Go Back
Barbecue Beef on a hamburger but with potato chips on a white plate

Instant Pot Barbecue Beef

Instant Pot Barbecue Beef is an easy shredded beef recipe to make, & versatile. Make bbq beef sandwiches, serve over rice or potatoes. Pressure cooker bbq beef is tasty!

Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword shredded beef in the instant pot
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6 - 10
Calories 332 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 3 - 4 lbs Bottom Round or Chuck Roast* (cut in thirds)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Onion, cut in half, sliced into ¼" thick half-rings
  • cups Water or Beef Broth
  • 1 - 2 cups Barbecue Sauce**

Barbecue Sauce (mix ingredients together and set aside)

BBQ Sauce Goes in After Pressure Cooking

  • cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Powder (more for spicy)


  1. Season the beef chunks with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  2. Turn on the pot's Sauté function. When it is hot, add the oil and then the roast chunks. Brown a few minutes on each side.

  3. Take out the meat and set on a plate and add the onion to the pot with a splash or two of the water/broth. Cook for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot, to get the browned bits up (deglaze).

  4. Add the remaining water/broth, and the meat back in. Close the lid and lock in place. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.

  5. Cancel the Sauté function.

  6. Set to Pressure Cook/Manual, High Pressure, and use the +/- buttons (or dial) to select 60 minutes. When the cook cycle is finished, let the pot sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes (10-15 minutes Natural Release). A smaller roast, like 2 pounds) means smaller chunks, so might only need 45 minutes cook time.

  7. Turn the steam release knob to the Venting position (or push button if you have one) and release the remaining pressure. When the pin in the lid drops down, open and remove the meat to a large bowl to shred.

  8. If the meat isn't shreddable, put it back in and cook it another 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. Use two forks to shred the meat.

  10. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onion from the pot and add to the shredded beef.

  11. Mix in some of the barbecue sauce. How much is up to you. If you want to use the meat for tacos, or something not bbq, divide it and just put the sauce on the portion you want to be bbq.

  12. Serve on buns, or over mashed potatoes, rice, in tortillas, pita bread, etc.

Recipe Notes

*Chuck roast is more tender, and a bit fattier


**You can use any barbecue sauce, so if you have a favorite brand of pre-made sauce, or your own recipe, go ahead and use that. Very flexible. Calorie count will vary.