How to cook steaks in a pressure cooker

Updated March 20, 2018

Pressure cookers combine speed, versatility and simplicity of use. They accomplish this by creating an environment in which the boiling point of the water rises with the amount of pressure created by the water's steam. The lower atmospheric pressure allows water to boil at 125 degrees C at 15 psi, which greatly reduces the cooking time of steak. Large cuts of steak that require long cooking times, such as roasts, respond well to the moist-heat cooking conditions of a pressure cooker.

Place the steak under cool running water to remove any purge released by the product while in its packaging. Steak releases a protein-based byproduct known as purge that creates an unwanted odour when exposed to air. Pat the steak dry with paper towels.

Place the steak on a cutting board and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the sauté pan and heat until the oil shimmers. Place the steak in the pan and sear on both sides until it reaches a golden-brown colour. Remove the steak and place in the pressure cooker.

Deglaze the sauté pan with 1/3 cup of red wine. Scrape any caramelised pieces that stick to the surface of the pan with the wooden spoon. Add the contents of the pan to the pressure cooker. Add 1 1/4 cup of cooking liquid to the pressure cooker. Never fill above the 3/4 capacity line on the interior of the pressure cooker. Secure the lid.

Place the pressure cooker over high heat until it reaches high pressure; if using an electric pressure cooker set the temperature setting to high until it reaches high pressure. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook a steak weighing 227 to 340gr. approximately five minutes for medium rare, seven minutes for medium and 10 to 12 minutes for well done. Add approximately 10 minutes of cooking time and 3/4 cup of cooking liquid for each additional pound of steak. Release the pressure and remove the lid per the manufacturer's instructions.

Cover the steak loosely with aluminium foil and set aside. Rest a minimum of 10 minutes per pound of meat. Do not slice the meat until it finishes resting.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Cutting board
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Sauté pan
  • Non-extra virgin olive oil
  • Deglazing liquid (red wine or stock)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Aluminium foil
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About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.