Instant Pot Pot Roast

instant pot pot roast | instant pot roast | instant pot chuck roast | pressure cooker pot roast

Step-by-Step Guide on how to cook Instant Pot Pot Roast. Tender juicy Instant Pot chuck roast with potatoes and carrots drizzled with umami gravy. No need to wait till Sunday to enjoy this easy Pressure Cooker Pot Roast packed with rich depths of flavors! Classic family-favorite comfort food made easy with a flavor boost.

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pot roast instant pot

Pot Roast

Pot roast is a classic American beef roast loved by many families. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients such as beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs. Served with a rich gravy.

Traditionally, it’s made by slow cooking a tough cut of beef (i.e. chuck roast) at low temperature for a long time. This will break down the tough connective tissues. And the best pot roast comes out tender, juicy, and full of hearty flavors.

pot roast recipe

Umami Instant Pot Pot Roast 2.0

Awesome news! With the Instant Pot, you don’t have to go low and slow by cooking pot roast in the oven or slow cooker for 4 to 8 hours anymore! You can easily enjoy this delicious Instant Pot Roast even on weeknights.

Our signature Umami Pot Roast Instant Pot recipe has become one of our readers’ top favorites since 2016. Referenced by many as one of the best Instant Pot pot roast recipes. Thank you!

After more experimenting and fine-tuning over the years, we’re excited to share our upgraded version with you – The Umami Pot Roast 2.0!

pressure cooker pot roast

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Why is my Instant Pot Roast tough or dry?

One of the common problems we hear readers struggle with is their pot roast came out tough or dry. This can be due to several reasons.

  • Undercooked / Overcooked Pot Roast: The cooking time and temperature are key to cooking tender, juicy, and flavorful pot roast. If your meat is dry, it usually means it’s overcooked. Dry & very tender meat usually means it has been overcooked to the point where all the meat fiber has broken down.
  • Cut & Size of Meat: Different cuts & sizes of meat need different cooking times. For example, if you substitute chuck roast with brisket or rump roast, you’ll need to adjust the pressure cooking time.
  • Marbling of the meat: Using very lean meat with little marbling may result in tough or dry pot roast.

Experiment: How Long to Cook Pot Roast in Instant Pot

When you’re on the quest to find the Best pot roast, you’ll be confused by the wide range of Instant Pot chuck roast cook times among different online recipes. So, many readers came to ask us how long to cook chuck roast in Instant Pot.

To find out what’s the Best Instant Pot Pot Roast cook time, time for another Amy + Jacky’s Test Kitchen experiment!

instant pot chuck roast experiment

Experiment Method

  • Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker (6qt)
  • Altitude: close to sea level
  • Meat: USDA Choice Grade chuck roast/ Canada AAA Grade blade roast
  • Meat Thickness: roughly 2 inches thick
  • Meat Weight: 598 – 608 grams (1.3 pounds)
  • Liquid: 1 cup of unsalted chicken stock
  • Pressure Level: High Pressure (10.15~11.6 psi)
  • Pressure Cooking Time: 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 75 minutes (3 separate tests)
  • Release Method: Full Natural Release for 25 minutes

2 inches thick chuck roast

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! Keep in mind the best pressure cooking time is mostly dependent on the meat’s thickness. So regardless of how much they weigh, as long as they’re 2 inches thick, results will be similar.

For the pot roast Instant pot experiment to be as accurate as possible, we made sure each chuck steaks were similar in weight. Then, repeated the exact same steps for cooking each piece of chuck steak in Instant Pot.

1.3lbs chuck roast

Experiment Results

We evaluated each Instant Pot chuck roast based on 4 factors: Meat Texture, Meat Juice, Meat Flavors, and Sauce. 

Test #1: 20 Minutes Pot Roast

  • Meat Texture: the less fatty pieces were tough and chewy, and the pieces with more fat were tenderized
  • Meat Juice: moist
  • Meat Flavors: very flavorful, full of strong beefy flavors
  • Sauce: flavorful

pressure cook chuck roast in Instant Pot for 20 minutes

Test #2: 45 Minutes Pot Roast

  • Meat Texture: tender with slight chew, more tender than the 20-Minute Pot Roast; sliceable beef, not fall apart type of shredded beef
  • Meat Juice: since most of the connective tissues have broken down, it tastes more juicy and moist than the 20-Minute Pot Roast
  • Meat Flavors: flavorful, slightly less flavorful compared to the 20-Minute Pot Roast
  • Sauce: much more flavorful than the 20-Minute Pot Roast
pressure cook chuck roast in Instant Pot for 45 minutes
If you’re thinking how come the above photo has less meat compared to the other two, you’re right! Jacky kept “taste-testing” one piece after another (while I wasn’t looking) and totally forgot we haven’t taken a picture yet!! Oops… 😛

Test #3: 75 Minutes Pot Roast

  • Meat Texture: overcooked beef – super tender, but dry
  • Meat Juice: meat juice have mostly gone to the sauce. So if you don’t eat the roast with the sauce, the meat is dry. Some people call this the distinct “pressure cooker taste”.
  • Meat Flavors: not much flavor because the beefy flavors have mostly gone to the sauce
  • Sauce: super flavorful sauce with depths of flavors; amazing sauce

pressure cook chuck roast in Instant Pot for 75 minutes

Amy + Jacky’s Notes: Since this 75 Minutes Pot Roast is already overcooked, we didn’t go further to test chuck roast in Instant Pot with 90 minutes pressure cooking time.

Video: Pot Roast Instant Pot Experiment Results

Experiment Conclusion

Out of the 3 tests, we enjoyed the 45 Minutes Pot Roast the most. Because the Instant pot chuck roast was the most well-balanced in terms of Meat Texture, Meat Juice, Meat Flavors, and Sauce. The tenderized roast is still flavorful, juicy, and moist. Plus, the sauce was deliciously flavorful.

instant pot chuck roast

How to Cook Instant Pot Pot Roast

instant pot roast

Prepare Ingredients for cooking pot roast in Instant Pot:

pot roast ingredients

We designed this pot roast Instant Pot recipe with lots of umami ingredients that complement very well with chuck roast.

chuck steak

Best Cut of Beef for Instant Pot Pot Roast

Chuck Roast: Chuck roast is the best cut for pot roast. It’s one of the most suitable cuts to cook in Instant Pot or pressure cooker. For best results, use a well-marbled chuck roast. Not only will it enrich the flavors, but the fat will also melt and lubricate the meat while cooking.

  • Other Common Names: Top Blade Pot Roast, Shoulder Roast, Beef Blade Roast, Braising Steak (in UK).
Amy + Jacky’s Notes – Beef Cuts: Other cuts of beef may be too lean or need a different cooking time. If you’re using grass-fed beef, keep in mind it has less fat than grain-fed beef.

Unsalted Chicken Stock/Unsalted Beef Stock: We’re using chicken stock instead of beef stock mainly because store-bought chicken stock usually tastes closer to the real stock and tastes a lot better than most store-bought beef stock. But if you have homemade beef stock or high quality beef stock, you can use beef stock instead.

  • Substitute with Salted Stock: Keep in mind that the sodium level can vary a lot between different brands. Always taste and adjust accordingly.

Our Secret Umami Pot Roast Ingredients

Wait! Fish Sauce? Soy Sauce in Pot Roast? If you’ve been following our recipes, you can probably smell our obsession with Umami. It won’t taste fishy. Give them a try! 😉

Fish Sauce & Regular Soy Sauce: Our flavor-boosting, umami-filled secret weapons to elevate this Pot Roast Instant Pot Recipe! They’re not traditional ingredients in a classic pot roast. But they add a magical boost of savory-umami flavor complexity to the pressure cooker pot roast.

Step 1

Brown Chuck Roast in Instant Pot

Heat up Instant Pot by using the “Sauté More” function. Wait until the Instant Pot says “HOT” (~8 mins).

Amy + Jacky’s Tip: Make sure the Instant Pot is as hot as it can be to induce a Maillard reaction and prevent excessive moisture loss.

Saute More

Pat dry the chuck roast steak with a paper towel. Then, generously season one side of the chuck roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

season beef

Add 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Make sure to coat the oil well over the whole bottom of the pot.

Place the seasoned side of the chuck roast in Instant Pot, then season the other side of the chuck roast with more kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Let the chuck roast brown for 8 minutes per side to develop some awesome deep flavors. You don’t need to constantly flip the chuck roast.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! Good things are worth waiting for. So don’t skip this step! Be patient to allow the maillard reaction to take place because the caramelized flavors will greatly enhance the pot roast’s flavors.

chuck roast in Instant Pot

When the chuck roast is nice and browned, remove it and set it aside.

Check out this beautifully browned Instant Pot chuck roast!

browned chuck roast in Instant Pot

Step 2

Optional – Sauté Mushrooms

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons (14g – 28g) unsalted butter in Instant Pot.

Add in chopped cremini mushrooms. Stir to evenly coat the mushrooms with butter.

Mushrooms will begin to release their moisture. Let the moisture evaporate, then stir occasionally until the mushrooms are slightly crisped and browned.

Amy + Jacky’s Notes: This optional flavor-enhancing step will take roughly 7 to 12 minutes. It’ll greatly enhance the gravy’s flavors!
Step 3

Sauté Onions & Garlic

Add sliced onions in Instant Pot, then saute for 3 minutes until softened. 

saute onions

Add in minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon (0.25g) dried rosemary, ¼ teaspoon (0.35g) thyme, and 2 bay leaves, then saute for another minute.

Amy + Jacky’s Quick Tip! Rub the dried herbs between your fingers as you add them to the food can help “activate” their flavors and aroma.
Step 4

Deglaze Instant Pot

Pour in 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) or balsamic vinegar, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Step 5

Pressure Cook Pot Roast

Add 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce in Instant Pot.

add chicken stock

Place the browned chuck roast in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Don’t forget to add in all the meat juice too! Make sure the chuck roast is at least partially submerged in the cooking liquid.

*Note: If you haven’t add the mushrooms in Instant Pot, add them now.

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. 

Instant Pot Pot Roast Cook Time: Pressure Cook Pot Roast at High Pressure for 45 minutes, then Full Natural Release for 25 minutes.

High Pressure for 45 minutes

Open the lid carefully.

Step 6

Pressure Cook Vegetables

Pot Roast in Instant Pot

Set aside the chuck roast in Instant Pot. Then, cover the chuck roast with aluminum foil. Let it rest as you pressure cook the vegetables.

Submerge the quartered potatoes into the sauce, then stack the chopped carrots on top of the potatoes.

pressure cook potatoes and carrots

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes, then Quick Release.

  • Quick Release: When pressure cooking ends, immediately turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release all the pressure in Instant Pot.

Open the lid carefully.

Step 7

Make Gravy & Serve Instant Pot Roast

Taste the sauce, then adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Mix 2 tablespoons (18g) cornstarch with 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water, then mix it into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.

pot roast with gravy

Then, slice the pot roast against the grain. High five your family!

Amy + Jacky’s Tips – Slice Against the Grain: For a tough cut, it’s best to slice the meat against the grain (tough long muscle fibers). The meat will be a lot more tender than slicing parallel to the grain.

Serve this Easy Instant Pot Pot Roast. Enjoy this umami-filled dish you’ve cooked!

chuck roast instant pot

What to Serve with Instant Pot Roast

Umami pot roast is an easy flavorful twist to the classic family-favorite Sunday roast. You can now enjoy it any day of the week as a comforting one pot meal.

You can serve it with side dishes like salads, potatoes, vegetables, breadsticks, dinner rolls, garlic bread, or Yorkshire Pudding. Here are some tasty side dishes you can serve with Umami Pot Roast:

Vegetable Side Dishes: Instant Pot Broccoli, Instant Pot Green Beans, Instant Pot Corn on the Cob, Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes, peas, parsnips, asparagus, zucchini, or brussels sprouts.

If you like to serve it with some comforting soup, here are some tasty ideas: Instant Pot Vegetable Soup, Instant Pot Mushroom Soup, Instant Pot Tomato Soup, or Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.

Enjoy Umami Instant Pot Pot Roast!

4.98 from 468 votes

Instant Pot Pot Roast

Author: Amy + Jacky
Step-by-Step: How to cook Instant Pot Pot Roast. Tender juicy Instant Pot chuck roast with potatoes and carrots drizzled with umami gravy. No need to wait till Sunday to enjoy this easy Pressure Cooker Pot Roast packed with rich depths of flavors! Classic family-favorite comfort food made easy with a flavor boost.
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Servings 4 - 6
Total Time 2 hours
Rate this Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 - 3 pounds (1176g) chuck roast or blade roast , 2 inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
  • Optional: 1 - 2 tablespoons (14g - 28g) unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 8 (160g) cremini mushrooms , sliced
  • 2 (280g) small onions , sliced
  • 6 (20g) garlic cloves , minced
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25g) dried rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.35g) thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock or high-quality unsalted beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce (can substitute with regular soy sauce)
  • 2 - 4 (750g) potatoes , quartered
  • 3 (280g) medium carrots , cut into 1½ inch (4cm) chunks
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Thickener

  • 2 tablespoons (18g) cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water

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Instructions 

  • Brown Chuck Roast: Heat up Instant Pot using “Sauté More” function. Wait until Instant Pot says “HOT” (~8 mins).
    Pat dry chuck roast with paper towel. Then, generously season one side of chuck roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
    Add 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Make sure to coat the oil well over the whole bottom of the pot.
    Place seasoned side of chuck roast in Instant Pot, then season the other side of chuck roast with more kosher salt and ground black pepper.
    Let chuck roast brown for 8 minutes per side to develop some deep flavors. Don’t need to constantly flip the chuck roast.
    When the chuck roast is nice and browned, remove it and set aside.
  • Optional - Sauté Mushrooms: Add 1 to 2 tbsp (14g - 28g) unsalted butter in Instant Pot. Add in sliced cremini mushrooms. Stir to evenly coat the mushrooms with butter.
    Mushrooms will begin to release their moisture. Let the moisture evaporate, then stir occasionally until the mushrooms are slightly crisped and browned.
    Amy + Jacky's Notes: This optional flavor-enhancing step will take roughly 7 to 12 minutes. It’ll greatly enhance the gravy’s flavors!
  • Sauté Onions & Garlic: Add in sliced onions, then saute for 3 minutes until softened. Add in minced garlic, ¼ tsp (0.25g) dried rosemary, ¼ tsp (0.35g) thyme, and 2 bay leaves, then saute for another minute.
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour in 2 tbsp (30ml) red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) or balsamic vinegar, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Pressure Cook Pot Roast: Add 1 cup (250ml) unsalted chicken stock, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce in Instant Pot.
    Place browned chuck roast in Instant Pot. Don’t forget to add in all the meat juice! Make sure the chuck roast is at least partially submerged in the cooking liquid.
    *Note: If you haven't add the mushrooms in Instant Pot, add them now.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 45 minutes, then Full Natural Release for 25 minutes. Open the lid carefully.
  • Pressure Cook Vegetables: Set aside chuck roast, then cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest as you pressure cook the vegetables.
    Submerge quartered potatoes into the sauce, then stack chopped carrots on top of the potatoes.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 4 minutes, then Quick Release. Open the lid carefully.
  • Make Gravy & Serve: Taste the sauce, then adjust the seasoning if necessary.
    Mix 2 tbsp (18g) cornstarch with 3 tbsp (45ml) cold water, then mix it into the sauce one third at a time until desired thickness.
    Slice pot roast against the grain. High five your family! Serve this Umami Pot Roast. Enjoy this umami-filled dish you've cooked!

Video

Notes

1) Chuck Roast

Cut into 2-inch Thick Chuck Steak: Cooking chuck roast as a whole can overcook the outer layer before the center is perfectly cooked. By cutting your chuck roast into 2-inch thick chuck steaks, you can save time and cook the meat more evenly. If your chuck roast is thicker, cut it into 2-inch thick or adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • 1-inch Thick Chuck Roast: Pressure cook at High Pressure for roughly 32 – 34 minutes, then Natural Release.
  • 1.5-inch Thick Chuck Roast: Pressure cook at High Pressure for roughly 38 – 42 minutes, then Natural Release.
  • 3-inch Thick Chuck Roast: Pressure cook at High Pressure for roughly 52 – 54 minutes, then Natural Release.
Browning Chuck Roast: The browning step is for enhancing the flavors. It won't affect the cooking time. Try not to skip this step because the caramelized flavors will greatly enhance the flavors.
Frozen Chuck Roast: Frozen chuck roast won't brown as well, so the pot roast won't be as flavorful. Try to brown the roast as best as you can on each side before you start, and add about 3 to 5 extra minutes to the pressure cooking time.
Other Beef Cuts
  • Eye of Round: Make our Roast Beef instead.
  • Top Sirloin (Not Sirloin Tip Roast): Use roughly the same pressure cooking time.
  • Rump Roast: Reduce pressure cooking time.
  • Sirloin Tip Roast/Tri-Tip Roast: They're very lean, we don't recommend using them for pot roast.
2) Fish Sauce: Red boat 40N fish sauce is our favorite from our blind taste-tests. Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce is also a solid choice.
  • Fish Sauce Substitute: Substitute with another tablespoon of regular soy sauce.
3) Soy Sauce: Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce is great for daily cooking. 
4) Mushrooms: If you're not a fan of mushrooms, you may omit them. The pot roast will still be delicious.
5) Unsalted Chicken Stock/Unsalted Beef Stock: We’re using chicken stock instead of beef stock mainly because store-bought chicken stock usually tastes closer to the real stock and tastes a lot better than most store-bought beef stock. But if you have homemade beef stock or high quality beef stock, you can use beef stock instead.
  • Substitute with Salted Stock: Keep in mind that the sodium level can vary a lot between different brands. Always taste and adjust accordingly.
6) Pot Roast Texture: We designed this recipe to yield sliceable yet fork-tender pot roast with the beef being juicy, moist, and full of beefy flavors even without the gravy (See Experiment). So, our cooking time is not intended to make shredded beef type of pot roast. Feel free to adjust according to your preferences.
7) Can I cook pot roast with potatoes and carrots at the same time? Cooking the vegetables with the roast will make the gravy taste better, but the tradeoff is the vegetables will be overcooked.
8) Quick Release: When pressure cooking ends, immediately turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release all the pressure in Instant Pot.
9) Slice Chuck Roast Against the Grain: For a tough cut, it's best to slice the meat against the grain (tough long muscle fibers). The meat will be a lot more tender than slicing parallel to the grain.
10) Double the Recipe: Reduce the pressure cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes because it'll take Instant Pot longer to pressurize (longer "get up to pressure" time). Also, place the chuck steaks side by side in the pot, not stacked on top of each other.
Rate Amy + Jacky's Recipe: If you've tried our recipe, rate the recipe in the Comments section. Thank you!
Calories: 520kcal
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chuck roast instant pot, instant pot chuck roast, instant pot pot roast, instant pot roast, pot roast instant pot, pressure cooker pot roast

Nutrition

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 375mg | Potassium: 1470mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5125IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 9mg

FAQ: How long to cook 2 lbs roast in Instant Pot?

The best pressure cooking time is mostly dependent on the roast’s thickness, not its weight. So using a cook time based on how many pounds the meat weigh is not an accurate rule that yields the best results.

So, how long to cook a 2 lbs roast in Instant Pot depends on the type of roast you’re using, and the thickness of the roast.

For reference, with a 2-inch thick chuck roast, we pressure cook it at High Pressure for 45 minutes, then Full Natural Release for 25 minutes.

instant pot pot roast | instant pot roast | instant pot chuck roast | pressure cooker pot roast
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