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

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

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.

How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Ground Beef In The Instant Pot

How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot 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!

How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

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 stove top 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.

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.

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 Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

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

Watch Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot Video:

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5 from 5 reviews
How To Cook Frozen Ground Beef In The Instant Pot
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 People
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 35 mins


  • 2 pounds  ground beef 
  • 1 cup  water 
  •  Salt and Pepper 
  •  Taco seasoning  (optional)


  1. Place a trivet or steam basket inside the pressure cooker pot.
  2. Add one cup of water or the minimum liquid requirement for your pressure cooker. I used a 6 quarts pressure cooker.

  3. Add frozen ground beef on top of the trivet, no need to break it down. If you have longer pieces that don't fit, break them in 2 so you can place them on the trivet.

  4. Place the lid and lock it, make sure to close the sealing valve.
  5. Select 35 minutes of pressure cooking on high.

  6. Once the program is done, do a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release, after that open the valve to release the remaining pressure.
  7. Using an instant read kitchen thermometer, take the temperature of your meat, it should be about 160F.
  8. I also like to poke the center and see if its still raw, if the meat is still undercooked:

    Option 1: just close the lid back, seal the valve, and cook for another 5 minutes oh high pressure with a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release, check again and repeat if necessary.

    Option 2: discard the liquid, select sauté mode, once hot add one tablespoon of oil, add the beef, break it down and brown it until done. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. If you used Option 1: Once the beef is done, remove it with tongs and add it to a large bowl.

  10. Use a wooden spoon to crumble it, season with salt, pepper and taco seasoning if using. If the beef seems a bit dry, add 1 tablespoon of warm beef broth and mix.

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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Jacque Hastert

Thanks for the great tips!



From freezer to table in an hour! Thanks for the versatile recipe.



Such a timesaver! Definitely trying this next time.


Allyson Zea

YUM! I know a million recipes you could use this quick cooked ground beef in! Love the instant pot!


Katerina @ diethood .com

Thanks for the awesome tips!!!


Sandra | A Dash of Sanity

I can't wait to try this! Thanks for your tips!



The recipe says cook 35 mins. but the video shows 25 mins. Is the video right?


its 35mins, sorry.


Lysa Beebe

I just bought our instapot. Can you explain why you used the trivet? I dont know what it's use is. Thanks


You use it when you don't want the food to touch the water, like in this case the beef should not be submerged in the water. Also, its used when you add a pot inside the IP.


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.


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!


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