Instant Pot frozen ground beef- go from frozen ground beef to dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat! Showing how to cook ground beef so it ends up tender and not tough, and two different ways you can flavor it!
Why oh why did I not know about this back when I worked outside the home? Thanks to the Instant Pot, cooking frozen ground beef is not only safe, but fast and efficient!
I have tried other frozen ground beef Instant Pot recipes and was disappointed by a completely cooked through, tough, chewy and impossible to break up hunk of ground beef.
My method cooks the ground beef *partly* through, then finishes it up using the ‘sautee’ function of the Instant Pot. The result? Ground beef that is easy to break up with a spatula, tender and not chewy, and that absorbs the sauce so much better!
Not only that, but I’m showing you two ways to flavor your ground beef so you can get a little variety in your dinner routine!
Reasons you’ll ♡ this Instant Pot frozen ground beef recipe
- you’ll go from frozen ground beef to dinner on the table in just 20 minutes
- my method ensures the beef does not end up tough
- you can flavor the ground beef in two different ways
Don’t forget to pin this post to save it for later!
How to cook this frozen ground beef Instant Pot recipe?
It’s so ridiculously simple!
First, gather your equipment:
- frozen ground beef– 1 lb. I have not tested this recipe with larger quantities. You can use fatty cuts of beef as the fat will drip into the water below and is discarded.
- Instant Pot– I have used both a 6 quart Instant Pot and an 8 quart Instant Pot for this recipe
- water– you’ll need 1 cup for a 6 quart and 1.5 cups for an 8 quart
- trivet– this comes with the Instant Pot and keeps the beef out of the water
Add the water to the Instant Pot insert, and place the beef on top of the trivet over the water. Pressure cook for 5 minutes with a quick pressure release!
At this point in the frozen ground beef Instant Pot recipe, our ground beef will only be partially cooked through, and this is good.
- Carefully remove the trivet + ground beef from the Instant Pot, discard the water, and return the insert to the pot.
- Select sautee, return the beef + flavorings to the pot, and break the beef up with a spatula.
- Cook, simmering in the sauce, until beef is cooked through (2-3 more minutes).
Does this method work for ground turkey or ground chicken? It works fabulously for ground turkey. I have not tested with ground chicken, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for ground chicken as well!
Can I double the recipe? This should work. I have not tested myself, but in theory it should work fine. Here’s what I would do: If you find that your ground beef is still a little frozen after 5 minutes, flip so the frozen bits are on the outside and put the pot back on for another 2 minutes. Let me know in the comments if you try with 2lbs of ground beef and if so, how it works for you!
How can I season the ground beef? In the recipe card and recipe video, I show you how to turn your frozen ground beef into Korean beef or taco meat! There are probably 100 other ways you can season your beef.
Can you cook frozen ground beef in the slow cooker? No. Because the slow cooker cooks slow, slow cooker manufacturers cannot guarantee that the internal temp of frozen food reaches a high enough temperature to prevent food borne illnesses.
Translation? It is not recommended as it puts food in the danger zone temperature for growth of the bad bacteria. The Instant Pot cooks through quickly and we can ensure our meat is cooked to the proper temperature to kill off the bad bacteria. Ask me to clarify if this does not make sense!
Tips & equipment for cooking frozen ground beef
- run the package of frozen beef under warm water for a few minutes to loosen it from the package
- I own this 6 quart Instant Pot and this 8 quart Instant Pot and love them both!
- Looking for more ground beef recipes? Check out this Egg Roll In a Bowl (which is easily made with ground beef), this Sesame Ginger Beef and these Baked Beef Taquitos!
Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef
- 1 lb ground beef (frozen)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (finely grated)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 carrot (shredded; optional)
To Cook Frozen Ground Beef
- Add 1 cup of water to the insert of an Instant Pot (use 1.5 cups if you have an 8 quart).
- Add the trivet, and the block of frozen ground beef (removed from the package) on top of the trivet.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the valve to 'sealing', and pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the timer beeps, immediately release the pressure (quick pressure release).
- Carefully remove the trivet + ground beef from the Instant Pot and place on a clean plate.
- Carefully dump out the water from the insert and return to the Instant Pot.
- Select 'sautee' and add the ground beef plus any seasonings back to the pot.
- Cook, breaking up the beef with a spatula, until beef is cooked through and sauce is absorbed.
- When returning the ground beef to the Instant Pot (step 7), add the taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water.
- Cook until beef is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly (2-3 minutes).
- When returning the ground beef to the Instant Pot (step 7), add all ingredients except for the carrots (garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and black pepper)
- Cook until beef is cooked through (2-3 minutes).
- Stir in carrots if desired and enjoy over rice or served in lettuce wraps.
- Cooked ground beef can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.