How To Cook Frozen Meat In The Instant Pot
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Instant Pot Frozen Meat. How to cook frozen meat in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker including a free cooking times printable. Place the free cheat sheet onto your fridge for a quick reference later. Also includes important tips for perfect frozen meat in the Instant Pot.
I originally shared with you my instant pot frozen meat guide back in 2019. I have cooked a lot more frozen meat in the instant pot now and this is the updated version.
Can An Instant Pot Cook Frozen Meat?
Yes it can and once you try instant pot frozen meat, you will be amazed by how delicious it is.
However, one thing to note is that some instant pot frozen meats do taste better than others, some require to be cooked in a liquid, to stop them being dry and some just have the wow factor and amaze me that they have been cooked in the instant pot from frozen.
My favourite so far, is instant pot frozen steak. I am amazed by how delicious, juicy and tender the steak becomes. Howe
Instant Pot Frozen Vs Fresh Meat?
The only big difference when comparing instant pot frozen with fresh meat is the cook time adjustments.
Frozen meat needs a slightly longer cook time and will take slightly longer to go to pressure.
Instant Pot Frozen Meat
My routine as far as cooking dinner, is to get our food out of the freezer the night before. If usually have meat and vegetables for dinner during the week.
It might be chicken thighs cooked in the air fryer, served with some vegetable hash. Or burgers with air fryer sweet potato fries. Another night it might be an Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken it just depends what food we want to eat.
In these cases, the meat will come out of the freezer the night before, will be semi thawed and will make cooking dinner easy for us.
But sometimes we forget. Or have other plans that get broken and we need to cook our meat from frozen in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
The most common time for this is lunch on a Wednesday. We do grocery shopping on a Wednesday morning with the kids and always plan our meat around what we have found on clearance.
But if we don’t find any clearance meat, plans will be based around what we can quickly cook from frozen in the Instant Pot.
Our most common meat that we have in the freezer that we cook from frozen include:
- Frozen Chicken Breasts
- Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Frozen Whole Chicken
- Frozen Sausages
- Frozen Minced Beef
- Frozen Hamburgers
- Frozen Steak
- Frozen Roast Beef
In fact, at any one time you will find plenty of those above in our freezer. Though we probably have about 4 different types of mince as I love mince.
We have pork mince, chicken mince, beef mince and lamb mince in our freezer as I type this. Usually, we also have mixed mince which is a mix of pork and veal.
But what I am sure you want to know is how to cook your favourite frozen meat in the Instant Pot, for those rushed but delicious family dinners.
Instant Pot Freezer Meals
If Instant Pot Freezer Meals is your thing, we have a pantry challenge that we did on the blog last month. It shares with you how to group together delicious clearance meat with your pantry to make loads of Instant Pot recipes on a budget of just $30. You can click on the banner below for more info:
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken
Let’s start with chicken, after all we all love chicken cooked in the Instant Pot. Cooking chicken from frozen is easy and you can follow your favourite chicken recipes without having a dry piece of meat.
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Cooking Times:
- Frozen Chicken Wings = 12 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Boneless Chicken Thighs = 25 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Chicken Drumsticks = 25 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Chicken Thighs = 30 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Chicken Breasts = 45 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Roast Chicken Dinner = 45 Minutes + QPR
Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Recipes:
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken + Potatoes
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Drumsticks
Instant Pot Frozen Beef
Second on the list is beef, I love cooking my beef in the Instant Pot and its rare I cook it anywhere else now. It is also very fast to do from frozen in the Instant Pot.
Our favourite go to beef includes minced beef, oxtail, meatballs and stewing steak.
Instant Pot Frozen Beef Cooking Times:
- Frozen Taco Meat = 15 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Minced Beef = 15 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Beef Stew = 60 Minutes + QPR
- Frozen Beef Pot Roast = 70 Minutes + QPR
- Frozen Meatballs = 20 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Breakfast Hash = 8 Minutes + QPR
- Instant Pot Frozen Hamburgers = 20 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Instant Pot Frozen Steak = 20 Minutes + QPR
- Instant Pot Frozen Pot Roast = 90 Minutes + NPR
Instant Pot Frozen Beef Recipes:
- Instant Pot Shredded Beef From Frozen
- Instant Pot Frozen Taco Meat
- Instant Pot Frozen Steak
- Instant Pot Frozen Hamburgers
Instant Pot Frozen Pork
Pork is the cheapest meat to buy here in Portugal and we buy it frequently. A package of pork stew meat for making a delicious Mediterranean Pork Stew costs us just 1.20€/$1.50 and this is enough pork to feed us for 2 meals for our family of 5.
As well as this the Portuguese Bifana (pork steak) is also super cheap. Then there is the endless supply of pork chops and pork shoulders too.
We love cooking our pork from frozen in the Instant Pot and it’s so easy!
Instant Pot Frozen Pork Cooking Times:
- Frozen Sausage Casserole = 10 Minutes + QPR
- Frozen Pork Chops = 15 Minutes + QPR + Trivet
- Frozen Pork Tenderloin = 45 Minutes + QPR
- Frozen Pork Ribs = 50 Minutes + QPR
- Frozen Pork Roast = 60 Minutes + QPR
- Frozen Pork Shoulder = 70 Minutes + QPR
- Instant Pot Frozen Smokies = 1 Minute + QPR
Instant Pot Frozen Pork Recipes:
- Instant Pot Frozen Smokies
- Instant Pot Frozen Pork Loin
- Instant Pot Frozen Pork Chops
- Instant Pot Frozen Pork Tenderloin
- Instant Pot Frozen Italian Sausages
It is assumed that you’re using an average family size of meat when cooking from frozen in the Instant Pot. I.e. you can use 60 minutes for cooking a pork roast from frozen based on the fact the meat is less than 2 kilos in weight.
Just like when cooking Instant Pot chicken wings, you’re using one full pack of wings from the butchers which usually measures around 1 kilo.
ALWAYS check at the thickest part of the meat to see if it is cooked. This is especially important when dealing with chicken.
If you don’t have a thermometer, then stab the thickest part of the meat, then put your finger on it, if that part of the meat is too hot to keep your hand there then you know it reached the correct temperature. Just like if the juices run clear, you know that your meat is cooked.
Instant Pot Frozen Meat Tips
I advise, before you go and download your free Instant Pot Frozen Meat Printable below that you consider the following:
#1 Instant Pot Frozen Meat – Size Matters
You can’t expect every shape of meat to fit in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. If you want to be cooking frozen meat in the Instant Pot, then freeze it in easy shapes so that you can easily load it up into the Instant Pot, as and when you plan to cook it.
As well as this weight matters too. You can’t expect a HUGE pork shoulder to easily fit in the Instant Pot and cook well. Instead you need to be splitting it into smaller sizes as otherwise you can end up with dry horrible meat.
If you are cooking mince from frozen, split it into portion sizes of no more than 450g/1lb otherwise it wont cook in the centre. You can still cook more than this at once. But place it next to each other in 450g portions.
#2 Instant Pot Frozen Meat – Packaging Matters
Remember all those times when you tried to take packaging off some frozen food and you just couldn’t! You spent ages trying to get those awful stuck on pieces of silver foil off and it just didn’t happen or peeled away in your hand.
I find that I always got the best results by prepping frozen food in zip loc bags or tin foil containers. This is because you can get the food out of the packaging easily without much frost bite on your part and without the packaging breaking in your hands.
It also gives you the chance to recycle and re use the packaging for a later time.
#3 Instant Pot Frozen Meat – The Pouring Method
When I am cooking frozen, I use the pouring method. Instead of placing the liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot, I pour it over the frozen meat.
This kick starts the thawing process and gives it a good start for when it defrosts while under pressure.
I have also found that this is the difference between dry meat and tender meat at the end of the cooking time.
#4 Instant Pot Frozen Meat – Time Matters To Cooking Times
You need to adjust the cooking time if you’re cooking from frozen. You can’t expect something that was thawed to cook for the exact same time as something that was frozen.
Many will tell you that it defrosts as it comes to pressure and it does by 80% but you still have the other 20% to take into account.
I have followed many recipes when they suggest no extra cooking time and my meat has still been frozen in the middle which is very dangerous.
Instead add an extra 20% to cooking time for your favourite recipes.
- 5 minutes swapped for 6 minutes
- 15 minutes swapped for 18 minutes
- 20 minutes swapped for 24 minutes
- 30 minutes swapped for 36 minutes
- And so on
#5 Instant Pot Frozen Meat – Freezer Meals
You can also cook your frozen meat along with other freezer meals or frozen produce. One of my favourites is to add in frozen Paleo sauce to the Instant Pot. You can use this if you want meat in a delicious sauce or you’re making pulled chicken.
Instant Pot Frozen Meat Cook Times
I have put together a quick one page free printable for you for cooking frozen meat in the Instant Pot.
It is split into beef, chicken and pork with quick information of cooking time for each. It covers all the main common meals to make it easier for you.
It is available for a free download in our members area and you can subscribe and get your free printable by filling in the form below or going to this page.
In the recipes you have listed meat + QPR. What is QPR?
QPR is just Instant Pot Terminology for quick pressure release, meaning you release the pressure just after the Instant Pot has finished. Where as NPR means natural pressure release where you just leave the Instant Pot to de-pressurize on its own.
We have a blog post here with all the terminology for you to have a read of:
What is the method for cooking frozen lamb shanks in the Instant Pot.
We have not covered frozen lamb shanks as yet but lamb is starting to come into season so we might be picking some up 🙂
I have just bought a cooker and the recipe book says to use alfoil in the cooker; is this necessary?
Silver foil in the instant pot (or the air fryer) is only necessary with some recipes but not with all. It can also reduce the amount of accessories you need to buy for your instant pot.
When steaks are frozen together does it take longer to cook?
Yes it does. We try and separate them before freezing because trying to separate whilst frozen can be hard but not impossible if you have a small piece of flat metal not a knife and slide it in between the steaks then they should just break apart 🙂