Slow Cooker Roast Beef dripping with flavor and so easy made in your crockpot!
This Slow Cooker Roast Beef is wonderfully savory, mildly sweet and tangy, fall apart tender (literally!), crazy juicy, packed with flavor and smothered in the most delectable honey balsamic sauce you will be licking your plate! Are you drooling yet? This easy Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe won’t heat up your house this summer and is great for crowds. It makes an ideal make ahead filling for sandwiches or it’s stand alone delicious with rice and potatoes. It can also be made ahead of time and reheated the day of and freezes beautifully! Any way you serve it, this Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe is destined to become your new go-to beef!
Slow Cooker Roast Beef Recipe Video
Roast Beef Recipe
This Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe is one of those meals that calls to you from the fridge even when you aren’t even home. I don’t even know how to describe the flavor other than rich, savory, slightly tangy, slightly sweet and layered with hand picked seasonings for anything but bland roast beef – but at the same time, not overpowering beef, just plain YUM roast beef.
You’ve probably seen a lot of Honey Balsamic Pork Recipes out there, and I’m sure pork would also be delicious in this recipe (just be aware cooking times will vary), but I just LOVE and completely prefer this Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe.
The chuck roast is SO tender, juicy and flavorful and the honey balsamic smothering just belongs on beef. With one taste, you’ll know exactly what I mean. And you too, will hear the calls of Slow Cooker Roast Beef when you aren’t even home.
Slow Cooker Roast Beef is a year long recipe at our house. It simply does not get any easier than a slow cooker doing all the work and you get reeap the rewards of melt in your mouth tender beef infused with flavor by simmering in its aromatic bath all day.
So, although its the middle of summer – I view slow cooker recipes just as much a part of summer as grilling recipes because they don’t heat up the entire house and are virtually hands off. And because I’m kind of obsessed with it. Soon you’ll taste why.
What cut of beef is best for slow cooking?
There are many different cuts of beef that can be used in the crockpot, but as far as roasts go, bottom round, rump roast, shoulder roast and chuck roast are the most common.
For this Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe, you want boneless chuck roast. It is considered the Mercedes of the roasts due to its meaty, tender texture and exquisite marbling. The marbling breaks down as the beef cooks, translating into rich, succulent flavor and juicy, fall apart tender beef.
What Ingredients do I need for Slow Cooker Roast Beef?
- Chuck roast. You will need anywhere between 3-4 pounds. Choose a chuck roast that is fresh, bright in color and contains lots of marbling because marbling = flavor and tenderness.
- Vegetable oil. The oil is to searing the roast. You can substitute any other oil with a high smoking point.
- Beef broth. Use reduced sodium beef broth so we can enhance the flavor with beef bouillon, otherwise your Slow Cooker Roast Beef will be too salty.
- Balsamic vinegar. Use quality balsamic vinegar but not super high end as expense balsamic doesn’t reduce down.
- Soy sauce. Use reduced sodium soy sauce so the roast beef won’t be too salty.
- Ketchup. This might sound like an odd ingredient but it rounds out the flavor profile with its sweet acidity.
- Honey. Any honey will work great.
- Brown sugar. Honey offers floral undertones while brown sugar adds hints of rich molasses. Using both creates a complex flavor profile.
- Dijon mustard. You can also substitute stone ground mustard.
- Dried minced onion. These are dried onion flakes you find in the spice section. They add a concentrated onion flavor like you would find in a Lipton Onion Soup packet.
- Beef bouillon. 1 cube of beef bouillon equals one teaspoon, so you will need 3 cubes. You may also substitute with better than bouillon.
- Seasonings. We use a plethora of seasonings to add layers of flavor: garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, bay leaf.
- Liquid smoke. If you have never heard of liquid smoke before, it is awesome! Liquid smoke gives the Slow Cooker Roast Beef a hint of smoky flavor. I highly recommend it but it is optional. You can find liquid smoke next to the barbecue sauces at your grocery store.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SLOW COOKER ROAST BEEF?
This Slow Cooker Roast Beef is very simple to make. There are essentially 4 parts of making the roast:
- Sear the Roast
- Add the liquid/seasonings
- Cook the Roast
- Thicken Sauce
- Shred and Coat
Here is a step by step breakdown of how to make Slow Cooker Roast Beef:
- Sear Roast. Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a nonstick skillet, but it should be quality otherwise high heat can ruin the non-stick coating. Using tongs or two forks, sear the roasts on all sides until deeply browned.
- Add Roast to slow cooker. Add roast to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker followed by all your Honey Balsamic Sauce ingredients – a simple dump and run of beef broth, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, brown sugar, Dijon and your bevy of seasonings. I know the ingredient list is long, but it really is dump and cook!
- Cook roast. Cook on LOW for about 7 hours or until your beef is fall apart tender. You can never go wrong with making your beef fall apart tender – if it isn’t falling apart when pulled with a fork, you simply need to cook it longer until it does fall apart.
- Reduce liquid. Now for what really makes this Slow Cooker Roast Beef worlds more delicious than the rest. We remove our tender roast from the slow cooker before shredding and add all of our remaining Honey Balsamic Beef Sauce ingredients to a large saute pan/skillet with sides and simmer 25-30 minutes until its reduces and thickens, causing the flavors to intensify and sweeten. I promise this one extra step will blow. your. mind. Make sure you use a wide skillet and not a shallow saucepan otherwise this step will take twice as long.
- Shred beef. While your sauce is simmering, shred roast beef then add it back to slow cooker.
- Add sauce. Stir in desired amount of thickened sauce. You may or may not need to use all of it depending on your quantity of beef.
Do you have to brown a roast before putting it in the crockpot?
The technical answer is no, but the flavorful answer is yes. Searing the roast creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor and prevents the surface of the beef from becoming dehydrated when cooked for an extended period of time like in this Slow Cooker Roast Beef recipe. So for the most flavorful roast beef, the best texture and the most tender, always sear your beef before putting into the crockpot.
HOW DO I MAKE A TENDER SLOW COOKER ROAST BEEF?
- Cut of meat. I highly recommend chuck roast due to its marbling. If you select a lean cut of beef, it will not be nearly ass tender. As the connective tissue in chuck roast cooks, it melts, so its virtually self basting.
- Searing the roast. Searing the roast creates a protective caramelized outer layer and helps to keep the roast moist.
- Cooking for long enough. If your roast isn’t tender, it simply needs to cook longer in order for the proteins to break down further. Even 30 more minutes of slow cooking can make the difference between tough and tender. So, if your Slow Cooker Roast Beef isn’t tender, you just need to cook it longer.
WHAT GOES WELL WITH ROAST BEEF?
HOW DO I STORE ROAST BEEF?
Slow Cooker Roast Beef Should be cooled to room temperature, then you can remove the pot from the slow cooker and put the whole insert (lid on) in the refrigerator. Alternately, you can also transfer your roast beef to an airtight container. Plan on consuming within 3-4 days.
HOW DO I MAKE ROAST BEEF AHEAD OF TIME?
- I often will cook my Slow Cooker Roast Beef until tender, then remove the removable ceramic insert and refrigerate the roast beef in the juices without shredding.
- The next day, skim off all the hardened fat then cook on LOW in the slow cooker for 1-2 hours until warmed through then proceed with thickening the sauce.
HOW DO I REHEAT SLOW COOKER ROAST BEEF?
No matter which method you choose to reheat your Slow Cooker Roast Beef, you will need to add a few tablespoons of water because the balsamic glaze will have thickened in the refrigerator.
- Crockpot: To reheat your Slow Cooker Roast Beef from the refrigerator, place your ceramic crockpot insert back into your crockpot from the refrigerator, add a some water and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
- Stove: Alternatively, you can reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat with a few tablespoons of water, stirring occasionally until the beef is heated through.
- Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, you can use the microwave. Transfer stew to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 1 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
CAN I FREEZE ROAST BEEF?
Absolutely! This Slow Cooker Roast Beef freezes exceptionally well.
To freeze Roast Beef:
- Cool: Allow Crockpot Roast Beef to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
- Package: Transfer roast beef to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag. You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual portion sizes. Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label
- Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.
Looking for more Favorite Meat Recipes?
- Mom’s Crazy Tender Pot Roast
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Carnitas
- Easy Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders
- Slow Cooker Loaded Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
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