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A bowl of venison chili with pinto beans topped with shredded cheddar and green onions

Instant Pot Venison Chili

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 16 cups of chili 1x


Instant Pot Venison Chili. Pressure cooking turns ground venison and dry pinto beans into chili in about an hour.



Soaking Beans

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 cups water

Venison Chili

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle
  • 1 cup coffee (or beer or water)
  • 2 pounds ground Venison
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups water (or beef broth or chicken broth, preferably homemade)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14.5-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Sort and rinse the pinto beans: Sort the pinto beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight soak or a quick soak.
  2. Overnight soak: Cover the pinto beans with 8 cups water and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Leave the beans to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.
  3. OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 30-minute rest: Put the pinto beans and 8 cups of water in an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (use Manual, Pressure Cook, or Pressure Cook - Custom mode), then quick release the pressure. Let the beans soak in the pot for 30 minutes. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. (Wipe out the pot if you use it in the next step.)
  4. Sauté the aromatics and toast the spices: Heat the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot set to Sauté mode - high until the oil starts to shimmer. (Use medium-high heat in a stovetop PC). Stir in the onion and garlic, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Make a hole in the center of the onions and add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and chipotle. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir the spices into the onions.
  5. Toast the spices and cook the venison: Add the ground venison, sprinkle it with 1 teaspoon of salt, then stir to coat the venison with the onions and spices. Pour in the coffee. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon to loosen any stuck bits of onion or spices. Cook the venison, stirring, scraping, and breaking up any clumps until it loses its pink color, about 5 minutes.
  6. Everything in the pot: Pour in the water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and scrape the bottom of the pot one last time to ensure nothing is sticking. Stir in the drained pinto beans, baking soda, crushed tomatoes, and brown sugar.
  7. Pressure cook the chili for 15 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker (use Manual, Pressure Cook, or Pressure Cook - Custom mode), or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 30 minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes, especially if you are in a hurry). Remove the lid carefully, opening it away from you – even when it's not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is scalding.
  8. Simmer to thicken (optional): To thicken the chili, set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to low (low heat in a stovetop cooker), bring the pot to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered until the chili thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. Season and serve: Stir in the black pepper. Serve straight up or with your favorite chili toppings. (Mine are diced onions, shredded cheddar, and sour cream.) Enjoy!


Canned beans: If you want to substitute canned beans, skip the sorting, rinsing, and soaking step, drain and rinse 3 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, and cut the chili cooking time back to 10 minutes at high pressure.

Make ahead beans: Or substitute 3 cups of cooked beans if you have make-ahead beans from your pressure cooker. Again, cut the cooking time back to 10 minutes at high pressure.

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Sunday dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Venison Chili, Pressure Cooker Venison Chili