Now you can cook a pressure cooker pot roast in in less than an hour! This easy recipe makes a healthy weeknight meal that cooks quickly in your instant pot or electric pressure cooker! It’s gluten free, paleo and whole 30, and low carb
What is a Pot Roast anyway?
It’s a common misconception that the term Pot roast refers to the cut of meat used, it doesn’t, it’s simply the method used to cook the meat. The typical way to cook a pot roast is to take a large cut of meat (in this case, beef) and brown it first to get that wonderful Maillard reaction which further boosts the flavor.
Then, the meat is usually cooked over a long time at a low temperature with the addition of some sort of liquid such as water, broth, or wine, until it is soft and tender.
What are the best cuts of meat for a Pressure Cooker Pot Roast?
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In general, tougher cuts of meat work best for making a pot roast. These are the cuts of meat that contain a decent amount of fat throughout and connective tissue, so if they were grilled, fried, or cooked quickly in some other way they would be as tough as old boots!
When cooked with a slow cook time, over a low heat, the collagen will eventually break down and melt, creating a fork tender piece of meat. We want to make that same fall apart tender piece of meat over a much shorter cook time in our pressure cookers!
My favorite, no fail, piece of beef for cooking in my Instant Pot pressure cooker is the boneless chuck roast, it works for me every time. The chuck roast cut comes from the shoulder of the animal and is a fairly inexpensive cut compared to some others.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes!
How long do you cook a pot roast in a Pressure Cooker?
Chuck Roasts typically have a uniform thickness of about 1-2 inches, and this is an added benefit when cooking it in your electric pressure cooker as the cook time is often determined more by the thickness of the meat, rather than by the weight of it.
For example, if you have a chuck roast that is 3-4lbs, or one that is 5-6lbs, but they are both an inch thick then the cook time for both should be pretty similar in a pressure cooker.
I see a lot of recipes advocating what I think is a very long cook time for chuck roasts, often 60-90 minutes or more, which I find is too long for me. By that time most of the flavor from the meat has transferred to the liquid surrounding it, which makes for a very flavorful gravy, but a pretty tasteless piece of meat.
That said, there are many others who love a pot roast that is pressure cooked for 60-90 minutes so my only conclusion is that it comes down to personal taste! If the 47 minute cook time is not long enough for you, you can always put the lid back on and continue to cook it for a little longer.
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Tips for Making Pressure Cooker Pot Roast
- As mentioned above, this recipe works best with a boneless chuck roast. If you’re wondering if you can use a bottom round roast, well, you can, but you will get more consistent results with boneless chuck.
- The vegetables that are cooked with the meat are simply there to enhance the flavor of the cooking liquid, they will be very soft at the end of the cook time so you should remove them from the gravy.
- Make sure you use natural pressure release when the cook time is up. This simply means that you let the unit cool down for about 10-15 minutes until the pressure release valve has dropped, rather than opening the valve right away and letting the pressure out. A quick release of pressure can cause the meat to become dry and tough so we want to avoid that.
- If your chuck roast is really wide it might be easier to brown it in a skillet, that’s often what I do rather than trying to get it to fit on the bottom of the Instant Pot inner pot.
- If you want to make potatoes or additional vegetables such as carrots to serve with the meat you can cook them in the pot at the end of the meat cook time. Simply remove the meat and cover with foil to keep warm. Add a steamer basket and add in your potatoes and carrots, replace the lid and cook for 4 minutes, then you can quick release the pressure.
More Pressure Cooker Recipes You’ll love!
Have you checked out my recipe index? You can find recipes there for gluten free, paleo, and whole 30, just use the search boxes (on the side on desktop, and listed at the top on mobile)
And lastly, don’t miss my recipe for Instant Pot Whole Chicken, it’s really easy to make it in less than 30 minutes!
Pressure Cooker Pot Roast
Now you can cook a classic pot roast in your electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot in less than an hour! This easy recipe makes a really easy, healthy weeknight meal! It's gluten free, paleo and whole 30, low carb, and healthy!
- 4lb boneless chuck roast
- 1 cup gluten/paleo free beef stock, or water 250mls
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 celery sticks cut into pieces
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tbsp cornstarch, or arrowroot for paleo
Please read the notes for Paleo and Whole30 Version.
Start by browning the meat in a little oil in the inner pot by turning on the saute function on your electric pressure cooker and adjust it to the medium heat option. Don't wait for the display to say 'hot', add oil right away and brown the meat on both sides, then remove it.
If the chuck roast is really wide it may be easier to brown it in a skillet in the stovetop instead.
Add the vegetables and garlic, then place the meat on top of the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper. Please note that the vegetables that are cooked with the meat are simply there to enhance the flavor of the cooking liquid and make a great tasting gravy, they will be very soft at the end of the cook time so you should remove them from the gravy.
Tuck the thyme and bay leaves along the sides of the meat.
Pour in the beef stock or water, lock the lid, turn the steam release vent to 'sealing' and using the manual setting, adjust it to cook for 47 minutes at High Pressure.
When the cook time time is up, allow the unit to reduce pressure on its own without opening the steam release vent (Natural Release) for at least 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes you can carefully and slowly release the rest of the pressure.
Remove the meat and cover with foil.
If you want to cook potatoes and carrots to serve with this then remove the meat once it's cooked and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add baby potatoes and carrot chunks to a steamer basket and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. You can then quickly release the pressure.
To make the gravy mix the cornstarch, or arrowroot for paleo, with a little cold water.
Add half of the starch mixture to the meat juices then turn on the saute function if you need to let it heat up again until it thickens. If you want it thicker simply add more starch mixture.
Strain out the vegetables and serve over the meat.
I have found it hard to find store bought paleo or whole30 beef broth for this recipe. There are several options available on Amazon that would be paleo compliant (you'll need to check for whole30) such as this Kettle and Fire Bone Broth, Bone Broth Powder, or LonoLife Grass Fed Beef Bone Broth.
You can easily use water as an alternative, it won't be quite as rich but it will work perfectly well. Or, you could use your own home made beef broth that's paleo compliant