How to Cook Frozen Ground Beef in the Instant Pot

One of the best parts of using your instant pot is the ability to quickly cook meals, even when you didn’t thaw out the meat! Stuck with frozen hamburger for dinner? No worries! Let’s take that frozen ground beef and cook it in the instant pot and save dinner!

How to cook frozen ground beef in the instant pot

I know we’ve all been there. We meal plan, we prep for the day and then we forget to pull out the burger we need. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me. I use to get frustrated but now I just turn to my instant pot for help and dinner is back on schedule!

Frozen ground beef in the instant pot

The short answer is YES you can absolutely use your instant pot to cook frozen ground beef. It’s an easy “recipe” that will save dinner time. The best part is that you only need two ingredients to take this take frozen hamburger and turn it into dinner.

Ingredients needed to thaw ground beef in the instant pot

All you need for this easy instant pot recipe is:

  • frozen ground beef
  • water

Yup! That’s it! Once the ground beef is thawed you can add your spices to it, but you don’t them while you are thawing the hamburger in the pressure cooker.

how to thaw frozen hamburger in the instant pot

How to cook frozen ground beef in the pressure cooker

Step 1 – Place your trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooker. Your instant pot should have came with a trivet but if not or you need a new one, I suggest this trivet with silicone handles. You can also use a steam basket here as well.

Step 2 – Place your water in the bottom of the instant pot.

easy way to thaw frozen beef n the instant pot

Step 3 – Close the lid and set the release to SEALING. Press the pressure cook button and set it for 22 minutes for 1 pound of frozen ground beef. If you are cooking 2 pounds, set it for 27 minutes.

easy instant pot dinners - what is an instant pot

Step 4 – Once the pressure cooker is done cooking, allow it to come to natural pressure. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and make sure the internal temperature of the meat has reached 160 degrees.

Step 5 – Remove the trivet and use a spatula to crumble the ground beef. You can add your spices at this point and continue cooking your meal!

frozen ground beef in the pressure cooker

Tips for thawing your ground beef in the instant pot

Do not attempt to brown the frozen ground beef using the saute function on the instant pot. This will not cook the beef all the way through and you will end up with rubbery meat.

Once the meat is thawed you can crumble it and brown is using the saute function, if desired. This will give your beef a nice crust for soups, stews or even tacos.

You need at least 1 cup of water in the instant pot to thaw the ground beef. If you don not have enough water the dreaded food burn will appear on your instant pot menu.

Add your spices AFTER the meat has thawed. This will ensure thoroughly cooked beef that is flavorful.

How to store thawed ground beef

Once you have cooked your frozen hamburger in the instant pot, you can either use it right away to complete a meal or store it for later. Place the cooled ground beef in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Instant pot ground beef recipes

Ready to use your thawed ground beef? Try these easy instant pot dinner recipes:

How to thaw frozen hamburger in the instant pot

How to thaw ground beef in the instant pot

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes

How to easily thaw ground beef in your instant pot with only 2 ingredients.


  • 1-2 pound ground beef
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup water


  1. Place your trivet on the bottom of your Instant Pot.
  2. Add the frozen ground beef on to the trivet.
  3. Pour the water into the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  4. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set the valve to sealing.
  5. Select pressure cook for 22 minutes on high for 1 pound of frozen hamburger and 27 minutes for 2 pounds of hamburger.
  6. Once it's done cooking, allow the instant pot to come to natural pressure, about 10 additional minutes.
  7. Remove the lid once the needle has dropped and check that the internal temperature of the meat reads 160 degrees F.
  8. Use a spatula to crumble the thawed ground beef and use in your favorite dinner recipe!

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How to cook ground beef in the instant pot
Kelley Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Hey y'all! I'm Kelley!

I am a Texan living in the woods of mid-Michigan with my husband, 4 kids and a whole farm of animals. I heard amazing things about the Instant Pot and knew that I had to give it a try. Many of these recipes are family favorites, and I want your family to enjoy them as well!