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Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 6 hours


8 servings

Updated: Apr. 25, 2023
Because I work full time, this slow cooker pot roast is my go-to when I want a hearty, home cooked meal. It’s a comfort to walk in and smell this roast simmering. —Gina Jackson, Ogdensburg, New York


  • 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


  1. In a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker, whisk water and beef base; add mushrooms, onion and garlic. Sprinkle roast with pepper; transfer to slow cooker. Drizzle with Worcestershire sauce. Cook roast, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Remove roast to a serving platter; tent with foil. Strain cooking juices, reserving vegetables. Skim fat from cooking juices. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt until smooth; gradually whisk in cooking juices. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cooked vegetables. Serve with roast.
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Tips

Should you brown the roast before putting it in the slow cooker?

While this recipe doesn’t call for it, browning your roast before adding to the slow cooker can lend more flavor and even result in a quicker cooking time.

Should the roast or the vegetables go on the bottom of the slow cooker?

If your slow-cooker recipe contains both meat and vegetables, follow the rule of thumb that the items that take the longest to cook should be closest to the heat. Therefore, the meat should be first, and then the potatoes and other dense foods that can take a long time. For the best results, always follow any layering instructions that a recipe provides.

Is it better to cook a roast on high or low in a slow cooker?

Making a roast in a slow cooker is a form of braising meat, which means cooking for a long period of time, over low heat, in the presence of cooking liquid. Braising transforms tough cuts of meat into tender and flavorful dishes by breaking down the connective tissue that holds the muscle fibers together. The longer cooking time also allows flavors to develop in both the meat and the cooking liquid, which is typically served with the meat. Cooking on high will make a tender roast if you are short on time, but cooking on low for a longer time will develop more flavor and give the connective tissue more time to break down.

Why is my slow-cooker pot roast tough?

Your meat may be tough for a number of reasons. For pot roast that will melt in your mouth, make sure to select the right cut of beef. Chuck, brisket and round all will cook well with this method. Also, don’t be tempted to remove the roast too early from the slow cooker. The roast is done when you can use a fork to easily twist off a chunk of the meat.

What else can you add to slow-cooker pot roast?

Slow-cooker pot roast recipes are really versatile. You can add your favorite herbs to the gravy like thyme, rosemary or basil for more flavor. For a more complete meal, consider adding quartered russet potatoes, small red potatoes or chunks of carrots and celery to the mix. Since the roast cooks on low for 6 to 8 hours, you'll want to be sure to cut the veggies large enough so that they aren't overcooked by the time the beef is tender.

Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Associate Recipe Editor/Tester, and Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor
Beef Base
Look for beef base near the broth and bouillon.

Nutrition Facts

5 ounces cooked meat with 1/2 cup gravy: 380 calories, 22g fat (10g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 467mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 35g protein.