Do you love beef stew? Want to prepare a delicious beef stew in a fraction of the time it would take on a stovetop? This instant pot beef stew recipe has tender beef, tender perfectly cooked vegetables all in a velvety smooth sauce. I know you are going to love this easy beef stew recipe.
Beef Stew in an Instant Pot
Beef stew is one of those all-time comfort foods, when served with some crusty bread you really can’t ask for a better dinner. This one-pot meal can be made quickly and it tastes like your favorite traditional beef stew recipe. Best of all this cooks in under 90 minutes, so you don’t have to wait for hours while your beef stew cooks.
Instant Pot Stew – Inspired by my Grandmother’s recipe
I wanted something to remind me of my Grandmother’s beef stew. She cooked plainly, letting food’s natural flavors come through. Her homemade beef stew was one of my favorite recipes, and the best thing about this recipe was when you enjoyed it the next day because it tasted even better.
This easy instant pot beef stew is made with beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, a little garlic powder, salt, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and smoked paprika. You really can make delicious stew in an electric pressure cooker.
Instapot Beef Stew Ingredients
What one secret ingredient is in this recipe? Chicken stock. I use chicken stock as the stew base. I think the flavor of the chicken stock adds a richness and nice flavor profile that beef broth does not have.
People always ask, “did you just say chicken stock?”. Yes. If you prefer beef stock or beef broth, please use it. I urge you to try your beef stew with chicken stock just once.
Here’s a list of what you need:
- Beef Chuck Roast – this is a good beef stew meat, is has so much flavor due to the marbling of the beef.
- Vegetable oil – you can use olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Chicken stock
- Tomato sauce
- Smoked paprika
- Potatoes – I like to use Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes also work well
- Onions – I prefer white onions for this recipe
- Garlic powder
- Worcestershire sauce – (optional) 1 tablespoon adds a nice touch
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Learn how to keep the vegetables firm in this simple beef stew
I pressure cook my stew twice. If you cook the meat and the vegetables all in one single step you will tender meat and mushy vegetables. The best stew should have tender meat and firm vegetables. The first cooking is the meat, stock, and spices. The second cooking is where we add the vegetables. Cooking the vegetables for less time means they stay firm and distinct.
How to Make Beef Stew in Instant Pot
It’s pretty easy to make delicious stew, you can make a beef stew that tastes like it cooked all day in your pressure cooker. I will walk you through the process.
- Cut your beef into bite-sized pieces. Small pieces of meat mean your stew tastes extra meaty, by increasing the surface area of the meat means more flavor comes through.
- Brown the meat first before pressure cooking it. The browning process will give your stew a depth of flavor.
- Using meat stock instead of water adds another layer of depth to the taste of your stew.
- Cooking the vegetables last results in the vegetables retaining all of their natural bold flavors. No one wants flavorless mushy vegetables.
What meat is best for beef stew?
You can use just about any cut of beef for beef stew. The cheaper cut of meat will give you better flavor! My personal favorite is chuck roast. A chuck roast is inexpensive and has enough marbling on it to give it more flavor.
Don’t buy precut stew meat because it costs more. Five minutes of work means you can save a couple of dollars a pound. Here is a breakdown of types of meat you can make beef stew.
- Chuck roast – (Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, Top Chuck) – is well-marbled, and releases a lot of gelatin when it cooks, so you get a wonderful velvety texture.
- Sirloin – is great if you want a lower fat content in your stew, this is a great choice, this leaner cut of beef. You won’t get the same texture as you will with a fattier cut.
- Round eye roast (Bottom Round Roast, Bottom Eye Roast, Rump Roast, Eye Round Roast, Top Round, Round Tip Roast) – These are all variations of the same cut of roast. Inexpensive and lean, this is a great choice for a leaner stew plus these are often priced less expensively than other cuts of meat.
How long do you need to cook beef chunks in a pressure cooker?
Meat takes 30 minutes to be cooked thoroughly, in a pressure cooker. You might wonder if you want to add more meat in the pressure cooker do you need to cook it for longer? No, the meat needs to cook for 30 minutes at the proper psi to be done. Longer cooking time is irrelevant when you use more meat.
Why is my stew meat tough in Instant Pot?
If you cook your meat full time your beef should not be tough. Sometimes a particular cut of beef may have more connective tissue, and this may sauce your beef to be extra tough. To fix this you can simply cook your stew for another 5 to 8 minutes on high pressure. This additional cooking time should address the toughness of the beef.
Does beef stew get more tender the longer it cooks?
Yes, the longer beef stew meat cooks it will become more tender. It becomes tender because the connective tissue begins to break down. As the connective tissue breaks down the meat isn’t held together so firmly.
Tips for Success when making Instant Pot Beef Stew
To add richness and flavor to Instant Pot Stew
- Brown the meat first in vegetable oil or olive oil.
- Do not use water, use a meat stock
- Use meat with some fat like a chuck roast, you will get the flavor from the fat, and the gelatin will give you a nice texture.
- When you brown the meat deglaze with a bit of red wine if you desire, be sure to scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to pick up all of that rich flavor.
- If you want to you can add a bay leaf or two when you cook the meat for flavor.
- Do not put flour in your Instant Pot, it will clog the pressure valve.
- If you think the stew is too thin, consider adding a cornstarch slurry to the final result.
Combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir to blend well. Add to hot stew after it has finished cooking. Stir until stew thickens. The residual heat of the stew is sufficient to thicken the cornstarch slurry mixture in the stew.
Beef Stew in Instant Pot is Flavorful
What I like about using the Instant Pot it is that is a safe, easy way to pressure cook. The flavors stay trapped within the liquid, so you get a nice flavorful stew.
This stew cooks quickly and the pressure cooker is relatively silent when in operation. It will even switch to a warm mode once the food is cooked.
I browned my meat right in the pot, then put on the lid, set the timer, and walked away until it beeped. Brilliant. This is the working person’s dream.
Want to see more about the Instant Pot? Read my Should You Buy An Instant Pot article.
How to store leftover Instant Pot beef stew
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can freeze leftover Instant pot beef stew in an airtight container or a vacuum-sealed bag for up to 3 months.
Does Instant Pot stew freeze well?
It freezes very well. Be sure to store it in an airtight container, and it will last for 3 months in the freezer. You should allow the frozen stew to thaw before reheating. You can pull the frozen stew out of the freezer and let it thaw in your refrigerator until it is ready to reheat.
How to reheat Instant Pot beef stew
I recommend reheating the stew in a pot on the stove. Reheat the stew on low to medium-low heat until warm for best results
Loved this recipe? Try my other Instant Pot recipes
- Easy Pulled Pork
- Pinto Beans in Instant Pot
- How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- French Onion Rice Instant Pot
- Corned Beef Instant Pot
- Pressure Cooker Irish Stew
Best Hearty Soup Recipes
- Best Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
- Copycat Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup Panera
- White House Navy Bean Soup
- Chili Make With Tomato Juice
- Luby Green Chili Chicken Soup Recipe
- How to Make Crostini to Serve with Soup
If you are still wondering if you should get an Instant Pot you can read my blog post about Should You Get an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 16 ounces chicken stock
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 pounds potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 large onions, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cut beef into bite-sized pieces. Season meat with salt. Brown bite-sized pieces of roast in the Instant Pot on saute in vegetable oil, you may need to do this in small batches.
- Once the meat has browned add tomato sauce and chicken stock. Cook the meat on the manual high setting for 30 minutes. Perform a quick release.
- Then add the garlic powder, smoked paprika, vegetables and cook on the manual setting for 4 minutes.
- When the stew finishes you can either perform a quick release or a manual release.