This is the best way to get a tender, melt in your mouth pot roast in a fraction of the time. Instant Pot Pot Roast is super easy and reliable. The ultimate comfort food this pot roast is loaded with flavor, and yields a delicious seasoned gravy to drizzle over the meat and vegetables. Or you can pair this up with my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes!
Why this recipe works
- Saves time - cook a magnificent pot roast in just a fraction of the time compared to other methods.
- Weeknight special - cooking this in the Instant Pot makes this a meal that is totally doable as a weeknight meal.
- Reliable - gives consistent results each time you cook it for a delicious Instant Pot Pot Roast.
- Versatile - you can do a traditional Yankee pot roast with root vegetables, or make beef sandwiches on a crusty French bread!
Ingredients you will need
- Beef - choose a well marbled 2 ½- to 4 pound boneless chuck roast for this Instant Pot Pot Roast. This is usually the first choice for a pot roast since the meat has plenty of fat, and it is a more affordable cut. I used a 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe, and this size works well for this recipe. If you choose a larger pot roast then you will need to cut the roast into pieces in order for it to fit unless using an 8-quart model.
- Red wine - I use either a Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. You can use your favorite though. If you are not a wine drinker, then omit it from the recipe and replace with beef broth in half the amount to deglaze the pan.
- Beef - you can also use a bottom round round, rump, or eye of round roast for this recipe. A small piece of brisket can also be used. Check out how with my Instant Pot Brisket Recipe. Note that especially the eye of round will be a sliceable roast beef instead of shredded. Sirloin while a very forgiving meat is not a good choice for this recipe as the long cooking time will just make the meat disintegrate. A good recipe for this cut is my Instant Pot Sirloin Tips with Mushroom Gravy.
- Wine - can use additional beef broth instead, use half the amount of the wine. This is Instant Pot Pot Roast is yummy with or without the wine!
- Worcestershire - if you suddenly run out use soy sauce instead.
- Beef broth - you can use vegetable broth.
How to make this
Step 1: Prepare the dry rub and pot roast
In a small bowl combine ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, white pepper, sweet Hungarian paprika (regular paprika can be substituted here), and ground thyme. Add a tablespoon of dried parsley and ¼ teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes.
Pat the meat dry with paper towels. This will result in a better sear for the roast. Coat the beef in the rub, and set aside.
This makes enough rub to cover a 2 1-2- to 4-pound pot roast. For each additional pound of meat increase each ingredient for the rub by ⅛ teaspoon.
Slice one onion, two stalks of celery, and two carrots. Next, open a bottle of red wine, and set aside to breathe.
If you are not a wine drinker this step can be skipped, and it can be substituted with ¼ cup of additional beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the liner after the saute step.
Step 2: Sear the pot roast and vegetables
Preheat the Instant Pot on saute mode, and then 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. I do not recommend skipping the sear.
Be sure you sear all sides of the meat, not just the top or bottom. Use a fork or prop on the sides of the pot to help get this done.
This will give the Instant Pot Pot Roast a nice crust, and will result in greater depth of flavor. After searing the pot roast remove to a plate, and set aside.
Add the prepped vegetables to the fry pan with some salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent then add the garlic for about thirty seconds or until fragrant. This will also give more flavor to your broth, just like when you seared the meat.
Step 3: Finishing and cooking the roast
Add in the wine to deglaze the pan, and reduce by a third on saute. If not using wine, then add in ¼ cup of beef broth to deglaze the pan then move on to the next step.
Add a rack to the liner. Then add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and beef broth. Place the pot roast back into the pressure cooker on top of the rack.
Seal the lid. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes and follow with a 15-minute or full natural pressure release.
I don't usually cut my roast into pieces for Instant Pot Pot Roast as I usually will get a piece of meat that will fit my liner. The long cooking time of this recipe doesn't make it necessary to do this. If your roast is rather large then you can cut it into a couple large pieces then sear.
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 for this Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe 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.
Yes, follow all directions but use a large frying pan to sear then add to slow cooker. In the same pan saute the vegetables then add the wine. Reduce by a third. Add this liquid to the slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and beef broth. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours. If desired, you can add potatoes and carrots to the slow cooker under the meat.
If not cooked properly any cut can come out tough. Be sure to cook the meat according to the recipe you are using. Undercooking, overcooking, or choosing the wrong cut of meat can make the meal a disaster.
Pot roast is just the braised beef with liquid or gravy. A Yankee pot roast is the meat served or cooked with root vegetables.
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 have a second Instant Pot then you can cook the vegetables with water or broth while the roast cooks by itself to save time.
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. Add some fresh parsley for added flavor.
Storage & Reheating
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week. Reheat in the microwave on individual plates for a few minutes each. Or, reheat gently in the Instant Pot on the warm setting.
You can freeze the Instant Pot Pot Roast leftovers for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a day or so prior to serving. Warm gently in a 300-degree oven for up to one hour.
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Instant Pot Pot Roast
- 2 ½ pound chuck roast can use up to a 4-pound roast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika, sweet can substitute with regular Paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes can be increased to ½ teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
Pot Roast Ingredients
- 1 onion sliced
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 2 carrots peeled, and sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 cup red wine can substitute with ½ cup of beef broth
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 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 tablespoon cornstarch see directions below
- Combine all the rub ingredients into a small bowl, and stir with a fork to combine. For each additional pound of meat increase each ingredient in the rub by ⅛ teaspoon.
- Coat the beef in the rub, and preheat the Instant Pot on saute.
- 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.
- 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. You can also do this in a second Instant Pot with water or broth while the meat cooks.
- 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 store 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.
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