(GUIDE) How To Cook Roast In Pressure Cooker?

Cooking a roast can be time-consuming and require a lot of attention. However, if you have a pressure cooker, you can drastically reduce the cooking time and still achieve tender and flavorful results. In this article, we will delve into the details of cooking a roast in a pressure cooker, from preparation to troubleshooting. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, we will guide you through the process to ensure a delicious roast every time.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Roast In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for a roast in a pressure cooker depends on the size of the roast and the desired level of doneness. As a general guideline, you can cook a medium-sized roast (around 3 pounds) for approximately 20-25 minutes per pound. However, it is essential to adjust the cooking time based on your specific recipe and the tenderness you prefer.


Before you start cooking a roast in a pressure cooker, there are a few preparatory steps that will enhance the flavor and texture of your roast:

  1. Choose the right cut: Select a cut of meat that is suitable for pressure cooking. Tender cuts such as chuck roast, shoulder roast, or brisket work well in a pressure cooker, as they become tender and juicy when cooked under pressure.

  2. Season the roast: Season the roast with your preferred blend of spices. Common options include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and rosemary. Rub the spices into the meat, ensuring even distribution on all sides.

  3. Sear the roast: To enhance the flavor and appearance of the roast, sear it before pressure cooking. Heat some oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides. This process caramelizes the surface of the meat, creating a beautifully browned exterior and imparting a depth of flavor to the final dish.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Roast

Understanding some of the fundamental principles of using a pressure cooker for roasting is crucial for achieving the desired results. Here are a few essential points to keep in mind:

  1. Pressure release: The pressure cooker utilizes steam pressure to cook the roast rapidly. After cooking, you must release the pressure before opening the cooker. There are two primary methods of pressure release: natural release and quick release. Natural release involves letting the pressure come down naturally over a period of time, while quick release involves manually releasing the pressure using the valve on the pressure cooker.

  2. Liquid requirement: Unlike traditional roasting methods, pressure cooking requires the addition of liquid to generate steam and create the high pressure needed for cooking. Typically, you will need around 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid, such as broth, wine, or water, depending on the recipe. This liquid helps to infuse flavor into the roast and prevents the meat from drying out.

Cook Times For Roast In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for a roast in a pressure cooker can vary depending on factors such as the size and cut of meat, desired tenderness, and the specific pressure cooker model you are using. The following are general guidelines for different sizes of roasts:

  • Small roast (1-2 pounds): Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes per pound.
  • Medium roast (2-4 pounds): Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes per pound.
  • Large roast (4-6 pounds): Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes per pound.

It is vital to note that these times are approximate and can vary based on personal preferences and the tenderness you desire for your roast. Always refer to the recipe or the manufacturer’s instructions for more accurate cooking times.

How To Cook Roast In A Pressure Cooker

Now that we have covered the preparation and basic principles, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of cooking a roast in a pressure cooker:

  1. Prepare the pressure cooker: Ensure that your pressure cooker is clean and in proper working condition. Check that the rubber gasket is in place and that the pressure release valve is clear. This step is crucial to ensure the cooker functions correctly and safely.

  2. Sear the roast: Heat some oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the seasoned roast in the cooker and sear it on all sides until browned. Searing not only enhances the flavor but also helps the roast retain its shape during the cooking process.

  3. Add liquid and aromatics: After searing, pour in the required liquid, such as broth or wine, to the pressure cooker. You can also add aromatic ingredients like onions, garlic, or herbs to enhance the flavor profile of the roast. These ingredients will infuse into the meat as it cooks under pressure.

  4. Secure the lid: Place the lid on the pressure cooker and ensure it is properly sealed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for locking the lid and setting the pressure. Double-check that the pressure release valve is closed.

  5. Cook under pressure: Once the pressure cooker is secured, turn on the heat to high and wait for the pressure indicator to show that the desired pressure has been reached. Once the pressure is achieved, reduce the heat to low or medium-low to maintain the pressure and start the cooking timer.

  6. Release the pressure: After the cooking time is complete, you have two options for releasing pressure: natural release or quick release. Natural release involves turning off the heat and allowing the pressure to come down naturally over a period of time. Quick release involves manually releasing the pressure using the valve on the pressure cooker. Follow the recipe or manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended method of pressure release.

  7. Check the roast’s doneness: Open the pressure cooker carefully once the pressure has been released. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the roast. For medium-rare, aim for 135°F (57°C), medium for 145°F (63°C), and medium-well for 155°F (68°C). If the roast is not yet at the desired temperature, you can continue to cook it under pressure for a few more minutes, or use another cooking method to achieve the desired level of doneness.

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Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Roast

To ensure your roast is tender and flavorful, consider implementing the following techniques while pressure cooking:

  1. Use natural pressure release for even cooking: Natural pressure release allows the meat to continue cooking as the pressure naturally decreases. This method helps the roast reach an even level of tenderness and prevents overcooking. However, if you are short on time, quick release can be used as well, but be cautious not to overcook the roast.

  2. Allow for resting time: Once the roast is cooked and the pressure has been released, it is essential to allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing. Resting allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful roast.

  3. Thicken the cooking liquid: After removing the roast from the pressure cooker, you can thicken the cooking liquid to create a flavorful gravy or sauce. To do this, strain the liquid and transfer it to a saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and add a slurry of cornstarch or flour mixed with water. Stir continuously until the liquid thickens to your desired consistency.


If you encounter any issues when cooking a roast in a pressure cooker, here are some common problems and their potential solutions:

  1. Dry meat: If your roast turns out dry, it may be due to insufficient liquid in the pressure cooker. Ensure you add enough liquid to generate steam and keep the meat moist during cooking. You can also try reducing the cooking time slightly or using a more tender cut of meat for better results.

  2. Tough meat: Tough meat can occur if the roast is undercooked or if the connective tissues in the meat have not properly broken down. Extend the cooking time or use natural release for a longer cooking period to ensure the meat becomes tender. Additionally, selecting a cut of meat that is known for its tenderness, such as chuck roast or shoulder roast, can help prevent tough meat.

  3. Burnt bottom: If the bottom of the roast is burnt, it may be due to inadequate liquid or excessive heat. Ensure you have enough liquid in the pressure cooker before starting the cooking process. Also, be sure to adjust the heat to the appropriate level once the desired pressure is reached.

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Variations And Flavoring Options

While the basics of cooking a roast in a pressure cooker remain the same, you can experiment with different flavors and variations to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Asian-inspired roast: Use soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of honey to infuse an Asian flavor into your roast. Serve it with steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables for a complete meal.

  2. Italian-style roast: Use a combination of herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano to give your roast an Italian twist. Add flavors of garlic, onion, and tomatoes for a savory and aromatic gravy.

  3. Mexican-inspired roast: Spice up your roast with cumin, chili powder, and a touch of chipotle pepper. Serve it with tortillas, salsa, and guacamole for a delicious Mexican feast.

Remember to adjust the seasoning and flavorings according to your taste preferences, and feel free to get creative with the ingredients you have on hand.

In conclusion, cooking a roast in a pressure cooker can save you time while still producing a tender and flavorful dish. By following the preparation steps, understanding pressure cooker basics, and using the appropriate cook times, you can confidently cook a roast that will impress your family and guests. Experiment with different variations to create your own signature roast, and enjoy the convenience and deliciousness that pressure cooking offers.


What Meat Is Best For Cooking In A Pressure Cooker?

Tougher cuts of meat, such as beef chuck or pork shoulder, are ideal for cooking in a pressure cooker as the high pressure and steam helps to break down their tough fibers, resulting in a tender and juicy roast.

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

The cooking time for a roast in a pressure cooker will vary depending on the size of the roast and the type of meat. In general, it takes about 20-25 minutes per pound of meat. However, it is always important to follow your pressure cooker’s instructions and guidelines for specific cooking times.

Can I Cook Vegetables With The Roast In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can cook vegetables along with the roast in a pressure cooker, but they may become overcooked due to the shorter cooking time required for the meat. It is recommended to add the vegetables after the roast has finished cooking or to cook them separately and add them to the roast afterwards.

Is It Necessary To Add Water Or Broth To The Pressure Cooker When Cooking A Roast?

Yes, liquid is necessary in a pressure cooker to create steam and build up pressure. It also helps to keep the meat moist and prevents it from burning. The amount of liquid needed will depend on the size of the pressure cooker and the amount of meat being cooked. A good rule of thumb is to use 1-2 cups of liquid for cooking a roast.

How Do I Safely Release The Pressure In A Pressure Cooker After Cooking A Roast?

It is important to follow the instructions for your specific pressure cooker, as the method may vary. However, there are two main ways to release pressure: natural release, where you let the pressure cooker cool down on its own until the pressure has fully released; and quick release, where you manually release the pressure by turning the valve to the "venting" position. It is important to use caution when releasing pressure, as the steam can be very hot.