Instant Pot Pot Roast made in less than an hour, it’s quick and very easy to make even if you’ve never used an Instant Pot or pressure cooker before!
This easy recipe makes a healthy weeknight Instant Pot pot roast dinner that cooks quickly in your electric pressure cooker, much more quickly than in a slow cooker or slow roasted in the oven.
It’s gluten free, paleo and whole 30, and Keto or low carb (if you don’t thicken the gravy)
I love that you can serve my Instant Pot Pot Roast as a simple everyday dinner, or dress it up with some fancier side dishes and it’s good enough to serve to guests at a dinner party.
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Quick Tips for Making Instant Pot Pot Roast
This recipe for Instant Pot pot roast works best with a boneless chuck roast, that’s always my meat of choice for pot roasts.
If you’re wondering if you can use a bottom round roast, well, you can, but you will get more consistent results for a pressure cooker pot roast with boneless chuck.
Boneless chuck has more fat, and fat means flavor and more importantly in pressure cooking, the fattier cuts of meat are much less prone to drying out so you will get a more tender end result.
I’ve added a handful of vegetables that are cooked along with the meat but they are simply there to enhance the flavor of the cooking liquid and basically they help to create a flavorful broth.
They will be very soft at the end of the cook time so you should remove them from the gravy.
When your Instant Pot pot roast is finished make sure you use natural pressure release.
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 pressure cooker at the end of the meat cook time.
Simply remove your cooked Instant Pot Pot Roast 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.
What are the Best Cuts of Meat for Instant Pot Pot Roast?
In general, tougher cuts of meat work best for making a Instant Pot 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 my Pressure Cooker pot roast 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.
How Long do You Cook Instant Pot Pot Roast for?
My recipe for Instant Pot pot roast cooks from between 47 minutes to over an hour depending on the thickness of the meat.
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 your Instant Pot pot roast, you can always put the lid back on and continue to cook it for a little longer.
What is a pot roast?
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.
Related Instant Pot Beef Recipes
Instant Pot Pot Roast
Now you can cook a classic Instant Pot Pot Roast in your electric pressure cooker 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
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup gluten free beef broth , 250mls
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 sprig thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 onions , peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots , scrubbed and chopped
- 2 sticks celery , cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (omit for low carb) , or arrowroot for paleo
Season both sides of the chuck roast with salt and pepper.
Turn on the saute/browning function in your Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Use the 'adjust' button to turn it to the 'medium' saute setting.
Brown the chuck roast on both sides, then remove and set aside.
Add the beef broth and fully deglaze the pot, if you fail to do this properly the 'burn' warning may come on when you pressure cook the meat.
Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, onions, carrots, and celery. (note- these vegetables are simply to add flavor to the gravy, they will be too soft to eat, see directions below for cooking additional vegetables and potatoes to serve)
Place the browned chuck roast on top of the vegetables, lock the lid, turn the steam release vent to 'sealing' and using the manual setting, adjust it to cook for 47 - 50 minutes at high pressure. Please read recipe notes for specific details on cook time.
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, then open the steam release vent and open the lid.
Cooking vegetables and baby potatoes to serve with pot roast
Remove the meat and cover with foil and strain the vegetables and herbs from the cooking liquid, add the liquid back to the pot.
Cut carrots into large pieces, do not cut up the baby potatoes.
Add baby potatoes and carrot pieces to a steamer basket and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. You can then quickly release the pressure and open the lid as soon as the cook time is up.
Instant Pot Pot Roast Gravy Directions
Ensure that the cooking liquid is strained of all vegetables and herbs.
Add two tablespoons of cornstarch to two tablespoons of cold water. For Paleo use arrowroot or tapioca starch, for low carb omit starch completely.
Add half of your starch mixture to the cooking juices, then turn on the saute function, stir continuously until your pot roast gravy begins to thicken. If you need it thicker simply add the remaining starch mixture and stir as before.
Cook Time - This will vary depending on the thickness of your chuck roast and it really depends on your tastes and how much you like it cooked. If you like pot roast that's totally falling apart and you can only pick it up in pieces with a fork, then you'll need to cook your pot roast for longer than the time listed in my recipe, I don't like overcooked chuck as I think it becomes dry and stringy so my cook time reflects that.
My chuck roasts are typically about 1.5 - 2 inches thick and a 47 minute cook time works for me, if yours is much thicker than that you may need to increase the cook time.
My Pot Roast is tough - If your roast is tough and rubbery then it is probably not cooked long enough, so simply put it back in your pressure cooker and cook for a little longer. If you use a cut of meat that is not suitable for slow cooking or is very lean it may be tough no matter how long you cook it, I recommend chuck roast for this recipe.
Paleo Broth - 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.