This Instant Pot Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots is comfort food at its best. The meat is tender, falls apart, and the vegetables are perfectly soft.
Why This Recipe Works
When you are thinking of pot roast, you are envisioning a big cut of beef, roasting for hours with carrots and potatoes. Pot roast is a dish made with a tough cut of beef, cooked low and slow to get the meat to a stage when it's tender and easily shreds. Carrots and potatoes are a classic vegetable company to the pot roast. Now, you can cook a rich and flavorful pot roast in your Instant Pot pressure cooker in a fraction of the time.
Braising the meat before cooking is the secret to adding flavor to a pot roast. Since the Instant Pot has a saute setting, it's the perfect appliance to cook the pot roast in. This Instant Pot Pot Roast is cooked in beef stock, water, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar, as well as sauteed garlic, onion, and mushrooms. The flavor is rich and comforting. The meat is tender and falling apart. Carrots and potatoes are soft yet not mushy.
- beef: chuck roast, anywhere from 2 to 4 lbs;
- seasoning: paprika, dried thyme, salt and pepper;
- vegetables: garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, Russet potatoes;
- beef stock: necessary for the Instant Pot to build up pressure;
- red wine vinegar: helps tenderize the meat;
- Worcestershire sauce: adds signature flavor to the dish;
- cornstarch: to make the gravy.
How to make pot roast in the Instant Pot?
- Start by mixing seasoning in a small bowl and season the beef on all sides. Cut into 4 large chunks.
- Sear meat on saute setting.
- Add butter to Instant Pot and saute whole garlic cloves, onion and mushrooms.
- Add liquids and place meat back in the IP.
- Arrange carrots and potatoes on top of the meat. Press "manual" setting, and set the timer to 44 minutes (see note below for cooking times). Once the timer is done, let the IP release the pressure naturally.
- Carefully open the lid away from your face. Remove vegetables and meat onto a plate. Press "saute" setting, mix cornstarch and water and add to liquids in the IP. Simmer until it thickens.
A basic rule for cooking pot roast in the Instant Pot is to cook it for 20 minutes per pound. I add 2 more minutes because we prefer the meat very tender.
My roast weighed 2 lbs and I set the timer for 44 minutes. The IP takes about 12 to 14 minutes to come to pressure. You also need to let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturally (so the meat will be tender; otherwise it will be tough if you quickly release the pressure), you need to add another 15 to 20 minutes.
This might seem like a lot of time, but considering that pot roast takes hours to cook in the oven or slow cooker and this Instant Pot Pot Roast tastes and has a texture or a roast that was simmering all day, I say it's the fastest way to cook it.
The best cut of meat for this recipe:
The best cuts of meat for pot roast are:
- chuck roast: the most popular cut for making pot roast. Has more fat than other cuts.
- brisket: not only for a barbecue! Great for sliced pot roast.
- rump roast or bottom round: leaner than other cuts, which makes it more prone to be drier.
- vinegar: some recipes call for red wine but I prefer to use another acidic ingredient to help tenderize the meat. I use red wine vinegar but apple cider or balsamic vinegar works perfectly too!
- Natural Pressure Release: do not switch the valve to venting position once the timer is done. Let the IP naturally release the pressure, which means that once the IP beeps that it finished cooking, press "cancel/off" button and do not touch the valve. It may take 13 to 16 minutes for the valve pin to drop and the pressure to be released. If you quickly release the pressure, the meat will become tough.
- potatoes and carrots: to make sure the vegetables are soft but not mushy, cut them into large chunks. If you think the chunk is too large, it's just fine. It will cook perfectly since the pot roast cooks for at least 40 minutes. You can always place all the potatoes in a bowl and mash before serving with the roast. Choose firmer to the touch vegetables for this dish.
- flavor: instead of using garlic and onion powders, I prefer the vegetables and to saute them in a tablespoon of butter after searing the meat. You can scrape the bits from beef from the bottom of the pot while stirring the onions and mushrooms, then add the liquids.
Once the pot roast is done, remove carrots and potatoes and the meat onto a plate. Press the "saute" setting on your Instant Pot. In a small mixing bowl or measuring cup, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water. Add to the liquid in your IP and simmer until it thickens. Pour over each serving of pot roast with vegetables. The gravy is rich in flavor thanks to the garlic, onions, and mushrooms as well as the Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, and red wine vinegar.
Yes! If your beef is frozen, skip the searing step. Add 10 more minutes per pound to cooking time. I do recommend thawing the meat because you can cut it into 4 pieces and sear which intensifies the flavor of the roast.
To make sure the carrots and potatoes are not falling apart and mushy after pressure cooking, cut each carrot into 3 to 4 large pieces and each potato to 4 to 6 large chunks. I used Russet potatoes and the large chunks were soft but not mushy once the roast was done. You can use small potatoes, just wash them well and place whole in the pot.
Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze the pot roast for up to 3 months. To reheat, use the Instant Pot on saute setting or a pan on the stove. Add water to reheat the gravy.
Not at all. You can use this recipe to cook just the meat and serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. It's delicious!
More Instant Pot recipes:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
Instant Pot Pot Roast
- 2 to 4 lb chuck roast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 medium onion
- 6 white mushrooms
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar See note
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 lbs Russet potatoes
- 1 lb carrots
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- Start by mixing salt, pepper, paprika and thyme in a small bowl. Season the beef on all sides. Cut into 4 large chunks. Prepare carrots and potatoes, by cutting them into large chunks. Dice onion and slice mushrooms. Peel garlic cloves.
- Press "saute" setting on your Instant Pot. Wait 2 minutes, then add olive oil. Place meat in the Instant Pot. Let it sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove onto a plate.
- Add butter to Instant Pot. Add whole garlic cloves, diced onion and sliced mushrooms. Stir, trying to scrape the bits from searing the meat from the bottom of the pot. Saute veggies until the onions are almost translucent.
- Add beef stock, water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce. Place meat back in the IP, in the liquid.
- Arrange carrots and potatoes on top of the meat. Close the lid, set the valve to "sealing" position. Make sure the IP is set to cook on HIGH pressure. Press "manual" setting, set timer to 44 minutes (see note below for cooking times). The IP will take 12 to 14 minutes to come to pressure. Once the timer is done, press "cancel/off" button and do not touch the valve. Let the IP release the pressure naturally. If you quickly release it, the meat will be tough.
- Carefully open the lid away from your face. Remove vegetables and meat onto a plate. Press "saute" setting, mix cornstarch and water and add to liquids in the IP. Simmer until it thickens. Shredd the meat and serve with vegetables and a generous serving of the sauce.
- You can use apple cider or balsamic vinegar in place of red wine vinegar.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.