How Long to Cook Frozen Stew Beef in an Instant Pot – A Full Guide

Stew is the ultimate comfort food Beef, potatoes, carrots, celery – all simmered in a savory broth But traditional beef stew recipes call for hours of stovetop simmering. With an Instant Pot, you can make hearty, flavorful beef stew with frozen stew meat in under an hour!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about cooking frozen stew beef in the Instant Pot. You’ll learn about prep, cook times, how to adapt recipes, and tips for tender, melt-in-your-mouth results. Let’s get started!

Benefits of Using Frozen Beef

Cooking frozen beef stew meat in the Instant Pot has several advantages

  • Convenience – No need to defrost! Save time and skip a step.

  • Flavor – Frozen meat retains more moisture and beefy flavor during pressure cooking,

  • Food safety – The high heat kills bacteria more effectively than slow cookers.

  • Tender texture – The intense pressure breaks down connective tissues in tougher cuts like chuck or round.

  • Nutrition – Shorter cook time helps retain more vitamins and minerals compared to stovetop.

Prep Tips for Frozen Beef Stew

To set your Instant Pot beef stew up for success:

  • Cut beef into 1-inch chunks – Uniform pieces cook evenly.

  • Season the beef – Salt, pepper, herbs, and spices add big flavor.

  • Sear or saute the beef (optional) – Browning before pressure cooking enhances flavor.

  • Cut veggies into bite-sized pieces – Carrots, potatoes, onions, celery cook quickly under pressure.

  • Add liquid – Stock, wine, or water creates the flavorful broth as it cooks.

How Long to Cook Frozen Beef Stew Meat

Cooking time can vary based on amount and size of beef chunks. For 1-2 pounds frozen stew meat, cook:

  • 20-30 minutes for bite-sized 1-inch beef pieces
  • 35-40 minutes for larger 2-inch chunks

Check beef is fork-tender after cooking. If needed, pressure cook for 5-10 more minutes until beef and veggies are desired tenderness.

Adaptations for Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipes

When adapting traditional stovetop beef stew recipes for the Instant Pot, keep these adjustments in mind:

  • Reduce broth – Less liquid is needed since there’s less evaporation during pressure cooking. Use 1 cup broth per 1 pound meat.

  • Increase seasonings – The sealed Instant Pot concentrates flavors, so amp up herbs, spices, and salt.

  • Skip flour – No need to dust meat in flour to thicken stew, the natural gelatin thickens as it cooks.

  • Cook veggies separately – Delicate veggies like peas or parsley cook faster. Add them after pressure cooking.

  • Simmer after pressure cooking – Letting stew simmer with the lid off reduces liquid and melds flavors.

Tips for Tender, Flavorful Instant Pot Beef Stew

  • Sear meat first for deeper flavor (use saute function)
  • Add umami boosters like tomato paste, Worcestershire, or red wine
  • Use broth, not water for a richer-tasting base
  • Throw in aromatic veggies like onions, garlic, celery
  • Add collagen-rich ingredients like oxtail or marrow bones
  • Let pressure release naturally to finish cooking and tenderize meat
  • Simmer 5-10 minutes after pressure cooking to thicken broth
  • Skim fat from finished stew for cleaner flavor
  • Garnish with parsley or chives for freshness

Sample Recipe – Instant Pot Frozen Beef Stew

  • 2 lbs frozen beef stew meat
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb potatoes, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, thyme
  1. Select Saute function. Season beef with salt and pepper. Brown beef in batches.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute 3 minutes.
  3. Add broth, wine, tomato paste, bay leaves, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
  4. Pressure cook on High for 25-30 minutes until beef is fork tender.
  5. Release pressure naturally 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
  6. Select Saute. Simmer stew 10 minutes to thicken broth.
  7. Add chopped potatoes and simmer 5 more minutes until tender.
  8. Adjust seasonings and serve!

With this handy guide, you can easily whip up hearty and comforting Instant Pot frozen beef stew any night of the week. Just dump in the ingredients, pressure cook, then simmer while the enticing aromas lure hungry family or guests to the dinner table. Enjoy!

BEST HACK EVER: Cooking Frozen Meat in the Instant Pot


Can you cook stewing beef from frozen?

Yes, you can cook frozen stew meat without defrosting it first. However, the cooking time will be longer compared to using thawed meat. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure it is thoroughly cooked.

How long does frozen beef take in Instant Pot?

Lay a one pound piece of frozen ground beef on top of the trivet. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it to the locked position. Adjust the valve so that it is in the sealing position. Press the pressure cook button and adjust the time to read 20 minutes (or manual high pressure for 20 minutes).

How long does it take to cook from frozen in Instant Pot?

The frozen pieces will make things colder, longer and cause the pot to take longer to create steam, and thus pressure. What is this? Bargain for at least 10 extra minutes for the pot to come to pressure when using frozen meats. Sometimes up to 40 extra minutes, depending on what you are making.

How long is meat stew setting on Instant Pot?

Select the stew/meat setting (about 35 minutes, high pressure). After it’s done, let everything mellow out for about 10 minutes before releasing the steam. Technically at this point, it’s done. But I recommend finishing with a quick browning session in the oven (see notes below).

How to cook frozen stew beef in Instant Pot?

Instructions Toss the first ten ingredients, up to and including the frozen stew beef, into the Instant Pot. Close the lid and make sure the valve is set to Sealing. Push Pressure Cook (or Manual) and use the +/– button to get to 25 minutes. While it’s cooking, cut the potatoes and carrots into 1” pieces, with or without the skins.

How long do you Pressure Cook frozen meat in Instant Pot?

Your stew will be so much tastier for it! How long do you add frozen meat to Instant Pot? For most frozen meats we’ve cooked, 5-10 additional pressure cooking minutes are enough for smaller/thinner cuts (stewing beef, ribs) for a total of 30 minutes of pressure cooking.

How long to cook beef stew in Instant Pot?

To cook beef stew in an Instant Pot, first stir in the beef broth and deglaze the pot. Then, add the remaining ingredients without stirring. Cook on HIGH for 35 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

How long does frozen beef stew take to cook?

You can make a hearty, healthy, and delicious Instant Pot Frozen Beef Stew in under an hour using frozen stew meat and fresh vegetables. This recipe is so easy to make and perfect for a weeknight meal.

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