Instant Pot Roast Beef

published Oct 23, 2021
Instant Pot Roast Beef Recipe

For impeccably tender roast beef, skip the oven and go straight to the instant pot.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook50 minutes

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a cut of roast beef on a wooden cutting board with three slices laying on their sides.
Credit: Laura Rege

This ingenious Instant Pot roast beef ensures a beautifully cooked roast every time — without ever turning on the oven. Cooking the meat with high pressure (then letting it continue to cook slowly as the pressure naturally releases) keeps it super tender with a perfect medium-rare center, which in our opinion is the best way to enjoy roast beef. Plus, the broth, which is necessary for the Instant Pot to come to temperature, becomes a delicious au jus-style sauce without any additional steps: win-win.

Warm roast beef and mashed potatoes are best friends, but there’s also room on the plate for your favorite vegetable sides and some nice crusty bread to sop up any juices. Serve leftovers cold, sliced as thinly as possible, and layer them into your favorite sandwich or onto a hoagie to make a French dip.

Top Tips for Roasting Beef in the Instant Pot

  • Don’t skip searing the beef. Not only does this start the cooking process, but the browning also contributes greatly to the overall flavor of the dish. 
  • Follow the timing. Too much time on high pressure and the beef will overcook. The key here is to give it a good start at high pressure and then let the roast cook low and slow as the pressure naturally releases. 
  • Remember to add the broth. The Instant Pot won’t come to pressure without a bit of liquid. We found 1 cup was just enough to avoid stewing the beef.
  • Don’t throw out the sauce at the end. It’s amped up with flavor from cooking with the beef and is absolutely decadent spooned over medium-rare slices.

How to Keep Your Roast from Getting Tough in the Instant Pot

Avoid too much high pressure heat. Cooking the beef on high pressure for just a few minutes builds the heat that starts the cooking process. As the pressure naturally releases, the roast can cook more slowly and evenly.

Do You Put Water in the Instant Pot for a Roast?

Typically roast beef would be made in the oven without liquid. However, in order for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, there must be enough liquid. For this recipe, you’ll need 1 cup of water or broth. 

Best Sauces with Instant Pot Roast Beef

While au jus is a perfect pairing, roast beef is also particularly delicious with horseradish sauce, grainy mustard, or mayonnaise.

Instant Pot Roast Beef Recipe

For impeccably tender roast beef, skip the oven and go straight to the instant pot.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 50 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 4 cloves

    garlic

  • 4 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 1

    (2-pound) beef eye of round roast (about 2 1/2-inches thick)

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 cup

    beef broth

  • 2 teaspoons

    Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, and adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Halve and very thinly slice 1 small yellow onion. Finely chop 4 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs (about 1 tablespoon).

  2. Pat 2 pounds beef eye of round roast dry with paper towels. Season all over with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Heat a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot on the Sauté setting. When hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the beef. Sear until browned on all 4 long sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  4. Add the onions, garlic, and thyme to the pressure cooker and cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup beef broth and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan and stir to combine. Nestle the beef into the broth and onion mixture. Turn off the pressure cooker.

  5. Lock the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 2 minutes on HIGH pressure. It will take 5 to 7 minutes to come up to pressure.

  6. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes for medium-rare. Quick release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the pressure cooker and use tongs to transfer the beef to a clean cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice beef across the grain. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Roast beef is best enjoyed right away. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.