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Can I put a frozen roast in my pressure cooker?

Yes, you can cook a frozen roast in a pressure cooker! However, there are a few things to keep in mind when pressure cooking frozen meat.

Thawing First

Many people prefer to thaw the roast completely before cooking it in the pressure cooker. This allows the roast to cook more evenly throughout. If the roast is partly frozen, the outside may overcook by the time the inside thaws out and cooks through.

To thaw, place the frozen roast in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. You want to give it enough time to thaw completely. A large roast may take longer. Once thawed, pat it dry and proceed with your regular pressure cooker recipe.

Cooking from Frozen

It is possible to cook a completely frozen roast in the pressure cooker, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time. Here are some tips:

  • Place the frozen roast directly in the pressure cooker pot. Do not thaw.
  • Add 1 cup of warm liquid such as broth, water or wine to the pot.
  • Lock the lid and bring to high pressure. Pressure cook for 1.5 times the recommended time for a thawed roast.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally. This gives the middle more time to cook through.
  • Check for doneness and continue cooking if needed until the roast is fall-apart tender.

Size Matters

Pay attention to the size of the roast when cooking from frozen. The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the meat.

Roast Size Frozen Cook Time
2 lbs 25-30 minutes
3 lbs 35-40 minutes
4 lbs 45-55 minutes

These times are estimates only. Always check for doneness and cook longer if needed.

Tips for Best Results

Here are some additional tips for successfully pressure cooking a frozen roast:

  • Trim off any ice crystals or freezer burn before cooking.
  • Cut a frozen roast into smaller chunks to speed up thawing and cooking.
  • For a browner exterior, use the saute or browning function before pressure cooking.
  • Add vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions to cook alongside the meat.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before quick releasing.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness in the thickest part.

What About Refreezing?

It is not recommended to refreeze a roast after pressure cooking. Any meat that has been thawed and cooked should be eaten within 3-4 days. Freeze any leftovers in smaller portions.


Cooking a frozen roast in the pressure cooker is doable with some simple adjustments. Make sure to increase the cook time, check for doneness and use a natural pressure release for best results. With the right timing, frozen meat can turn out moist and delicious in the pressure cooker.