Easy to make Instant Pot Pot Roast in as little as 1.5 hours! This one pot family-friendly comfort dinner is complete with tender carrots and potatoes, fall apart beef, and a delicious gravy.
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Gone are the days when a delicious pot roast is just reserved for Sunday dinners or trips to grandma’s house. Making Instant Pot pot roast takes just 1.5 hours from start to finish!
It’s all done in one pot including the juicy fall apart roast, the tender crisp veggies, and then that rich flavorful gravy.
A complete, healthy, and wholesome meal that is both comforting and memorable.
Need something quicker? Try Instant Pot beef stew done in under an hour for weekday comfort food.
For today, though, this has joined the ranks of easy Instant Pot recipes and it’s a keeper!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A one pot meal: A complete meal in one pot is super convenient.
- Serves a crowd: This is a great meal for any type of gathering and makes great leftovers!
- Loads of flavor: Thanks to the pressure cooker, all of the flavors permeate and penetrate each other.
- Easy: A foolproof method of getting fall apart meat that melts in your mouth.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Beef pot roast has been a Sunday dinner staple because it’s just so good! Simple ingredients with flavorful results every time.
- Beef chuck roast: I used a 3 lbs roast. You can use a size that fits into your pot but may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Onions and mushrooms: Yellow or white onions. Brown or portobello mushrooms yield more flavor than white mushrooms. You can use red onion as well if that’s all you have.
- Red wine: Any medium-priced red wine like Pinot Noir. Do not use the cheapest one though, the flavor won’t be as robust. You can also omit and up the amount of broth or use tomato paste and soy sauce along with broth instead.
- Seasonings: Dried rosemary, thyme, onion, and garlic. Paprika (can be smoked for extra flavor), salt, and ground black pepper.
- Broth: The best one would be a low sodium beef broth, just because beef goes with beef. Previously made Instant Pot chicken stock, vegetable broth, or even water would also work. If your broth is not low in sodium, reduce any added salt by 1/2 tsp.
- Vinegar: You can use red wine, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar on its own or in any combination. You can also replace some or all of the vinegar with Worcestershire sauce if preferred.
- Potatoes and carrots: Baby carrots and baby potatoes are the perfect bite-size. You can also use regular-sized veggies and cut them up into 1″ chunks. You can decide how tender you want your veggies. You have the option of cooking them along with the meat or adding them in after.
What Is the Best Cut of Meat To Use?
Traditional pot roast is a method of cooking tough meat at low temperatures for a long period. It is meant to be used with cheap and tough cuts of meat with not much fat (marbling).
I used chuck roast in all my Instant Pot roast beef tests. It comes from the shoulder part of the cow. Brisket, bottom or round roast are other popular cuts to use.
In the case of the Instant Pot, the pressure and steam do an amazing job at tenderizing the meat without the need for low heat for an extended period such as you would with a slow cooker pot roast. This makes it much easier to work with any cut of meat.
How to Make Instant Pot Pot Roast
Thanks to the modern day electric pressure cooker, a pot roast can be on your table in 1.5 hours total. However, this sirloin tip roast takes the same time and is differently delicious.
Make dry rub: Combine seasonings on a large plate and stir together.
Season roast: Remove twine (if any) because it will prevent roast from becoming tender.
Dip roast in a large shallow plate with homemade dry rub making sure all edges are covered well. It will create a delicious outer crust.
Sear the meat on all sides: On the Instant Pot, press press Sauté and then press Adjust to select between Less, Normal and More. For hottest setting we want More.
Only then add oil and sear for 3-4 minutes per side. I would not recommend skipping this step because it adds a lot of flavor to a pot roast.
Cook onions and deglaze the pot: Add the slices from 2 large onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Then add beef stock, red wine, and vinegar to deglaze the pot.
Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom. You want to avoid the Burn notice but you also want that extra flavor!
Put the roast back and add mushrooms: Once you’re done deglazing, press cancel. Add the roast back into the pot and lay the mushrooms on top of the roast.
If using an 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot, you can add veggies now: Wrap them in parchment paper instead of throwing them into the pot.
Cook pot roast for 20 minutes per lb: Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing, and cook for 60 minutes on High Pressure. In my case, I used a 3 lbs roast, so the cooking time is 60 minutes on high pressure. 4 lbs = 80 minutes etc.
Allow pressure to naturally release a bit: Wait for 15 minutes for the pressure to come down on its own and then release the remaining pressure by turning the valve to Venting.
With meat, I do not recommend using the Quick Release method immediately. Let the pressure subside on its own completely, if you have time.
Remove and slice the roast against the grain.
Adding potatoes to a 6 quart pot: If you don’t have an 8 quart pot, now is when you add in the potatoes and carrots.
Drop them into the pot while the meat is resting on a cutting board and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Quick release and remove potatoes and serve alongside the meat.
To thicken the gravy: Press Sauté function and make a cornstarch slurry made from 1/4 cup cold water and 3 tbsp cornstarch. Whisk it into the gravy, getting rid of any large chunks of cornstarch.
Cook for a few minutes until thickened a bit. You can add back the sliced meat to the pot, or leave it on a serving tray and drizzle with gravy over top.
How Long Do I Cook Roast in the Instant Pot ?
It really depends on both the size of your roast and if your roast is frozen.
For every pound of fresh beef you’ll add on 20 minutes of cooking time. 3 lbs = 60 minutes, 4 lbs = 80 minutes, 5 lbs = 100 minutes, and so on.
If your roast is frozen, you can either add on time or allow your pot to release pressure naturally.
Can I Use a Frozen Roast?
Yes. You won’t be able to sear it first but otherwise cooking it from frozen is exactly the same.
I prefer to use the same cook time and allow it to naturally release completely. However, you can choose to add on more cooking time instead and follow the same release method as recipe states.
Tips for Best Results
- Large roast: If you have a larger 5 lbs roast, I would recommend cutting it in half and cooking it for the amount of time you would a 3 lbs roast. It will come out more flavorful this way.
- To prevent veggies from becoming mushy: If using an 8 quart Instant Pot, wrap them in parchment paper instead of throwing them into the pot. If you’ve got a 6 quart Instant Pot, cooking them at the same time as the meat is no longer an option, they will be overcooked and mushy. Wait and cook after.
- Slice meat against the grain: I know some people like to shred the pot roast but we like to slice it. We find it juicier and meatier, almost like steak.
- Mashed potatoes: Roast with mashed potatoes and gravy is a popular option. Omit the baby potatoes and make healthy mashed potatoes.
What To Serve This With?
Crusty bread to soak up all that delicious gravy is also a favorite!
Storage and Reheating
Storing and reheating: Leftovers keep well for 3 days. If you have enough space in the fridge, you can store roast in an inner pot with a silicone lid. Then reheat right on the stove (yes, in inner pot) or in Instant Pot by pressing Saute.
Freezing: I would freeze the roast itself but not the potatoes in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
That’s usually a good sign you need to cook it a little longer. When using other methods, tough meat can be a sign it’s overcooked. However, in the Instant Pot, it’s the opposite.
It is very hard to overcook meat in the Instant Pot, so it means it just needs a little while longer under pressure to get it tenderized.
A 2 pound roast size is great, especially for a 3 quart Instant Pot. You can decrease the cooking time by 20 minutes for this size.
That is entirely up to you. A little fat will flavor the meat and help keep it juicy. It can easily be trimmed after it is done.
More Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Pot Roast
- 3 lbs chuck or rump roast
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme dried
- 1 tsp rosemary dried
- 1 tsp onion powder dried
- 1 tsp garlic powder dried
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large white or yellow onions sliced
- 4-6 oz brown or Portobello mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup good red wine like Pinot Noir
- 1 cup beef stock low sodium
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 lb baby carrots
- 2 lbs baby potatoes
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Press Saute on 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and let it preheat until display says Hot. Takes about 3-5 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, in a large plate combine salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir with a fork. Remove twine from the roast (if any) and lay it on a plate with spices. Coat on all sides by turning and making sure all edges are coated in seasonings.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil and then add roast. Brown on both sides, for about 3-5 minutes. Remove with tongs onto a plate.
- Add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and onions. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add beef stock, red wine and vinegar and cook and stir until the bottom of the pot is deglazed, about 2-3 minutes. This is important step to avoid Burn.
- Press Cancel and lay roast on top followed by mushrooms.
- If you want to cook not mushy baby carrots and potatoes together with roast, you can do so if you are using 8 quart Instant Pot only. Wrap each separately in unbleached parchment paper and place on both sides of roast. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and cook for 60 minutes on High Pressure. It is 20 minutes per lb.
- After cook time is over, use Natural Release for 15 minutes and then turn pressure release valve to Venting. Remove vegetables (if added) in a bowl and roast on a cutting board. If you have 6 quart Instant Pot and haven't cooked vegetables with meat, add them now and cook on High pressure for 5 minutes with Quick Release.
- To thicken the gravy, switch electric pressure cooker to Saute. In a small bowl, whisk cold water with cornstarch, add to the pot and stir. Cook for a few minutes until bubbly and thickened.
- Cut beef against the grain into slices of desired thickness and return to the pot along with cooked carrots and vegetables.
- Serve hot garnished with parsley. Instant Pot pot roast gravy and meat are best served after you let cooked dish sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Store: Leftovers keep well for 3 days. If you have enough space in the fridge, you can store roast (and potatoes) in an inner pot with a silicone lid. Then reheat right on the stove (yes, in inner pot) or in Instant Pot by pressing Saute.
- Freeze: I would freeze the roast itself but not the potatoes in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- 3 quart Instant Pot: You could probably fit about 3 lbs roast.
- Veggies fit only into 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot: 6 quart Instant Pot is not big enough to accommodate vegetables and leave enough room for pressure to build up. I tried! You can pressure cook them after in the sauce for 10 minutes on High and Quick Release. Or just roast in the oven at 425 degrees F and pour gravy on top after.
- To prevent veggies from becoming mushy: Wrap them in parchment paper instead of throwing into the pot.