How to Make the Best Pot Roast in Your Slow Cooker

What if you could get the perfect pot roast with half the work, but double the flavor? Good news: You can. Here's how, with the help of our best slow cooker pot roast recipe.

There are few meals more comforting than a hearty helping of pot roast, cooked to tender perfection and smothered in gravy. The trick to a delicious dinner? Letting it cook for hours.

Fortunately, that’s (almost) as easy as pressing a button with this slow cooker pot roast recipe from New York reader Gina Jackson.

What Roast Is Best for the Slow Cooker?

The best cuts for slow cooking are actually the cheaper, tougher meats, like chuck or brisket. They have more connective tissue, which breaks down slowly and softens the meat enough without turning it into mush.

How Do You Sear a Roast Before Slow Cooking?

You heat olive oil in a skillet or Dutch oven on the stove, then sear the roast for about one minute per side before transferring it to the slow cooker. Not every slow cooker pot roast recipe requires you to sear the meat before cooking, but doing so can add even more flavor to your final dish!

How to Make Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker

Do you own our Test Kitchen’s recommended slow cooker?


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Step 1: Whisk the base

In a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker, whisk the water and beef base together. Then add mushrooms, onion and garlic.

Test Kitchen tip: If you’re buying beef base, look for it near the broth and bouillon in the grocery store.

Step 2: Prepare the roast

Sprinkle the roast with pepper and place it in the slow cooker. Then drizzle Worcestershire sauce over the meat.

Step 3: Let it cook

Cook the roast, covered, on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender. When it’s done, remove the meat from the slow cooker. Set the roast on a serving platter and tent it with foil.

Step 4: Finish the gravy

Strain and skim the fat from the cooking juices, setting the vegetables aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt until smooth, then gradually whisk in the cooking juices. (Don’t miss Grandma’s best tricks for homemade gravy.)

Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add the cooked vegetables back in before pouring the gravy over the roast. Dinner is served!

Test Kitchen tip: For a traditional pot roast dinner, serve the meat with a side of potatoes and roasted carrots.

Next, learn how to make au jus.

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Amanda Tarlton
As both a freelance lifestyle writer and editor for a national teen magazine, Amanda spends most of her time creating #content. In those (rare) moments when she's not at her desk typing furiously, she's likely teaching a hot yoga class, reading the latest chick-lit or baking a batch of her famous scones.