May 16, 2019

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Chris Gonzales

There’s something about a good pot roast that just warms the soul. You don’t only walk away from the table (if you even can get up after a couple servings) with a full belly; you come away feeling like everything is right with the world, you know? It’s almost a form of zen.

Using an Instant Pot, you can get seriously amazing results without having to wait all day for the roast to cook. Below we’ll be sharing a bodacious, mouthwatering pot roast recipe that won’t let you down. Don’t be surprised if people start asking you to bring this stuff to potlucks.

Now, this recipe is a bit more involved than the Instant Pot pulled pork loin we published… {checks notes} … uh, exactly one year ago today? — complete coincidence, I swear, this is so weird — but it’s definitely worth the extra trouble.

Equipment You’ll Need

(Not including serving dishes):



Chuck or rump/bottom roast — The fresher and more marbled, the better.

👨‍🍳💡 1.5–2.5 lb is good for two or three people, while 3–5 lb feeds four to seven pretty easily. If you have leftovers one way or the other, great! This roast reheats quite well.

Pre-cooking rub:

For 1.5 to 2.5 lb of roast For 3 to 5 lb of roast
¾ tsp kosher salt 1½ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp seasoned salt 1½ tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper 2 tsp black pepper
½ tsp dried rosemary 1 tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp onion powder 1 tsp onion powder

For searing and deglazing:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you just need enough to coat bottom of pot)
  • 1–2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp sliced/minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

👨‍🍳💡It’s totally okay to adjust the proportions above as needed based on the roast size, the amount of deglazing to be done, and your personal tastes. This isn’t rocket science, don’t stress too much over it!

Sauce (comes after searing):

For 1.5 to 2.5 lb of roast For 3 to 5 lb of roast
1 cup beef broth 2 cups beef broth
½ cup dry red wine 1 cup dry red wine
1 packet onion soup mix (to be added AFTER cooking) ← Ditto

Veggies (to be wrapped in individual foil packets):

  • 8–14 oz bag of baby carrots (adjust to taste)
  • ½ lb to 1 lb of baby white or yellow potatoes (adjust to taste)


Step 1:

Mix the kosher salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, dried rosemary, and onion powder in a small bowl or measuring cup, then apply this rub all over the roast.

This is 2 lbs* of chuck roast with all the spices needed for the rub.*Okay, 2.01 lbs to be exact, but who's counting?

This is 2 lbs* of chuck roast with all the spices needed for the rub.

*okay, 2.01 lbs, but who’s counting?

Cover every surface you can — top, bottom, all sides and corners, etc.


Step 2:

Add the olive oil to your Instant Pot and hit the “Sauté” button, then adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Let the oil heat up for a few minutes — it should start shimmering by then — then use your tongs to sear the seasoned roast in the oil for about a minute or two on each side.



As with the rub above, make sure to get every surface you can, but don’t outright burn any of it.

When it’s totally seared, take the roast out and set it on a plate.

Guest starring the same plate as the one from our guide to making omelettes!

Guest starring the same plate as the one from our guide to making omelettes!

Step 3:

Add the butter — which should start bubbling nicely around the bottom of the pot — then grab your wooden spoon and start scraping as much of those cooked-on meat juices and spices you can. It probably won’t all come up yet, but that’s okay.

When you’ve scraped what you can, add the garlic and scrape some more.


Again, it may not all come up, that’s fine. When you’ve scraped what you can of that, add the Worcestershire sauce and stir the mixture around for a few minutes while the pot deglazes.

By this point, you should be able to get pretty much all the gunk unstuck and mixed into what will soon become your roast sauce.

Step 4:

Put the roast back into the pot, preferably fat side up so the juices can course upward through it while cooking. Pour the wine and beef broth over everything.

The roast doesn’t necessarily need to be entirely covered here, but if you feel like you want to add a little more broth or wine than we’ve recommended above, that’s okay. You certainly don’t need to fill the whole pot.

Step 5:

Securely wrap the potatoes and carrots in separate foil pouches:


…then simply place them in the pot on top of the roast before securing the lid shut. (Keeping the veggies separated this way cooks them perfectly rather than getting all mushy from sitting directly in the pressurized roast mixture. You’ll add them later, don’t worry.)

Step 6:

With the lid secured, you can now hit “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” high pressure (this varies by Instant Pot model) and set the timer based on your roast size:

  • 1.5–2 lb: 50 minutes
  • 3 lb: 60 minutes
  • 4 lb: 70 minutes
  • 5 lb: 80 minutes
Please ignore that giant dent on the side, that was an accident of RV traveling and doesn't affect the function of the Instant Pot at all.

Please ignore that giant dent on the side, that was an accident of RV traveling and doesn’t affect the function of the Instant Pot at all.

Step 7:

When it’s done, allow a 15-minute natural release — by which we mean, don’t touch that valve yet! Just let the cooker sit there and slowly vent a bit on its own. After those 15 minutes are up, then you can open the valve to release the rest of the steam.

Step 8:

After opening the lid, use your tongs to take out the veggie foil packs and set them aside to cool. (Watch out for any juice drainage here.) Then, carefully (!) remove the roast to a plate or cutting board, where you’ll cut or simply separate it into chunks of any size you like.


Ideally, it should be so tender that you don’t need a knife to get the job done — even the tongs and wooden spoon should be able to pull it apart.

Step 9:

Hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button on the Instant Pot to stop that function, then hit “Sauté” again and, like before, adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Bring the sauce to a bubble before unwrapping those veggie foil packs, carefully dumping their contents into the pot, and stirring them into the sauce.


Once it’s all bubbling again, add the packet of onion soup mix and stir.

T H E  T H I C K E N I N G

T H E   T H I C K E N I N G

Let the mixture bubble for another minute or so before turning the pot off.

Step 10:

Add the chunks (and any other little tidbits) of roast back into the newly-thickened sauce and give everything one last stir.


Step 11:

Using a ladle, serve the roast and enjoy!


This recipe is a modified version of the one created by Jeffrey Eisner of Pressure Luck (see what he did with the name there?):

His version uses Portobello mushrooms, onions, some additional spices, and other things I’m simply too lazy to deal with.

The store-bought onion soup mix in our version is something of a shortcut to achieve a bit of that onion-y flavor while adding some cornstarch to the sauce to get that thickening effect without having to make a separate slurry.