Instant Pot Shredded Beef is a versatile filling for sandwiches or tacos, ready in under an hour thanks to pressure cooking. I make a big batch of this easy recipe, serve it for dinner, then refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for different meals in the future.
This recipe is the basic version of pressure cooker shredded beef. I use this easy shredded beef in a bunch of recipes, like Instant Pot Sloppy Top Sandwiches, Pressure Cooker Barbecued Beef Sandwiches, or Instant Pot Beef Tacos. They also make an excellent filling for Korean inspired Lettuce Wraps - use shredded beef instead of shredded pork in that recipe.
- Vegetable Oil
- Beef Chuck Roast
- Fine Sea Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Chili powder
- Beef broth (or water)
See the recipe card for quantities.
Brown the beef in two batches: Heat the vegetable oil using Sauté mode in an Instant Pot. Sprinkle the beef with the spices, then brown it on one side, in two batches, so we don’t crowd the pot, about 3 minutes per batch. Add all the beef back into the pot, pour in the beef broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is sticking.
Pressure cook for 30 minutes with natural release: Lock the lid on the cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot). Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. Unlock the lid.
Shred the beef and serve: Move the beef to a platter, then shred the beef with a pair of forks. Spoon a little of the broth onto the shredded beef, then serve.
Chili powder: I prefer a single-chili chili powder, like Ancho chili powder, but a chili powder blend will work fine.
Change up the spices: If you want shredded BBQ beef, replace the garlic and chili powder with your favorite BBQ rub. (I make my Homemade Barbecue Rub for recipes like this.) Or, if you want to make spicy shredded beef, add ½ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper.
Different cuts of beef: Instead of beef chuck, you can substitute boneless short ribs, top round, or bottom round. (See “What cut of beef is good for shredding?” below.)
I’m intentionally making a basic “shredded beef” with this recipe so I can use it in different ways. Here are some variations and suggestions:
- BBQ Shredded beef: Mix the cooked beef with bbq sauce and serve with hamburger buns.
- Italian beef: Serve on a bun with sautéed onions and bell peppers and topped with slices of provolone.
- Beef Tacos: For taco night, add a 10-ounce can of diced tomatoes and chilies to the pot (aka Ro*Tel tomatoes), and serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings.
- Beef Enchiladas: Use this recipe to fill my Beef Enchiladas
- Loaded Nachos: Top tortilla chips with a sprinkling of this shredded beef, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, and some sour cream.
- Beef Noodle Soup: Sauté some onions, carrots, and celery; add a quart or two of Homemade Chicken Broth, some wide egg noodles, and the leftover shredded beef. Soup dinner!
A 6-quart pressure cooker (or larger)
Shredded beef can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days or frozen for a few months. I freeze leftovers in 2-cup containers with a little of the pot liquid.
Cutting the beef into cubes is the key to this recipe. Cutting a beef roast into cubes makes this a recipe I can finish in under an hour, including heating up to pressure and the natural pressure release. It takes a fraction of the time to cook beef cubes compared to a whole roast, even with pressure cooking.
Don't paddle the beef: Some recipes recommend using a stand mixer and its paddle attachment to shred the beef. Sure, there's less work shredding, but it's a lot more work overall - I have to pull out my stand mixer, shred the beef, then clean the stand mixer. I'd rather not make extra dirty dishes, so I use a pair of forks to pull the cubes of meat apart.
The best cut of beef for shredding is beef chuck roast. It is a tough cut of meat with a lot of connective tissue and fat, which is perfect to pressure cook for tender and juicy shredded beef. Boneless short ribs are another great choice. Top round or bottom round will also work in this recipe. They all cook the same, so any of those beef cuts can substitute for the chuck roast without changing the recipe.
Instant Pot Shredded Beef is a versatile filling for sandwiches or tacos, ready in under an hour thanks to pressure cooking.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup beef broth (or water)
Minced parsley or cilantro as a garnish (optional)
- Brown the beef in two batches, then add the broth: Heat the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot using Sauté mode adjusted to high until the oil shimmers, about 3 minutes. (Use sear mode or medium-high heat for other pressure cookers.) While the oil heats, sprinkle the cubes of beef with fine sea salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Add half of the beef to the pot in a single layer, and sear until well browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Remove the batch of browned beef to a bowl. Add the rest of the beef to the pot, and sear until browned on the bottom, about 3 more minutes. Pour the beef broth into the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the beef cubes and any browned bits sticking to the pot. Add the reserved bowl of beef and any beef juices to the pot.
- Pressure cook for 30 minutes with natural pressure release: Lock the lid on the cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot) or 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. (You can quick release the rest of the pressure after 15 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam.
- Shred the beef, add some pot liquid, and serve: Scoop the beef from the pot with a slotted spoon, then shred the beef with a pair of forks. Spoon a little of the cooking liquid from the pot onto the shredded beef. (I add about a cup of sauce from the pot to the beef.) Sprinkle with the minced parsley, serve, and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instant Pot Shredded Beef, Pressure Cooker Shredded Beef
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