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This well-seasoned, fall-apart shredded BBQ Beef takes under an hour in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Instructions for how to make ahead and freeze included!
Find our recipe for Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches here.
Whether you’re a beginner or veteran cook, you’ll appreciate how simple yet complex-tasting this shredded beef recipe is. Only a few ingredients are needed to make this pot of melt-in-your mouth sandwich filling.
Video Tutorial: Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches
What Ingredients You’ll Need
Stock your pantry with these seasonings and stock your freezer with roasts when they go on sale, so you can make shredded BBQ beef anytime.
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 (3 lb) boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 8-10 whole wheat hamburger buns
How to Make BBQ Beef in the Instant Pot
Here’s the quick and dirty overview for making shredded beef in the pressure cooker. See the recipe below for more details.
Step 1: Make dry rub with your seasonings.
Step 2: Cut meat into 2×2 inch pieces. Pat dry and toss with the seasonings in the Instant Pot.
Step 3: Pour 1 cup BBQ sauce over the top.
Step 4: Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes with a natural release.
Step 5: Shred the meat and stir back into the sauce.
Step 6: Serve the meat onto toasted buns with more BBQ sauce.
How Long Do I Cook a Chuck Roast in the Instant Pot?
While researching for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we quickly learned that there are a LOT of varying opinions on how long to cook a chuck roast in the Instant Pot.
P.S. Did you know we published an Instant Pot cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker? During our two years of research and testing, we learned EXACTLY how long to cook meals in the Instant Pot both from fresh OR from frozen. Be sure to download and print off our Cheat Sheet here. It’s so helpful to have inside your cabinet.
The fastest and most reliable way to yield fall-apart tender shredded beef in the Instant Pot:
Cut a beef chuck roast into evenly-sized smaller chunks, trimming the fat off as you go. We recommend 2 x 2 inch pieces. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes and then use a natural release for at least 10 minutes. After that, you can quick release the rest of the pressure.
We found that this method works well every single time. However, cooking a whole chuck roast takes at least an hour if not more to tenderize somewhat in the Instant Pot. Even then, our roasts often weren’t very easy to shred. So we stand by the “cut your beef into small chunks first” method all day!
Tips for Making Perfect BBQ Beef in the Instant Pot
Like I mentioned, we tested this recipe A LOT for our cookbook called From Freezer to Cooker. Along the way, we learned several tips for the perfect BBQ shredded beef in the Instant Pot.
- Be sure to cut your roast into evenly-sized smaller chunks. We recommend 2×2 inch pieces. This yields perfectly tender, shreddable meat at the end of 30 minutes.
- Trim off as much excess fat as you can, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
- You must include at least 1 cup of liquid in a 6 quart Instant Pot (and at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid to the 8 quart Instant Pot) to allow pressure to build. So, feel free to add more BBQ sauce if you have a larger pressure cooker than a 6 quart.
- Serve the shredded meat on toasted buns (see our instructions in the recipe below). This prevents soggy buns…NO ONE LIKES SOGGY BUNS. Lol.
- Make your own BBQ Sauce using our delicious recipe and you’ll be a hero. 🙂
What to Serve on the Side
The most popular salad on Thriving Home. It will add beautiful color to your plate and a tasty, tangy bite on the side.
BBQ and fries are a heavenly match. Try these lighter yet still crispy, salty fries on the side.
This easy coleslaw goes well with pulled pork or any other BBQ, grilled, or roasted meat. It’s creamy, slightly sweet and tangy, and has a little punch from green onion and black pepper. You’ll make this healthier (and dairy-free) coleslaw again and again!
Recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Beef Sandwiches
Grab your Instant Pot and just a few pantry staples to transform a chuck roast into something tender and tasty with our recipe! Be sure to double the batch and freeze one for later using our easy freezer meal instructions.
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (approx. 3 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup of beef broth (sub: chicken broth)
- 8–10 whole wheat hamburger buns
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Make It Now:
- In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cut the meat into 2×2 inch pieces, trimming off excess fat as needed. Pat dry with a paper towel and rub all over with the seasonings.
- Add the meat, beef broth, and 1 cup of BBQ sauce to the Instant Pot. Toss to combine.
- Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Transfer the roast to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Add the meat back to the juices in the pot to keep moist.
- Position the top rack of the oven 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet with the insides facing up. Broil the buns for 1-2 minutes, until golden (watch them closely!).
- Using a slotted spoon or tongs, top each bun with some of the meat. Spoon over some of the remaining BBQ sauce and enjoy.
Freeze For Later: Follow steps 1 and 2. Place the seasoned meat, the beef broth, and 1 cup of the BBQ sauce in a gallon-sized freezer bag or round container. Seal, toss to combine, and freeze (if using a freezer bag, set it in a bowl or round container with a diameter similar to the Instant Pot so it will fit in the pot when frozen). Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce into a small bag/container and seal. Freeze the sauce and buns alongside the meat.
Prepare From Frozen: Set the extra sauce and buns out on the counter to start thawing. Set the Instant pot to “Saute”. Transfer the frozen meat and sauce to the pot and cook for 5 minutes to release some liquid. Press “Cancel”. Follow steps 4-8 (the meat will cook at the same time length as when fresh!).
Want More Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot?
We’ve got you covered. Hop over to this post highlighting 20+ Best of the Best Freezer Meals for the Instant Pot. It includes freezer meal instructions for EVERY recipe plus tons of pro tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years.