Do You Cover Meat With Liquid In A Pressure Cooker?

do you cover meat with liquid in pressure cooker
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Do You Cover Meat With Liquid in Pressure Cooker

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Pressure cooking has so many benefits that it’s worth mastering the skill. Pressure cookers cook food 50-70 percent quicker than conventional cooking. This saves electricity costs and is great instead of the traditional long, slow cooking of cheaper cuts of meat.

Nutrients are retained for the most part and you end up with a more intense flavor. One thing that many pressure cooker beginners often ask about is how much liquid to use. Using too much will dilute your flavors and result in watery gravy.

On the other hand, a pressure cooker requires a certain minimum amount of liquid to create the pressure inside.

Do You Cover Meat With Liquid in Pressure Cooker?

How Much Liquid to Use for Meat

A good rule of thumb is always to use a minimum of one cupful of liquid. Some recipes require more. This liquid will produce steam that will increase the pressure inside the pot and cook the meat quickly.

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The precise amount of liquid needed varies among brands of pressure cookers. The Instant Pot needs a minimum of 1 ½ cups.

What Liquids Can You Use for Pressure Cooking Meat?

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Any thin liquids such as water, wine, stock/broth, fruit juice, or beer can be used in the pressure cooker according to the recipe.

Never Add Thickeners to the Liquid

If you add thickening agents to the liquid at the beginning, the thickened liquid will produce less steam and cooking will be hindered. Thickeners include things like flour, canned soups, and sauces, corn starch, soup powders, or gravy powders.

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To thicken your gravy or sauce, add the thickener at the end of the cooking period.

How to Cook Ground Beef in Your Pressure Cooker

If you want to brown your onions and meat beforehand, use the sauté function with a little oil. Do not add any liquid at this stage. Once these ingredients are browned to your liking, add the remaining ingredients called for by the recipe such as herbs, tomatoes, and seasoning.

Add a cup of water and cook on the high-pressure setting for 6 minutes if you have a pound of ground meat. When done, release the pressure quickly.

What if Your Meat is Frozen?

You can cook meat from frozen but you still need to add liquid. You would need to cook it for about 20 minutes.

Can I Cook a Pot Roast?

Absolutely. Your Instant Pot will produce succulent, tender pot roasts in a very short time. Rub the meat with your favorite seasoning then use the sauté mode and a little oil to brown the meat all over in the Instant Pot.

Then put 1 ½ cups of beef stock into the pot along with any onion, carrots, and herbs called for in the recipe. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes for every pound of meat. Use the slow-release method to allow the meat to rest and tenderize beautifully.

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Remove and carve the meat. Thicken the gravy if you like.

What About Stews?

You’re in for a treat because the instant Pot creates fabulous stews without boiling them on the stovetop for hours. Use small pieces of whatever stewing meat your recipe asks for such as lamb knuckles or beef cubes.

Put all the ingredients into the pot along with 1 ½ cups of appropriate stock. Cook the stew for 20 minutes per pound of meat on high pressure. You can use the quick pressure release at the end of the cooking time.


As you can see, there is no need to completely cover the meat with water when pressure cooking it. However, you must be sure to add at least 1 ½ cups of liquid for the pot to function properly.

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