How do You Cook a Roast in an Instapot

One quick and easy way to make a tasty and tender supper is to cook a roast in an Instant Pot. With the help of an electric pressure cooker called the Instant Pot, cooking times can be cut while taste and softness are maintained. Choosing the right piece of meat, prepping the roast, seasoning it, and cooking it to perfection are all steps I’ll take you through in this thorough tutorial for cooking a roast in an Instant Pot.

Selecting the Right Cut of Meat

If you want a successful roast, choosing the right cut of meat is important. Look for cuts that are ideal for braising and cooking slowly, as the Instant Pot can make tougher cuts tender. Good choices include chuck roast, brisket, pork shoulder, and lamb shoulder. These cuts have fat marbling, which keeps the meat moist and flavorful while cooking.

Ingredients and Tools


  • 3 to 4 pounds of roast (your chosen cut)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or olive oil)
  • 1 onion (optional for added flavor)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (optional for added flavor)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of beef or vegetable broth (for added flavor and moisture)
  • Additional seasonings and herbs as desired (thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, etc.)


  • Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Meat thermometer
  • Trivet (optional but useful for keeping the roast above the liquid)

Preparing the Roast

Before cooking, it’s essential to prepare the roast properly:

  1. Remove excess fat from meat, leaving a thin layer for flavor and tenderness.
  2. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Moisture on the surface can hinder browning.
  3. Seasoning the Roast

Season the roast generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or herbs to taste.

Searing the Roast (Optional)

While searing is optional, it can add a depth of flavor to your roast by creating a flavorful crust on the meat. Here’s how to sear the roast in your Instant Pot:

  1. Select the “Sauté” function on your Instant Pot and add the cooking oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the seasoned roast in the pot.
  3. Sear each side for 2-3 minutes or until browned.
  4. Remove the roast and set it aside on a plate.

6. Cooking the Roast in the Instant Pot

After searing (or if you choose not to sear), follow these steps to cook the roast in your Instant Pot:

  1. To the Instant Pot, add the chopped onions and garlic, and sauté until aromatic.
  2. Put a trivet in the Instant Pot to keep the roast from getting soggy.
  3. Pour in the beef or vegetable broth. The amount of broth you use depends on your preference, but 1 to 1.5 cups is typically sufficient.
  4. Return the seared roast to the Instant Pot, placing it on top of the trivet.
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid, ensuring the valve is set to the “Sealing” position.
  6. Select the appropriate cooking function based on your roast type and size. For reference:
    • Beef (Chuck Roast, Brisket): Use the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function for 60-90 minutes at high pressure.
    • Pork (Pork Shoulder): Use the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function for 60-90 minutes at high pressure.
    • Lamb (Lamb Shoulder): Use the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function for 50-75 minutes at high pressure.
  7. The Instant Pot will take some time to come to pressure before the countdown begins. Be patient; this process can take 10-15 minutes.

Natural Release vs. Quick Release

After the cooking time is complete, you have two options for releasing pressure from the Instant Pot: natural release or quick release.

  • Natural Release: Leave the Instant Pot unattended for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the pressure to naturally dissipate. This slow release keeps the meat moist and stops juices from dripping out.
  • Quick Release: If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly release the valve from “Sealing” to “Venting.” Be cautious of the hot steam, and use a long utensil to avoid getting burned.

The choice between natural and quick release depends on your schedule and the desired tenderness of the meat. Natural release is recommended for optimal results.

Checking the Internal Temperature

Check your roast’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it is perfectly cooked and safe to eat. The following are approximate target temperatures for different types of roast:

  • Beef: 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (71°C) for medium, and 170°F (77°C) for well-done.
  • Pork: 145°F (63°C) for medium, 160°F (71°C) for medium-well.
  • Lamb: 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (71°C) for medium, and 170°F (77°C) for well-done.

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast without touching the bone.

Resting the Roast

Take the roast out of the Instant Pot and place it on a cutting board after it reaches the appropriate temperature. Wrap it loosely in foil and give it 10 to 15 minutes to rest. Resting the roast will allow the fluids to permeate the meat evenly, preserving its moisture and flavor.

Carving and Serving

Once rested, carve the roast into slices or chunks, depending on your preference. Serve it with the cooking juices from the Instant Pot, which can be thickened into a gravy if desired.

Variations and Flavor Enhancements

Feel free to customize your Instant Pot roast by adding various ingredients and flavors:

  • Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, and celery can be added to the Instant Pot for a one-pot meal.
  • Wine: Substitute some of the broth with red or white wine for extra depth of flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes or tomato paste can add a tangy richness to the sauce.

Herbs and Spices: To enhance the flavor of your dish, experiment with various herbs and spices like thyme, rosemary, paprika, and bay leaves.

If you’re looking for a delicious and convenient meal, cooking a roast in an Instant Pot is a great option. With the right cut of meat, seasoning, and cooking methods, you can achieve a tender and flavorful roast without having to wait for hours in the oven. You can also try different flavors and ingredients to find the perfect Instant Pot roast for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

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