Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

A tender, juicy pot roast cooks in the pressure cooker in less than half the time it would take in the oven or on the stove top. My mom cooked a delicious pot roast almost every Sunday, but by cooking a roast in the pressure cooker, we can have pot roast any night of the week.

Today I’m featuring a pot roast recipe from Cheryl, Kitchen Toys Make Cooking Fun. One of the kitchen toys she loves is her Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker. It’s one of my favorite kitchen toys too.


Well, actually this recipe is a combination of two of her posts. Her Down Home Pot Roast with Veggies and her Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes. I liked her technique of laying the roast on top of the onions to add extra flavor to the meat. My roast was larger than the one Cheryl cooked, so I used the guideline on Preparedness Pro to cook the meat for 20 minutes per pound.

I like the dark sear Cheryl gets on the roasts in her posts. I chose to cook my roast in the Instant Pot because one of the features that I like on the Instant Pot is that it tells you when the pan is hot enough to saute. I’m sort of an impatient cook and often don’t wait for my pans to get hot enough before searing the meat.


One of my sons loves mashed potatoes, so I didn’t cook veggies with the roast. I cooked potatoes in my Cuisinart, then after making creamy mashed potatoes, I put them back in the pressure cooker on warm to keep warm until the pot roast was ready to serve. It worked perfectly.

Thanks Cheryl for sharing your pot roast recipes. I plan on making pot roast more often now.

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast


  • 3 1/2 lb. Beef Chuck or Rump Roast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup water or beef broth (I used water with a Swanson Beef Flavor Boost packet.)
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Pat roast dry and season liberally with Lemon Pepper (or your favorite seasoning).
  2. Put oil in the cooking pot and select browning (or Saute on the Instant Pot). When oil begins to sizzle, brown meat on both sides. Remove roast from the cooking pot and add onions, water and bay leaves. Put roast back in the cooking pot on top of the onions.
  3. Select High Pressure. Set timer for 70 minutes. (Should reach high pressure in about 10 minutes.) When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release to release pressure (approximately 20 minutes). You can also use a Natural Pressure for 10 minutes, followed by Quick Pressure Release. When valve drops carefully remove the lid.
  4. Remove roast to a serving platter. Strain juices and discard onion and bay leaves. Thicken juices in cooking pot on simmer with a slurry of water and flour or cornstarch to make gravy.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Tami says

    my pressure cooker manual shows 35-40 for chuck roasts, should I follow that or do the 70 minutes? It’s such a difference in time I was unsure which to do

    • Gayle says

      Is the recipe in your manual for the sme sized roast? In a pressure cooker, the size of the pieces determines the amount of time to cook.

      • Linda says

        Thanks for your prompt reply Barbara. Is a leaner cut better than a fattier cut? Funny thing – I heated up some leftovers in the microwave with some gravy on the meat & it was perfect. Much more tender than before. I’m a “newbee” just learning. Thanks for your great site!

  2. Pat says

    Is anyone having trouble with the Cuisinart electric 6 qt. pressure cooker? Initially, only had trouble with the pc staying at pressure if I had used the browning setting. Now even if I use the Saute function first. I have waited for about 10-15 min to pressure and still goes immediately to warming function as soon as it reaches pressure. I sent it back and got another one but it is doing the same thing. I make sure that it is not too full and has enough liquid, It seems once it malfunctions, I can wait the rest of the night and it will not stay at pressure. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I even put the pc outside on my porch for 12 hr and it was only 19 degrees out trying to get the heating elements to cool down. The manufacturing company does not say much.

  3. sheryll says

    Can the recipes in the fix it and forget it cookbook be used for a electric pressure cooker instead of the slow cooker?

    • Barbara Schieving says

      I don’t have that cookbook, but most slow cooker recipes make great (better tasting) pressure cooker recipes. You’ll probably need to reduce (or in some cases increase) the cooking liquid to about 1 1/2 cups. Then just use a pressure cooking timing chart to determine the cook time. Thicken sauces after pressure cooking. Have fun!

  4. Linda Harke says

    Well, hello Barbara! So glad I came across your site. I just got an electric PC and can’t wait to try it this weekend. I have never used a PC before…my Mom had a stovetop PC when I was a kid and she always made “spareribs and sauerkraut” in it, but I don’t remember her ever using it for anything else. I will be referring to your site for great ideas on how to use mine!! Thanks!

  5. Janet B says

    I only have a stovetop PC. How would I convert it for that? What is natural release? Does that just mean let it sit until the pressure is gone? When I use my PC I usually cook veggies or potatoes, and put it under water and then take off the pressure regulator to reduce the pressure. Thanks in advance :)

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Janet – yes, when you put your pressure cooker in the sink with cold water, that is a quick pressure release. A natural pressure release is when you turn off the heat and allow the pot to release the pressure slowly by itself.

  6. Pat says

    I tried your recipe yesterday. First time I cooked in a pressure cooker that wasn’t canning, such as green beans. That is all I ever thought they were used for! I used a boneless round roast instead of a chuck roast. My cooker is only a 4 qt. so I cut it in half to cook to experiment. It was then only about 1 1/2 lbs. I still needed about 70 minutes to cook it tender! I guess the thickness of the meat is just as important as the total poundage. Since I had room in the pot, I added carrots for the last 10 minutes. (They were a bit too soft, I should have used only 5 or 6 min.). Anyway, my husband loved it! He likes meat very tender and this piece of meat have very little fat. Also, I liked the simplicity. So many recipes have way to many spices and salt that you do not really taste the meat! I’m new to cooking with the pressure cooker, so I’ll be checking this website often. Thank you.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Pat! Glad we could inspire you to use your pressure cooker more. I’ll look forward to hearing more about what you’re whipping up.

    • Bryan says

      Yes, you probably still needed 70 mins because that’s how long it takes to break down the protein in the beef, regardless of how large your meat is. It’s similar to cooking rice. On a stove, it’ll take about 20-25 mins to convert the starches no matter how much rice you cook (about 3-4 mins in pressure cooker). The reason it seems to take longer to cook more rice is because it takes longer to heat the water to a rolling boil. But the cooking time is the same. Likewise for a roast. A larger [cold] roast will make it longer for pot’s interior to heat up enough to build pressure, but the time it takes to break down the protein is the same.

  7. Rose Worthem says

    Thank you Gayle and Barbara for those tips. I had bought one for the stove top years ago and read the directions. After those directions I was afraid to use it so I gave it to my sister. When I had seen the electric pressure cooker I was sold. It is so very easy, I like it better than my slow cooker that my husband paid big money for. I have so many kitchen toys I actually forget what i have.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Rose – I love kitchen toys too, but my electric pressure cooker is the toy I use the most. Have fun with it!

  8. Rose Worthem says

    I forgot to add in my prevous post is that I use beef stock in my roast.

    Thank you for this site Barbara, I just found it yesterday when I was looking up Kalua Pork. I can’t wait to get home to my pc and try it. But for now I guess it is the oven method. :-(
    I have hardly used my pc because I could not find any recipes nor do I know how to convert recipes for the elec. pc. I even bought recipe books but they didn’t do a thing for me.

    • says

      Rose Worthem — you don’t really need to “convert” a recipe if you mean from stovetop to electric pressure cooker. Just use the recipe as it is written except, when it says to do a cold water release, don’t put the electric under running water. When it has that directive, I just let it do a natural release for about 10 minutes and then I open the release valve. If it says to do a quick release, just open the valve after the time is up. Some people say normal release when they mean quick — I can’t figure that out because to me a normal release is the same as a natural release since that is what I normally do but anyway, if you see “normal release”, think quick.
      The timing should be the same and almost all the directions except for the release methods would be the same.
      If you are talking about converting a non-pressure cooker recipe to pressure, that’s a bit different and involves figuring out liquid amount (usually less than in the recipe but not always) and timing (usually about 1/3 but, again, not always) so it’s a little trickier. But find a pressure cooker recipe for same type of thing and check the liquid amounts and times to help you figure out how to convert it.
      Do try to get used to your pressure cooker — I find that it makes my life a lot easier. I got one almost 3 years ago and now I have 4 that I use fairly regularly. I could get by with just the first one I got (6 qt Cuisinart) but I rather like having an oval one and a couple of smaller ones that I use for side dishes or a small roast or just a couple of pieces of chicken.

      • Rose Worthem says

        Thank you for the follow up Gayle. Yes I did mean stove top pc vs the electric pc. I keep reading that it is different. I really do love my pressure cooker but I dont know how to really use it. I mainly use it for my roasts and beef stew. I tried sloppy joes one time but the recipe was atrocious.

        • says

          They are different but not in a way that really affects the recipes you use. I have never had a stovetop and my only exposure to them is the one my mom used when I was a kid — long time ago. She used hers a lot but she never quite got over being just a little afraid of it. We weren’t allowed in the kitchen when she was using it. I never wanted one until I became aware of the digitals. I love it because it is really a “fix it and forget it” style of cooking. I rarely release the pressure other than a natural release just because I never know when the time is up. I start it and then go to my office (back end of the house) and play on my computer until I get hungry. By then, it’s usually done and I go eat.

          Stick with our PC Recipe group and you will learn all sorts of good stuff and will see a bunch of recipes. Between that and checking in with blogs such as Pressure Cooking Today, you will learn a lot. But you still have to practice by doing in order to get proficient.

        • Barbara Schieving says

          Rose – so glad you’re enjoying my site! I hope to continue to post inspiring recipes for the electric pressure cooker. And now you’ve got me thinking about what makes a sloppy joe recipe great. :)

          Gayle – thanks for your input and great advice.

          I think it just takes time and a bit of courage to get the hang of adapting recipes for the pressure cooker. I try to remember Julia’s advice to be “fearless” in the kitchen. I haven’t found any stove top recipes that don’t work in the electric pressure cooker.

          One good thing to keep in mind when adapting non-pressure cooker recipes for the pressure cooker is that it’s easy/quick to bring the pressure cooker back up to pressure when the food is hot, so start with the least amount of time you think will be necessary, open it up and check the food, if it needs a few more minutes, just close it up and pressure cook it for a few more minutes.

  9. Rose Worthem says

    Why are you making separate potatoes to mash them? One day I made a roast with potatoes and I was going to serve them as is. My son wanted mashed potatoes so I mashed them so that he could have what he wants. Boy were they delicious. We make those now more than the regular ones. The good thing about those is that you do not have to add any gravy to them. Yumm..

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Rose – thanks for the suggestions, I hadn’t thought about mashing them after they were cooked with the roast. Good idea.

  10. says

    Ohhh HI Barbara! I just got my first pressure cooker and was online looking for inspiration and happened upon your site! I had no clue you also had a pressure cooking site! YEAH!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Hi Leslie – so glad you found me! I’ll look forward to hearing about the great recipes you’re making. What kind of pressure cooker did you get?

  11. says

    I am hoping Santa brings me a pressure cooker, if not, I will be getting one in January. This will be the first thing I make in it.
    Have a Merry Christmas Barbara!

  12. says

    I have your blog to thank for renewing my love for my pressure cooker. I’ve owned a Cook’s Essentials Digital PC for nine years. Ever since I discovered the joy of cooking potatoes with a PC, I’ve been on a roll! We love pot roast, and am gearing up to make more as we go along. By the way, I just discovered your brown rice recipe and am thumping myself on the head– why didn’t I think of that, instead of my rice cooker that takes twice as long!
    Merry Christmas,

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Debby! I’m glad I could inspire you to start using it again. I’ll look forward to all the great recipes you’re whipping up.

  13. says

    One of my favorite kitchen toys is my Cuisinart pressure cooker, too. I brown meat in it all the time. I use an old fashioned method to tell if it is hot enough. When it has been on brown for a little while and I can feel heat from the pot, I flick drops of water (put fingers under faucet to get a little water on them). If the water drops sizzle and dry up quickly, then the pot is ready. If they don’t dance but just sit there, then it isn’t hot enough yet.

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks for the tip Gayle. I have done that in the past, but it never occurred to me to do it in the pressure cooker.