Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 6 hours
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.

Updated: Jan. 25, 2024

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.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Ingredients

  • Water
  • Beef base
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Boneless beef chuck roast
  • Pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt

Directions

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.

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 to 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.

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

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Tips

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 allows flavors to develop in both the meat and the cooking liquid, which is typically served with the meat.

Cooking on high makes a tender roast if you’re short on time, but cooking on low for a longer time develops more flavor and gives 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 melts 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.

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!

Watch how to Make Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

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.

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
Recipe Creator