How to cook Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef in 25 minutes or less. Then you have ground beef ready to use in any recipe. No more “forgot to thaw meat” and dinner is saved!
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I can’t tell you how many times Instant Pot frozen ground beef has saved the dinner rush! Seriously, it’s brilliant! No more dinner ruined by “Cr@p, forgot to thaw the meat”.
Sounds familiar? Aha.
Thawing frozen meat in hot water or boiling doesn’t work when you need dinner fast!
Cooking frozen ground beef in Instant Pot in 25 minutes or less is one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes or hacks, to be correct. Once cooked, use it to make tacos, chilis, quesadillas, or spaghetti.
For other stress free weeknight dinner savers, check out these other tutorials to quickly cook frozen meat.
Instant Pot frozen chicken breast or Instant Pot whole frozen chicken are also why I love my Instant Pot so-so-so much!
- Frozen ground beef: Cooking time will depend if you need it thawed or fully cooked.
- 1 cup cold water: Use cold water as you don’t want your frozen meat to start cooking before the pot comes to pressure.
You will also need the trivet that came with your Instant Pot.
How to Cook Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef
This is an easy to follow recipe to cook frozen meat whether you are using frozen hamburger patties or a block of frozen ground meat. It’s perfect for Instant Pot recipes for beginners!
Prep: To Instant Pot, add 1 cup cold water and place frozen meat on a trivet. You have to use trivet to avoid boiling the meat and possible “Burn”.
Pressure cook time for 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 inside.
25 minutes for fully cooked – great if you need to thaw the meat and then proceed with any other recipe.
Wait 5 minutes and then do quick pressure release: 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, or garlic powder.
Or transform it into Instant Pot taco meat recipe for an easy meal.
Does This Work With Frozen Ground Turkey?
Yes! To cook frozen ground turkey or ground chicken follow the same method. For thawed, cook 7 minutes and for fully cooked – 15 minutes.
Can I Brown Frozen Ground Beef?
Unfortunately not. Meat will stay frozen inside and become overcooked outside.
Tips for Cooking Frozen Ground Beef In Instant Pot
- 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.
- Use the trivet: Or you risk ending up with boiled meat. Trivet usually comes with your pressure cooker, with or without handles. Or you can buy my favorite trivet on Amazon.
- Add seasonings after cooking: If you add them to Instant Pot frozen ground beef, they will just end up in the water you will be discarding.
How to Store
Store: Cool completely then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days and use in favorite ground beef recipes when ready.
Freeze: Since it has already been frozen, thawed and cooked, I do not recommend to freeze it again. However, if you use cooked ground beef to make homemade meat sauce, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
You can cook up to 2.5 lbs at a time. So, 2 packs. Any bigger than 2.5 pounds single pack will not cook through or defrost.
Meat doesn’t come out dry because steam does not escape the pot. If meat is a bit dry, add a few tablespoons of liquid from the bottom of the pot.
Once you incorporate your ground meat into a recipe you won’t notice the difference between cooking it from frozen in the Instant Pot or cooking it on the stove.
When you are pressure cooking Instant Pot ground beef, a lot of fat drains into the water. With lean poultry, cooking water stays quite bland because meat is sitting on the trivet. I discard both.
If you are going for thawed meat, this is OK.
If you are going for fully cooked, remove the ground beef from Instant Pot and drain off the liquid. Place ground meat back in Instant Pot and use the Saute mode to finish cooking while breaking up the meat into crumbly texture.
More Instant Pot Beef Recipes
- Instant Pot ground beef stroganoff
- Instant Pot beef stew
- Instant Pot chili
- Instant Pot goulash
- Instant Pot meatballs
Browse 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.
Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef
- 1-2.5 lbs frozen ground beef
- 1 cup cold water
- In Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside. Place frozen ground beef on top.
- Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual.
- Cook 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.
- After 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 beef in any recipe.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days and then use when ready.
- What amount can I cook at once? You can cook up to 2.5 lbs at a time.
- Can I cook without the trivet? Unfortunately not.
- How to peel off the pad from frozen meat? To remove plastic pad, run frozen meat where pad is attached under warm water for a few seconds. With paper one, just cook meat with it and then it peels easily.
Cool! Thank you! I never would have thought of this &, as usual, you filled these instructions with all the necessary itty-bitty details.
I am so amazed with this method.
I’ve been cooking for 60 years and I am ALWAYS forgetting to thaw out my ground beef. I have always put it into a skillet, frozen, with just a small amount of water. Then I cook it on very low temperature and scrape the block of frozen meat with a fork periodically until the meat thaws then continue cooking it for whatever dish I want to create. It takes about a 20 minutes to thaw this way.
I’m going to try this method with my IP. Thanks so very much.
I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!
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!
Thank you for saving me! Totally forgot to take ground beef out last night. It’s “defrosting” in the instant pot right now 😄
Glad to help 😉
Exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for this much needed tip. Happy cooking!!!
Thanks so much for this “recipe”.
Brilliant! Ever so useful as I never plan ahead. My ground chicken broke up beautifully in pan.
You are very welcome Michele.
Can you make Halupki and Pirohi in the insta Pot?
I have lazy cabbage rolls recipe. Pierogies fell apart – too delicate.
Though I’m a vegan, your recipe was helpful in cooking ground meat for my cats. Would you please post some recipes for plant-based meat alternatives?
Perfect – just what I was looking for! I forgot to thaw the ground beef for spaghetti tonight.
Awesome! This will help.
Olena, this worked like a charm and so easy!!!