How to Make Delicious Shredded Beef in Your Instant Pot

Making tender, juicy shredded beef at home is easier than you think thanks to the Instant Pot. With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can have flavorful shredded beef ready in under an hour with the press of a button.

Shredded beef is incredibly versatile. It can be used to make delicious dishes like tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, nachos, soups, and more. The convenience of the Instant Pot means you can have homemade shredded beef any night of the week without spending hours simmering it on the stovetop or in the oven.

In this detailed guide, we will cover everything you need to know to make tasty shredded beef in your Instant Pot.

Benefits of Making Shredded Beef in the Instant Pot

There are several advantages to using the Instant Pot to make shredded beef rather than traditional slow cooking methods:

  • Speed – The high pressure environment allows the beef to cook up to 70% faster than traditional methods. Shredded beef that takes 8+ hours in a slow cooker or oven can be ready in under an hour in the Instant Pot.

  • Convenience – With the Instant Pot, there’s no need to simmer a pot on the stovetop for hours. Simply add the ingredients, set the cooker, and walk away until the beef is perfectly tender.

  • Flavor – The closed environment traps steam and concentrates the flavors of the beef and spices or sauce. The result is very moist and flavorful shredded beef.

  • Versatility – Shredded Instant Pot beef can be used in tacos, sandwiches, burritos, casseroles, soups, salads, and more. It stores well for meal prepping too.

  • Juicy and Tender – The pressurized steam forces moisture into the meat, delivering shreds of beef that are ultra moist and fall-apart tender.

  • Easy Cleanup – With just one pot to clean at the end, cleanup is a breeze. No messy stovetop or oven to scrub down!

Tips for Making Perfect Shredded Beef

Follow these tips for shredding success every time:

  • Cut beef into 1-2 inch pieces – This exposes more surface area to the steam and reduces cook time. Leaving beef in one large roast will increase cook time.

  • Use chuck roast or brisket – These well-marbled cuts become tender and shred easily. Other options like round or sirloin roast may end up chewy.

  • Add sauce ingredients to the pot – Ingredients like broth, barbecue sauce, salsa, etc not only add flavor, but also provide moisture and steam to tenderize the beef.

  • Let pressure release naturally – Allowing the pressure to come down naturally finishes cooking the beef. Quick releasing may cause overcooked or dry beef.

  • Shred with two forks – Once cooked, use two forks to shred and separate the beef pieces inside the pot.

  • Moisten with cooking liquid – After shredding the beef, add a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid to keep the beef moist.

Ingredients Needed

Shredded beef in the Instant Pot requires just a few simple ingredients:

  • Beef – Use a well-marbled chuck roast or brisket cut into 1-2 inch pieces (about 2 lbs of beef needed for 4 servings)

  • Liquid – Broth, water, juice, or sauce adds moisture and flavor. Use about 1 cup of liquid per 1 lb of beef.

  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, spices like garlic powder, oregano, cumin, chili powder. Add to taste.

  • Flavored sauce (optional) – For added flavor, use ingredients like barbecue sauce, salsa, ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning, etc.

Step-by-Step Instant Pot Shredded Beef Recipe

Now let’s walk through the simple steps to make tender shredded beef in the Instant Pot:

1. Cut the Beef and Combine with Seasonings

  • Cut a 2 lb chuck roast or brisket into 1-2 inch pieces. This allows it to cook faster.
  • Place the cubes of beef in the Instant Pot insert.
  • Season the beef with 1 tsp each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other spices you would like. Toss until beef is evenly coated.

2. Add the Liquid

  • Pour 1 cup broth, water, juice or other liquid over the beef. This adds moisture and flavor.
  • You can also add a flavored sauce at this point if desired, like barbecue sauce.

3. Pressure Cook the Beef

  • Seal the Instant Pot and select the Manual/Pressure Cook setting to High Pressure for 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 10-15 minutes after cooking completes.
  • Then manually release any remaining pressure until the float valve drops.

4. Shred and Serve

  • Use two forks to shred the extremely tender beef inside the pot.
  • Stir in a bit of the cooking liquid to moisten the beef as needed.
  • Use the shredded beef right away, store in the fridge up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
  • Enjoy the shredded beef in tacos, sandwiches, burritos, nachos, soups and more!

Flavor Variations

  • For BBQ Beef – Use barbecue sauce instead of broth and add spices like chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar.

  • For Taco Beef – Use salsa, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes as the liquid. Add taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder.

  • For Italian Beef – Use beef broth and add oregano, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder.

  • For Spicy Beef – Use broth and add your favorite hot sauces or spices like chipotle powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes.

  • For Ranch Beef – Use broth and add a ranch seasoning packet or dressing mix.

The options are endless when it comes to adding different flavors!

Tips for Adapting Recipes for the Instant Pot

You can take your favorite shredded beef recipes and adapt them to cook conveniently in the Instant Pot. Here are some useful tips:

  • Reduce cook time by 70%. So for example, if a recipe calls for simmering for 8 hours, pressure cook for 35-40 minutes instead.

  • Cut beef into 1-2 inch pieces before cooking.

  • Replace braising liquid with an equal amount of broth, sauce, or water.

  • Make sure there is at least 1 cup liquid per 1 lb of beef.

  • Cook on High Pressure for 35-40 minutes then allow 10-15 minutes natural pressure release.

  • Check doneness after cooking. Beef should be fall-apart tender. Adjust cook time as needed.

  • Stir in barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, taco seasoning, etc after cooking if recipe calls for it.

With a little recipe conversion, you can easily make your oven or slow cooker favorite in the fast and convenient Instant Pot!

Frequently Asked Questions

What cut of beef works best? Choose a well-marbled chuck roast or brisket. Top round or bottom round may end up chewy.

How long does it take? Cook 35-40 minutes on High Pressure plus 10-15 minutes natural release for 1-2 inch beef pieces. Whole roasts take 50-60 minutes.

Can I double the recipe? Yes, you can double or triple the recipe in a larger Instant Pot. Keep liquid at 1 cup per 1 lb of beef.

Do I need to brown the beef first? Browning adds flavor but is not required. You can cook the beef from raw.

Can I quick release pressure? It’s best to allow natural release to finish cooking the beef. Quick release may cause over or undercooked beef.

How do I shred the beef? Use two forks to pull the tender beef apart into shreds right inside the Instant Pot insert after cooking.

How long does shredded beef last? Properly stored, shredded beef lasts 4-5 days in the fridge or 4-6 months in the freezer.

More Instant Pot Beef Recipe Ideas

  • Instant Pot Beef Stew
  • Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa
  • Instant Pot Beef Chili
  • Instant Pot Hungarian Goulash
  • Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
  • Instant Pot Beef Tips with Gravy
  • Instant Pot Mississippi Roast
  • Instant Pot Ropa Vieja

With the easy Instant Pot shredded beef recipe above, you can make all of these delicious beef dishes and more! The options are endless with tender shredded beef ready in under an hour.

So try out this simple recipe and enjoy your new favorite Instant Pot shredded beef masterpiece! Let us know in the comments below your favorite ways to use shredded beef from the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Shredded Beef


What is the best beef for shredding?

Chuck roast is arguably the best cut to use for pulled beef. Similar to the front shoulder of pork (or the pork “butt”) chuck roasts, being from the front shoulder of the steer, are chock full of fat, collagen, and marbling.

Does beef get tender in Instant Pot?

The Secret to the Best Instant Pot Pot Roast Chuck roast is perfect, transforming into incredibly tender, flavorful beef when pressure-cooked. Second, make the most delicious gravy by searing the roast right in your Instant Pot before cooking – it’s surprisingly easy!

What is the best cut of beef to use in an Instant Pot?

You can cook any cut in a multi-cooker, but we recommend those from the chuck and round.

Why is my Instant Pot roast beef not tender?

Why is My Roast Tough? If your roast is tough in the Instant Pot, it likely needs to be cooked longer. Chuck roast will become more tender the longer it cooks, so extra time may be needed. However, you can overcook beef in the Instant Pot, so keep an eye on it if you add extra time.

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