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Instant Pot Venison Roast

This Instant Pot Venison Roast is meltingly tender with very little hands-on time. Make it with the optional gravy, serve it with a cranberry sauce, or both!

sliced instant pot venison roast on a cutting board with two knives and a jar of cranberry sauce

I’m a Wisconsin girl, born and bred. I haven’t lived there in thirty years (Southern CA won my heart early then we moved – and currently live – in Northern VA) but my roots run deep.

We ate venison roast a lot. My dad, uncles, and cousins were all deer hunters and it wasn’t uncommon during deer season to have several deer being butchered in the garage. We’d fill our freezers for the winter and my mom would have a hot venison roast on our dinner table often.

I don’t have the same access to venison like I used to, but I still have a few friends and relatives who will ship me some when it’s been a particularly good hunting season. As soon as my last package arrived filled with venison, I knew I’d be making an Instant Pot venison roast first thing!

Venison roasts are very lean which make them perfect for cooking in the Instant Pot. It not only cooks it faster but it tenderizes it in the process.

sliced instant pot venison roast on a cutting board with two knives and a jar of cranberry sauce

How to make Instant Pot Venison Roast

This Instant Pot venison roast is incredibly simple and flavorful. There’s very little hands-on time and that’s just mixing the rub, adding the garlic to the roast, and searing it after.

There is additional time for the rubbed roast to sit in the refrigerator. This allows the rub and garlic slices to really permeate the meat. You could opt to skip this step but it adds so much flavor that I don’t advise it.

a closeup photo of two slices of instant pot venison roast with cranberry sauce

Ingredients for Instant Pot Venison Roast

  • venison roast
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fresh garlic
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • dried rosemary
  • dried thyme
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • beef broth or stock
  • cornstarch (optional; used to thicken the gravy if you choose to make it)
sliced instant pot venison roast on a cutting board with two knives

What to serve with Instant Pot Venison Roast

I almost always stick with traditional side dishes when I make Instant Pot venison roast. Here’s what I do for an easy side of potatoes and carrots:

I use a pound each of potatoes and carrots, then cut them all to be roughly the same size (the carrots can be larger than the potatoes but should all be around bite-sized; if not, add a couple of minutes to the cook time). As soon as I take the venison roast out of the Instant Pot but before I make the gravy, I put the potatoes and carrots back into the pot and cook them on “Manual” for 10 minutes then do a quick release.

I remove the potatoes and carrots with a slotted spoon, then I may or may not proceed with making the gravy (basically just by boiling the liquid in the pot until it’s reduced my half, then thickening it with a cornstarch slurry; see the recipe below for full directions). Then slice the roast, put it back into the pot, spoon the hot gravy over it all to reheat it, and serve it with the potatoes and carrots.

a closeup photo of two slices of instant pot venison roast

Sometimes I’ll make a separate side or two while the roast is still cooking/resting. Here are a few things that complement the venison roast nicely:

If you’re a fan of making roasts in your Instant Pot, DO NOT MISS this Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast recipe. Even if you’ve made it before, we tweaked the recipe to make it even more delicious!

sliced instant pot venison roast on a cutting board with two knives and a jar of cranberry sauce

Instant Pot Venison Roast

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

This Instant Pot venison roast has very little hands-on time and turns out meltingly tender! It does require time for refrigeration, to come to room temperature, and the time to cook, so keep that in mind when planning your meal.


  • 2 lb venison roast
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced lengthwise into 4 slices each
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch, optional


  1. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Make 20 deep slits evenly all over the roast and slip a garlic slice into each slit.
  2. Combine 1 tsp of the oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, onion and garlic powders in a small dish. Rub the mixture all over the roast. Cover the roast and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  3. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Press "Saute" on your Instant Pot and set the heat to "More". Add the remaining oil and, when it's shimmering, add the roast. Sear it on all sides until it's nicely browned. Remove the roast and set it aside.
  5. Pour the beef broth into the pot and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom (this is very important as anything stuck to the bottom of the pot could prevent the pot from coming to pressure). Place the roast back in the pot.
  6. Close and lock the lid. Press "Meat/Stew" and set the timer for 60 minutes. Make sure the pressure valve is set to "sealing".
  7. When the time is up, wait 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  8. Place the roast on a cutting board and tent it with foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then slice it and serve.
  9. OPTIONAL: Set the Instant Pot back to "saute" and bring the liquid in the pot to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until it's reduced to about half. Mix together 1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water to form a slurry. Add to the pot and stir constantly until it's thickened, about 2 minutes. Taste and season as necessary. Serve the gravy with the roast.


This venison roast is very good on its own, with the optional gravy, or a side of cranberry sauce (or both). This is a very good cranberry sauce recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 673mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 57g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 2/21/2021. Assumes 6 servings.

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