This slow cooker roast beef is melt in your mouth tender and the definition of comfort food. Super versatile and perfect for leftovers!
When you’re not in the mood to fuss around a ton in the kitchen, there’s nothing like a slow cooked roast beef to take the pressure off. Make one on Sunday for dinner and use the leftovers throughout the week for everything from quick sandwiches to gooey quesadillas. All you have to do is sear the beef, make a simple wine sauce, and throw it all together in the slow cooker alongside the vegetables.
Got pork? If you have a pork butt instead, try this pork roast recipe for an easy entree that can feed a crowd!
The Best Cuts of Beef for Slow Cookin’
The best part about slow cooking beef is that you can use more affordable, lean cuts and transform them into ultra-tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Below, find our choice cuts.
- Beef Chuck Roast: One of the most budget-friendly cuts out there and comes from the shoulder and upper arm of the cow. It’s full of flavor from collagen and fat and turns crazy tender the longer your slow cook it. Perhaps the most go-to cut for slow cooker pot roast.
- Beef Brisket: A little pricier than chuck roast and comes from the belly of the cow (hello, flavorful fat!). It’s made for shredding and is great for quick tacos, sandwiches, and salads.
- Beef Oxtail: A tougher cut that comes from the tail of the cow. Packed with fat, marrow, and cartilage, it turns into a beefy dream when slow cooked or braised.
How to Prepare Slow Cooker Roast Beef
Now that you’ve snagged the right cut, it’s time to season the beef and “set it and forget it” with the other ingredients.
- Prepare the Veggies: Slice the carrots and onions into large chunks (or keep the onions whole and unpeeled if you’d like). Cut the top off the garlic head and keep it whole and unpeeled. Lastly, clean the mushrooms and keep them whole.
- Season the Beef: Rub the meat down with salt and black pepper.
- Brown the Beef: In a large skillet over high heat, brown the beef on all sides to create a nice crust.
- Load the Slow Cooker: Next, add in the browned beef, carrots, onion, garlic head, garlic powder, and salt into the slow cooker.
- Sauté the Mushrooms: In the same skillet as you browned the beef, cook the mushrooms over high heat until golden brown on all sides. Pour in the wine and about two cups of hot water to deglaze the pan and bring to a simmer.
- Slow Cook the Beef: Pour the mushroom-wine sauce over the beef and slow cook on high for 5 hours of cook time, or until the beef is fork-tender. Enjoy the ultra-tender beef as you wish!
Hot Tip: Want to elevate the flavor even more? Add in some fresh herbs to the slow cooker. Thyme and rosemary both work great.
3 Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Roast Beef
- Keep the veggies whole or in large chunks. Cutting the veggies small will cause them to turn soggy or break apart during slow cooking. Keep them in big chunks or whole so you can easily strain them out or slice them up to eat.
- Don’t skip browning the beef. Browning the beef will help lock in the texture and will add so much flavor to the mushroom-wine sauce.
- Store the leftover beef in the sauce. To keep the leftover beef moist in the fridge, store it in the sauce.
Don’t want the whole house to smell like beef? I would recommend leaving the crock-pot in the garage or a balcony, so the house doesn’t smell like a beef roast, even though the smell of beef roast is quite heavenly.
Different Ways to Serve Slow Cooker Roast Beef
There are a million and one different ways to use your slow cooker beef. Serve it over creamy mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner for a classic, comforting meal. Throughout the week, use the leftovers for quick Philly cheesesteak sandwiches or breakfast quesadillas.
Storing, Freezing, & Reheating Tips
Slow cooker roast beef is the perfect candidate for batch cooking and having on hand for quick meals. Below, find all the best practices for storing, freezing, & reheating it.
- Storing: To keep the beef on hand for up to a week, store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezing: To have beef on hand for up to a month, strain the beef out of the sauce and store it in a freezer-safe bag. When you’re ready, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
- Reheating: To reheat the beef, pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes or reheat it in a skillet with a bit of butter or oil.
Can you overcook meat in a slow cooker?
It’s really difficult to overcook meat in a slow cooker, but the sweet spot is anywhere between 5-8 hours on high heat.
Do you have to sear meat before putting in slow cooker?
While beef can cook just fine without a sear, the process adds so much flavor and texture it’s well worth the extra effort.
Why is my roast still tough?
Your roast is likely still tough if you didn’t slow cook it long enough. The great thing about cooking in the slow cooker is that all you need to do is give it more time. Check the beef periodically until the texture is just right.
How do I make my roast beef less dry?
The key to making roast beef less dry is to cook it in a bit of liquid in the slow cooker. If you aren’t a fan of red wine sauces, use beef broth instead.
More Tasty Beef Recipes
- Beef Barley Soup – Beef and mushroom soup
- Beef Gravy Recipe – Tender, beef gravy
- Roasted Shredded Beef – 3 ingredient oven roasted beef.
- One-Pan Beef & Broccoli Recipe – Chinese beef & broccoli
- Rib Roast Recipe (with Horseradish Sauce) – Tender beef for a fancy serving platter
- Dice the veggies into large chunks. If you'd like, leave the onions whole. Cut the top off a garlic head and leave it whole and unpeeled.
- Rub the meat generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides on a hot skillet.
- Add the beef, carrots, onion, garlic, garlic powder, and a teaspoon of salt into the slow cooker.
- Sauté the mushrooms over high heat and cook them until they turn golden brown on all sides. Pour in the wine and about one cups of hot water.
- Cook the roast in the slow cooker for about 5 hours, or until the meat easily falls apart when flaked with a fork.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker. Spoon out the juice and mushrooms if you wish. Serve the beef in sandwiches, quesadillas, or over mashed potatoes.