(GUIDE) How To Cook Pot Roast In Pressure Cooker?

Pot roast is a classic comfort food that brings families together around the dinner table. The tender and flavorful meat, along with the rich and hearty gravy, is a perfect combination that satisfies both young and old. Traditionally, pot roast is cooked slowly in the oven or on the stovetop, but if you’re short on time or want to streamline the cooking process, using a pressure cooker is an excellent option.

Pressure cooking is a cooking technique that uses high-pressure steam to cook food quickly and efficiently. It can significantly reduce cooking time while infusing flavors into the meat, resulting in a succulent and mouthwatering pot roast. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking pot roast in a pressure cooker, providing you with all the information you need to achieve perfect results.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Pot Roast In Pressure Cooker

Cooking times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the roast, as well as the pressure cooker you’re using. Generally, a pot roast will take about 60-90 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker. However, this time can be shortened or lengthened depending on your preference for tenderness.


Before cooking your pot roast in a pressure cooker, there are a few steps you should take to ensure the best results.

  1. Select a well-marbled piece of meat: The quality of the meat you choose will greatly affect the final result. Look for a well-marbled cut of beef, such as chuck roast or bottom round. These cuts are ideal for pot roast as they are flavorful and become tender when cooked.

  2. Season the meat: To enhance the flavors of the pot roast, season the meat generously with salt and pepper. You can also add other herbs and spices according to your preference, such as garlic powder, thyme, or rosemary.

  3. Prepare the vegetables: Traditional pot roast often includes onions, carrots, and potatoes. Peel and chop the onions and carrots into large chunks, and quarter the potatoes. These vegetables will add flavor to the dish and provide a delicious accompaniment to the meat.

  4. Sear the meat (optional): Searing the meat before pressure cooking can help develop a rich flavor and color. Heat some oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides. This step is optional but recommended for extra depth of flavor.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Pot Roast

Understanding the basics of using a pressure cooker for pot roast is essential for successful cooking. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Check the pressure cooker’s instructions: Different pressure cookers may have specific guidelines regarding cooking times and pressure settings for pot roast. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

  2. Ensure sufficient liquid: Liquid is needed to create the steam that builds the pressure and cooks the meat. Generally, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of liquid, such as beef broth, wine, or water, is enough for a pot roast in a pressure cooker. This liquid will also serve as the base for the gravy.

  3. Use the proper pressure setting: Most pressure cookers offer high and low-pressure settings. For pot roast, it is best to use the high-pressure setting, which will help tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavors.

  4. Allow for natural pressure release: After the cooking time is complete, it is important to let the pressure release naturally for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the meat to rest and continue cooking while the pressure gradually releases.

Cook Times For Pot Roast In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for pot roast in a pressure cooker will depend on various factors, including the size and thickness of the meat, the desired level of tenderness, and the pressure cooker you’re using. Here is a general guideline for cooking times:

  • Small pot roast (1-2 pounds): Cook on high pressure for 45-60 minutes.
  • Medium pot roast (2-3 pounds): Cook on high pressure for 60-75 minutes.
  • Large pot roast (3-4 pounds): Cook on high pressure for 75-90 minutes.

Remember that these times are approximate, and it’s important to monitor the meat’s tenderness as it cooks. If you prefer the meat to be exceptionally tender, you can extend the cooking time by 15-30 minutes.

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How To Cook Pot Roast In Pressure Cooker

Now that you have prepared the meat and vegetables, and understand the basics of pressure cooking, it’s time to cook the pot roast in your pressure cooker. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a delicious pot roast:

  1. Heat the pressure cooker: Place the pressure cooker on the stovetop over medium-high heat. If your pressure cooker has a sauté function, use it to sear the meat. Otherwise, you can skip this step and proceed to the next.

  2. Add the seasoned meat: Place the seasoned pot roast in the pressure cooker. If you have seared the meat, ensure that it sits evenly at the bottom of the cooker. This will allow the meat to brown evenly.

  3. Add the vegetables and liquid: Scatter the chopped onions, carrots, and quartered potatoes around the meat. Pour in the liquid, such as beef broth or wine, ensuring that it reaches about 1 to 2 inches up the sides of the roast. This will provide enough steam to create pressure.

  4. Secure the lid: Place the lid on the pressure cooker and ensure it is tightly secured. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for locking and sealing the lid properly.

  5. Set the pressure and cooking time: Set your pressure cooker to the high-pressure setting and adjust the cooking time according to the size of your pot roast, as mentioned in the previous section.

  6. Start the cooking process: Once the pressure cooker has reached the desired pressure, it will begin to cook. You will notice the pressure indicator rise, indicating that the pressure has been achieved. The cooking time will begin to count down.

  7. Natural pressure release: After the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10-15 minutes. This can be done by turning off the heat and letting the pressure drop on its own.

  8. Release any remaining pressure: Once the natural release time has elapsed, you can manually release any remaining pressure by carefully using the pressure release valve. Be cautious as the steam can be hot.

  9. Check the meat’s tenderness: Open the lid of the pressure cooker and check the meat for tenderness. The meat should be fork-tender and easily pull apart. If it’s not as tender as desired, you can return the lid and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes.

  10. Serve and enjoy: Carefully remove the pot roast from the pressure cooker and transfer it to a serving platter. Strain the cooking liquid to remove any solids and use it to make a flavorful gravy. Serve the pot roast with the vegetables and gravy for a complete and satisfying meal.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Pot Roast

To achieve the best results when cooking pot roast in a pressure cooker, there are a few additional techniques you can employ:

  1. Browning the meat: While not essential, searing the meat before pressure cooking can enhance the flavor and appearance of the pot roast. Searing creates a caramelized crust that adds depth and richness to the dish. If your pressure cooker has a sauté function, take advantage of it and sear the meat before adding the vegetables and liquid.

  2. Deglaze the pot: After searing the meat, there may be bits of browned meat stuck to the bottom of the pressure cooker. This is called fond, and it is full of flavor. Deglazing the pot with some liquid, such as wine or broth, can help loosen these flavorful bits and incorporate them into the sauce.

  3. Resting the meat: After the pot roast has finished cooking and the pressure has released naturally, it’s a good idea to let the meat rest in the cooking liquid for a few minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become even more tender.

  4. Thickening the gravy: If you prefer a thicker gravy, you can remove the meat and vegetables from the pressure cooker and set them aside. Place the cooking liquid on the stovetop and bring it to a gentle boil. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch or flour with water to create a slurry. Slowly whisk the slurry into the boiling liquid and continue cooking until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.


While cooking pot roast in a pressure cooker is relatively straightforward, you may encounter some issues along the way. Here are a few common troubleshooting tips:

  1. Meat not tender enough: If your pot roast is not as tender as you’d like after the initial cooking time, simply return the lid and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes. This extra time will help break down the connective tissues and make the meat more tender.

  2. Insufficient liquid: If you find that the cooking liquid is evaporating too quickly and the pot is running dry, add a little more liquid, such as beef broth or wine. This will help maintain the necessary steam for pressure cooking.

  3. Overcooked meat: If you accidentally cook the pot roast for too long, resulting in meat that is falling apart, don’t panic. While it may not hold its shape as well, the meat can still be delicious and tender. Shred the meat and incorporate it into stews, sandwiches, or tacos.

  4. Inconsistent cooking: If you notice that certain parts of the pot roast are cooked unevenly, try to ensure that the meat is evenly distributed in the pressure cooker. This will help promote even cooking throughout the entire roast.

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Variations And Flavoring Options

While a classic pot roast with onions, carrots, and potatoes is delicious on its own, there are endless possibilities for flavor variations and additional ingredients. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Aromatic spices: Boost the flavor of your pot roast by adding aromatic spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves. These herbs and spices will infuse the meat and cooking liquid with delicious flavors.

  2. Wine or beer: Add depth and complexity to your pot roast by incorporating red wine, white wine, or beer into the cooking liquid. The alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process, leaving behind rich and flavorful notes.

  3. Tomato-based sauce: For a tangy twist, use tomato paste, diced tomatoes, or tomato sauce in the cooking liquid. This will add a savory element to the pot roast and create a thicker sauce.

  4. Experiment with vegetables: While traditional pot roast includes onions, carrots, and potatoes, you can get creative with other vegetables. Consider adding parsnips, turnips, celery, or mushrooms to bring different flavors and textures to your dish.

  5. Custom marinades: Before cooking the pot roast, marinate the meat in your favorite flavors. You can create a marinade with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, or any other ingredients that appeal to your taste buds.

By experimenting with these variations and flavoring options, you can customize your pot roast to suit your preferences and create a dish that your family will love.

In conclusion, cooking pot roast in a pressure cooker is an efficient and practical way to enjoy this classic comfort food. With the help of a pressure cooker, you can achieve tender and flavorful pot roast in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional cooking methods. By following the steps outlined in this article and using the recommended cooking times, you will be able to create a delicious pot roast that will leave your family asking for seconds. So go ahead, embrace the convenience of pressure cooking, and enjoy a mouthwatering pot roast that will bring warmth and happiness to your dinner table.


What Is A Pressure Cooker And How Does It Work?

A pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance that uses steam and high pressure to cook food quickly. It works by trapping steam inside the pot, which increases the temperature and pressure and speeds up the cooking process.

Can I Cook A Pot Roast In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can cook a pot roast in a pressure cooker. In fact, using a pressure cooker can cut down the cooking time significantly and make the meat tender and juicy.

What Kind Of Meat Is Best For Pot Roast In A Pressure Cooker?

A tough piece of beef, such as chuck roast, is ideal for cooking in a pressure cooker. The high pressure and steam will break down the tough connective tissues, resulting in a tender and flavorful pot roast.

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

The cooking time for a pot roast in a pressure cooker depends on the size and thickness of the meat. Generally, it takes about 20-25 minutes for every pound of meat. So, a 3-pound pot roast would take approximately 1 hour to cook.

Are There Any Safety Precautions I Should Take When Using A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions when using a pressure cooker. This includes not overfilling the pot with food, releasing the pressure before opening the lid, and ensuring the pressure valve is working properly.