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Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

February 5, 2018
: 4
: 20 min
: 30 min
: 50 min

Sure to please the whole team, you can get this beef chili on the table in an hour tops, thanks to the magic of the pressure cooker!


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • Rainbow carrots sliced into rounds (1/2 inch wide)
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz can of pinto beans
  • 2 TBSP red chili powder
  • 2 TBSP cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Step 1 Dissolve the baking soda in 1 TBSP water, then sprinkle the baking soda ‘treatment’ over the ground beef and thoroughly mix it in (you might need to use your hands!). Then cover and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • Step 2 Mix all of the dried spices and herbs in one small bowl, then set aside.
  • Step 3 When the meat is done prepping, turn on the Saute function on your Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker and add 1-2 TBSP oil to coat the bottom.
  • Step 4 Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the meat and cook until browned. Drain off any excess grease by tilting the pot and spooning out the liquid, very carefully!
  • Step 5 Turn off the saute function. Add half of the dried spices to the beef mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Step 6 Add the beef broth with the tomato paste and mix well, making sure to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Step 7 Add the carrots, beans, and crushed tomatoes on top of the meat, but to not stir to incorporate. The vegetables can get stuck to the bottom of your pot, so just let them sit on top of the meat mixture.
  • Step 8 Turn the instant pot to the Chili function and cook for 18-20 minutes. Allow pressure to release for 10-15 minutes or quick release with the vent.
  • Step 9 Now add the remaining spices, the Worcestire sauce and stir again. Let the chili sit for about 10 minutes, which will allow it to thicken.
  • Step 10 Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve, garnishing with sliced avocado, cilantro, grated cheddar cheese – whatever you fancy!

Yesterday’s super bowl was one of the best “edge of your seat” football games I’ve seen in a long time! But for me, the excitement and anticipation started at least a week earlier with menu planning for our super bowl party. The central dish was, of course, chili, but this year I decided to branch out from my batch of slow cooker chili and try a new variation on the recipe, using my Instant Pot. I’ve been having a lot of luck with the pressure cooker lately, so I figured why not give it a whirl. Other than that, there wasn’t a particular reason I needed to save time this weekend (I had all Sunday to cook), but the added benefit of this recipe is that you can cook up a delicious homemade chili and get it on the table in only one hour!


A few all-star tips to help you master this chili:

Tip #1: 

It may sound crazy, but the first step in the directions is essential (Cooks Illustrated swears by it!). To help beef retain the moisture, you simply add a little baking soda (not baking powder) dissolved in water to the ground meat, mix it well and leave it to sit for at least 20 minutes. Believe it or not, the baking soda treatment will keep the meat tender and juicy when cooked. I’m not saying that your chili will be inedible if you skip this step, but why take the risk?


Tip #2: 

If your read through the recipe already, you’ll probably notice that once you start cooking, there’s a lot of steps that happen quickly. I like to assemble my workstation so I have everything at my finger tips. This includes having all of the cans opened (and drained) beforehand, so I don’t have to fiddle with the can opener while precious cooking seconds are going by. And of course, keep these directions close too!


Tip #3: 

After sautéing your meat, you want to drain all of that grease that you can see pooling at the top. That is not going to add to the flavor of the chili. This is a little tricky, since the pressure cooker is going to be pretty hot by this point, but if you carefully hold the cooking vessel with an oven mitt and tip it, you can spoon out the liquid carefully.



Tip #4: 

Equally as important as Tip #1 in my opinion, is carefully placing the carrots, beans and tomatoes on top of the beef. Getting burnt tomatoes stuck to the bottom of your pot is going to make it difficult to serve and probably not going to be fun for you to clean later! It might look strange in this step (like a funny looking layer dip), but you’ll have plenty of time to fully incorporate all of these ingredients later and I swear you won’t know the difference!


New recipes are always fun to *tackle* (see what I did there?!), but I will admit I was a little nervous since my test audience was going to be the guests at my party. (Full disclaimer – I did NOT practice this recipe in advance!) But, I trusted my gut and stayed true to the chili basics I know and love. And thankfully, this bowl did not disappoint!

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