(GUIDE) How To Cook Meat In Pressure Cooker?

Cooking meat in a pressure cooker is a quick and convenient way to prepare delicious and tender meals. Pressure cooking allows for faster cooking times and helps to retain the flavors and nutrients in the meat. Whether you’re cooking beef, pork, chicken, or even game meats, a pressure cooker can be a game-changer in your kitchen. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking various types of meat in a pressure cooker, including the cooking times, preparation steps, and useful tips and tricks.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Meat In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for meat in a pressure cooker can vary depending on the type of meat and the size of the cut. Here is a quick reference guide for cooking times:

  • Beef: 20 to 30 minutes per pound (depending on the desired level of tenderness)
  • Pork: 15 to 20 minutes per pound
  • Chicken: 6 to 8 minutes per pound
  • Game meats: 25 to 30 minutes per pound

These times are estimates and can be adjusted based on personal preference and the specific recipe you are using. It’s important to note that cooking times may also vary depending on the pressure cooker model and the size and thickness of the meat cuts.


Before cooking meat in a pressure cooker, it’s essential to properly prepare the meat to ensure a delicious and safe meal. Follow these steps for optimal preparation:

  1. Trim any excess fat: Trimming excess fat from the meat can prevent the dish from becoming too greasy and can also improve the overall flavor and texture.
  2. Season the meat: Seasoning the meat before cooking adds flavor and enhances the taste. You can choose to marinate the meat for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate deep into the meat.
  3. Cut the meat into appropriate sizes: Depending on the recipe and the type of meat, you may need to cut the meat into smaller, more manageable pieces. This is especially true if you are using larger cuts of meat, such as roasts or whole chickens.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Meat

To ensure successful cooking of meat in a pressure cooker, it’s important to understand the basics of using this cooking appliance. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Liquid requirements: Pressure cookers require a minimum amount of liquid to create steam and build pressure. Without enough liquid, the food may not cook properly, and the cooker may not reach the desired pressure. Most recipes call for at least one cup of liquid, which can include water, stock, or broth.
  2. Pressure release methods: After cooking meat in a pressure cooker, there are two primary methods to release the pressure: natural release and quick release. Natural release involves allowing the pressure to decrease naturally over time, while quick release involves manually releasing the pressure using the pressure valve. The method you choose will depend on the recipe and the desired outcome.
  3. Safety precautions: Pressure cookers can be extremely hot and under high pressure, so it’s important to follow safety precautions to avoid injuries. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the pressure cooker is properly sealed before starting the cooking process.

Cook Times For Meat In Pressure Cooker

Now let’s dive into the specific cooking times for different types of meat in a pressure cooker:


  • Ground beef: Pressure cook ground beef for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the recipe. This time is suitable for making dishes like chili, bolognese sauce, or meatballs.
  • Stew meat or cubes: Beef stew meat or cubes typically require 20 to 30 minutes of pressure cooking. This time allows for tenderizing tough cuts of meat and helps to infuse flavors into the dish.
  • Roasts: Cooking a beef roast in a pressure cooker can take around 35 to 40 minutes per pound. This cooking method helps to create a juicy and tender roast.
  • Brisket: For a flavorful and tender brisket, pressure cook for about 50 to 60 minutes per pound.
  • Steak: Pressure cooking steak is not as common as other methods, but it can be done. Cook a steak in the pressure cooker for approximately 3 to 5 minutes for a medium-rare result.
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  • Pork stew meat or cubes: Similar to beef, pork stew meat or cubes require 15 to 20 minutes of pressure cooking.
  • Pork roast: For a succulent pork roast, pressure cook for 25 to 30 minutes per pound.
  • Pulled pork: To achieve tender pulled pork, pressure cook for around 60 to 90 minutes depending on the size of the cut.


  • Whole chicken: A whole chicken can be pressure cooked in 6 to 8 minutes per pound. Ensure the chicken is properly thawed and seasoned before cooking.
  • Chicken pieces: Bone-in chicken pieces require 8 to 10 minutes of pressure cooking, while boneless pieces may only need 6 to 8 minutes.

Game Meats

  • Venison, rabbit, or other game meats: Due to the lean nature of game meats, pressure cook for 25 to 30 minutes per pound. This will help tenderize the meat and bring out the flavors.

How To Cook Meat In Pressure Cooker

To cook meat in a pressure cooker, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Begin by preparing the meat as mentioned earlier, including trimming excess fat, seasoning, and cutting it into appropriate sizes if needed.
  2. Preheat the pressure cooker by adding a small amount of oil or butter and heating it on the sauté or browning function. This can help enhance the flavors and provide a nice sear to the meat.
  3. Once the pressure cooker is preheated, carefully add the meat to the pot. Avoid overcrowding the cooker and ensure there is enough space for the meat to brown evenly.
  4. Sear the meat on all sides until it develops a golden brown crust. This step adds depth of flavor to the dish.
  5. Once the meat is seared, add any additional ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, spices, and liquid to the pressure cooker. This will depend on the specific recipe you are following.
  6. Securely lock the pressure cooker lid in place and set the cooking time according to the type of meat and the desired tenderness.
  7. Turn on the heat and bring the pressure cooker to full pressure. This is indicated by the release of steam and the locking of the pressure valve.
  8. Reduce the heat to maintain a constant pressure and begin the cooking process. Set a timer based on the cooking times provided earlier.
  9. After the cooking time has elapsed, turn off the heat and proceed with releasing the pressure. Depending on the recipe, you can choose between natural release or quick release methods.
  10. Once the pressure has been released, carefully open the lid of the pressure cooker, taking caution as hot steam will be released.
  11. Check the meat for doneness. It should be tender and cooked to your desired level. If necessary, you can continue cooking for a few more minutes using the sauté function to further thicken sauces or caramelize the meat.
  12. Serve the cooked meat hot with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Meat

To ensure the best results when cooking meat in a pressure cooker, consider these additional tips and techniques:

  1. Use the right amount of liquid: As mentioned earlier, pressure cookers require a minimum amount of liquid to function properly. Ensure you have enough liquid to create steam and maintain pressure throughout the cooking process. However, be careful not to use too much liquid as it can dilute the flavors of the meat.
  2. Brown the meat: Searing the meat before pressure cooking can enhance the flavor and appearance of the final dish. The browning process caramelizes the meat’s surface, adding depth and richness to the overall flavor.
  3. Adjust cooking times for different cuts: Different cuts of meat will require varying cooking times in a pressure cooker. Tough cuts that benefit from longer cooking times, such as stew meat or roasts, should be cooked for an adequate duration to ensure tenderness. Adjust the cooking times based on the specific cut and recipe you are using.
  4. Experiment with liquid choices: While water is a common go-to liquid for pressure cooking, consider using broth, stock, wine, or even fruit juices to add more complexity to the flavors. Acids like citrus juices or vinegar can help tenderize meat more quickly.
  5. Let the meat rest: After pressure cooking, allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps to retain the juices and redistribute them throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and moist dish.


Sometimes, despite following all the instructions, issues may arise when pressure cooking meat. Here are some common troubleshooting tips:

  1. Meat is tough: If the meat is tough, it may not have been cooked for a sufficient amount of time. Return the meat to the pressure cooker and continue cooking for a few more minutes, using the same cooking method as before.
  2. Sauce or liquid is too thin: If the sauce or liquid is too thin after pressure cooking, use the sauté function to reduce and thicken the sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Burnt or stuck-on food: If you notice burnt or stuck-on food at the bottom of the pressure cooker, it’s likely that the heat was too high during the preheating or initial cooking stage. Clean the pressure cooker thoroughly and adjust the heat accordingly for the next use.
  4. Meat is dry: If the meat turns out dry, it may have been overcooked. Adjust the cooking time for the next attempt and ensure the pressure cooker is not set to the maximum pressure setting unless specified in the recipe.
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Variations And Flavoring Options

While cooking meat in a pressure cooker produces flavorful results on its own, you can elevate the taste by incorporating various flavoring options and variations. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Spice blends: Experiment with different spice blends such as Cajun, Mexican, or Indian seasonings to infuse your meat with unique flavors.
  2. Marinades: Marinate the meat before cooking to enhance the flavors. Use ingredients like garlic, soy sauce, herbs, and spices to create a delicious marinade that complements the meat.
  3. Add vegetables: Including vegetables such as onions, carrots, potatoes, or bell peppers in the pressure cooker can add depth and texture to the dish. They will also absorb the flavors of the meat and the seasonings.
  4. Finish with a sauce: After pressure cooking the meat, transfer it to a separate dish and use the remaining liquid in the pressure cooker to make a flavorful sauce. Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry or reduce it by simmering on the sauté function.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, or cilantro over the cooked meat to add a burst of freshness and a vibrant touch to the dish.

In conclusion, cooking meat in a pressure cooker is a fantastic way to create delicious and tender meals in a fraction of the time compared to traditional cooking methods. With proper preparation, accurate cooking times, and attention to safety guidelines, you can enjoy flavorful and succulent meat dishes every time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuts of meat, recipes, and flavor combinations to make your pressure cooker meat dishes truly exceptional. Happy cooking!


What Is A Pressure Cooker And How Does It Work?

A pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance used for cooking food quickly and efficiently using high amounts of pressure. It works by trapping steam inside the sealed pot, which raises the temperature and cooks the food faster.

Is It Safe To Cook Meat In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, it is safe to cook meat in a pressure cooker as long as you follow the instructions and use the proper cooking times and techniques. It is important to properly release the pressure before opening the cooker and always check the internal temperature of the meat before consuming.

What Types Of Meat Can Be Cooked In A Pressure Cooker?

Almost any type of meat can be cooked in a pressure cooker. It is often used for tougher cuts of meat that benefit from the high-pressure cooking method, such as roasts, stews, and tougher cuts of chicken, pork, and beef.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Meat In A Pressure Cooker?

The cooking time for meat in a pressure cooker will vary depending on the type and size of the meat, as well as the specific pressure cooker you are using. As a general guideline, it typically takes 20-25 minutes per pound of meat to cook in a pressure cooker.

Are There Any Special Techniques For Cooking Meat In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, there are a few techniques to keep in mind when cooking meat in a pressure cooker. It is important to always add enough liquid to create steam, use the proper amount of pressure for the type of meat, and let the pressure release naturally for certain cuts of meat to prevent overcooking and toughening of the meat. Also, searing the meat before pressure cooking can add additional flavor.