Perfect Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Learn how to make a tender, flavorful pot roast in your slow cooker! Follow this easy step-by-step guide to make the perfect Crock Pot Roast.

My Crock Pot Roast recipe is the best you’ll ever taste – a super tender, fall-apart slow cooker pot roast with incredible flavor that’s cooked all day in the slow cooker. Served with a simple brown gravy, carrots and potatoes, it’s a homey and delicious Sunday supper or weeknight dinner. This pot roast in the crockpot is simply perfection.

chuck roast in a slow cooker surrounded by potatoes and carrots with parsley on top

There’s no better comfort food than a hearty crock pot roast. The veggies cook with the meat, so we just serve it up with some Homemade Dinner Rolls or Garlic Cheese Biscuits and a crisp green salad.

A slow cooked chuck roast really feels like a classy, elegant home cooked meal making it perfect for Sunday supper or serving company. It’s also total comfort food, the kind that takes you back to your childhood dinner table.

This slow cooker pot roast is fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth tender. The smell will greet you at the door when you come home after a long day and that creamy gravy will send everything soaring over the top.

For more comfort food favorites, try our Crock Pot Pork Roast and Chicken Fried Steak Recipe with Homemade Gravy.

shredded pot roast, carrots and potatoes on a platter

Why Cook a Pot Roast in the Crock Pot?

  • It’s way easier than cooking it in the oven. Just set it and forget it!
  • It makes its own gravy.
  • It’s absolutely, incredibly fall apart tender.
  • The beef roast and vegetables cook together in the slow cooker, for an easy one pan meal.
  • It doesn’t heat up your house like an oven does so you can enjoy it year round.

Ingredients

  • Chuck roast – 2-3 pounds is average for what you’ll find in the grocery store and it will feed at least 4-6 people.
  • Roast seasoning – salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, dried thyme, and dried rosemary.
  • Olive oil – for searing the roast.
  • Vegetables – For cooking with the roast and adding flavor. A large onion, a couple of potatoes and some carrots.
  • Garlic cloves – added to flavor the broth.
  • Beef broth This is what will combine with the juices from the meat to create that succulent gravy.
  • Thickening – Cornstarch and broth water mix to make the thickener for the gravy that you’ll add to the slow cooker at the end.
  • Garnish – you can use fresh parsley, fresh thyme or rosemary to garnish the roast before serving.
ingredients needed for a slow cooker pot roast

Step by Step Instructions

Cooking a pot roast in your crockpot is probably one of the easiest slow cooker dinners there is, and it’s pure comfort food!

Prepare the roast. You’ll want to start with a nice big chuck roast; trim any large chunks of fat before adding the seasoning. I season my roast with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, dried thyme and rosemary, then brown it in my cast iron skillet on all sides. This means holding it up with the tongs while the shorter sides are seared.

chuck roast in a skillet with seasoning

Add everything to the slow cooker. Carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes are placed into the crockpot with the roast is nestled on top. While you don’t necessarily need to add liquid, for this beef roast I add some beef broth to that I will have enough liquid to help the gravy at the end.

crock pot with vegetables and a chuck roast

Arrange for serving. Once the meat is fully cooked and the veggies are nice and tender, remove them from the slow cooker to a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs.

chuck roast, carrots, onions, potatoes on white serving platter

Make the gravy. Combine a couple of tablespoons of liquid from the crock pot with an equal amount of cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until it’s nice and smooth (just a fork works great for this), then stir it with the liquid in the slow cooker (you can turn it up to high to help speed up the process. It should thicken in just a few minutes, then you can spoon it over the pot roast, or put the pot roast back into the slow cooker if you like.

how to make a cornstarch slurry for gravy

Serving Suggestions

The best way to serve this roast is simply with the potatoes and carrots and the homemade gravy.

If you opt to leave out the vegetables, you’ll want to add a couple of sides, like Honey Roasted Carrots, Garlic Green Beans, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes or Twice Baked Potato Casserole.

spooning gravy over pot roast on white plate

Storage and Reheating

Depending on the size of your roast, you may have some leftover. If you’re not planning to use it for another meal, the leftover meat is great for shredded roast beef sandwiches!

Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Freezer: To freeze leftovers, cool completely and freeze meat and veggies in a freezer container for up to 3 months. Freeze the gravy separately in a freezer bag. Thaw everything in the fridge overnight. The gravy should be reheated in a small saucepan on the stove while the meat and vegetables can be reheated in the microwave.

Make Ahead Instructions

If you want to a prep this recipe the day before, you can certainly do so. It will save you from rushing to get it done in the morning!

Season and sear the meat and chop all the vegetables. Layer everything in the crock pot as directed, cover and refrigerate. In the morning, you can just place the pot right into the unit and set it to cook all day. You will need to add 15-30 minutes to the cook time since you’re starting from cold.

Expert Tips

  • Brown the roast. Don’t skip this step – it seals in the flavor and creates that lovely golden sear.
  • Customize the herbs and vegetables. Swap out the potatoes for your favorites, like sweet potatoes, turnips or other root vegetables. Sometimes I’ll add onions or celery. I also love to use fresh herbs placed right in the slow cooker.
  • Kick up the seasoning a little by adding onion powder and worcestershire sauce, or even onion soup mix.
  • Veggies too soft? If you prefer the vegetables more firm, place them on top of the roast or add them during the last half of the cooking time.
  • Gravy tips: If you don’t have cornstarch but still want that delicious brown gravy, you can make a gravy on the stove top with a roux. Strain the juices from the crockpot into a large glass measuring cup using a mesh strainer. Melt some butter in a skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for a couple of minutes until golden, then pour in about 2 cups of the reserved broth. Simmer until thick.
overhead view of pot roast and vegetables on a plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pot roast?

A pot roast is a large, tough cut of meat that’s slow cooked in water, wine, stock or broth to make it incredibly juicy and pull apart tender. Herbs and other seasonings can be added. Often the juices are reserved to make a gravy.

Do you have to brown the roast first?

You don’t have to brown a roast before cooking it in the crock pot. However doing so will create a more rich and complex flavor profile in the meat by caramelizing the meat and toasting the seasonings. In my experience, it also holds the meat together a little better so you can remove it from the slow cooker for serving if you wish.

What beef is good for slow cooking?

Tougher cuts of meat actually make the best pot roast. In lean cuts of meat the high amounts of collagen break down and turn into gelatin which then tenderizes the meat, creating that melt in your mouth succulence. The juices thicken and create a rich, delicious sauce to spoon over the meat.

Chuck, Brisket and Round roasts make the best pot roast. I also like using tri-tip because I love the flavor, but it doesn’t always turn out as tender.

How long do you keep a roast in a crock pot?

The great thing about this slow cooker pot roast recipe, is that you have a flexible time frame. Chuck roast is a tender cut of beef that is hard to ruin unless it’s severely over or under cooked.

Cook the roast and vegetables for 8-10 hours on low or 6-7 hours on high. I recommend low and slow if you can; the slow cooking at a lower temperature will provide the most tender and juicy meat.

Can I cook this on a high setting?

A slow cooker roast is best when cooked low and slow. Using the high temperature setting will work and you’ll still get a flavorful roast, but for the most juicy, tender melt in your mouth meat, you want to cook on low.

What other ways can I cook a pot roast?

If you don’t have a slow cooker, or just prefer not to use one, you can try our recipes for Dutch Oven Pot Roast and Instant Pot Pot Roast.

fork with pot roast

More Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes to Love

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Learn how to make a tender, flavorful pot roast in your crock pot! Follow this easy step-by-step recipe to make the perfect Slow Cooker Pot Roast.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 491kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into large pieces
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth or stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Fresh minced parsley

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the roast and pat it dry. Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme and rosemary and rub into the roast on all sides.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides; about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Place carrots, onion, garlic and potatoes into the slow cooker. Pour in beef broth, then set the browned chuck roast on top.
  • Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
  • Transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving dish. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl then pour into the slow cooker. Whisk together to combine. Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes, just enough to thicken the gravy.
  • Serve meat and vegetables smothered in gravy, with minced parsley for garnish if desired.

Video

Notes

  • To make a gravy without cornstarch: Melt 3 tablespoons of butter (preferably unsalted) in a medium saucepan, then whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour and cook for 2-3 minutes or until it’s golden in color. Pour in 2 cups of the beef juices from the crockpot (strain them first so you’ll have a smooth gravy) and whisk to combine. Bring the gravy to a simmer and let it bubble for about 5-7 minutes or until it’s thickened. Taste the gravy before adding any seasonings. 
  • Make Ahead Instructions: Season and sear the meat and chop all the vegetables. Layer everything in the crock pot as directed, cover and refrigerate. In the morning, you can just place the pot right into the unit and set it to cook all day. You will need to add 15-30 minutes to the cook time since you’re starting from cold.
  • Fridge storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  • Freezer storage: To freeze leftovers, cool completely and freeze meat and veggies in a freezer container for up to 3 months. Freeze the gravy separately in a freezer bag. Thaw everything in the fridge overnight. The gravy should be reheated in a small saucepan on the stove while the meat and vegetables can be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 491kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 34gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1063mgPotassium: 1457mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 12815IUVitamin C: 14.8mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 5mg
Keyword crock pot roast, pot roast, slow cooker pot roast

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I am going to try this recipe today, but I am concerned that my carrots and celery I plan to put in will be too soft if they sit in the crockpot that long. Is this something I need not worry about?

    1. I don’t use celery, just carrots and potatoes. They do come out on the soft side, but they are delicious. You don’t have to cook them with the pot roast if you don’t want to.

  2. I received a crockpot as a wedding gift about 40 years ago (I’m still using it!) and a pot roast was the first thing I made in it. I’ve been making crockpot roasts ever since, using a few different recipes. This recipe is hands down the best I’ve ever had! I only changed some minor things, like no garlic cloves and I added Worcestershire sauce. The meat was so tender and the flavor was fantastic. Thanks so mich for my new go-to recipe!

  3. Hey Kristin, my wife saw me searing the roast this morning. “You don’t need to do that I never have. ” Of course I didn’t listen and followed your directions. 9 hours later we both agreed best roast ever. . . Definitely five star thanks

    1. Thanks for your feedback Kalvin! Your wife is sorta right LOL but it’s so much better when you sear! Adds incredible flavor and texture.

  4. I’m cooking this now. Accidentally bought cornmeal instead of cornstarch, so will have to use flour & butter for gravy.

  5. I made this for our stay at home Christmas dinner. It came out perfectly! The meat melted in your mouth, and the flavor from the spices and browning the meat were delicious. The only change I made was using 1and 1/2 cups of beef broth and 1/2 cup of red wine. It added depth to the flavor.
    My family could not stop raving about this. Thanks so much!

  6. I have always put the carrotts & potatoe on top of meat when cooking – What’s the difference? Why does everyone say to put at the bottom of roast….Thank you

  7. I made the pot roast last night. The flavors were delicious. The meat was a little tough. I never took the cover off during cooking, I cooked it on low for 10 hours. The gravy flavor saved the meat. Should the meat be under the broth while cooking or on top of the vegetables?

    1. Hi Susan, I’m sorry that the meat came out tough. Slow cookers can vary in temperature just like ovens, so sometimes the temp can be too high. Yes the meat is in the liquid with the veggies below.

  8. Hi Kristin, little late starting my roast today, can I cook three and half lb. ROAST ON LOW FOR SIX AND A HALF HOURS INSTEAD OF EIGHT HOURS

    1. I would start it on high for an hour or two and then turn it down to low. But even the low for that amount of time would probably be ok. It may not be quite as tender.

  9. Where were you forty years ago when I first learned/had to cook!! Your recipes are so easy to follow and fun to cook.

    1. You are so welcome Theresa, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave some positive feedback.

  10. Incredible! Made this for my family and it came out so tender and filled with flavour! I did not have beef broth, so I used chicken flavour powder with water instead.

  11. I have a chuck roast and am following the instructions. 5 hours in the meat seams to have contracted into a tight tough ball. I’ll let it finish at the eight hour period then check to see if it relaxed and becomes the pull apart tender as posted

    1. Hi Tim, please let me know how it turns out. You don’t want to open the slow cooker during cooking as that will alter the process. Also, are you cooking it on high or on low?

  12. Hope I can update this after tomorrow… I’m doubling this and Swanson artison beef broth (has some extra flavor) my pot roast is 6 lbs… This is my son’s favorite!!!

      1. First let me say, I’m not a big fan of pot roast. It’s my son that loves it. This was probably the best pot roast I’ve made. I made a 6 lb chuck roast. Double everything. It just fit in a 6 qt crock pot. The only change I made was I used an artisan broth. At the 5 hr mark I removed the veggies and placed them (covered) at 170 in the oven. I let the meat continue to cook for about another hour and half. Then went back to your recipe. My family loved it…

  13. The Spices just made this roast! Probably the best flavored simple roast I’ve made! Thank you for the recipe!

  14. This recipe was delicious just the way the recipe is. I didn’t change a thing. The whole family loved it! Thank you so much for sharing!!!