Looking for an easy to prepare and delicious pot roast in less time? That’s exactly what I’m bring you today. Making pot roast in the Instant Pot has not only decreased the time needed to cook, but also requires less preparation and is more flexible than traditional cooking methods.
I love pot roast. It’s relatively easy, full of flavor, and makes enough food to provide leftovers for another day to two. The traditional way to make pot roast, in a Dutch over, requires a few hours of low and slow cooking for flavors to develop and to keep the meat moist and tender. My goal with converting this for the Instant Pot was more than just time savings; I wanted to improve on what could be done on the stove or in the oven. Make it easier, more flexible, and with a better overall result.
For testing, I took a step back from my usual well-marbled chuck roast. My grandmother always used bottom round, a cheaper cut of meat but better for slicing, and it often turned out a bit on the dry side despite having great flavor. I chose bottom round for my experiments to see just how well the Instant Pot could do with its wet cooking environment and also to make it more affordable.
One other test was to see whether searing the roast was really needed. The Instant Pot cooks at high enough to temperature for the Maillard reaction (browning and flavor) to occur. Keeping the roast mostly out of the liquid, and also adding a bit of baking soda to the environment, was enough to produce a well browned roast. Searing is also said to seal in juices, but cooking the roast in the IP didn’t seem to matter in this regard. This saved a significant amount of time and prep.
One last item to tackle. I like to cook vegetables with my pot roast. With nearly an hour of cooking time under pressure, this wasn’t a good option. My solution was to cook the veggies in the IP after the roast finished and was resting. The timing works out perfectly and leaves it as a purely optional step for those who just want to make the roast.
Pot Roast Ingredients
2 pound beef roast, or 4 pound split in half. Could be chuck, bottom round, etc.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup beef broth or stock
2 TB soy sauce
pinch of baking soda
salt and pepper for seasoning
For Roast Vegetables (OPTIONAL)
**varies depending on how much you want to make**
Cut veggies into large bite sized pieces
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 pound Yukon gold or red potatoes, quarter if needed
8oz mushrooms, slice if needed
4TB corn starch
Additional seasoning if needed
Pot Roast Instructions
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode. I use the Medium temp on my 6QT Ultra. Melt 2TB butter and add additional vegetable oil if needed to coat bottom of pot.
- Brown carrots, celery, and onions
- Add 1 cup of beef broth and scrape up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add 2TB soy sauce and a pinch of baking soda.
- Place roast on top of vegetables and set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 55 minutes.
- Once cooking time is done, let the IP naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
- Remove roast to cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 20 minutes.
OPTIONAL: Invite Veggies to the Party
In my house we love a lot of vegetables with our pot roast. The beauty of this pot roast recipe is that there is a good amount of liquid left over in the pot and it’s full of flavor. While the roast rests, there is just enough time to make a batch of veggies. This step is flexible depending on the amount and types of vegetables you want to add. Whether you add a small amount or fill the pot, it will be the same cooking time. Frozen peas can be added at the end of cooking and only take about 5 minutes to heat through.
- There should be about 2 cups of liquid in the pot. If not, add additional beef broth or stock.
- Add veggies to pot.
- Add salt, pepper, and any additional herbs for seasoning. Dried thyme and pepper are my go to for roasts.
- Cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, let the Instant Pot Naturally Release pressure for 10 minutes.
- Remove vegetables.
There are a few ways to approach this depending on how you like the consistency of your gravy. The remaining veggies are cooked down to almost nothing, so you can either leave (chunkier), remove, or process them. I prefer to go the easy route and just thicken for a more rustic style sauce. Which ever way you choose, there will be plenty of flavorful liquid left in the pot after cooking the roast.
- If using a fattier cut of meat, such as chuck roast, you may want to remove excess fat from the liquid by pouring it through a fat separator.
- 3 options: Strain liquid of any remaining solids. OR Use a stick blender to reduce solids. OR Don’t worry about it, any remaining veggies are pretty much cooked down to nothing.
- Mix 4TB corn starch with enough cold water to dissolve. Add mixture to roast liquid and bring to a boil for 1 minute. *2TB corn starch per cup of liquid in pot is the guideline.
- Add 2TB cold butter to gravy to add another layer of flavor if desired.
Slice and serve pot roast.
I hope you enjoyed another one of my Instant Pot recipes. As a dad, I try to develop easy and affordable recipes for any budget and skill level. I also love to share recipes that are a good base for experimenting and developing to your own personal tastes. Try using some different herbs, Worcestershire or red wine instead of soy sauce, different veggies. Have fun and make it your own.
Thanks again for visiting! Please share this recipe and feel free to comment below on any changes or improvements.