How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 9 reviews

Beef Instant Pot Recipes Kitchen Tips Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 30 minutes

How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot in just under one hour. Use the beef to make tacos, stuffed peppers or serve with pasta. 

This is a super easy and handy recipe to make in the IP. Also, feel free to watch the short video tutorial attached below. Serve it over some Instant Pot white rice for a complete dinner!

Instant Pot Ground Beef

Cooking frozen ground beef In the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker is one of the easiest things you can do. Let’s face it, most of the time the hardest part of dinner is when you realize that you forgot to thaw the meat.

It happened to me so many times when I had great plans and ideas of how delicious dinner would be only to realize that my meat is still rock frozen in the fridge. But the night can be saved with these easy tips on how to cook frozen ground beef in the instant pot with only 2 ingredients, one of which is just water!

Also, feel free to season the meat as you like, and serve it over rice or pasta. It goes well pretty much on anything. I like serving it over rice, pasta, or tacos!

Can I use frozen ground meat in the instant pot?

Absolutely! It is a time saver and so easy to make, you only need two ingredients: water and beef. While I would highly recommend staying away from cooking frozen meat in the microwave or boiling it on the stovetop or cooking it in the slow cooker.

Because the cooking time takes too long. Also, the beef becomes over-cooked on the outside and under-cooked in the center, and the texture just isn’t the same. The pressure cooking method, however, is the one that I found the most success with.

What do I need to cook frozen ground beef in the Pressure Cooker?

  • Main Ingredients are – beef and water, yes only two ingredients!
  • Trivet or Steamer Insert – the Instant Pot comes with a trivet, but if you don’t have one, you can use a steamer insert.
  • Pressure Cooker – I have the 6 quarts Instant Pot Duo and I love it.
  • Seasoning – to season the beef after its cooked, I used Taco Seasoning.

How to cook ground beef in the Instant Pot?

This is a super simple and easy recipe to follow, no matter if you are using fresh or frozen meat. For the frozen version, the cooking time will be increased. Also, watch the short video tutorial attached for a quick guideline. The general steps are as follows:

  1. Add water: Add about a cup of water to the pot. Then, add the trivet. 
  2. Cook the beef: Place the frozen beef on the trivet, and close the lid. Cook on HIGH pressure for about 35 minutes, followed by natural pressure release. 
  3. Crumble the meat: Once cooked, open the lid and using a fork, crumble the beef, and add seasoning.
  4. Serve: Enjoy it over tacos, pasta, or rice. 

Can I brown frozen ground beef in the Instant Pot?

I got this question from a few readers and that’s a no-no. Do not attempt to brown frozen beef. While the beef has the most amazing flavor when browned, you do not want to try that with frozen beef.

I really liked the taste of simply cooking the frozen beef in the pressure cooker and after that crumble it and add some spices to it.

Another way to make the beef even more awesome is after you crumble it, just cook it on the stove for a few extra minutes with sesame oil. Add a little soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and chopped green onions for an Asian twist.

If you don’t want to dirty another pot, quickly rinse the pressure cook pot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and brown the beef. Be careful not to overcook it.


How does the beef taste after cooking it in the Pressure Cooker?

After crumbling it, I like to add some spices, to add more flavor to the beef. It tastes just like you would cook it on the stove. If you find the beef to be a bit fry, after you crumble it, you can mix in 1-2 tablespoons of beef broth or chicken broth.

It tastes absolutely amazing. I like adding taco seasoning to my crumbled beef, as well as pepper flakes, and about 1 tablespoon of beef broth. After mixing well, you get some delicious taco beef.

Looking for more easy Instant Pot Recipes? Check my collection here these out:

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5 from 9 reviews

How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot

How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker in just under one hour. Use the beef to make tacos, stuffed peppers or serve with pasta.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 People
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 35 mins



Nutrition information

0 Calories: 288 Carbohydrates: 0 Protein: 19 Fat: 22 Saturated Fat: 8 Cholesterol: 80 Sodium: 77 Potassium: 306 Sugar: 0 Calcium: 20 Iron: 2.2
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Angela Williams

Hi- I tried this with ground turkey and ran out of water in the pot. It was still delicious, but my question is more general with the Instant Pot- do I need to use more water with ground turkey since it won’t have as much fat dropping off? 


Thats probably the reason, I have never tried cooking frozen ground turkey, but just add more water next time. It is weird that you ran off, as the condensation should be enough to maintain the water levels, are you sure the valve was properly sealed from the start?


Ludy Avila

Can i place the ground Turkey in a pan instead of on the trivet? Water, trivet, pan with turkey?


No, don't do that you need to use the trivet. The Turkey will be in water otherwise and it wont cook uniform, plus it will be soaked in liquid. I am not sure how it will work if you juts use the pan as you mentioned, never tried it this way.



If I only have one pound of hamburger, does that adjust the timing and/or the amount of water used?  I am an insta pot rookie. Thanks for your help!


The amount of water will stay the same, but for the timing I would do 20 minutes, if it needs more you can add another 5 minutes.


Melissa R SmithWilson

How do I adjust the recipe for 1 pound of ground turkey


Sorry, I am not sure, I haven't tried this with turkey.


Yes! I cooked mine for 28 minutes and it turned out great!



But is the hamburger chewy like when you cook on the stove top? I’m trying to find a way to get tender crumbles.


You can add more water when you later saute it, to make it more tender.



I've used this method in my 8 quart multiple times, even doing 3 lbs (3 1lb tubes) it still works with 1 cup water and 35 minutes. This has changed my meal making tremendously and love it!



What should be the cook time if I am only using 1 lb. of ground beef please? Thank you!


About 20 minutes with 10 minutes NPR



Hello! I need instructions for use with the Crock Pot Express pressure cooker. It's basically an InstaPot, but made by Crock Pot. Any pointers, websites, or advice is welcome. Many thanks!😉



Wow, had to scroll an epic amount to find out “set instant pot 35 min.” Thanks, but uh, less back story would Ben appreciated.


There is no back story at all, just helpful tips for people to make the recipe. Maybe you just need to find out the time, but first time cooks need more details.


Margaret Compton

I couldn't find the little video showing how to do it? X


the video is embedded in the post. About in the middle of the post, there is a short recipe video. Hope this helps. thanks



Nice, thank you. I use the silicone trivet with heat-resistant handles and it's so much better than the metal trivet that came with the instant pot. I got it on Amazon:


Thank you for the feedback, so happy that you enjoyed this recipe!



What if I don't have a trivet or a steamer basket? Can I just add my meat in to the pressure cooker anyway?


No, as the meat will boil in water instead of steaming.



This saved dinner tonight! Works just as well on a one-pound chunk of ground bison, too. Thank you!


happy that you loved the recipe, thanks for the feedback!



Thanks for sharing valuable content. I was in search of such content and luckily find your content.



Any chance you used an 8 quart IP instead of a 6 quart? If so, an 8 quart requires 18 oz of water minimum vs. 8 oz minimum fira 6 quart. Typically it wouldn't come up to pressure if you don't have the right minimum amount of water.


I only have a 6qt IP.


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