How Long to Cook Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot

One of the most convenient features of the Instant Pot is its ability to cook frozen meats with ease. No need to stress about forgetting to thaw ground beef ahead of time – you can just toss frozen ground beef straight into the Instant Pot! But exactly how long does it take to cook frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot?

The time can vary slightly depending on a few factors, but the basics are quite straightforward. Here is a complete guide to cooking frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot, including timing, tips, and tricks.

The Benefits of Cooking Frozen Meat in the Instant Pot

Before getting into the timing, let’s overview some of the key benefits of using the Instant Pot to cook frozen ground beef:

  • Saves time – No waiting for meat to thaw! Gets dinner on the table faster.

  • More convenient – Skip remembering to thaw beef in advance. Just cook frozen.

  • Even cooking – Instant Pot steams then sears meat for tender, evenly cooked ground beef.

  • Simple process – Just toss the beef in and set the time. The Instant Pot does the work.

  • Delicious results – Browning afterward ensures great texture and flavor.

Cooking frozen meat in the Instant Pot is a total game-changer for easy homemade dinners!

Timing Basics for Frozen Ground Beef

The time needed to cook frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot can vary slightly based on a few factors:

  • Quantity of beef – The more beef you cook, the longer it takes.

  • Thickness of beef – Thinner patties cook faster than thick blocks.

  • Appliance size – An 8-qt Instant Pot may need slightly longer than a 6-qt.

  • Personal preference – Some may want beef more well done.

As a general rule of thumb, here are the estimated cooking times:

  • 1-2 pounds frozen ground beef patties, 1 inch thick: 15-20 minutes

  • 2-3 pounds frozen ground beef lump, 2 inches thick: 20-25 minutes

  • 4-5 pounds frozen ground beef roll, 3 inches thick: 25-30 minutes

These times produce beef that is just shy of being cooked through, allowing you to finish browning/cooking with the sauté function. Times may need extending for very thick blocks or fully cooked beef.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Cooking frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot is simple, but there are a few tricks. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Add 1 cup water to Instant Pot inner pot.

  2. Insert trivet and place frozen beef on trivet.

  3. Seal lid, ensure valve is set to “sealing.”

  4. Cook on high pressure for estimated time based on quantity/thickness.

  5. Use quick release once cooking complete.

  6. Remove beef and trivet. Drain cooking liquid from pot.

  7. Return beef to pot, sauté and break up until fully browned.

  8. Season beef as desired. Use in recipes.

And that’s it! The beef will be thawed, cooked through, and perfectly browned.

Handy Tips and Tricks

Here are some additional pointers to ensure success cooking frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot:

  • Use flat, evenly shaped patties whenever possible for most even cooking.

  • Add an extra 5 minutes or so if cooking very large quantities or thick blocks.

  • Quick release pressure immediately for best results.

  • Drain away fat/liquid after pressure cooking to prevent splatters when sautéing.

  • Sauté in batches if needed to properly brown a large quantity of beef.

  • Add any seasonings after browning to avoid salty cooking liquid.

  • Refrigerate cooking liquid to solidify fat and remove before discarding.

What About a Meat Thermometer?

A food thermometer is always the most accurate way to assess doneness. To confirm your frozen ground beef is fully cooked in the Instant Pot, use these target temperatures:

  • Ground beef patties – Cook to 160°F

  • Ground beef loaf/large mass – Cook to 165°F

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat after sautéing to guarantee it has reached a safe internal temperature. Adjust cooking times as needed.

Fantastic Recipes for Cooked Ground Beef

Once your frozen ground beef is cooked, the possibilities are endless! Here are some great recipes to try:

  • Classic tacos or burritos

  • Hearty chili or Bolognese sauce

  • Cheesy stuffed peppers or enchiladas

  • Savory meatloaf or meatballs

  • Juicy burgers or meaty pasta sauce

  • Easy weeknight casseroles like sloppy joes

With perfectly cooked frozen ground beef ready in the Instant Pot, homemade dinners are quick and easy. No more forgotten thawing!

So try cooking frozen ground beef in your Instant Pot. Just toss it in, set the time, and walk away. With the simple tips above, you’ll have tender, browned beef ready to become anything your heart desires. Frozen ground beef dinners just got a whole lot more doable!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much water do I need when cooking frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot?

1 cup of water is sufficient for up to 2 pounds of ground beef in a 6-quart Instant Pot. Use 1 1/2 cups for an 8-quart model. The water will create steam to help thaw and cook the meat evenly.

Is it okay if my frozen ground beef isn’t a perfect flat shape?

Yes, you can cook ground beef frozen in tubes, lumps, or other uneven shapes. The timing may vary slightly but it will still turn out well. Expect thick, dense portions to take a bit longer to cook through.

Do I need to adjust the recipe cook time if my beef is extra thick?

For frozen ground beef thicker than 2 inches, it’s a good idea to add 5 minutes or more to ensure it cooks through completely. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer if uncertain.

Can I cook more than 2 pounds at once in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook larger quantities of 3-5 pounds but the cook time will need to be extended, possibly up to 30 minutes for a very large batch. Add time as needed until beef is fully cooked.

Is it okay to let the beef cool and finish cooking it the next day?

It’s best to completely finish cooking within a couple hours, but you can refrigerate or freeze parcooked beef to finish cooking later if needed. Just be sure to reheat it thoroughly to 165°F.

How to Cook Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot


How long to cook frozen meat in Instant Pot?

Cooking frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot takes about 20 minutes. If your blocks of ground beef are really thick it will likely take a bit longer than that.

How long should I cook meat in an Instant Pot?

Typically, it’s about 20 minutes per pound of meat. Rest & Release: Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then use the quick-release button.

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