Balsamic Slow Cooker Roast Beef (Video!)

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!      

 

a fork sticking into wonderfully moist slow cooker roast beef

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.

showing how to make slow cooker roast beef by reducing sauce in a skillet

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.

showing how to make slow cooker roast beef by shredding tender chuck roast

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
  • Serve!

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.

moist slow cooker roast beef without vegetables in a crockpot

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?

You can serve this Slow Cooker Roast Beef with mashed potatoes, rice or it is fabulous on rolls to create roast beef sandwiches.

As far as sides, it is fabulous with Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese, Roasted Parmesan Asparagus, Honey Roasted Carrots, Wedge Salad or Fruit Salad

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.

up close of slow cooker roast beef for sandwiches

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:

  1. Cool: Allow Crockpot Roast Beef to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
  2. 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
  3. Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. 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?

best Slow Cooker Roast Beef on a white plate

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

REPLACE

Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Roast Beef (Video!)

Slow Cooker Roast Beef dripping with flavor and so easy made in your crockpot! This 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!      
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Total Time: 7 hrs 10 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 7 hrs

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat vegetable over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Using two forks or tongs to hold roast, sear on all sides until lightly browned. Add to slow cooker and top with all remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on LOW for 7 hours or until fall apart tender.
  • Remove roast to a cutting board and add all remaining slow cooker liquid to a large saute pan/skillet with sides (NOT a small saucepan). Simmer 25-30 minutes OR until thickened. It will thicken very quickly the last few minutes so watch closely towards the end.
  • Meanwhile, shred roast beef and add back to slow cooker. Stir in desired amount of thickened sauce.
  • Serve as sandwich filling or with rice, potatoes, etc.

Notes

STORAGE

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  or freeze for later.

MAKE AHEAD

  • 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 TO REHEAT

  • 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.

HOW TO FREEZE 

  1. Cool: Allow Crockpot Roast Beef to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
  2. 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
  3. Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.

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69 Comments

  1. Darlene says

    Your “Pin It” button doesn’t seem to work at all in the emails I receive from you! 🙁 And the recipes I would like to pin from your emails are difficult and time consuming to find on your pinterest page.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Darlene, I’ll look into that! To pin a recipe, simply click on the recipe title and it will take you to the recipe page and you can pin from there. To find a recipe, just type a key word into the SEARCH toolbar.

  2. Marcia says

    First of all, my pinning/searching whatnots are working fine for me, Jen, so there doesn’t seem to be some more generalized issue going on.

    Now as for this recipe, thanks for yet another one to make me salivate, and I’m not even a big beef fan. I bet this would also be a fantastic sauce for chicken too! And I’m picturing either version making for some killer tacos maybe? I wonder what your pineapple salsa would be like with that? Or maybe mango? Ha, see what you’ve started?!

    As for slow cookers, I couldn’t agree more. Such a great invention, easiest cooking ever, such fantastic results, and you’re so right about them being such a great help in the heat of summer. (I even use mine for making big batches of dog food. No muss, no fuss, and we’re set for the week!) So keep the slow cooker recipes coming…well, and the grilling recipes too! Love ’em all

    • Jen says

      Hi Marcia, yes I bet this would be fantastic on chicken as well – LOVE your idea of making a taco with it with one of the salsas – brilliant! You are giving me all sorts of new ideas… You might just see that on the blog yet 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you Anna! We love love this recipe so hopefully your hubby will too!

  3. Allie says

    Hi Jen, I made the Honey Balsamic Beef yesterday and wanted you to know it is Outstanding! Thanks for another great recipe. You know what you are doing, that’s for sure. Such good recipes, I can always count on your site for the special dishes. I hope you are doing okay, I think of you often.

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thanks Allie! That is awesome you made it already and I am so glad you loved it! Thank you so much for the well wishes, you are so extra thoughtful! xo

  4. Şişli Klima Servisi says

    Looks pretty like you. I want to try it now. Thank you.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome hope you can try it soon!

  5. Teija says

    I am really excited to try this one. I have made several of your recipes and all are incredibly good. For some reason, my comments never post, so I hope this one make it! Your million $$ mac & cheese casserole is ridiculously good (my youngest son is 14 and he declared it the BEST he’s ever had! – and he eats mac and cheese everywhere we go out to eat) The beef fajita meat is unbelievable. Some of the best meat we’ve ever had. In fact, my family said they just want the meat and not the fajitas. Haha!! So I have to triple the recipe next time. We are getting one of our steers processed right now so I will be making this recipe ASAP. I hope your are feeling good. I think of you often! Keep up these amazing recipes! I want to make them all, lol….

    • Jen says

      Hi Teija, sorry for the delay as I am way behind after recovering from pnuemonia, but I so appreciate your comment! I hope you love this Honey Balsamic just as much as the other recipes 🙂 I am thrilled the Mac and Cheese is your sons favorite and that the fajita meat is so good its getting tripled next time! Thank you so much for making so many of my recipes and for your well wishes!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for letting me know Megan!

  6. Tricia says

    Wow, this looks so good! Love your recipes, always so full of flavour.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Tricia! I hope you can make it soon and love it!!

  7. Jennifer says

    This looks delicious – though I am going to do it in my Instant Pot.

      • nadine says

        How did it turn out in the instant pot? I am planning to do the same tomorrow night. How long did you cook it for? 🙂

  8. Kylie says

    Hi! Just a quick question , so after you sear your roast and put it in the crockpot, you add all the other ingredients? Then after you take it out, you transfer all the ingredients and liquid that were in the crockpot leftover to a sauce pan?

    • Jen says

      Exactly. It will be a lot of liquid so use a large pan with sides so it reduces and thickens quicker. Enjoy!

  9. Carey says

    Do you need to use liquid smoke? Not a big fan of it

    • Jen says

      You can definitely leave it out :)!

  10. William Maxey says

    I was sent this recipe on FB and made it. WOW! Fantastic doesn’t do it justice. I want to try it with pork next. Would I still use the beef stock if I made it with pork or should I use chicken stock?

    • Jen says

      Thank you William! I’m thrilled you loved it so much. I would definitely still use beef stock. Enjoy!

  11. Tooba says

    Hi! Love your recipies!! Are you able to do this one with a brisket instead of a chuck roast?

    • Jen says

      Hi Tooba! I think this will work great with a brisket – you might need to increase the cooking time 1-2 hours because brisket usually takes longer to tenderize, but I would still check it at 7 hours and just cook longer if needed. Enjoy!

  12. Richard Mosmiller says

    Hope your having a great day! Quick question can I cook this on high so it cooks a little faster?

    • Jen says

      Hi Richard, yes you can cook it on high 🙂 enjoy!

  13. Melissa says

    Hi, I want to try making this recipe but I was wondering what size your slow cooker is. I have a 3.5 quart, so I want to make sure I adjust ingredients if I have to. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Melissa, I have a 6qt. slow cooker. Enjoy!

  14. Andrew says

    I have this in my slow cooker right now. Hopefully my family will like it as much as the people who commented above. I left our the pepper flakes because I am the only person who enjoys spices foods in my family. I also used some of the broth to deglaze the pan after searing the beef. Didn’t want to love all that extra flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Andrew, I hope it was a hit and that you were able to add pepper flakes to yours 🙂

  15. Mirza says

    Hi, I was wondering if this could be made in the in the instapot and brown the meat on the sauté option. If so would it be enough the 30 minute time for the beef option?

    • Jen says

      Hi Mirza, Unfortunately I don’t have an instant pot so I can’t help you out – sorry!

  16. Janet says

    This sounds great but I don’t know anything about balsamic vinegar. Could you recommend a good brand or two; it would be much appreciated.

    • Jen says

      Hi Janet! There are many kinds of balsamic vinegar that vary widely in price but for quality that’s affordable I like Colavita Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. If your grocery store doesn’t carry it then I recommend googling quality balsamic vinegar. I hope that helps!

      • Janet says

        Thanks much, Jen, it does help. I did try Googling before but I’d rather take an actual recommendation from someone who has great recipes and cooks with it – YOU!! Thanks again.

        • Jen says

          You are so welcome Janet! Enjoy!

  17. Jen says

    Wondering…could this be done with beef tips, instead of roast or maybe even chicken? Sounds delicious…looking forward to making it. Thank you

    • Jen says

      Hi Jen, I don’t see why not! You will just need to adjust cooking time as beef tips will cook more quickly.

  18. Oml says

    Hey! I’m such a fan of your recipes! So I made this dish and I did it in the instant pot. Followed it exactly and cooked for 90mins. Came out good! A big hit!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for making my recipes Omi, I’m so pleased you are enjoying them! That’s great you were able to make this balsamic beef in your instant pot in just 90 minutes!!!

  19. Jill says

    I’ve been holding onto this recipe for a while, and when my hubby needed a dish for a work potluck I figured it was a great chance to make it. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever made of yours (ummm hello, your BLT pasta salad with lemon chive dressing is my go-to party salad – I leave out the pasta – and I can’t even tell you how much people love it) and I knew this would be amazing! He made this and took it to work and BOOM. Five pounds of meat GONE. Multiple recipe requests. Such a great dish!! Never been disappointed with your recipes. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for taking the time to comment Jill- you made my day! I am honored you are loving my recipes and always love hearing which ones are favs! I’m thrilled this balsamic beef was such a hit – wahoo!

  20. Connie says

    Hello!

    I am very new to slowcooking. Which size of slowcooker are you using for this recipe and please why does noone state this information in their recipe? It would be easier I guess..
    But it looks so delicious, I will cook this beef for my family soon!

    • Jen says

      Hi Connie, welcome to my site! I use 6 qt. slow cooker in all my recipes. Enjoy!

  21. Doug says

    Could I make this in the oven using my cast iron dutch oven? At what temp would you recommend and for how long?

  22. Maggie says

    Not only is this easy to make, but it’s absolutely delicious. My hubby, adult daughter and I couldn’t get enough. I completely forgot to reduce the liquid and served it as a gravy over polenta. My family asked me to make this again next week and not to change a thing. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Maggie! I’m thrilled it is a repeat winner! Merry Christmas!

  23. Mike says

    Hi! If you’re pressed for time, can you cook on HIGH heat in the slow cooker? If so, how long would you recommend? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Yes! I would plan on 4-6 hours on HIGH. enjoy!

  24. Nancy says

    Thank you Jen for another awesome recipe! My 14 year old gave it her approval so that is huge, haha. Just sent it on to my mom.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Nancy! I’m thrilled this balsamic beef got the stamp of approval!

  25. Suzanne K says

    Made this delicious recipe tonight! Absolutely yummo! Asked hubby to give me a star rating out of 5 and he said 10!! Thank you jen for such a delightful recipe that I will definitely be making again!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your 10/5 review! You made my day Suzanne!

  26. emikay says

    this looks so yummy! do you think this could be made in an Instantpot?

    • Jen says

      I haven’t personally tried it, but I don’ see why not!

  27. Joe M says

    I’ve been cooking for over 40 years. And i must say, you have quite a talent. This is the first time I have found so many excellent recipes in one place.

    For this recipe. I skipped the shredding and added a little cornstarch to the pot to thicken up the juice. Definitely my kind of flavor. You deserve a big award for this one.

    Will be trying out more of your recipes over the coming weeks!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Joe! I am honored you are enjoying my recipes and so pleased this was another win! I look forward to hearing what you try next!

  28. Tina says

    I have a raspberry flavored balsamic vinegar. Do you think it work in the recipe?

    • Jen says

      Hi Tina, thought sounds intriguing! I think it could definitely work-just expect a slight raspberry undertone.

  29. Nicole Krause says

    What about nutrition content?

  30. Sarah Perry says

    Loved this! I made it in my instant pot and pressure cokes for an hour because I lost track of time and forgot to put it in earlier it still turned out great! Definitely will stay in rotation for future dinners!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Sarah, I’m so pleased it turned out well it your pressure cooker!

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