How to Cook Frozen Beef in an Instant Pot – A Step-by-Step Guide

Cooking frozen beef in an instant pot is a quick and easy way to get tender, flavorful meat for any recipe. With the pressurized environment of the instant pot, the frozen beef is rapidly thawed and cooked to perfection. This handy kitchen appliance makes preparing meals with frozen beef simple, whether you’re cooking a beef roast, stew meat, or ground beef.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of cooking frozen beef in an instant pot. We’ll cover everything from prep tips to cook times so you can master this instant pot hack. Soon you’ll be whipping up delicious instant pot beef dishes in no time!

Benefits of Cooking Frozen Beef in an Instant Pot

Using an instant pot to cook frozen beef offers several advantages:

  • Fast thawing and cooking: The instant pot quickly thaws and cooks frozen beef thanks to the hot pressurized steam. This greatly reduces cook times compared to traditional oven or stovetop methods.

  • Tender and juicy meat: The moist heat environment of the instant pot keeps beef nice and juicy. The meat turns out super tender and flavorful.

  • Convenience: You can prep beef dishes straight from the freezer. No need to remember to thaw beef overnight in the fridge. Just toss the frozen beef in the instant pot!

  • More flavor: Cooking under pressure infuses beef with flavors from sauce, spices, or other liquids added to the pot.

  • Food safety: The high heat pasteurizes beef, eliminating bacteria for safe cooking.

Tips for Cooking Frozen Beef in the Instant Pot

Follow these tips when using an instant pot to cook frozen beef:

  • Cut beef into smaller pieces: Large roasts or steaks don’t cook as evenly. Cut into 1-inch chunks or smaller for best results.

  • Add liquid: Add water, broth, or sauce to create steam and prevent burning. Use a minimum of 1/2 cup liquid for larger cuts or 1 pound ground beef.

  • Use a meat thermometer: Check temperature to confirm beef is fully cooked, especially larger cuts and roasts. Instant pot cooking can sometimes leave a cold spot in the center.

  • Let pressure release naturally: Allowing the pressure to come down gradually helps retain moisture. Quick pressure release can make meat drier.

  • Adjust cook times: Extend cook times 5-10 minutes for larger frozen beef pieces or bone-in cuts. Check for doneness and cook longer if needed.

  • Sauté after cooking: For ground beef or stew meat, sauté the cooked beef for a few minutes to brown it. This adds flavor and texture.

  • Add seasoning after: Season cooked beef after opening the instant pot rather than before. Spices may become diluted or bitter from high heat cooking.

How to Cook Frozen Beef Roast in an Instant Pot

Beef roasts like chuck roast or rump roast turn out incredibly juicy and tender when cooked from frozen in the instant pot. Follow these simple steps:

  • Trim excess fat from the roast and cut into 1-inch chunks. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

  • Add 1 cup water, broth, or sauce to the instant pot. Place trivet and steamer basket inside.

  • Put seasoned beef chunks in steamer basket. Lock the lid in place and close the pressure valve.

  • Select Manual/Pressure Cook (High) and set cook time to 40 minutes for a 2 pound roast. Allow pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes after cooking.

  • Check internal temperature of a few pieces with a meat thermometer. Beef should reach 145°F.

  • Remove meat from pot and finish by simmering in sauce, broiling, or sautéing to add color.

The hot pressurized steam thaws and gently cooks the frozen beef roast until perfectly tender. Cooking beef roast from frozen takes just an hour start to finish!

How to Cook Frozen Beef Stew Meat in an Instant Pot

Turning frozen beef stew meat into a delicious meal is easy with a few instant pot tips. Follow these steps:

  • Cut any large stew meat pieces into 1-inch cubes. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.

  • Add beef cubes and 1 cup broth or water to instant pot. Stir in desired seasonings like garlic, onions, herbs.

  • Lock lid and close pressure valve. Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes for 1 pound frozen stew meat. Allow natural release for 10 minutes after cooking.

  • Open instant pot and check beef is fork tender. If not fully cooked, simmer with lid off for a few more minutes.

  • For thicker gravy, cook on Saute setting uncovered until sauce reduces.

  • Serve beef stew meat over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. Enjoy!

The pressurized heat rapidly thaws and braises the frozen beef into fall-apart tender pieces in just 20-30 minutes. Add veggies the last 5 minutes for a complete beef stew.

How to Cook Frozen Ground Beef in an Instant Pot

Cooking frozen ground beef in the instant pot yields juicy, crumbly ground beef ready to use in tacos, pasta sauce, chili, and more. Here’s a simple frozen ground beef instant pot recipe:

  • Add 1 cup water and trivet to instant pot inner pot. Top with 1-2 pounds frozen ground beef block.

  • Close lid securely, move valve to Sealing, and cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes. Allow 10 minute natural release after cooking.

  • Remove cooked ground beef block and break apart with a fork or potato masher.

  • Drain excess liquid if needed. Use ground beef as called for in your recipe.

The hot pressurized environment gently thaws and cooks the frozen ground meat to perfection. And you don’t need to dirty another pan! The instant pot makes quick work of frozen ground beef.

Handy Instant Pot Frozen Beef Cooking Charts

To easily cook frozen beef in the instant pot, follow these cook times:

Frozen Beef Roast Cooking Times

Beef Roast Weight Cook Time NPR Time
1 lb 25 mins 10 mins
2 lbs 35 mins 15 mins
3 lbs 40 mins 20 mins
4 lbs 50 mins 25 mins

Frozen Beef Stew Meat Cook Times

Quantity Cook Time NPR Time
1 lb 15 mins 10 mins
2 lbs 20 mins 15 mins

Frozen Ground Beef Cook Times

Weight Cook Time NPR Time
1 lb 20 mins 10 mins
2 lbs 25 mins 10 mins

Tips for Getting the Best Results

Follow these additional tips for successfully cooking frozen beef in the instant pot:

  • Place beef on a trivet or steamer basket to elevate out of cooking liquid
  • Add an extra 5 minutes cook time for bone-in or larger cuts
  • Let pressure fully release before opening lid
  • Use a meat thermometer to check doneness
  • Cook in lower 1/3 of pot away from heating element
  • Add fresh herbs and spices after cooking rather than before

With the proper cook times and preparation, you’ll get fantastic results cooking frozen beef in your instant pot. The meat will be juicy, tender, and ready to become anything from beef stew to taco filling.

Common Questions About Cooking Frozen Beef in an Instant Pot

Do you sear frozen beef before pressure cooking?

Searing isn’t necessary when cooking frozen beef in the instant pot. The pressurized environment will thaw and cook the meat thoroughly without an initial sear.

Should you thaw beef before cooking in an instant pot?

Thawing is optional! One of the benefits of the instant pot is being able to skip thawing and cook beef directly frozen with great results.

Is it safe to cook frozen beef in an instant pot?

Yes, it’s completely safe. The pressurized heat kills any bacteria and cooks through safely. Always double check temperature for doneness.

How much liquid do you need to pressure cook frozen beef?

Use a minimum of 1/2 cup of water, broth, sauce, or other cooking liquid. This creates steam and prevents burning.

Can you pressure cook frozen ground beef?

Absolutely! Follow the times for frozen ground beef in the cooking charts above for perfect crumbly ground beef. Break up the meat after cooking.

What cut of frozen beef works best?

Chuck roast, rump roast, stew meat, and ground beef all cook up well from frozen. Avoid large slabs of steak which may undercook in the center.

More Tasty Ways to Use Instant Pot Frozen Beef

Beyond stews and ground beef dishes, here are more recipe ideas for the frozen beef you cook in the instant pot:

  • BBQ Shredded Beef Sandwiches – Shred pressure cooked frozen beef roast and mix with BBQ sauce. Pile onto buns for easy sammies.

  • Beef Enchiladas – Fill tortillas with instant pot frozen beef, cheese, and enchilada sauce.

  • Beef Stroganoff – Season pressure cooked frozen beef with a creamy mushroom stroganoff sauce over egg noodles.

  • Beef Tacos – Top warmed taco shells with seasoned frozen beef, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and more taco fixings.

  • Beef Chili Mac – Stir together instant pot frozen ground beef and chili seasoning. Serve over macaroni and top with cheese.

  • Beef Pot Pie – Make a creamy beef filling using frozen beef. Cover with pie dough and bake for a homemade pot pie.

With an instant pot, the possibilities are endless for fast and delicious meals using frozen beef!

Get Cooking with Frozen Beef in the Instant Pot!

Now you’re ready to start cooking frozen beef in your instant pot like a pro! Follow the tips and guidelines above to make the most of this handy kitchen hack.

In no time you’ll be turning freezer burned beef into tender, juicy masterpieces. From roasts to ground beef, the instant pot can take your frozen beef meals to new levels of flavor.

So grab some beef from the freezer and your instant pot to whip up everything from classic stews to shredded beef sandwiches. This cooking method saves time and steps while unlocking the full potential of frozen beef.

BEST HACK EVER: Cooking Frozen Meat in the Instant Pot


How do you adjust the Instant Pot time for frozen meat?

Bargain for at least 10 extra minutes for the pot to come to pressure when using frozen meats. Sometimes up to 40 extra minutes, depending on what you are making.

How long to cook a frozen 5 lb roast in an Instant Pot?

Place frozen roast and broth in inner pot of pressure cooker. Rub with salt, add onions, herbs, garlic and broth. Cook roast 3-5 pound roast it will need 60-90 minutes on high. For a frozen roast of the same size, you’ll need to add about 30 minutes to the cooking time.

Can you immediately cook frozen beef?

Information. Raw or cooked meat, poultry or casseroles can be cooked or reheated from the frozen state. However, it will take approximately one and a half times as long to cook. For example, if fresh meat takes one hour to cook, the same meat cooked frozen would take 1 1/2 hours.

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