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    Hi, I keep having problems producing a good beef stew. I tried with both an electric PC (pressure king pro) and a stovetop (a duromatic) but in both cases the meat was a bit tough. The stovetop produced the best results but still most of the meat was too chewy. What did I do wrong? I cooked the meat for only 15 minutes at high pressure followed by natural release (in the electrical I had cooked the meat for 30 minutes with a quick release). Was the meat too lean? Did I need to keep all the meat inside the liquid (as some of it was floating on top of it) or did the stew contain too much liquid (the only liquid being a 600 ml can of stout as in the recipe)? I had browned the meat as recommended by recipe.


    I have issues with stew as well. I now cook my meat (beef or pork for 4 minutes and the veg for another 3 and everything is really really cooked but not to badly :)



    Thanks for your reply. So, you cook the meat inside the liquid for four minutes and add the vegs for an extra three? Do you do a natural release both times?

    Laura Pazzaglia

    Hi Paul, as Helen shared it overcooking is part of it.

    The opening method also contributes, but only if the meat is braised or steamed. If the meat is primarily submerged in cooking liquid you can use a faster opening method than the usual recommended Natural (if it floats to the top, that’s OK).

    The other part of it, which you sort of suspected already, is using meat that is too lean. These are just muscle fibers that just harden when cooked in almost any method except for flashed on a pan or fizzled on the BBQ. And, my god, are they fibrous after pressure cooking, right?!?

    When choosing your next stewing meat get the most marbled cut of meat you can find. It will probably be cheaper too since these are not considered “prime” cuts. The fat seems to help the meat remain moist. I don’t know the exact mechanism behind it. Perhaps it coats the fibers and prevents them from releasing too much moisture – like hand lotion to keeps your hands from drying.

    Here’s a nice read if you want to know more:



    P.S. Next time, please post your question in just one place. It makes it easier for us to find it and answer. ; )


    Sorry for late reply,


    I will!


    So . . . For good stew, you only need to cook for just 3 minutes? That’s like wow (because in regular Lecreuset on stove it takes hours to make a stew!). Natural release or quick?


    You need more than 3 minutes.
    I do 7 minutes total (4 minutes meat and aromatics and liquid) and 3 minutes more for veg.
    I started with a recipe for beef Bourginine from Instant Pot site which was 12 minutes and lowered it gradually. I also use low pressure but not sure it makes a difference.

    then there is the time to come to pressure (I usually make small stews so 8-10 min?)
    And then time to thicken stew and make dumplings if desired.

    Pretty good stew but the one that takes hours is probably better :)

    Tagore Smith

    15 minutes isn’t long enough, IMHO, even in a pressure cooker. When I make stew in a dutch oven on the stove I tend to cook it for at least four hours. The point to beef stew is to take a tough cut with a lot of collagen and cook it until tender. That takes quite a lot of cooking.

    I think chuck is a good affordable cut for beef stew, and that you’ll want to cook it for _at least_ 30 minutes at pressure. That does mean that you’ll have to cook in two stages, since you really don’t want to do the veggies that long (they’ll be mush if you do.) So give the beef 30 minutes at pressure, release, add veggies, etc., and bring back to pressure for another 6-8 minutes.


    My best stew effort have been http://instantpot.com/not-julia-childs-beef-bourguignon/
    Both electric and manual PCs.
    And I have reduced the time.
    I am not fond of mushy meat which has been usually what happens after 12 minutes, and dryish meat after 7 for me.
    I did a 30 minute Mississippi Pot roast for 25 minutes and it wasn’t nice. Extremely tasty but the meat was mush. Chuck. Sa
    me chuck roast (cut in 3 when I bought it) was great in oven and sliced and panfried.

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