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Instant Pot Shredded Beef

Instant pot shredded beef is so easy to make and turns out tender, juicy and so delicious every time! Great for feeding a crowd or meal prep, this healthy instant pot pulled beef can be used so many different ways and only has a few simple ingredients.

Orange napkin next to instant pot full of shredded beef.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy to make – the instant pot really does all the work! Since you can sauté and pressure cook in the instant pot, everything comes together with just one pot. Once the beef is seared, all you have to do is add the rest of the ingredients, put the lid on and you have tender, juicy beef ready in under 2 hours.
  • Simple ingredients – this recipe is very simple to allow for you to use the beef in many different ways. If you know you will be using it for tacos or in grain bowls, you can see the other flavor options below to add different flavors before cooking. The recipe as written is Whole30, low FODMAP and low carb friendly.
  • Versatile – you can use instant pot shredded beef in many ways, you can even cook the beef with potatoes and carrots to make a simple pot roast in the instant pot. Use this instant pot pulled beef for tacos, in pasta, in stir fries, stuffed in potatoes or on sandwich buns with bbq sauce.
  • Budget friendly – because this recipe uses chuck roast (which is a very inexpensive cut of beef) it’s much more budget friendly than more expensive cuts of beef. You can often find chuck roast (even grass fed) on sale for the same price as chicken breast per pound.
Ingredients to make pulled beef in white bowls.
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Ingredients

  • Chuck roast – you can use chuck roast, stew beef, tri tip or brisket in this recipe. I like to use chuck roast because it’s easy to find and is more budget friendly than the other options. You can also use stew beef which is often on sale and budget friendly (it’s chuck roast cut into cubes).
  • Tomato paste – tomato paste adds a depth of flavor and really helps to bring some umami to the dish. You can’t taste the tomato at the end but it really adds a depth of flavor.
  • Coconut aminos – coconut aminos are a gluten free, soy free version of soy sauce. Coconut aminos tend to be slightly less salty and a little sweeter than soy sauce but add deep flavor to any dish. If you don’ have coconut aminos, you can use gluten free tamari or soy sauce in it’s place.
  • Spices: Dried chives, salt – the chives help to give the dish an onion flavor without adding onion or garlic. This lets the dish be low FODMAP friendly and is great for anyone that has trouble with garlic or onion. You can use onion powder or garlic powder as well (about 1 teaspoon each) if you can tolerate onion and garlic. Salt helps to amplify the flavor of anything its added to and shouldn’t be omitted.
  • Water or broth – to keep this simple, I just use water here but if you want to make this dish even more flavorful, you can use beef broth, bone broth or vegetable broth in place of the water.

How to make instant pot shredded beef

Start by searing the beef: Turn the instant pot to saute mode. While the instant pot heats up, cut any excess fat from the beef and cut the beef in half or quarters if needed to fit in the instant pot. The more surface area, the more you can brown the beef and get lots of flavor.

Once the instant pot is hot, add the beef and sear on all sides 1-2 minutes per side. You can add some oil here if you would like but I find that the beef doesn’t really stick and gets brown without the added oil.

Chuck roast being seared in instant pot.

Once all sides are brown, turn off the instant pot and add ½ cup of water or broth. Scrape down the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to get any brown bits off the bottom. This will help ensure you don’t get a burn notice when cooking.

Tongs scraping the bottom of the instant pot.

In the instant pot, combine the tomato paste, coconut aminos, salt, dried chives and water. Stir well and add the beef in the instant pot.

Tomato paste and spices added to water in instant pot.

Put the lid on, and cook high pressure for 1 hour (60 minutes). Allow the instant pot to naturally release at least 10 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure manually.

Once the pressure has been released, take the lid off and shred the beef with two forks. You can shred the beef in the juice or on a cutting board (just be sure to add the beef back to the cooking juices after shredding).

Two forks shredding beef in the instant pot.

Top tips

  • Cut off any large pockets of fat. Cut the beef down into smaller chunks to ensure it is submerged in the cooking liquid.
  • Use beef broth, vegetable broth or bone broth for even more flavor.
  • Be sure to scrape down the bottom of the instant pot with a wooden spoon or silicone tongs (and about 1/2 cup of water) to get any brown bits stuck to the bottom up so that you don’t get a burn warning.
  • If you know you will be using all the shredded beef from the instant pot in one meal, you can add different spices/sauces (see ideas below).

Other flavors

  • Taco: Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Optional: add 1 can green chiles to the cooking liquid.
  • Mediterranean: Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
  • BBQ: Follow ingredients for cooking. After shredding, remove from juices and pour 1-2 cups of bbq sauce over the beef.
  • Make it into a pot roast dinner by adding 1 pound baby potatoes and 3-4 carrots cut in thirds (don’t make them too skinny or they will turn to mush) before cooking. Follow the directions as written.
Pulled beef cooked in the instant pot with an orange napkin on the side.

Ways to use instant pot pulled beef

Common questions

What is the best beef for shredding?

Chuck roast or stew beef (which is chuck roast cut into smaller cubes) is great for shredding. It’s a tougher cut of beef but will tenderize and become perfect for shredding after cooking in the instant pot or slow cooker.

You can also use tri tip or brisket.

Instant pot full of pulled beef, thyme leaves on the side.

How long do you cook beef chuck roast in the Instant Pot?

It takes about 10 minutes to sear the beef, 10-20 minutes to come to pressure, 60 minutes to cook at high pressure, then another 10 minutes or so to let the pressure naturally release. In total it takes about 1.5 hours. This is much is much faster than the slow cooker or oven method.

Do you have to sear the beef before cooking?

No, it’s not required but does help to create great flavor and helps to seal in some of the juices and creates a really rich, deep flavor. If you don’t want to sear the beef or don’t have time, you can skip that step and it will still be super juicy and tender.

How to keep shredded beef from drying out?

Start by searing the beef to help lock in the liquid.

Cook the beef in the instant pot, slow cooker or in the oven covered in liquid.

Shred the beef in the cooking liquids and reserve the cooking liquids for storing leftovers to ensure that the beef doesn’t dry out.

Shredded beef, jasmine rice and green beans on a white plate.

How to make pulled beef in the slow cooker

  • Start by searing the beef on the stove over medium to medium high heat until all sides have been seared.
  • Add all the ingredients (except the beef) to the slow cooker and stir well, to ensure the tomato paste is well distributed).
  • Add the seared beef and turn on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 8-10 hours.
  • Shred the beef (in the juices) and serve hot.

Storing leftovers

  • Fridge: Store leftover instant pot pulled beef in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To ensure the beef stays juicy, store the beef with the cooking liquid. (Note: the cooking liquid will solidify when refrigerated but will quickly turn back to liquid when reheated).
  • Freezer: Before freezing, it’s best to cool the beef down completely in the fridge (this helps to prevent freezer burn). Once cold, you can freeze leftover shredded beef (with some of the juice) in a a freezer safe bag or container. You want the juices to help when reheating the beef to keep it juicy.
    • Defrost frozen shredded beef in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Reheating leftovers

When reheating, spoon out the portion of beef you want along with some of the juices that have solidified around the beef. When cooking, this will help the shredded beef say juicy.

  • Microwave: Microwave on high for 1:30 – 2 minutes until warmed through. You can lift the shredded beef from the juices after cooking.
  • Stove: Cook over medium-low to medium heat until the beef is warmed through and most of the juices have evaporated.
  • Oven: Turn the broiler on to high and cook 4-7 minutes in a casserole dish or sheet pan with raised edges until most of the juices have evaporated and the beef is heated through. You may want to stir the beef 1-2 times to distribute the liquid and evenly reheat the meat.
Large spoonful of instant pot shredded beef.

Substitutions

  • Chuck roast – you can also use stew beef, tri tip or brisket in place of the chuck roast.
  • Tomato paste – if you don’t have tomato paste on hand, you can simply omit this or use ketchup in place of the tomato paste.
  • Coconut aminos – these are a gluten free version of soy sauce. You could use gluten free tamari (if you can tolerate soy) or soy sauce (if you can tolerate soy and gluten). You could also use Worcestershire sauce (gluten free) in place of coconut aminos.
  • Dried chives – you can use 1 teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder or both in place of the dried chives. You could also use about 3 tablespoons of fresh green onion in place of the dried chives.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

Ground Beef Sweet Potato Rice

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Thighs

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast

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Shredded beef in instant pot.

Instant Pot Shredded Beef

Instant pot shredded beef is so easy to make and so versatile. Make into tacos, serve with mashed potatoes, in grain bowls, or over baked potatoes. This healthy recipe is Whole30, gluten free and low carb friendly.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot pulled beef, instant pot shredded beef
Prep Time: 8 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Pressure Cooker (up to pressure, natural release): 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 38 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Turn the instant pot on saute mode.
  • Trim the excess fat from the chuck roast. Cut the roast in half or quarters if needed to fit in the instant pot.
  • Sear the chuck roast in the preheated instant pot on each side (2-3 minutes per side).
  • Once the chuck roast is seared, remove from the instant pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the instant pot to remove any brown bits left on the bottom (this helps prevent a burn notice).
  • Add the tomato paste, coconut aminos, salt, dried chives and the rest of the water to the instant pot. Stir well until tomato paste is well incorporated. Add chuck roast back to instant pot.
  • Put the lid on (make sure it's sealed) and cook high pressure for 60 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release 10 minutes (then you can quick release or naturally release).
  • Once pressure is released, shred the beef with two forks (you can shred in the instant pot or on a plate or cutting board. Be sure to add the beef back to the instant pot afterwards).

Notes

How to make shredded beef in the slow cooker
  • Start by searing the beef on the stove over medium to medium high heat until all sides have been seared.
  • Add all the ingredients (except the beef) to the slow cooker and stir well, to ensure the tomato paste is well distributed).
  • Add the seared beef and turn on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 8-10 hours.
  • Shred the beef (in the juices) and serve hot.
Top tips
  • Cut off any large pockets of fat. Cut the beef down into smaller chunks to ensure it is submerged in the cooking liquid.
  • Use beef broth, vegetable broth or bone broth for even more flavor.
  • Be sure to scrape down the bottom of the instant pot with a wooden spoon or silicone tongs (and about 1/2 cup of water) to get any brown bits stuck to the bottom up so that you don’t get a burn warning.
  • If you know you will be using all the shredded beef from the instant pot in one meal, you can add different spices/sauces (see ideas below).
Other flavors
  • Taco: Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Optional: add 1 can green chiles to the cooking liquid.
  • Mediterranean: Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon oregano.
  • BBQ: Follow ingredients for cooking. After shredding, remove from juices and pour 1-2 cups of bbq sauce over the beef.
  • Make it into a pot roast dinner by adding 1 pound baby potatoes and 3-4 carrots cut in thirds (don’t make them too skinny or they will turn to mush) before cooking. Follow the directions as written.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover instant pot pulled beef in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To ensure the beef stays juicy, store the beef with the cooking liquid. (Note: the cooking liquid will solidify when refrigerated but will quickly turn back to liquid when reheated).
  • Freezer: Before freezing, it’s best to cool the beef down completely in the fridge (this helps to prevent freezer burn). Once cold, you can freeze leftover shredded beef (with some of the juice) in a a freezer safe bag or container. You want the juices to help when reheating the beef to keep it juicy.
    • Defrost frozen shredded beef in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating leftovers
When reheating, spoon out the portion of beef you want along with some of the juices that have solidified around the beef. When cooking, this will help the shredded beef say juicy.
  • Microwave: Microwave on high for 1:30 – 2 minutes until warmed through. You can lift the shredded beef from the juices after cooking.
  • Stove: Cook over medium-low to medium heat until the beef is warmed through and most of the juices have evaporated.
  • Oven: Turn the broiler on to high and cook 4-7 minutes in a casserole dish or sheet pan with raised edges until most of the juices have evaporated and the beef is heated through. You may want to stir the beef 1-2 times to distribute the liquid and evenly reheat the meat.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
210
Fat
 
13
g
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
Fiber
 
0.1
g
Sugar
 
0.2
g
Protein
 
22
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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