How to make Instant Pot pot roast that is so tender, it melts in your mouth. This easy recipe makes ultra-flavorful beef guaranteed to satisfy the entire family. Use an Instant Pot or another brand of electric pressure cooker. The best cuts of beef for pot roast are tougher cuts of meat like chuck, brisket, and round. Baby potatoes are optional. They get very soft and can be served whole or mashed and served alongside the pot roast.
FAQ: If you do not have the same size cut of meat as called for in the recipe, assume 20 minutes of cook time for every pound of meat. So a 4-pound roast will need 80 minutes of cook time and a 5-pound roast will need 100 minutes of cook time.
3 pounds beef chuck, brisket, or round
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large onion
5 medium carrots (12 ounces)
4 celery stalks
5 to 6 garlic cloves
1 ½ tablespoons high heat cooking oil
3 cups beef broth
1 to 2 bouillon cubes or use bouillon mix, optional, see notes
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 rosemary sprigs
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
12 ounces baby potatoes, optional
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cream, optional
Season all sides of the beef with a generous amount of salt (2 to 3 teaspoons) and then set aside, at room temperature, for one hour.
Meanwhile, make a spice mixture by stirring the onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper until blended.
Prepare the vegetables. Peel and cut the onion into large chunks. Peel the carrots and remove the ends. Slice the carrots and celery into thick long sticks. Smash garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and peel away the skins.
After an hour, use paper towels to pat the beef dry on all sides (this helps the meat brown), and then rub the beef on all sides with the spice mixture. The beef should be well seasoned on all sides with the spices. (You might have some leftover.)
Add oil to the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot (or electric pressure cooker). Select the “Sauté” setting and choose high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the beef. Cook until well-browned on all sides, about four minutes per side. Transfer the browned beef to a plate.
Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally until they start to sweat and lightly brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
Pour in the broth, bouillon, and apple cider vinegar, and then use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot (not doing this may result in an error while cooking at pressure).
Turn the “saute” function off. Place the beef back into the pot and scatter the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic around the beef. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, and baby potatoes (optional). It is okay if the liquid in the pot does not completely cover the beef and vegetables.
Select the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” function and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Note that the timer will not start until there is enough pressure inside the pot, so the timer may not start for a few minutes.
When the cooking time is up, do not immediately open the lid and instead let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by using the quick-release button (be careful to keep your hands and face away from the venting steam).
Taste the liquid and adjust with additional salt and pepper. Transfer the beef roast to a cutting board and gently shred to your desired size and place onto a serving platter. Transfer the vegetables to the serving platter, and then serve drizzled with some of the liquid left in the pot. (Or make a quick gravy.)
To make a quick gravy with the liquid left in the pot, use a strainer to remove any bits of vegetables and herbs from the liquid. Select the “Sauté” setting and choose high heat then bring the liquid to a boil and cook until it reduces by a quarter, 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch and water together. When the liquid has reduced, slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to boil until the gravy thickens. Turn off the pressure cooker, and then season the gravy to taste with additional salt, pepper, or spices. (For a creamier gravy, add a small splash of cream.)