Classic pot roast served with carrots and potatoes is a hearty meal for the whole family. Cooked low and slow in a slow cooker, the beef becomes fall-apart tender with this easy crock pot pot roast recipe.
Do you have a go-to pot roast recipe? If not, today is your day. This easy, classic pot roast recipe is made in a crock pot, and is ideal when you have a busy day ahead.
Pot roast is a staple at our house, and we often have it on Sunday when we get home from church. We also have it at large family gatherings, and we will use multiple slow cookers, if needed. However, this roast shouldn’t be limited to Sunday or big family events. It’s great any day of the week.
One of the many reasons pot roast is in our regular meal rotation is because it guarantees leftovers that we can use in just about any recipe — from stew to roast beef sandwiches to fajitas.
What is a pot roast?
A basic definition of a roast is that it’s a large piece of beef that serves more than one person.
If you’ve ever stood at a meat counter, you know there are numerous roast cuts such as Chuck Roast, Round Roast, and Arm Roast, just to name a few. A roast’s name is a reference to area on the steer that the beef comes from, also known as the primal cut. For example, a Chuck Roast is from the chuck section of beef.
What’s the secret to a good pot roast?
There are two secrets to a good pot roast: cut of beef and ample cook time.
As mentioned above, a roast’s name is in reference to where the beef comes from on the steer. Roasts can be cut from the steer’s chuck (shoulder area); the rib and loin (center area); round (butt and leg area) and brisket (chest area). Each of these sections are hard-working muscle groups, which means the muscles have lots of marbling and connective tissue. The marbling will ultimately make the beef more flavorful and tender when it’s cooked low and slow.
In order to get a tender roast, you must braise a pot roast in liquid and cook the beef low and slow. The long cook time allows the fibers in the meat to relax, which creates tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef. If you don’t cook a pot roast long enough, it will be tough.
Different types of beef roasts
There are dozens of different types of roasts to choose from. Our favorite for a pot roast is a chuck roast. It has wonderful marbling throughout the meat. When you give it enough time to cook, it is so tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Here’s a quick overview of the most popular roast types:
- Chuck Roast: Our favorite cut of beef to use when making a pot roast. It’s typically a less expensive cut, and it’s from the shoulder. If you’re planning to serve a large crowd with a Chuck Roast, keep in mind that Chuck roasts shrink more than any other roast during cooking.
- Arm Roast: An arm roast is a boneless cut that is found behind the shoulder area of a steer. It’s leaner than a chuck roast, and it’s a very inexpensive, budget cut that must be braised in liquid to bring out the flavor of the beef.
- Bottom Round Roast: A bottom round roast is a budget cut from the back leg of the steer. It should be braised low and slow to bring out its flavor and texture. Thinly slice before serving.
- Eye of Round Roast: Another inexpensive roast that is lean with less flavor than other roasts. It has a distinctive circular, log-shape that makes slicing extremely easy, and it should be sliced thinly when serving.
- Sirloin Tip Roast: Sirloin Roasts are known for being lea.n and full of flavor. It’s usually an inexpensive roast, which makes it a favorite with home chefs.
How do I make pot roast in a slow cooker?
When making pot roast in a slow cooker, you will prepare the roast by patting it dry with a paper towel. Then, season the meat with salt and pepper. Sear in oil in a skillet. This is an optional step, but browning the beef gives it a richer flavor and seals in the beef’s juices. Place the beef (seared or unseared) directly in a crock pot. Add the desired vegetables and broth, and cook on low for 8 hours.
Let the beef rest
When it’s done cooking, let the beef roast rest for about 20 minutes. The reason for this is because the moisture needs time to redistribute throughout the beef, which makes the beef tender and juicy. If you cut into it right away, liquid will pool out and the roast will become very dry.
Other beef roast recipes you may like
- Prime Rib with Garlic Herb Butter
- Italian Beef Roast (slow cooker)
- Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Easy Dry Rub Recipe for Roast
Buy beef & learn more about our farm
If you’re in the St. Louis area and want beef from our farm, please visit our online store and sign up for our weekly enewsletter for beef availability. If you live outside of St. Louis but have questions about buying beef from a farmer, visit our blog for cow facts and life on our farm. Plus, we have a 30+ page ebook that explains purchasing and preparing beef from a farmers perspective.
Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 1 Beef Roast (Chuck or Round) (3-5 pounds)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 4 cups Beef broth
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 White onions, large. Cut into 2-inch chunks
- 6 cloves Garlic, minced
- 4-5 Carrots, cut into bit size chunks
- 1 lb Red potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
- 1 sprig Rosemary, fresh
- Season beef with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add roast to skillet and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. (optional step that will boost roast's flavor)
- Place roast directly into a crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.