How To Make Amazing Pot Roast In A Fraction Of The Time

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Pot roast has been a Sunday dinner tradition in my family for a long time! My mom used to make it almost every Sunday when I was a girl, and I’ve made it for my own kids more times than I can count!

But roasts typically take a long time to cook, and long cook times take planning. And lately I just haven’t had a lot of success when it comes to meals that require a lot of planning!

Related: 11 Easy Recipes You Can Depend On When You Need A Break

Instant Pot Pot Roast

So I decided to turn to my trusty time-saving kitchen companion: my Instant Pot! After plenty of trial and error, I’ve managed to successfully adapt our favorite pot roast recipe so that it comes out perfectly in a pressure cooker. And I’m excited to share that recipe with you today! :-)

In my research, I discovered that many people have a lot of the same questions about cooking pot roast in the Instant Pot. So I’ll begin by answering some of the most important questions, and then we’ll get to the recipe so you can give it a try for yourself!

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Instant Pot Pot Roast Q&A

Q1: What Cut Of Meat Should I Use?
I always recommend using a chuck roast for pot roast. It’s generally pretty affordable and has good marbling. (This cut can go by a few different names, like chuck eye, blade roast, shoulder roast, or even just “pot roast.”)

Chuck roasts have lots of connective tissue, which makes them ideal for pressure cooking. Once that tissue breaks down, it will be tender and delicious!

Q2: How Long Should I Cook It?
A good rule of thumb for pressure cooking a roast is to cook it for 20 minutes per pound of meat. My recipe calls for a 3-pound roast, so I cook it for a total of 60 minutes.

It’s also a good idea to sear your roast for a few minutes on each side before your pressure cook it. This will give your finished roast a deeper flavor.

Q3: Can I Add Carrots And Potatoes?
A pot roast dinner would feel incomplete without carrots and potatoes! But if you don’t want them to turn into a mushy mess, you should wait to add them until about 20 minutes before your roast is done.

This step is included in my recipe below, so you don’t have to worry about figuring it out on your own!

You can either submerge the veggies in the cooking liquid, or raise them up a bit so they get steamed rather than boiled. (They’ll come out delicious either way!)

Q4: How Do I Make A Gravy?
Once your pot roast and veggies are done cooking, remove them from the pot and skim any fat off of the leftover cooking liquid. Then slowly add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the liquid into a nice gravy.

(And you guessed it—this step is also included in the recipe below!)

Q5: How Should I Season My Roast?
If you want to keep your pot roast super simple, you can’t go wrong with salt and pepper. I tend to like a bit more flavor in my roasts, so I add ranch dressing mix, au jus mix, and pepperoncini to the pot!

Learn how to whip up your own homemade ranch mix and homemade au jus mix here.

Q6: Can I Use A Frozen Roast?
You sure can! Just add 10 additional minutes of cook time per pound, and skip the sear.

(To clarify, that’s a total of 30 minutes of cook time per pound for a frozen roast, compared to 20 minutes per pound for a non-frozen roast.)

Q7: What If I Don’t Have A Pressure Cooker?
Never fear, because you can make this pot roast in a slow cooker too! Just cut back the cooking liquid to 1/2 cup and pile all the ingredients into the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. (Wait to add the carrots and potatoes until about halfway through the cook time if you’re concerned about them getting mushy.)

PHEW! That was a lot of information, but I wanted to make sure I covered all of my bases! So let’s dive right in to that pot roast recipe, shall we? :-)

Instant Pot Pot Roast

How To Make A Delicious Instant Pot Pot Roast

Ingredients:

3 lb. chuck roast
1-2 Tbsp oil
1 cup cooking liquid (water, beef broth, etc.)
(1) 1 oz packet ranch dressing mix
(1) 1 oz packet au jus mix
6 pepperoncini
3 red potatoes, cut into 2” pieces
4 large carrots, cut into 2” pieces
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp cornstarch

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Directions:

Add the oil to your Instant Pot, then select the “Sauté” button. Once the display reads “HOT,” add the roast and sear it for about 3 minutes on each side.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

After searing, turn your Instant Pot off and add 1 cup of cooking liquid. (I used water here, but feel free to use beef broth if you want more flavor!) Add the ranch mix, au jus mix, and pepperoncini to the pot as well.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Seal the lid, select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button, and cook for 40 minutes on High pressure.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

When the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes, then use Quick Release to depressurize the pot. Remove the lid, add the carrots and potatoes, and cook on High pressure for another 20 minutes.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Meanwhile, whisk together the water and cornstarch to make a slurry. When the Instant Pot timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes, then use Quick Release to depressurize the pot.

Remove the lid and carefully remove the roast, carrots, and potatoes. Skim any fat out of the remaining liquid, then select the “Sauté” button.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Whisk a small amount of the slurry at time into the liquid in the pot. Add only as much of the slurry as you need to thicken the mixture into a gravy.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Serve the pot roast, potatoes, and carrots with the gravy, and enjoy!

Does your family have a favorite Sunday dinner?

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Jill Nystul
Pot roast is a classic choice for Sunday dinner, and now thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s never been quicker or easier to make!
3.95 from 68 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 408 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lb chuck roast
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 oz ranch dressing mix
  • 1 oz au jus mix
  • 6 pepperoncini
  • 3 red potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Set Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Add oil to the pot, and once the display reads “HOT,” add the roast.
  • Sear the roast for 3 minutes on each side to brown the exterior.
  • Add the cooking liquid to inner pot (either water or beef broth).
  • Add seasonings and pepperoncini.
  • Seal the lid pressure cook on High for 40 minutes.
  • Cut carrots and potatoes into large pieces.
  • When the timer goes off, do Natural Release for 10-15 minutes, then Quick Release remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid and add carrot and potato chunks.
  • Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes.
  • Make a cornstarch slurry by combining the water and cornstarch.
  • When the timer goes off, do Natural Release for 10-15 minutes, then Quick Release remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid, transfer the roast and veggies to a plate, and skim any fat out of the pot. 
  • Set to “Sauté” and whisk while adding the slurry at a time.(Use only as much as you need to thicken the liquid in the pot.)
  • Serve pot roast, veggies, and gravy. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 408kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 34gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 456mgPotassium: 1044mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 5145IUVitamin C: 14.9mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 4.2mg

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Instant Pot Recipes & Tips

3.95 from 68 votes (67 ratings without comment)

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47 Comments

  1. This looks delicious! I keep reading about the Instant Pot and am thinking about getting one as all who have them seem to really like them.

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  2. This is very similar to a recipe called Mississippi Pot Roast. The only difference is that no liquid or oil is added, and a stick of butter is placed on top of all the ingredients. Makes a great gravy which you will have to thicken. It works with pork roast too. I saute onions first and put garlic into the meat. I use a slow cooker, not an instant pot, so maybe the water is necessary in that instance.

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  3. could you suggest spices to use, rather than the au jus and ranch mixes? I don’t like using those. I buy my herbs and spices at a specialty shop Colonel D’s Spices at Findlay Market in Cincinnati. They are so FRESH, they are worth the 1 hour drive. Anyhow, I am trying to cook more from scratch and avoid premixes. THANKS for your great recipe and all helpful ideas!

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  4. That looks like shredded pork. I’ve always had pot roasts turn out as several large pieces of meat….

    Is that the correct photo?

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    • Yes it is the right picture. My pot roast comes out in pieces and I just like to serve it this way.

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  5. Isn’t that too long at high pressure for the potatoes, carrots, and onions?

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    • They will be soft, but still delicious! If you prefer, you can stop the cooking, release the pressure, add the veggies, and bring it back up to pressure halfway through cooking time. :-)

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  6. Have you ever tried sauteeing the onions at the same time as the beef? I would think it could add some nice BBQ flavours.

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    • I usually brown the onions,carrots and meat in a skillet before adding to my Instant Pot. It is an extra pan and step that I find worthwhile although not totally necessary. I also purée the onion, celery and some potato in the pan juices to create a flavorful gravy. Thanks, Jillee for all your great recipes and tips.

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    • Yes, although you’ll have to brown the roast on the stovetop before transferring it to the crockpot. After browning, cook on low for 6-8 hours. :-)

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    • Ive done that recipe several times in the crock pot, I didn’t sear the roast in fact when I make it my roast is usually frozen when I put it in and it turns out great. I also add a bit of the juice from the pepperconcini . I actually found the recipe a long time ago on a crock pot site.

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  7. Do all of the ingredients go in for 90 minutes, or just the roast? Are the potatoes, etc added after and then just re-pressurize and release to cook them?

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  8. Is an instant pot a new age pressure cooker?

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    • Yes, anything to make more money. If you are working the old crockpot cooks your meal while you work and you come home to a delicious dinner, it takes very little time to thicken the juices to make a lovely gravy.

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  9. I have the cuisiart electric pressure cooker. It came out a few years ago. Is it the same as the instapot? It also has a sauté and high and low pressure and I think a simmer button. I’m not sure what else to compare it with the instapot.

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  10. Do you cook both the meat and the vegetables for 90 minutes?

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    • In my experience the potatoes and all other veggies would be mush if cooked 90 minutes. I think there must be a missing step.

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      • I would have to agree .I would but them is after the 90 mins for about 20 mins .At least that is how I do do it.

      • It is Pot Roast weather. Sometimes I brown the meat first to sear in the juices, other times I do not. I add beef broth, along with a bit of water, and cook the roast until tender. I serve the pot roast with mashed potatoes, usually the Bob Evans of Store Brand already mashed potatoes along with fresh broccoli, which I steam for two minutes, or steamed frozen peas or peas and carrots. I do the same with Beef Stew, I brown the small pieces before throwing them into my crockpot. Sometimes I will add some carrots, along with the meat as they take a long time to cook until tender.
        I do not care for the shredded mean as I like mine in chunks. I guess that is the newest way to cook, but, as they say in that old adage, “Different Strokes for Different Folks.”

    • Yes – the veggies are definitely soft, but they’re great as long as you don’t cut them too small. :-)

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  11. OK, back to this post……I don’t have an Inst-Pot…..yet. But my question – Is there juices left to actually make gravy from? The only time I make gravy is when roasting in the oven. I have yet to find a store bought gravy, jars or packets, that tastes any good. They are all fake tasting and I’d rather go without than eat that stuff.

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    • Yes! The Instant Pot requires some liquid to come to pressure, and because it’s a sealed container, none of that liquid will evaporate. :-)

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    • There is lots of fluid and it makes a great gravy. My daughter is gluten free so I use corn starch but you could make a great flour based gravy.

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      • Even if someone is not GF, like me, I cook GF for my husband who is GF. Who wants to cook two separate meals?

    • Lisa, my husband is gluten intolerant. That means he cannot tolerate anything with Wheat, Oats, or Barley. McCormick’s make wonderful beef, chicken, and turkey gravies and McCormick’s can be purchased GF, and are very tasty. With Beef Stew or Pot Roast, I do make my own gravy using Cornstarch instead of Flour. I do use Beef Broth with some water in the Crock-Pot, when the Pot Roast is done, I put it aside while I add a mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken the juices and it makes a wonderful gravy.
      I use Chicken Gravy when I broil or bake Pork Chops.
      With Cube Steaks, I cook them slowly using my Blue Diamond Frying pan, with a small amount of Olive Oil, and I cook them on low until they are medium-rare.
      Boneless pork chops can either be cooked using the Blue Diamond frying pan or they can be baked or broiled using my countertop oven. At my age, I make simple meals and do anything that I cook, bake or broil as easily as possible.

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  12. How is an Instant Pot different from the old-fashioned pressure cookers?

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    • They’re electric, programmable, MUCH SAFER (because they don’t blow up!), and I love that I can make yogurt in mine, saute (as shown in this recipe!), steam corn, cook rice, use as a slow cooker (but why?!), etc.

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      • The Instant Pot is great for those who work, but at my age, I do not want another pot, when my crockpot is just fine. I may change my mind, but years ago I had a stovetop pressure cooker explode when the release valve stopped working. No one was burned but the ceiling was a mess and we had to have someone come in to paint the entire ceiling as our home has an open plan.

  13. I probably shouldn’t bother pointing it out, but the potatoes pictured in your first picture are not Yukon Golds as stated in your recipe. They appear to be Reds. Just saying….. ;-)

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  14. I also use a crock pot..still undecided about an Instapot. I brown my beef and onions and place on top of the carrots and celery in the crockpot. I do add a couple of smashed garlic cloves and then pour about 3/4 of a bottle of Catalina French salad dressing over it. Do NOT use the low calorie version..it cooks down to an odd flavor. Towards the end of the cooking time, I add the rest of the bottle if it looks like I need more sauce. I boil the potatoes in a separate pot and stir frozen peas into the hot sauce just before serving. I put the meat, potatoes and carrots on the plate and spoon the sauce over all. Very pretty, tangy red sauce. This is my grandmother’s recipe and I have a feeling that the recipe came from Kraft originally when they introduced the salad dressing.

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    • The Instant Pot actually has a slow cooker setting :-)

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      • I am poor and can’t run out and buy a Instant Pot so am using a old crock pot I got at a garage sale. Could we get instructions for a crock pot also?

      • Same recipe, just cook on low for about 8 hours after searing the roast on the stovetop :-)

      • Thus I shall just stay with my old crockpot. LOL

  15. No insta pot here, just a normal crock pot…..the favorite here is… 1 can of each: French onion soup/ golden mushroom soup/cheddar cheese soup and a roast ( I use one big enough for 6 people and left overs if lucky )
    mix the soups NO added water …I put a crock pot bag in the pot and mix them in the bag…. put roast in and cook on low for 8-9 hrs ( my work day hours )

    We like this over egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or as hot beef sandwiches….

    Add a side veggy or a salad and your good to go !!

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    • I’m trying your recipe! Sounds amazing!

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    • I use the store brand onion soup mix as it is GF and the Lipton Onion Soup Mix is not GF, I add water to the Onion Soup mix with water or beef broth to cook a stew or pot roast. I use the medium setting and cook until the meat is tender. I will thicken the juices with a mixture of cornstarch and water. When the juices are at a boil, I slowly add the cornstarch mixture until the gravy is thickened.
      I, too, have no need of an Instant Pot.

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  16. Can I make a larger roast? If so, how do I convert the instructions? This sounds AWESOME!

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    • This recipe will work for a roast up to 3 pounds. For each additional pound, add 10 minutes :-)

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  17. I don’t have an Instant Pot, per se, but do have a wonderful electric pressure cooker that cooks up a delicious pot roast dinner in a very short time.

    I add one envelope of Lipton onion soup mix to my roast (salted with Johnnies Seasoning Salt) browned in pressure cooker to seal in moisture), one yellow onion, carrots, and red or Yukon potatoes, and cover with a carton of beef broth rather than water. Rich flavors are infused into the vegetables as well as producing a moist, flavorful roast. Yum!

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  18. Try this: Beef again, carrots, onions and 2 halved tomatoes and a rich splash of red wine. Pepper and salt the beef again after dipping it dry, then put butter in your pot and roast the beef till it is nicely brown. afterwards add the chopped Carrots, onions and 2 tomatoes. If you like you can add chunks op potatoes but I don’t do that, I rather boil those the oldfashioned way for more taste. After the beef is done, take the skin of the tomatoes. Just stir everything in the sause, the carrots and the tomatoes will go fine. In that way you get a lovely rich gravy. You could add a little cream to the sauce. Serve this with boiled potatoes and a vegetal to your liking. My advice is to go for a nice, spicy red cabbage dish and home cooked apple sauce.

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3.95 from 68 votes (67 ratings without comment)

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