Slow Cooker Roast Beef that you can slice into tender slices cooked to a perfect medium temperature. Enjoy for dinner or sliced thinly in sandwiches, you will never buy the deli variety again!
Slow Cooker Roast Beef. Yes, no joke, this was made IN A SLOW COOKER. The crust is gorgeous because I browned it before cooking, but that amazing tender medium center of the roast beef is 100% slow cooker.
The recipe for this came from a new series I’ve started in 2017 of slow cooker sandwiches. I’ve combed through list after list of the top sandwiches people crave and I’ve started making slow cooker versions of them all. Most delicious project ever. This Slow Cooker Roast Beef can be served in thick slices for a beautiful meal worthy of company or it can be sliced thinly and used in place of deli roast beef (coming Friday!).
At the beginning of this month I spoke at a blogging conference where I met Gina from Skinnytaste. I had so much fun meeting her my friend surprised me with one of her cookbooks. So when I came across Gina’s recipe for this roast beef in her book I immediately tested it out. It felt so meant to be that I would come across a recipe for one of the sandwiches on my long list. The verdict?
It is perfect! I added garlic to the recipe and skipped the broth, but the technique is what is golden here. It tastes like a shortcut Prime Rib dinner without the effort and high price tag! Win win! If you’re looking for a side dish to this Slow Cooker Roast Beef, I would recommend Classic Steakhouse Creamed Spinach and the Richest, Cheesiest, Crispy Mashed Potatoes. It may as well be Chistmas dinner because your meal is going to be amazing.
Looking for more Slow Cooker Beef dishes?
- Slow Cooker Pastrami
- Ultimate Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker Corned Beef Dinner
- Chipotle Barbacoa Beef (Copycat)
If you’re keeping track here are the sandwiches we’ve got so far:
- Slow Cooker Pastrami Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Reuben Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker McRib Sandwiches
- Turkey Moist Maker Sandwich <— turkey made in the slow cooker
There’s more on the way too, I’ve made and photographed a lot of slow cooker sandwiches, so if you’re enjoying this series definitely stick around, more are coming!
Tools Used in the making of this Slow Cooker Roast Beef:
Slow Cooker with Thermometer Probe: This slow cooker is a new addition to our house but it is an amazing new toy I’ve been having fun with. The thermometer fits through the lid without letting the heat escape.
Thermometer: If you don’t have that slow cooker, this thermometer can stay in the slow cooker with no issues.
Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: An amazing book by an even more amazing blogger. Her food doesn’t taste like it lost flavor to be better for you.
- 5 pounds chuck roast
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Rub the chuck roast with the salt, pepper and garlic.
- Heat up your slow cooker insert (if cast aluminum) or a large pot on high heat with the canola oil.
- Sear the beef on each side for 3-4 minutes.
- Put the beef and the drippings from the pan into your slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 90 minutes.
- Using a standard meat thermometer or a slow cooker with a thermometer probe, cook to 135 (medium rare) or 140 (medium) degrees.
Hi Sabrina, this looks so delicious would I be able to do this in my instant pot? I no longer have a slow cooker. what would the timing be for medium rare?
I make a standing rib roast every year for Christmas. It’s amazing, but $$$$$$. This option worked great! And it was delicious. My only problem was that I bought a cheap beef that didn’t have great taste to begin with.
This year, we bought 1/2 cow and the meat is delicious. And you can bet I’ll be making this with our Chuck Roasts.
I was so excited to try this recipe. I followed the very simple instructions, took the roast out at 90 minutes, and it was completely raw inside. The only thing cooked were the edges I seared at the beginning. I don’t know if there is a step missing. What should I have done differently? I even had a 3.5 lb Roast, not the 5lb as noted in the recipe.
I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
What temperature did you cook it at? what cut was it? Was it a uniform thickness?
I do this same method. But I’ve learned that all slow cookers are different. I cook mine on low for 3 1/2 hours to get rare. Using my meat thermometer.
I like this recipe a lot!!! I much prefer beef that is medium rare or rare and while the chuck is a fairly tough cut of the steer (it’s the shoulder, which gets a lot of work), the flavor of this cut is wonderful! The chuck is just in front of the rib, and is closest in flavor to prime rib, but it is not easy to cook to a tender degree. Most people use the chuck for pot roasts and stews and braise the hell out of it. While braising does produce tender meat, much of the flavor comes from all of the vegetables cooked with the roast. This recipe uses only the meat and the juices from the searing, AND IT WORKS, just like Sabrina says it does! Many commentors use roasts much smaller than 5 lbs, which don’t work as well for me. A 5 lb chuck roast will be about 2 1/2 or 3 inches thick, which usually has to be cut by your butcher. I think that is part of the secret of this roast. The other part of the method is to cooking temperature, which is about 200°F on the “Low” setting of a good slow cooker. An accurate “Low” setting as well as an accurate thermometer are essentials. Done right, using this recipe and a quality chuck roast, will come really close to prime rib flavor and texture at about one third the cost. Adding liquid is unnecessary before cooking and the jus is great. To top it all off, the leftovers freeze well for more dinners and sandwiches. Thanks Sabrina!
Perfect stated, Don. I’m glad you love this recipe so much.
Hi there…this work on a top sirloin roast?
I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
If the marbling of the beef is good and even throughout that’s what matters most. If it is really lean it could be very tough.
If your using smaller chuck roast for 3 people how many pounds should I get and what would the cooking time be? Also do you have a recipe for gravy for this?
I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.
We have a lot more beef sauce recipes since this was posted, but also I would test the roast with a thermometer if possible, I haven’t tested one that size in the slow cooker.
I really wanted this to be good.. it was sliceable and pink. There was nothing tender about this at all as my husband bluntly put it it was tough!
Won’t make agan.
This is great and so easy. I’m trying with frozen roast but net time I’ll try it thawed. I tried this a while ago and it was easy.
Me encanta tus recetas.
I like my pot roast sliceable not shreadded. Using your recipe will the chuck roast get tinder?
Yes, make sure to let the roast rest for about 10 minutes before slicing it to allow the juices to soak in. Enjoy!
Delicious this is the 3 rd time I’m making it
That’s awesome, Emma! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Is this recipe degrees C or F?
Just tried this today, and unfortunately didn’t work out for me. Ended up being well done as I was waiting for the temperature to rise, I’m thinking it must be the C or F problem
The temperatures for the meat thermometer listed in the recipe are Fahrenheit.
Thank you, will be making this again tomorrow with the correct unit of temperature.
This is my family’s go to recipe which we have at least once every two weeks. The only thing we do different is we leave it in the slow cooker until it gets very tender and almost falls apart. We love it! Thank you!
So glad you all enjoy it so much!
So, Angelica, how long do you leave it in? You sear it first and then let it cook for how long?
I don’t have the type of thermometer that stays inside the crock pot. Can I just take the lid off periodically and stick a thermometer into the meat ?
Loved those recipes, thank you very much. I’m going to try them.
love your recipes
can i use a 4 lb. blade roast..??ty
Just came across this and am INTRIGUED to say the least! 🙂 Very much want to try this but all I have is a shoulder roast and a bottom round roast- will either of those roasts work?
The shoulder roast should work but the bottom round roast doesn’t really have enough fat on it to work with this recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
Never in a million years would I have thought rare roast beef in a crock pot! This is what I did for 5 lb standing rib roast: crock on low while heating 1 cup beef broth on stove and browning meat all sides. Then paint with oil , thyme n pepper. Place in crock ribs down. A meat thermometer is imperative. Mine has a probe on a white attached to a display you set for alarm when it reaches correct temp. For med rare.
It took 3 hrs 15 min on low. Starting with room temp meat….perfect !!!!! Wowzer. Frees up oven space……..Thanks.
So happy you enjoyed! Sounds delicious how you made it!
I have top round can it be substituted
You can, but because it’s a leaner meat, you may want to cook it for less time. It won’t render down the same over the lengthy time.
I made this tonight and it is still very much RAW in the middle. Had to put it back in the slow cooker and Im still waiting for it 🙁
Janine, this is one recipe (since it needs to cook to such a specific temp) that a thermometer is called for in the recipe. Depending on how thick your cut of beef is you have to know by temperature when it is done. The timing is a guideline on this one and the steps are for the method. I wouldn’t guess/eyeball for something this specific. Sorry for any confusion.
The only thing I added was I lined the crockpot with sliced onions. I seared the beef and added what little juices to the crockpot with the roast. Cooked on low for 90 minutes and checked the temperature. Added more cooking time in 20 minute intervals until perfect!
The juices make a wonderful gravy!
So glad it turned out so well!
Do you add water to the recipe?
I don’t. The meat creates it’s own moisture so it’s not needed 🙂
I’m doing a 2.5 lb roast, what is your recommended cooking time on that weight for medium rare to medium center?
I would check it after an hour. You are looking for a temperature rather than a time and slow cookers can run hot so look for 135 (medium rare) or 140 (medium)
Hi. We do not have a slow cooker. We have had “pink meat” at a restaurant and it was delicious.Can pink meat be created using a normal electric cooker.Please say it can and how do you do it.
I have a delicious Prime Rib recipe that will get that “pink meat” and it’s cooked in the oven. A little more work but very worth it!
If the roast is tender and not 5lbs, how long would you cook it for?
It depends on how much smaller the roast is. What you are looking for is an internal temperature of 135 (medium rare) to 140 (medium). Enjoy!
I love your recipes
Made this today and it was very good.Will make it again and try some of your other recipes.Thank you.
Hi! I’ve made this twice now and each time it has been the most perfect beef I’ve ever cooked! Thank you. 🙂
Can lamb be cooked the same way and still be medium rare and sliceable? Fingers crossed you see this before tomorrow!
Yes, I just haven’t tested timing yet. I would recommend sticking with around the same cut or thickness and start with that timing for cook time. Hope this helps! So sorry I’m seeing this much later though.
I have just taken a frozen beef joint from the freezer and as soon as it thaws I will try this recipe for our guests tomorrow.
This recipe looks amazing. I generally buy CAB rump roasts. Is that cut suitable for this recipe? Some comments said their roast was tough. Not sure what cut of meat they used.
I’m making right now for the second time!!!!!! It’s AMAZING.
I must of got confused as I did it on low for 90 min but was not at 135 degrees so left it re tried several times highest I got was 80 degrees? And now after 5 hours on low I wondered if it was 135 celcius or 135 ferenhiet? So now im just hoping it’s not tough as old boots
You’re looking for an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Would this work with a 3 lb boneless cross rib roast ?
It doesn’t offer as much of a beef flavor as chuck roast but it will still work for this recipe. Enjoy!
I confess to being more than a little sceptical about how a roast could cook in a slow cooker in 90 minutes, but it worked perfectly. I used a 1.3kg topside roast, and as my family like their meat closer well done, I extended the cooking time to nearly 2 hours (by which time my meat was 70 degrees C). Whilst the meat rested, I added half a pack of onion soup mix to the pan juices to make a delicious gravy. The meat was succulent and carved well, and because the moist cooking method results in less shrinkage, the meat goes further. Highly recommended!
I’m so glad you decided to give it a try!
i will be attempting this for Christmas, but i will be adding potatoes and carrots and such. i am using beef tender loin. hope it turns out good.
Wouldn’t have believed it until I tried it. Magical! One deviation I did was to deglaze the searing pan pan with wine, cooked it down to about 1/4 cup and poured that over roast in the crockpot. Serving this for Christmas Eve on a sandwich board. I did cook till 144° because we have a preggo in the family. Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome, Sue! Happy Holidays!
This was delicious and ended up perfectly rare after THREE HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES in the crock pot. The roast was barely over 5 pounds, so should not have taken so much longer than indicated. Fed the family leftovers instead, and now it’ll be Monday’s dinner instead of Sunday’s.
I have a top round beef roast could I do this the same as your recipe
No, I’m sorry but it doesn’t have enough fat to work with this recipe.
Made this tonight and 90minutes isn’t enough it was still very very rare am I missing something? Putting it back in for a couple more hours
What size roast were you using? Sounds like it might have been larger.
Has anyone tried this in the Instant Pot- using the slow cook setting? I am wondering if the timing is the same.
will this work with boneless blade roast?
Amazing!!! I’m flabbergasted that we had rare AND TENDER roast beef chuck slow cooked. I used about a 1-3/4 pound chuck roast and cooked it for an hour. It was perfectly rare… just the way my husband likes it! The real trick might be to cut it real thin. GREAT DISCOVERY. Thank you so much for this, Sabrina
You’re welcome, Alison!
Has anyone tried this with a rolled brisket,,, chuck joint not readily available in uk,, would love to try this, but worried that cooking time not enough to break down collagen in meat
It doesn’t work – comes out horribly stringy and chewy. A shame, too, as it was lovely and pink in the middle! I’d say probably worth asking at the butchers to see if they can do you a chuck roast – I know mine slaughters one cow a week, so if I get in early enough they should be able to do me one (no doubt at great expense.)
Better than what I was looking for, I can’t wait to try it thanks!!
This looks amazing! My husband and boys will love this! Definitely will make this!
Is temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius?
This may seem like a silly question, but I’ve cooked the meat approximately 60 minutes thus far in the slow cooker crock pot after seasoning and browning all sides of the 4lb roast beef. However, I have to leave and was thinking I might switch settings to “keep warm” and return later. Will this overcook the roast?
Sorry, I’m just now seeing this. 🙁
How did it turn out?
Can this recipe be made with eye of round roast? And do have to just the time?
No, it can’t. I’m sorry.
HI Sabrina, Thanks for your awesome recipes! I’m new to cooking with different cuts of meat but have a roast that is labeled round tip? Would I be able to use this recipe with a round tip roast?
Round tip is a leaner cut of meat and I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe. You want a fattier cut, like chuck roast, to really ensure it stays moist during the cooking process.
This is exceptional! I did make some changes. I omitted the salt & pepper & rubbed the meat with 1 package powdered ranch. Then I seared each side & I put it on top of 12oz crimini mushrooms cut 1/4 inch thick. Then I added a 1/2 package of dry au jus, some fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, basil, & dill), 2T butter, 1/2 cup water & the drippings from my cast iron pan. It was so fabulous!!
Delicious pot roast! Truly one of the best recipes! Used a crock pot on low for approximately two hours and was moist and savory. Use a thermometer. The best gauge for doneness. Thank you for such a great roast!
You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed it!
OMG, tried this recipe it was fantastic. Everyone loved it. Infact, I’m cooking this again today. It is a form of a poor man’s prime rib. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Awesome!! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Can this be cooked in a crock pot and come out just as tender?
This recipe is using a slow cooker AKA crock pot. 🙂
Was skeptical about cooking time but this recipe came out perfect med rare .DEFINITLEY a keeper recipe
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
After seeing your pictures (I googled slow cooker beef) I Amazon’d a slow cooker and, once received, bought a 3.5-lb chuck roast. I seared all sides after rubbing with salt, pepper and garlic, then put the roast and drippings in the heated slow cooker on low. I checked it after 65 minutes (since it was smaller than 5 lbs) and it was close. I cooked it another 10 minutes and OMG! It was PERFECT! Bright red and juicy and delicious! I’m so glad I ran across your pics and easy recipe. Thank you!
Woohoo! So happy to hear this!! Thanks for the 5 star rating!
I made this with a 5 lb chuck roast like the recipe called for. With my slow cooker, it took about 3 hours to get to 140 on low setting and at that point, it was still a bit too rare for me. I found 150-160 on the thermometer to be best on medium. This took 4 hours in total from prep time to finish, so a lot longer than anticipated. Otherwise, this was an easy recipe and I added a teaspoon of whole grain mustard to the initial rub, which was a nice touch. This roast came out amazingly tender, just like what was said. I had it with Yorkshire pudding and gravy that I made from the drippings — delicious!
I’d definitely make this again, but with a smaller cut. For those who haven’t tried it yet, leave ample time for the slow cooking since the time varies significantly… a thermometer is also necessary for this recipe; I wouldn’t have known the progress of my roast otherwise.
Hi Sabrina….I’m a LOUSY cook but an AWESOME recipe follower so I have everyone fooled about my kitchen prowess! HA!
You are an amazing cook and I have thrown out old recipes since discovering you in Novermber.
Because of my cooking insecurities, I purchased the exact same Cuisinart slow cooker you have so I would be less likely to screw up a recipe but mine must cook way HOT because I checked this at exactly 69 mins and it was 185 degrees! It was completely ruined. This has happened on a few of the other chicken recipes as well. Do you think cooking on “simmer” would be better than “low”?
Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Keep those recipies coming since you have a dyed-in-the-wool FAN in Utah!
Oh, yikes!! I would reach out to Cuisinart as it sounds like your timing and temperature experience with your slow cooker runs WAY hot and might need to be returned/replaced.
I’m so glad you found me though and are enjoying all of the recipes!! I look forward to seeing you around the site.
can you use a bottom round roast??? This looks like a time saver and having company for dinner
No, it doesn’t have enough fat on it to work with this recipe. Sorry
Hello i have a 3 pound roast, how long should I be cooking it for? i do not have an thermometer on my crock pot 🙁 any suggestions?
You really need to use a thermometer for this recipe to ensure that it’s at the right temperature, sorry.
It is simple and excellent. I was hesitant to make this, based on the mixed reviews. I did a 3lb roast and it took just over an hour. I didn’t have a thermometer probe, I just checked as it got close to an hour with my regular thermometer. Really a great dinner.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Will this recipe work in a crock pot without a thermometer probe (using a regular meat thermometer to check temp)?
Yes, that will work just fine. Enjoy!
Can I add potatoes and carrots for the same result or will I need to add more cooking time?
I wouldn’t add anything into the pot, they would definitely pull heat away from the meat, plus the crowding of the slow cooker would increase the steam inside. If you do want to add vegetables, I’d suggest on the side of the beef only and make sure you 100% use a thermometer probe as there won’t be an guidelines on cook times. Don’t forget to sear the beef well first too. 🙂
This recipe looks delicious!! Am going to make it on Sunday..I bought a better cut of meat *(before I seen this recipe)..and is a Little over 5lbs..is the 90 mins still ok??
It should be but I would recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness, just to be sure.
I was skeptical that this would work but I tried it based on the reviews. It was FABULOUS! Thank you so much for this great recipe.
I totally understand the initial hesitation. Seeing that color and the words “slow cooker” doesn’t seem to be a fit for each other. We use this “recipe” all the time now! Glad you enjoyed it!
What do you put the roast in the crock pot with, just oil?
You’ll want to sear the chuck roast using canola oil and then put the beef and drippings into the slow cooker….that’s it! Super easy and it tastes so good!!
I had very little drippings. Should I add broth or something?
I’m so sorry your question got snagged in my spam filter 🙁 I know it’s late but if you’re wanting dripping for your sandwiches, you can always add some broth to make the amount your looking for.
I’m curious if I can repurpose the 1/2 of roast I have left. Do you think it’s possible to cook a few hours more on low heat in a crockpot? I’d like to make a fall apart pot roast by adding a bay leaf, a couple cups of red wine & broth. Please let me know. Thanks!
You mean you cooked the roast with this method and you want to use the second half in another recipe? I’d say to add it to salads or crostini with some caramelized onions and bleu cheese. You can sear the edges in a pan to add more crunch again then chop and add to nachos/burritos/etc.
I don’t get it. My roast has 20 minutes left , but the thermometer hasn’t moved. I was so excited.
You’ve had it cooking for the time stated and the temp hasn’t come up with 20 minutes left? Please update me on this. I make this for sandwiches weekly.
This looks good, but I have a question. Do you allow the roast to come to room temp prior to browning and placing in the crock pot?
No need to allow it to come to room temperature. Enjoy!
If I make a smaller piece of meat (like half the size), how long do I cook this for? And what is the temperature I’m looking for on a meat thermometer?
Looking forward to this one!
You’ll want to look for an internal temperature of 135 (medium rare) to 140 (medium). Enjoy!
OMG, made this tonight and it was perfect to serve on Mothers Day!! It cut like butter!! Thank you for the awesome recipe, we love it!! ??????
Yay!! So happy to hear this! Thanks for taking the time to come back and letting me know.
Hi! First off, the pictures look AMAZING! Second, I was just wondering if the cooking time needs to be adjusted if I use a smaller cut of roast. I’m just cooking for the husband and I, so I’d want to use about 1.5lb of roast instead of 5.
Thank you so much! You’re definitely going to want to adjust the cook time. Do you have a meat thermometer probe for your slow cooker? You’ll want to check for doneness this way vs taking the top off and checking as you’ll lose a lot of the heat when doing so.
I have a 1.5lb roast too, I wonder what the time would be, does anyone know? I also got thrown off by the fast cooking time.
You’ll need to use a meat thermometer during the cooking process to determine when it’s done. The internal temperature should be 135 (medium rare) to 140 (medium). Enjoy!
I was just looking for a good roast beef recipe – I have the perfect way to use it!!
Sounds like fate 😉 Enjoy!
Is this roast tender after it cooks? Chuck roast is well known to be a tougher cut of meat? Thx sparki
Yes! So tender, I was so pleasantly surprised!
Sabrina, I tried it tonight…It was cooked perfectly but was not tender..tomorrow I will finish it int to green chili… but I feel a more tender cut of meat would work like a London broil..
How was it with the green chili? That sounds amazing! You could definitely change cuts to your liking but mine was extremely tender.
This rost beef looks so perfect! I really need to try it!
This is one good looking roast! Perfect for so many dishes!
Oh wow! This is absolutely perfect!! YUM!
The picture is really mouthwatering, I look forward to trying this recipe out soon. I recently found your web site and have enjoyed your slow cooker corned beef and your Korean sheetpan meal so I know this has to be a winner too. I was wondering if you have ever tried lamb in the crockpot, sometimes my oven roasted lamb isn’t as tender as I would like and a slow cooker version could be incredible in your hands. Thank you so much for all of your recipes!
So glad you’re getting to enjoy so many of my dishes! I personally love lamb in a crock pot and it cooks really well. I’ve also made dishes for clients with success. At this time, I just don’t have any lamb dishes coming out on the blog though.
Lamb in a slow cooker!?!? YES, please!! That would be so great!
Love the new series! Makes dinnertime so much easier when you can just pull it out.
Thanks Michelle! We all could use a little help once in a while.
My husband is a TOTAL carnivore so he’s going to go crazy when he gets a bit of this!
OH MY GOODNESS. This is cooked PERFECTLY!
following your recipe How can it only take 90 minutes to cook a roast beef in slow cooker , when it normally takes close to 8 hours in crock pot
So the roast takes 90 minutes in the slow cooker because we aren’t cooking it to a shredding doneness, we’re browning it then cooking it to just a medium doneness. We’re cooking it until it just reaches the temperature you prefer to carve it at.
I tried cooking it the way you said and was tough as could be. Ended up cooking it some 10 hrs and finally was tender.
Hey Jason, the recipe is only supposed to be cooked for 90 minutes and I use a slow cooker that has a thermometer probe. Did you try slicing at 90 minutes and it wasn’t a similar doneness as mine? If you cooked it for 10 hours it would be fork tender as it would be well done all the way through. This recipe is meant to be pink in the middle and sliceable. Can I ask what cut of meat and how many pounds it was? Would love to troubleshoot for you as this should be a pretty straight forward recipe assuming you were able to measure the temperature in the meat before slicing. Thanks!
Tried this recipe for the first time…OMG it was delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. In fact I’m cooking it again today. Wonderful recipe if you like a poor man’s prime rib.
I bought a joint of topside and cooking it right now, i tried it after 190 minutes i tasted a slice And it was tough so I’ve put it back in the slow cooker, i I’ll also had a meat thermometer in the meat
If you put it in for 190 minutes then thats why it was tough. The recipe is for 90 minutes not 190 minutes.