Pressure cookers are a great invention for those who like to cook fast. They can take the toughest cut of meat and turn it into pull-apart tender in a fraction of the time it would have otherwise taken.
The time it takes to cook venison in a pressure cooker depends on your elevation, the type of pressure cooker you have, and the cut of meat you are cooking.
Venison Pressure Cooking Times
There are generally 3 types of cuts that you will be cooking in a pressure cooker:
- Bone-In: Bone-in cuts generally take the longest. This could be shanks or bone-in hams, etc. These cuts are mostly some of the toughest, and the fact that the bone is still in makes them take longer than other cuts. Cooking venison shanks or other bone-in cuts generally takes about 20 minutes per pound (Count for the largest shank only)
- Deboned: Boneless cuts of meat are usually large cuts of meat; for this reason, they tend to take a little longer. These types of cuts take 35-40 minutes per pound once the cooker comes to temperature.
- Diced: Cubed or diced meat cooks extremely fast in a pressure cooker. Diced meat is not cooked by time per size but rather allocated an overall time. I usually cook for a minimum of 15 minutes for diced venison.
- Meatloaf: Meatloaf cooks really fast in a pressure cooker due to not having to break down any tissue or collagen. At high temperature, a venison meatloaf will take approximately 5-7 minutes per pound.
Cooking Time Influences
Pressure cookers use contained pressure (steam) to increase the boiling point within.
However, some things can influence this pressure, such as elevation and the type of cooker. We also need to consider the cut of meat.
The higher you go in altitude, the thinner the air becomes, along with the oxygen decrease causes a reduced atmospheric pressure.
For this reason, cooking at higher altitudes generally takes longer.
Most people know the standard boiling point of water is 212 Fahrenheit; However, they don’t know that this is only at sea level.
The higher you go beyond sea level, the lower the temperature water boils; thus, it takes longer to cook.
Pounds of Pressure
Like the above, the pressure in a pressure cooker influences how long it will take to cook.
So while we consider altitude as it directly affects pressure, we must also consider the type of pressure cooker we have.
There are two types of pressure cookers.
Stove Top: Stove top pressure cookers generally work at about 15 PSI. However, some models operate at lower temperatures, and some models have multiple options.
Electric: Electric pressure cookers operate at a lower pressure than stovetop cookers. The highest pressure for electric pressure cookers is 12 PSI. However, many operate at lower pressures of 10 and 11 PSI.
Cuts of Meat
The type of meat you are cooking plays a huge part in the time it takes to cook venison in the pressure cooker.
For example, cooking venison shanks will take much longer than a tenderloin.
I don’t recommend you cook a tenderloin in a pressure cooker, but I wanted to highlight the vast differences.
Typically, tougher cuts will take longer, and larger cuts will take longer than if you diced up the venison.
Can You Overcook Venison in a Pressure Cooker
While you may not think it, it is possible to overcook venison in a pressure cooker. Usually, when we think of overcooked meat, we think of dry, burnt meat.
Overcooked venison from a pressure cooker is a little different. There are generally two things that can happen to cause overcooking venison in a pressure cooker. One, the venison turns to mush, and two, the liquid evaporates.
Turns Venison to mush
If you have enough liquid in the pressure cooker to sustain a long cook, it’s very possible to overcook venison.
But this is not what you would typically consider overcooked. The extremely high heat and pressure break down the fibers when you cook meat in a pressure cooker. This leaves you with superbly tender meat in a short time.
However, if you were to leave the meat in the pressure cooker for an extended period, it would continue to break down the fibers, leaving you with mushy meat.
This is actually how I cook dog food. If you are familiar with tinned dog food, this is what a pressure cooker can reduce your venison to.
With that being said, while the texture changes, the taste stays very much the same.
Another possibility of overcooking your venison in the pressure cooker is caused by evaporation.
Although a pressure cooker is designed only to release the pressure at a certain amount, typically 11-15 psi, if your cooker gets hot enough, it will release extra steam.
By cooking for too long, the liquid can evaporate. The meat will begin rapidly drying out and burning from the bottom at this stage.
I love using pressure cookers to get otherwise inedible cuts of venison to super tender in a short period.
Most cuts of meat will become tender in less than two hours in a pressure cooker. However, remember that this varies according to your altitude and the type of pressure cooker you have.