I'm always on the look out for a great, not just good, but great pot roast recipe. I love to use round roasts, but nothing beats a chuck roast done properly. One of the things the Instant Pot is terrific at, is turning out consistently tender delicious beef.
After a bit of testing I converted my recipe into my Instant Pot Perfect Pot Roast, and it was just amazing! Make this into a complete meal with a dessert like my Instant Pot Spiced Peach Crisp!
Choose your meat and prepare the rub
For this recipe I used a trimmed four-pound chuck roast that was well marbled like the one I used below. We are going to start by preparing a rub for our Instant Pot Perfect Pot Roast.
In a small bowl combine ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, white pepper, sweet Hungarian paprika (regular can be substituted here), and ground rosemary.
Add to the rub 1 tablespoon of dried parsley and ¼ teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes. If you like a little bit more spice you can kick it up to a half teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes. For each additional pound of meat increase each ingredient by ⅛ teaspoon.
Prep the beef for pressure cooking
Coat the beef in the rub, and set aside in the fridge. Slice one onion, two stalks of celery, and two carrots. Now open a bottle of red wine, and set aside to breathe.
This is also a good time to take a breather yourself and treat yourself to a glass of the vino. 😉 If you are not a wine drinker this step can be skipped, and it can be substituted with ½ cup of additional beef broth.
Preheat a large fry pan over medium-high heat, and add some olive oil to the pan. Add the chuck roast to the pan, and sear on all sides. Some people may view searing as an additional step they would like to skip, but this is definitely worth doing.
This will give the beef a nice crust, and will help seal in the flavor. If you skip this step, and you just might be skipping into a bland pot roast!
After searing the pot roast remove to the Instant Pot on top of a rack, and add the prepped vegetables to the fry pan with some salt and pepper to taste to give them a bit of browning as well. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent then add the garlic for about thirty seconds or until fragrant.
Add in the wine to deglaze the pan, and reduce by a third. If not using wine, then add in ½ cup of beef broth to deglaze the pan. Add a rack to the Instant Pot, and place roast on top. Pour the mixture into the Instant Pot with the chuck roast.
Slow Cooker Instructions for Cooking
If using the slow cooker, you can put the optional vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker, and then place the roast on top. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on the low setting for 8-10 hours. To thicken the broth to gravy, strain the broth heat on stovetop, and then add cornstarch until the desired consistency is reached.
Pressure cook the Pot Roast
Add to the Instant Pot the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, and bay leaves. Seal the lid. For a pot roast that is fall apart tender and mimics the slow cooker then cook on high pressure for 90 minutes and follow with a 15-minute natural pressure release.
For a firmer piece of meat reduce the cook time on high pressure to 80 minutes followed by a 15-minute natural pressure release.
The cooking times in this post assume that a four-pound chuck roast has been used. If a smaller or larger piece of meat is used then cooking times need to be adjusted. For smaller roast you would use less pressure cook time, and for larger ones the you would increase the pressure cooking time.
As a guideline this recipe used 22.5 minutes of pressure cooking per pound of meat for a super tender pot roast, or 20 minutes of pressure cooking time for a firmer piece of meat both followed by a 15-minute natural pressure release.
As a suggestion for sides you can remove the pot roast at the end of cooking, and tent on a plate. Add cut potatoes and carrots to the Instant Pot with the remaining broth, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, and follow with a natural pressure release of 10 minutes.
If you would like to make gravy, strain all the vegetables from the remaining broth (there will be plenty), and add enough cornstarch to thicken. Salt and pepper the gravy to your taste. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Instant Pot Perfect Pot Roast
- 4 pound chuck roast trimmed
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp Hungarian paprika, sweet can substitute regular
- ½ tsp ground rosemary can substiture regular dried that has been crushed
- ¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes can be increased to ½ teaspoon
- 1 tbsp parsley flakes
Pot Roast Ingredients
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 2 carrots peeled, and sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 cup red wine can substitute with ½ cup of beef broth
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups beef broth, unsalted can substitute with fully salted if desired
- 2 ½ pounds baby red potatoes halved
- 1 pound carrots peeled and sliced into large chunks
- 3 tbsp cornstarch see directions below
- Combine all the rub ingredients into a small bowl, and stir with a fork to combine.
- Coat the beef in the rub, and preheat a large fry pan to medium-high heat. For each additional pound of meat increase each ingredient in the rub by ⅛ teaspoon. Add olive oil to the pan, and sear the chuck roast on all sides. Set aside on a plate. This step can be done in the pressure cooker if you have enough space.
- Add the sliced onion, celery, and carrots to the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the onions are soft and translusent. Add the minced garlic, and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze, and simmer until reduced by one third. If substituting beef broth, deglaze the pan. For slow cooker directions please see below.
- Place the beef into the Instant Pot on top of a rack. Add the cooked vegetable mixture to the pot as well.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, and beef broth to the Instant Pot. Seal the lid according to your manufacturer's instructions. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release for super tender meat. For slightly less tender meat cook for 80 minutes on high pressure and follow with a 15-minute natural pressure release.
- Note this recipe assumes the use of a trimmed four pound chuck roast. For smaller or larger roasts of the same cut please see the additional notes at the end of the post for suggested cooking times.
- If you would like to cook potatoes and carrots with this meal as an option remove the pot roast to platter then tent with foil. Add the additional potatoes and carrots to the remaining broth. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes and follow with a 10-minute natural pressure release.
- If you would like to make the broth into a gravy add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and increase the cornstarch by one tablespoon each until you reach the consistency of gravy that you prefer. Salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
- Serve immediately, or eat the yummy leftovers by storing in an airtight container for up to one week.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Prepare the roast as directed up to the point where we use the Instant Pot. Add optional vegetables if desired to the bottom of the slow cooker, and place the chuck roast on top.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, and beef broth to the slow cooker. Cook on the low setting for 8-10 hours. To make gravy, strain broth and heat on stove then add cornstarch until the desired consistency is reached.