Ultimate Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are the ultimate sandwich made with your favorite beer with thick tender slices and an amazing crust!

If you love this Slow Cooker Recipe, you’ll love these other incredibly flavorful slow cooker dishes, like Slow Cooker Shredded Beef, the irresistible Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas, and the incredible Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Sriracha Chicken.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are the ultimate sandwich made with your favorite beer with thick slices that are super tender with an amazing crust.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are an incredibly delicious way to cook your meat to a tender perfection! Of all the flavorful beef dips out there, once you try this recipe, you’ll no longer be impressed by the corporately made beef dip sandwiches. The tender meat just melts in your mouth. 

Here’s a little secret: the recipe for Slow Cooker Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches is actually based on our recipe from this post as well as the grilled cheese sandwiches! The beer in this Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches recipe is the secret weapon to this sandwich. 

How to Make Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Thanks to a trusty kitchen appliance, the heavy lifting of cooking the beef is done in the tender hands of your slow cooker. A bit of browning in the pan first gives it a crispy and flavorful edge which adds a lot to the sandwich. Check it out!

  • Step One: In a pan, sear the meat on medium-high heat on both sides to give it a nice dark browning crust and season aggressively. Don’t move the meat while it’s in the pan to help it crust. Pro tip: for extra flavor, sear the meat in a cast iron skillet!
  • Step Two: Transfer the beef along with the meat drippings to the slow cooker. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and let it slow cook on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  • Step Three: Once it’s done cooking, let the meat cool for ten minutes before slicing, this helps it stay together more. Then remove the beef from cooker, slice the piece of beef thick, and cut the beef across grain. Portion the cooking liquid in the slow cooker into bowls for each person. This is the broth for dipping. 
  • Step Four: Prepare the hoagie rolls with butter and then toast them. Butter the rolls before toasting, they taste amazing buttery and toasted.
  • Step Five: Assemble everything, including the cheese, and enjoy each dipped bite!

More Tender Beef Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s for the kids, so do I have to use beer?

The alcohol will cook completely out of it because of the high heat and long cook time. According to the USDA, cooking with alcohol over 3 hours completely burns it off leaving you with the flavors of the beer itself.

If you want to avoid beer altogether simply use additional beef broth.

What if I don’t want to dip the sandwich?

Dip the meat slices in the slow cooker liquid before adding to the sandwich if you don’t want to dip the sandwiches.

What is the best beef to use in this recipe?

Make sure you’re using a chuck roast (also known as: chuck shoulder roast) for this recipe, using cuts that are leaner will result in tougher meat. Chuck roast can be a bit tough to chew if cooked regularly on the stove top. But once you let it cook in the slow cooker, it becomes juicy and tender!

What’s the best beer to use?

Use a darker beer of any kind for more flavor if you’ve got it. Anything that says dark on the label is good.

For the best results, use something that is a Dark Lager, Dark Ale, Stout, or Porter; or even one of the lesser known Dunkel and Schwarzbier styles. If all you’ve got is an IPA Bock or Amber Lager, that’s fine too.

How does 6 hoagie rolls equal 12 servings?

Each hoagie roll is technically worth two servings. Doubled it’s 12!

If I have a smaller portion of meat, do I still cook it for 6 hours?

This recipe calls for a 4-5 pound slab of meat. If you have a smaller slab of meat, say 2-3 pound beef chuck roast, then you don’t have to cook for 6 hours. Four (4) hours would be just fine for a 2 pound roast.

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes it can! Cool the beef in a separate container in the fridge and then reheat in the slow cooker or on stove top. This will ensure that it is brought to the safe storage temperature. Don’t store in the crockpot as the crockpot can keep residual heat for a long while.

What flavor does the dark beer give?

Tasting the beer straight gives you intense coffee and chocolate flavors. Once it’s cooked down in this dish, it lends more of a deep earthy and subtle molasses flavor which compliments incredibly well with the beef itself.

What kind of slow cooker do you use? 

Slow Cooker under $100: We love this Crock-Pot Slow Cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse!

Slow Cooker under $200: Cuisinart Slow Cooker This recipe was made in this slow cooker. For larger roasts you can also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.

Key Ingredients for Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

  • Beer: Dark beer is a must. Popular styles to look for are porters, stouts, and dark lagers. Anything that says it’s dark will work great!
  • Beef: Chuck roast is flavorful and juicy. Slow cooking it helps to tenderize its often tough cut.
  • Rolls: Hoagie rolls are sub-style rolls. The crusty outer bread, when toasted, will soak up the au jus very nicely.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Stick with the original. There’s a reason it’s a classic.
The ULTIMATE Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Substitutions for Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

There’s a lot of variety you can do with the ingredients for this dish. Feel free to experiment and make it your own!

  • Broth: There are some recipes that use beef consommé or onion soup mix. Those are totally fine to use, you can swap out the beef consommé for half the broth or add the onion soup instead of the fresh onion, but this way is going to make an amazing sandwich.
  • Beer: You don’t have to use a super expensive beer for this. You can use the bottom shelf brands of dark beers and still get incredible results!
  • Beef: This recipe calls for chuck roast for good reason, but you can also use rump roast without losing flavor.
  • Rolls: If you don’t have hoagie rolls, any type of sub-style or french style of bread will work great. Ciabatta or brioche slider buns work great too! The key is to butter the inside and toast the outside. The crusty bread will soak up the dipping sauce for more juicy flavor!

Alternative Cooking Methods for French Dip Sandwiches

  • Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven will work great. Prepare the recipe according to the instructions and place it into the Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 350º and place the Dutch oven inside. Cook for about 6 hours, check in at the 4-5 hour mark.
  • Pressure Cooker: Prepare the ingredients for the chuck roast according to the instructions. Place everything as you would into the slow cooker into the pressure cooker/Instant Pot. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Steam release and serve the baguettes with beef! 

Variations on French Dip Sandwiches

  • The Italian: Add some garlic, Italian seasonings – a blend or just basil – and a dash or two of crushed red pepper. Your tastebuds will thank you!
  • The BBQ: Add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the crockpot before cooking and give it a deep and mouthwatering smokey BBQ flavor.
  • The Big One: Sauté some mushrooms and onions in garlic and butter in a hot pan. Top the caramelized onions and mushrooms on the cheese for an incredibly delicious flavor!

More Yummy Slow Cooker Sandwiches

How to Store Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

  • Serve: Serve the sandwiches hot and ready. Be sure to eat or store the beef within 2 hours.
  • Store: You can store the beef in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container. Reheat to an internal temperature of 145º before serving. 
  • Freeze: Once cooled, place together in freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow to defrost in fridge overnight and then reheat on stove.
We LOVED these Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches!

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Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are the ultimate sandwich made with your favorite beer with thick tender slices and an amazing crust!
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Sandwich
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 4-5 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 can dark beer
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 6 hoagie rolls
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 slices Provolone Cheese

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, or if you have an aluminum insert for your slow cooker add the vegetable oil and heat on high.
  • Add the kosher salt and pepper to your beef chuck roast.
  • Brown on both sides aggressively (3-5 minutes on each side).
  • Don’t move the beef before flipping (this lets the meat get a deep crust).
  • To the slow cooker add the meat, any meat juices from the pan, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, beer, and onions.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Remove the meat and slice thickly.
  • To assemble, butter your hoagie rolls and toast.
  • Top with provolone cheese.
  • In a small bowl add a cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and dip the sandwich in the bowl.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 9mg
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich PIN 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

The ULTIMATE Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
We LOVED these Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I will definitely put this in my recipe rotation! The roast was tender and the juice addicting! Thanks for sharing!

  2. What can I substitute the beer for something else to keep the right amount of liquid please? Sounds so delightful.

    1. You can use chicken broth, ginger ale, white grape juice, or white wine if your recipe calls for a light beer. Use beef broth, chicken broth, mushroom stock, apple juice, apple cider, root beer, or coke instead of dark beer. Thanks for asking!

  3. I made this tonight. I was a little disappointed though. I followed the recipe exactly, when I seared the chuck roast the smell was amazing! I added it to the crockpot with all of the other ingredients and cooked it for 6 hours. I pulled it out of the crockpot and cut as instructed, but somehow the flavor that I was expecting just wasn’t there. Although it was good, it just wasn’t as good as I expected. It seemed that something was missing with the flavor. I will try this again, but since I followed the recipe exactly, I can’t figure out what the problem could be. Maybe a little more salt. I’ll let you know. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Oh oh…couple questions.
      Did you sear the meat on medium-high heat on both sides to give it a nice dark browning crust and season aggressively. Did you leave the meat sear without moving the meat while in the pan to help it crust? Pro tip: for extra flavor, sear the meat in a cast iron skillet!

      Did you transfer the beef ALONG with the meat drippings to the slow cooker? There is a ton of flavor in the meat drippings. Hope you’ll try again.

  4. What can I use instead of beer? I don’t like beer or beer flavor anything. Can I just leave it out?

  5. Made this tonight. Husband said it was the best thing I ever made!! It really was beyond delicious. I used 2.5 lb roast so I cut ingredients in half. Used an IPA southern tier beer. It’s a keeper!

  6. Need help. Don’t have dutch oven or aluminum crock pot liner (didn’t know that even existed, lol). How else can I do the meat at the beginning? Thanks! Kinda new to crockpotting.

    1. The meat needs to be browned on both sides so use a pan that can handle high heat. Then move to the crock pot! Hope it turns out for you!

  7. It’s good but may be missing something. I used Guinness. I recommend but will slice the meat differently next time and maybe use bouillon.

    1. Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven will work great. Prepare the recipe according to the instructions and place it into the Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 350º and place the Dutch oven inside. Cook for about 6 hours, check in at the 4-5 hour mark.

  8. Hi,
    I was wondering if I could cook this in a Dutch oven? If so then what temp and how long do you think?

  9. I plan to make this tomrorow and am very excited but I do have a question. Does the alcohol completely burn off ? I’m not sure how this works in a crockpot? Thanks

  10. Delicious! I’m not gonna lie, I’m no fan of French dip sandwiches. But I saw your pictures and couldn’t resist. I halved everything because my roast was only 2.5lbs but wow was it everything I hoped for and more. I didn’t have any beer so I just added extra broth and I did add some garlic butter to the rolls before I toasted them. It was so good that I’m making them again today for the second time in a week lol! Thank you for the recipe!

  11. I have never before left a review of anyone’s recipes, but my husband and all four kids LOVED this and wanted seconds. Fantastic recipe! So happy with the delicious results!

  12. So amazingly delicious !
    I had to leave a review.
    For the beer, I used a cheap-o, brand from Walmart.
    Also used a rump roast even though the recipe says to use chuck only.
    I just wanted to see how it would turn out.
    I pressure cooked at 10# pressure for 80 min and allowed pressure to completely leave on its’ own before removing meat.
    Smoley Hokes!!
    It’s so delicious and I am thrilled to find a way to use up some of that typically dry rump roast we get with our 1/2 beef.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Tried recipe for first time a few weeks ago and this has already moved in front of baby backs for the annual Super Bowl meal. Thanks for posting this super easy recipe.

      1. Great recipe! My guests all loved it and the women asked for the recipe! I will make it again maybe next weekend.

  14. My husband said these were better than the restaurant version. That means success! No beer. Just broth. But everything else I followed to a T in the half-version size (2 lbs. meat) since I am cooking only for 2.

  15. Delicious! Made exactly as recipe indicated. I do slice the meat thinly as possible without it falling apart though and pile it in top of the provolone so it melts better

  16. Awesome recipe. My hubbs couldn’t get enough, if i wasn’t so full off the first sandwich i would have had seconds. Did not use beer, just two cups of broth and i can’t wait to make it again.

  17. I have to take dinner out of town next weekend. Could I make this the day ahead and keep cold in slow cooker or how would you recommend ?

    1. I would recommend cooling in a separate container in the fridge and then reheat in slow cooker or on stove top. This will ensure that it is brought to the safe storage temperature, as the crockpot can keep residual heat for a long while.

      1. Hi, I’m Eva, I dont mean to be a but-in-ski, but the laws must be vastly different from state to state. Oregon state requires an ice bath cool down and a Quick reheat and then into the crock pot. The Food Inspector marked me down for reheating our beef stew in the crock pot. He said that the reheating process is as important as the cooling process and a crock pot doesn’t heat up fast enough. I think that is a little anal but I got chewed out anyway. Lol.

        1. Eva, you are absolutely correct about a quick cool down and a quick reheat for foods that have already been cooked. That’s the safest way to stay away from bacteria in food. Great catch against the original comment to slowly reheat in a crockpot