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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!

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef

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)

We cook a lot of frozen meat in Instant Pot…because I tend to be forgetful. 😉

If you need easy Ninja Foodi recipes, you can use that pot instead.

Let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have 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! 

Instant Pot 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 our Instant Pot Italian Wedding soup, there’s always something I can make with a pound of ground beef.

Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef 2

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 here and will share info. as I experiment with other frozen beef cooked in the pressure cooker, but am just focusing on Instant Pot frozen ground beef right now.

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

If you are TOTALLY new to the pressure cooking world you should first read this post on how to use an Instant Pot.

Then come back, that will help you a lot to just understand how it works and the basic buttons I use.

How to thaw Instant Pot frozen ground beef

You just use a trivet (this is my favorite one with handles)! It makes it a bit easier to lift out when it’s done.

Frozen Ground Beef in instant pot

Thawing 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.

  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!

thawing ground beef in instant pot

Typically I buy 80/20 ground beef. 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

Instant Pot frozen ground beef

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

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 the Instant Pot casserole or 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.

Our Instant Pot chili is probably the most popular since you just need 5 main ingredients

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

Now you don’t only have to make a pressure cooker recipe once you’ve thawed your meat.

You can make things like this smoked burgers recipe or 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.

Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with or visit my Etsy shop?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

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***** If you LOVED this recipe give it 5 Stars below and let everyone know what you thought about it. 😉

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Instant Pot Frozen Ground Beef 2
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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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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!


Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Thanks for saving my dinner! As a word of caution, don't pour the grease and water down the drain! The grease will coat your pipes as it cools.


Saturday 4th of June 2022


I mix it with soap first and then send it down as I continue to wash up the pot.


Saturday 1st of August 2020

I am so so so new to this pressure cooker thing. So I have a question. Instead of just thawing the meat could you go a head, throw it in there frozen, cook hamburger all the way till done, then drain the fat & grease from it, & now you have hamburger to do whatever you want with or maybe use it for a couple meals for the week? Sorry if it’s a bad, terrible thing! I’m a beginner.

Gina G

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Just set the time for about 20 minutes. Mine was completely done from frozen.


Tuesday 21st of July 2020

i presume you slit the wrap on the bottom before defrosting, allowing the grease to drip out.

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

You take all of the plastic off first, do not cook plastic.

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