Pot Roast [Instant Pot]

Instant Pot – Pot Roast

I love pot roast – it is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Normally I make pot roast in my dutch oven – seasoning and searing the chuck roast in my stove top first, then adding the rest of the ingredients and slow braising in the oven at about 275 degrees for 3+ hours then make gravy from cooking liquid. All in all, between prepping, searing and braise and gravy time, it takes me about 4 hours to produce. It’s always worth it! But, not something I can do on the weekday-fly for sure.

My husband got me an Instant Pot on Black Friday – thanks Amazon Prime, lightning deal!

I was excited, but nervous, to use it today. People that own them talk in this “Instant Pot” lingo (I plan to crack the lingo soon – stay tuned). From the lingo to the comments and posts you see online, it can be easy to get intimidated. But, I faced my pressure cooker fear, and made one of my favorite meals — Pot Roast! Needless to say, I was really hoping for as good if not better results from my Instant Pot pot roast trial run. Well… good news!


Here is how I did it – I included the ingredients in sections based on steps, and also included the time it took to complete steps in directions below:


2 T. olive oil
2.5 lb chuck roast, thawed
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t paprika
1/2 packet onion soup mix

Deglazing liquid:
1/2 cup dry red wine (may substitute beef broth)

Braising liquid:
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 T. Worcestershire

Vegetable Aromatics for braising:
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
4 stalks celery, left whole
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half (you can sub 5-6 baby carrots)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bunch fresh thyme, about 8 sprigs

Vegetables (added later per recipe):
8 small baby red potatoes, left whole
1-2 large onion, quartered, depending on how much onion you prefer
1 large sweet potato, cut roughly into 2 inch cubes (optional – if omitted, add 4-6 additional baby red potatoes)
16 baby carrots

Gravy thickener:
3 T. corn starch
2 T melted butter
1-2 T cooking liquid

Set Instant Pot (IP) on sauté, leave lid off and allow to heat. While IP is heating, season roast with salt, pepper, paprika and onion soup mix – make sure to rub in. Once IP display says “HOT”, add 2 T. olive oil and roast. Sear for 2-3 minutes each side (about 5 minutes total).

Add wine, and use IP spatula to scrap bottom of pan to deglaze for about a minute, carefully moving roast around to get all the bits. All those bits are FLAVOR – and you don’t want to leave them stuck to the IP insert or they may burn.

Once deglazing is done (2 minutes), add beef broth and Worcestershire as well as vegetable aromatics for braising – onion, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme. Place lid on IP and close, and turn vent on lid to “Sealing”. More IP lingo… refer to picture below this step. Press “manual” button, then “+/-” to adjust cook time to 45 minutes. NOTE: it will take about 5-10 minutes for IP to pressurize – don’t let this make you think you’ve done something wrong! Once pressurization is complete (5-10 mins), the timer will begin it’s countdown.

instant pot vent
Instant pot vent


Instant Pot - Pot Roast
Instant Pot – Pot Roast ready to cook!

Once manual cook time is complete (45 minutes), IP will beep and automatically change to “Keep Warm” setting. Carefully turn vent to “Venting” to release the pressure (about 3-5 minutes). This is known as Quick Pressure Release (QPR) in IP lingo! I cover the vent with a towel while QPR is in progress – less noise, less steam on my cabinets. NOTE: IP will not allow you to open the lid until pressure is released – this is for your safety!

Once pressure is released and steam no longer comes from the vent, open the lid. At this point, your work could be done. You could cook veggies separately to go with your roast, or omit if desired and serve over rice perhaps. However, I like my pot roast more “traditional” with the veggies to pair. If you do too, follow the next section – if not, skip to removing roast and making gravy.

Quickly but carefully remove as many of the aromatic veggies as you can & discard – these will likely be rather mushy by now, but have served a very noble purpose! Add additional fresh vegetables: baby red potatoes, onion, sweet potato (optional), carrots (2 minutes). Replace lid on IP, making sure vent is turned to “Sealing”. Press manual and “+/-“ to change cook time to 8 minutes. Again, it will take some time for IP to pressurize – once pressurization is restored, countdown will begin and when over IP will beep. Press “cancel” then turn vent to “Venting” to de-pressurize – aka QPR! (Removing aromatics, adding new veggies, cooking and depressurizing takes about 12 mins total — remember to place a towel over the vent while venting, if desired).

You’re now at the gravy making process. Transfer roast and vegetables to serving platter, but leave all juices – meat will be so tender, it will likely fall apart (YUM!). Cover with foil to keep warm. Using slotted spoon, remove any chunks of veggies from cooking liquid. Press “saute” button on IP. In separate small bowl, whisk corn starch, melted butter and 2 T cooking liquid to create what’s known as a thickening “slurry” – make sure to remove all lumps. Whisk “slurry” into remaining cooking liquid in IP, whisking every 10-15 seconds for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened (5-6 minutes total).

Finally, serve pot roast over veggies, smothered in savory gravy. This pot roast would be delish served over ANYthing – rice, egg noodles, baked potato, a shoe…

Instant Pot Pot Roast
Instant Pot Pot Roast, served with potato, sweet potato, onion, carrot (under my meat!) and gravy.


All in all, the entire process took me less than 1 1/2 hours. Definitely an improvement from a 4 hour oven braised pot roast process, no cleaning my glass top stove (score!), and a much more tender, delicious result!

Instant Pot WIN!