. You have to use trivet to avoid boiling the meat and possible “Burn”.frozen ground beef in Instant Pot on a trivet
  • Cook red meat (ground beef): 15 minutes for thawed – when you open the pot, meat will look cooked and brown outside. But once you remove it into the bowl and start breaking with a fork, you will see that it is red/pink inside. 25 minutes for fully cooked – is great if you just need to thaw the meat and proceed with any other recipe.Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef thawed
  • Cook poultry: 7 minutes for thawed and 15 minutes for fully cooked. instant pot frozen ground turkey cooked
  • Wait 5 minutes and release pressure: Turn valve to Venting after 5 minutes to avoid strong pressure pulling all moisture from the meat.
  • Separate and use for cooking: Then remove onto a plate and break into pieces. Season with any combination of spices like salt, pepper, taco seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder etc. Or check out this Instant Pot taco meat recipe from my friend, Denise, at Sweet peas and Saffron. Instant Pot Frozen Ground turkey crumbled
  • Recipes to use in: Use seasoned meat in tacos, taco salad, lasagna and casseroles. So convenient!

FAQs and Tips

  • What amount can I cook at once? You can cook up to 2.5 lbs at a time. So, 2 packs of ground meat.
  • What does meat taste like? Meat doesn’t come out dry because of the whole pressure cooking process where steam doesn’t escape the pot. If meat is a bit dry, add a few tablespoons of liquid from the bottom of the pot. Cooked from frozen meat in one hunk is a bit hard to separate into crumbles. It feels rubbery. That’s my only complain but I can get over it. It doesn’t taste that rubbery or dry though. Especially once you incorporate it into next recipe – you won’t notice the difference.
  • Can I cook without the trivet? Unfortunately not. Trivet usually comes with your Instant Pot, with or without handles. Or you can buy my favorite one on Amazon.
  • What do I do with liquid at the bottom? If you are cooking frozen ground beef, a lot of fat drains into the water. When cooking lean poultry, cooking water stays quite bland because meat is sitting on the trivet. I discard both.
  • Can I brown frozen ground beef? Unfortunately not. Meat will stay frozen inside and become overcooked outside.
  • How to peel off the pad from frozen meat? When you buy fresh ground meat in a tray, it is usually lined with plastic or paper pad. To remove plastic pad, run frozen meat where pad is attached under warm water for a few seconds until you can peel it off easily. With paper one, I just cook meat with it and then it peels so easy from cooked meat.peeling paper from cooked ground turkey

More Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

Instant Pot frozen ground beef turkey

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef or Turkey

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef or Turkey thawed in your electric pressure cooker in minutes. Then use in any recipes calling for ground beef or ground turkey. No more "forgot to thaw meat" at 4 PM!
4.88 from 8 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 1152kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1-2.5 lbs ground meat beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, venison*
  • 1 cup cold water

Instructions

  • In Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside.
  • Place frozen ground beef on top. If your frozen meat has plastic pad attached, run it where pad is under warm water for a few seconds until you can peel it off easily. With paper one, I just cook meat with it and then it peels so easy from cooked meat.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual.
  • Cook red meat (ground beef): 15 minutes for thawed - when you open the pot, meat will look cooked and brown outside. But once you remove it into the bowl and start breaking with a fork, you will see that it is red/pink inside. 25 minutes for fully cooked - is great if you just need to thaw the meat and proceed with any other recipe.
  • Cook poultry: 7 minutes for thawed and 15 minutes for fully cooked.
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After 15 or 25 minutes your meat is ready. Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF.
  • Wait 5 minutes, then do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
  • Open the lid and remove trivet with meat into a bowl. Using forks, meat claws or flat spatula, separate into crumbles.
  • Proceed using thawed ground meat in any recipe or use cooked crumbled meat in tacos, taco salad, lasagna and casseroles.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days and then use when ready.

    Notes

    • What amount can I cook at once? You can cook up to 2.5 lbs at a time. So, 2 packs of ground meat.
    • What does meat taste like? Meat doesn't come out dry because of the whole pressure cooking process where steam doesn't escape the pot. If meat is a bit dry, add a few tablespoons of liquid from the bottom of the pot. Cooked from frozen meat in one hunk is a bit hard to separate into crumbles. It feels rubbery. That's my only complain but I can get over it. It doesn't taste that rubbery or dry though. Especially once you incorporate it into next recipe - you won't notice the difference.
    • Can I cook without the trivet? Unfortunately not. Trivet usually comes with your Instant Pot, with or without handles. Or you can buy my favorite one on Amazon.
    • What do I do with liquid at the bottom? If you are cooking frozen ground beef, a lot of fat drains into the water. When cooking lean poultry, cooking water stays quite bland because meat is sitting on the trivet. I discard both.
    • Can I brown frozen ground beef? Unfortunately not. Meat will stay frozen inside and become overcooked outside.
    • How to peel off the pad from frozen meat? When you buy fresh ground meat in a tray, it is usually lined with plastic or paper pad. To remove plastic pad, run frozen meat where pad is attached under warm water for a few seconds until you can peel it off easily. With paper one, I just cook meat with it and then it peels so easy from cooked meat.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 1152kcal | Protein: 78g | Fat: 91g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 322mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 1225mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 9mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    21 comments on “Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef or Turkey

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    1. Thanks! can you suggest cooking time and pressure level if I am cooking ground turkey (not frozen) and don’t want to use oil?

      1. You mean just plain ground turkey? Whole blob, you don’t want pieces? I would say 10 minutes on high and let it naturally release for 5 minutes.

    2. 4 stars
      I love this bc I was always setting my IP to 25 min and finding I didn’t like the texture in my recipes. Then I learned about setting the IP lower and sautéing the meat to cook it the rest of the way later. I found one recipe that called for a 9 or 10 min NPR. That finally made all the difference in texture for me! The meat wasn’t rubbery, it was moist and not too cooked so I could saute it and it acted just like fresh, maybe even more so. I definitely recommend adding in a 10 min or full NPR!

    3. 5 stars
      Thank you for saving me! Totally forgot to take ground beef out last night. It’s “defrosting” in the instant pot right now 😄

    4. 5 stars
      Thanks so much for this “recipe”.
      Brilliant! Ever so useful as I never plan ahead. My ground chicken broke up beautifully in pan.

    5. Step 3: Pressure Cooking on High for 15 minutes for thawed ground beef or 25 minutes for fully cooked ground beef.

      I think you mean frozen rather than fully cooked.

    6. 5 stars
      Though I’m a vegan, your recipe was helpful in cooking ground turkey meat for my cats. Would you please post some recipes for plant-based meat alternatives?

    7. Help! What did I do wrong? I attempted to thaw 1lb of ground turkey and it massively over cooked and dried out. I did high pressure for 7 minutes with a QR. Any tips would be most appreciated. 🙂

      1. I don’t think you did anything wrong. In 7 mins, turkey is cooked outside and raw inside. You proceed cooking it in a dish rehydrating with juices from the bottom in the next recipe. “Thawed” in Instant Pot means not frozen but of course it starts partially cooking.

    8. About the water left in the pot after cooking:
      It is actually full of nutrients.
      If you allow it to cool, you will notice that it gels. That means it has absorbed some protein from the meat. I always add it back when using the meat.

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