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Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

Instant Pot frozen ground beef can be thawed and cooked in no time at all. If you’re forgetful like me, thawing frozen ground beef in Crockpot Express or Ninja Foodi has never been easier!

Frozen Ground Beef InstaPot

If you’re like me and need to know how to make Instant Pot frozen ground beef so it’s defrosted in under 25 minutes, I’m going to show you how. Added to our list of 101+ easy Instant Pot recipes and pressure cooker tips it’s something I use on a semi weekly basis and now am sharing it with all of you. 😉 (originally published 1/19, affiliate links present)

Frozen Ground Beef InstaPot

We cook a lot of frozen meat in Instant Pot…because I tend to be forgetful. 😉 There is nothing worse than everyone getting home around dinnertime and realizing you have nothing thawed. You are all hangry and not prepared to go out to eat. What to do? We have help for you using your pressure cooker tonight.

If you need easy Ninja Foodi recipes, you can use that pot instead. A Crockpot Express or Mealthy is the same as well, you just need the high pressure function and they all have that so either one is just fine.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

I love thawing frozen ground beef in my pressure cooker because it’s keeps it’s juiciness, drains out all the fat. Since I am forgetful I no longer have to worry if I’ve forgotten to take it out of the freezer the day before! It’s one of the best ways of cooking frozen ground beef.

Ninja Foodi frozen ground beef

  • Yes, forgetfulness happens often. So I started by explaining how to cook frozen meat in an Instant Pot in this pressure cooker frozen whole chicken post.
  • All of this is for “those days” when everything seems to slip your mind. Now there are NO worries because you can go from a rock hard block of frozen meat to juicy dinner in no time at all.

I use ground beef in the Instant Pot at least 2 times each week to make and create new recipes.

Whether I mix it with other ingredients to make Instant Pot turkey meatloaf or make meatballs to throw in spaghetti or whatever. There’s always something I can make with a pound of ground beef.

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef 2

Frozen Ground Beef Instant Pot Without Trivet

This year we made the big move from CA to ID and out here a lot of families buy meat fresh from local farms and we did as well. A large freezer now lives in the garage and is packed with meat in bulk that will last us the entire winter.

After we purchased a quarter of a cow recently I started cooking with beef even more so I needed a way to figure out how to go cook frozen ground beef in no time. This works for frozen ground turkey too of course.

We have a list of Instant Pot beef recipes and add to it quite often. As I experiment with other frozen beef cooked in the pressure cooker, I will include them and share on my website as well.

However with a larger piece of ground beef you really need to thaw it out first, and then cook it the rest of the way on saute as you would normally with a pound of fresh ground beef.

how to cook frozen ground beef

How to thaw Instant Pot frozen ground beef

If you are TOTALLY new to the pressure cooking world, an Instant Pot will change your life. It took me a little while to get to know all the buttons and now I use this thing like all the time, I mean daily.

You just use a trivet, I like the ones with handles! It makes it a bit easier to lift out when it’s done. If you do not have one of these, first off I suggest you get one because it is useful for so many things. BUT if you don’t have one yet I have an alternative.

You could ball up 4 pcs. of foil and place on the bottom with a small plate on top you can use that. The negative to that is the fat won’t drain away like it would with a trivet but it will work. Make sure the plate is oven safe and use a pot holder to lift it out because it will be really hot.

Frozen Ground Beef in instant pot

Cooking frozen ground beef in a pressure cooker

This method drains almost ALL of the grease and fat away from the meat. It ends up at the bottom of the pot (seen below). SO you get leaner ground beef to cook. Instant Pot frozen ground turkey works the same way.

  1. It’s a great tip to have in case you forget to thaw it out the night before.
  2. You can thaw ground beef in about 20 minutes versus overnight.

I honestly have been doing this for quite some time. But since it’s such a simple thing I ignored the fact that I hadn’t written a post about it. Now I’m sharing this tip with all of you.

I think other than saving me a ton of time it saves those days when I’m forgetful. Dinner is saved!

instant pot frozen hamburger

Frozen Ground Turkey in Pressure Cooker

Typically I buy 80/20 ground beef, turkey or chicken would work just fine too. When we bought a cow earlier this year though I didn’t know what those were. For the most part they are rather lean.

  • However I’ve always had an issue with draining the fat well and in the past.
  • I’ve poured the cooked ground beef into a strainer, and turned on the hot water to rinse it.

Now it’s done for me!!

Look! The fat drains away from the meat using this Instant Pot frozen ground beef method.

Combined with the water you add to the bottom, now you just dump it before you turn it to saute. Fat is gone!

thawing frozen ground beef instant pot

Frozen Ground Beef Instant Pot Time

Here are quick directions but I also have a printable recipe card at the very bottom for you as well.

Time needed: 15 minutes

Frozen ground beef in Instant Pot

  1. Water

    Pour 1 c. water into your pressure cooker. Place a trivet inside at the bottom, high enough so meat doesn’t touch water.

  2. Add meat

    Put your pound (or up to 2 lbs. really) on your trivet.

  3. Defrost

    Close your lid and steam valve. Set to high pressure for 5 minutes.
    Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes so it will take about 20 minutes total. Lift out trivet with meat on it. Drain pot.

It is a lot quicker to defrost and then cook than Crockpot ground beef.

defrost hamburger instant pot

Instant Pot frozen hamburger

Pour out liquid and fat that has accumulated inside your Instant Pot

  1. Place thawed ground beef back into your pot
    1. note: there will be a thin outer layer of meat that will be cooked, raw and thawed inside
  2. Cook as you normally would, had this been fresh ground beef. 

Add taco seasoning and anything else to make an Instant Pot casserole or any sort of beef dinner recipe you want.

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

Now you can make our Instant Pot taco meat in no time at all starting with a rock hard pound of frozen beef! OR follow these directions for air fryer ground beef (thawed) and add seasoning packet at the end.

I am sure you have a handful of your favorite dishes with this type of protein so go with your fave.

Instant Pot Taco Meat

Here are a few of our favorite Instant Pot ground beef recipes to make once this is done!

Then make our pressure cooker stroganoff casserole with your meat tonight!

ninja foodi beef stroganoff

How to cook frozen meat in Instant Pot

Now you don’t only have to make a pressure cooker recipe once you’ve thawed your meat. You can make things like our crockpot lasagna casserole too, the possibilities are endless!

I am working on sharing a way to defrost meat in the slow cooker too and will share a link once that is figured out to perfection.

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how to cook frozen ground beef
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Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

Instant Pot frozen ground beef can be thawed and cooked in no time at all. If you’re forgetful like me, thawing frozen ground beef has never been easier!
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword frozen ground beef, instant pot, pressure cooker, thawing ground beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 192kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Pour 1 c. water into your Instant Pot and lower a trivet down.
  • Place 1-2 lbs frozen ground beef on your trivet.
  • Close your lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Do a natural release for 10 minutes. Lift out ground beef and drain liquid in your pot.
  • Cook your thawed ground beef as you wish. Note: the outside layer will be lightly cooked, inside will be thawed and raw which will need to be cooked further to complete your recipe


Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 52mg2%
Potassium 204mg6%
Protein 12g24%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef 1
Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 12th of July 2023

I used 1-lb ground turkey - fresh that I had put In the freezer and today, decided to use your method in order to defrost it. The meat was not in a tube. It was flat.

With the exact instructions, the ground turkey was cooked more than the outside but that's not really a bad thing. It wasn't quite cooked all the way, so it was a matter of breaking it up, using sauté mode, adding in onions, bell peppers, etc. and having the ground turkey cooked within three minutes and it came out just right.

Those who has the same results, don't fret. Next time, back off on the 15 minutes release time or change the pressure time to 3 minutes. As long as the exterior isn't crisp you are fine. It just means less time on the cooking side and your meat will still be tender.

I have been using the microwave to defrost, and I want to move away from that. I am not against microwaves nor do I think they are harmful. Ever since I got the Ninja Foodi with air crisp, I have been thinking of ways to migrate things like "defrosting" and though it was longer in the pressure cooker, I liked the texture when it was complete and as mentioned, appreciated that it did cook more than just the top so that the next step is only 3 minutes.

Also, if you all are starting with a flat slab of frozen meat, rather than a tube, it might also be the reason why it's cooking all the way through. Just a thought.

I believe I am going to use this method moving forward. Longer time, but results are better than expected.

The Typical Mom

Wednesday 12th of July 2023

Glad it was a help


Saturday 15th of October 2022

Used my Instant Pot to thaw a block of ground beef for chili in a hurry. Excellent. Love that it made daring the grease super quick and easy!!! Thanks for sharing💗

The Typical Mom

Saturday 15th of October 2022

Oh good!


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

I found this blog so amazing. So much information, and it’s all so well organized. . This is going to be a valuable resource for me. Thank you so much for creating it!


Sunday 14th of November 2021

Hi, do you have any posts about how long it would take to thaw other kinds of meat? I was happy to find this because all the other blogs just talk about adding extra time to cook the ground beef which obviously isn’t just thawing it. Wondering how long to be able to thaw chicken breasts or beef for stew.

The Typical Mom

Sunday 14th of November 2021

You can't just thaw meat without cooking it somewhat in a pressure cooker. The outsides will become cooked a bit in order to get the middle to "defrost". I have. alot of posts about how to cook frozen meats in this pot though but the meat will be cooked thoroughly from frozen.


Saturday 8th of May 2021

Can I adjust the time and thaw more pounds of meat? I have a package of 3.3 pounds. Wondering what to do. Thanks!

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