How to Cook Beef for the Freezer in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

With the arrival of spring, our days include more outdoor activities than these past few months. It’s a wonderful shift, but if your family is anything like mine, it can make for some crazy evenings trying to get dinner on the table. For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing how to cook different meats for the freezer in the  Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Knowing how to cook meats quickly in the pressure cooker and being able to stockpile your cooked meats in your freezer will allow time to enjoy both a healthy meal and family time on these longer spring and summer days.

How to cook beef for the freezer in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

First up, let’s look at cooking beef in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Here’s a quick video for you with tips for cooking beef in your pressure cooker.

Ideas for using frozen cooked beef

Beef and Noodles

  • BBQ beef for hot sandwiches or Korean beef Haystacks or Tacos.

  • Beef pot pie – Try adapting this Chicken Pot Pie by using beef broth and cream of mushroom or celery soup.  If you prefer, you can make your own white sauce instead of the soup, with this recipe for white sauce.

  • Beef tacos – add taco sauce to the beef to season it.

  • Beef Vegetable Soup

 

Tips for freezing cooked beef

  • You’ll want to have plenty of zip top freezer bags, freezer tape and a sharpie or two on hand. Even though you think you’ll remember what is in each freezer bag, it’s too easy to confuse bags once they’ve been frozen for a bit. Especially since cooked beef can be frozen for 3 to 4 months.
  • Go ahead and label them as shredded beef roast, along with the date you cooked the beef. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did later. If you have a specific recipe in mind for your beef, you’ll find some good ones listed in the next section, then include further prep instructions and sides that you may want to add.
  • Be sure to cool your cooked beef before sealing it in the zip top bags to prevent ice and freezer burn to set in.
  • If you are new to pressure cooking and the instant pot, check out my honest review of two brands I own, the Instant Pot vs. Cuisinart

Which recipe will you start with?

For those of you with an instant pot and the rest of us who now have one at the top of our wish list, it doesn’t take long to see how handy this little powerhouse kitchen appliance can be. So which of these beef recipes will you be fixing for dinner this week? Share with us in the comments and be sure to check back next week for another post on cooking a different meat for the freezer in your instant pot.

And if you don’t own an instant pot, you can use your slow cooker for this too.  Either way, it’s so nice to have the meat cooked and ready to go when you need it.

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Pressure Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

Pressure Cooker Mediterranean Chicken with Feta

This recipe for Pressure Cooker Mediterranean Chicken started out as a slow cooker recipe.  Then I created it as a skillet recipe.

Now I’ve turned it into a pressure cooker meal.  Every version tastes great, so how do you choose which to make?  It depends on the time you have available.  I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I really want to make this clear.

Even though many pressure cooker recipes call for 15 or less minutes of cook time, it takes much longer than that in total.  You have to factor in the time it takes to reach full pressure and to release the pressure.

For a recipe like this one, the total time is about 35-40 minutes.  That’s starting with frozen chicken tenders.  It’s very convenient and easy to put all the ingredients in the pressure cooker.  And once they’re in there, you can do other things while they cook.

If you have 30-40 minutes at home before dinner time, using the pressure cooker is the way to go.

If you have time in the morning to load a slow cooker, but will be coming in ravenous at the end of the day, use a slow cooker.

If you only have 15 or 20 minutes to fix dinner at the end of the day, use the skillet method.  Speed that up even more by using rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken from your freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need for the Pressure Cooker Mediterranean Chicken:   [Read more…]

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Sandwiches

Chicken Cacciatore Sandwich in the Pressure Cooker

I’ve been trying to experiment with the pressure cooker more lately. As I’ve said before, the decision to use a pressure cooker or slow cooker is entirely dependent on your timing. If you would rather get your prep done early in the day and/or you want to eat as soon as you walk in the door in the evening, the slow cooker is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you have 30-40 minutes before dinner and/or you forgot to load the slow cooker in the morning, drag out the pressure cooker.

Recipes often state the cook time for the pressure cooker to be mere minutes. While this is true, it isn’t the whole truth. The cook time doesn’t take into account the amount of time for the cooker to reach full pressure or how long the pressure release takes.

This recipe for Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Sandwiches is based on the Slow Cooker version. Instead of serving it with pasta, I decided to make a sandwich out of it. We love hot sandwiches, and this was no exception. Sandwich meals are great if you need to eat in shifts or if you’re in a hurry. Sides can be kept simple and it’s easy to pile the filling on a bun.

The ingredients are all very basic, but I failed to snap a photo of them this time.

Chicken Cacciatore Sandwich

I started this with frozen chicken tenders and it worked great.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Sandwiches

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 lb. frozen chicken tenders
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup red wine, broth or water
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • ¾ tsp. basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Sandwich buns
  • Sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in order listed in pressure cooker, except cheese and buns.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 14 minutes.
  3. Do a quick pressure release.
  4. Remove lid and shred chicken with two forks.
  5. Serve meat on buns topped with cheese.

 

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry in the Pressure Cooker

One of my favorite slow cooker recipes is Chicken Curry.  I’ve also made a quick skillet version of this recipe.  It’s just so good!

This time I decided to try chicken curry in the pressure cooker.  I’ve been experimenting with altering slow cooker recipes for the pressure cooker.  Over all, this works really well.

For this recipe, I started with frozen chicken tenders.  On top of the chicken, I added salsa (nearly any type will work) and curry powder.  I set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 12 minutes.  It takes around 20 minutes to reach full pressure though, so the total time for this recipe is about 35 minutes.  That’s pretty fast, especially since it started with frozen chicken.

Want more delicious instant pot dinners? Sign up to download the FREE menu and color-coded grocery list so you can enjoy one of these great instant pot meals tonight.

Which method you choose – slow cooker, skillet or pressure cooker – entirely depends on the amount of time you have available and when you have that time.  If you have a few minutes to load the slow cooker in the morning, but need dinner done as soon as you walk in the door, then that’s the best method for you.  On the other hand, if you have 35 minutes to wait on dinner to cook in the evening, the pressure cooker is the way to go.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. boneless chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, onion, salsa and curry powder in pressure cooker.
  2. Set the pressure cooker on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  3. When the cook time is up, do a quick pressure release.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot.
  5. Add coconut milk to pressure cooker. Stir into sauce.
  6. Return chicken to pot.
  7. Serve over cooked rice.

 

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Pressure Cooker Re-do – Jerk Chicken Sandwiches

Pressure cooker jerk chicken sandwiches done

The other day, I decided to alter the recipe for Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken Sandwiches with Cucumber Mango Salsa and make it work for the pressure cooker.  Honestly, I didn’t have high hopes.  I’ve been thinking that all this pressure cooking frenzy going on around the interwebs was a bunch of craziness.

And then I tried it for myself.

Now, I will say that the sandwich meat isn’t as tender in the pressure cooker, but it was still good.  The key to know which appliance to use is know what the timing of your day is like.  If you have time to put the food into the slow cooker in the morning, then that’s the way to go.  But if you have more time in the afternoon (hands on time is still short), and can wait 30 or so minutes for dinner, then the pressure cooker is your friend.

Pressure cooker jerk chicken sandwiches

I used chicken tenders that were still frozen.  I gave them set the pressure cooker for a 12 minute cook time.  The total time it took was about 30 minutes, including the time to come up to pressure, cook and pressure release.

Pressure Cooker Jerk Chicken Sandwiches

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. frozen chicken tenders
  • 16 oz. jerk marinade
  • 1 mango
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rolls, for serving
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, still frozen, in pressure cooker.
  2. Pour jerk marinade over chicken.
  3. Set timer on pressure cooker for 12 minutes.
  4. When cooking time is done, do a quick pressure release.
  5. Shred meat and serve.
  6. While chicken cooks, peel and dice the mango. Dice the cucumber. Toss together with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

I bought a pressure cooker several months ago. I’ve been slowly learning to really make use of it and recently I decided to make more of an effort to try some new things.

I’ve got a post planned soon with some general info and ideas on using a pressure cooker, but first I wanted to share this recipe for Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

 

Of all the different mac and cheese recipes I’ve tried, this one is the winner.  It’s creamy, cheesy and homemade.  And it’s faster than the other methods.  I think it’s even faster than my other mac and cheese.  You know, the one with the processed cheese product, which I do love, but isn’t very healthy.

I love that this recipe is homemade, but doesn’t require you to make the sauce separately from the macaroni.  It’s fewer dishes to wash and easier prep.   [Read more…]

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