Best Cut Of Beef For Slow Cooker Pot Roast


Have you ever wondered what the best cut of beef for slow cooker pot roast is? I have. It’s a common question for someone who loves to cook and experiment. There are many different ways to make a slow cooker pot roast but everyone has their own opinion after testing out their own version of the recipe.

Pot Roast

Pot Roast – fall apart beef, tender flavour infused vegetables and potatoes smothered in a rich gravy. It’s mouthwateringly good, yet simple to make, especially if you use a slow cooker. However, this beef pot roast recipe can be made in an instant pot, oven OR crockpot – pick which method works best for you!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast in a slow cooker, ready to be eaten

Pot Roast

Confession: I wasn’t a fan of pot roast for most of my life. I just didn’t get it – the beef and vegetables were fine, but typically they are braised in just liquids that aren’t thickened in any way so the end result is like a watery broth.

Plenty of flavour in it, but when you pour it over the beef and vegetablesit doesn’t cling to it at all because it’s watery.

So I decided to change it and thicken the sauce using a touch of flour. So it’s more like a gravy. Now THAT’s a pot roast worthy of company, in my humble opinion!!!

If you love meltingly tender, slow cooked roast beef and deeply flavoured gravy, this pot roast recipe is for you!

Close up of fall apart beef - Crockpot Pot Roast

How to make Pot Roast

  1. Season beef well with salt and pepper
  2. Sear beef aggressively – this is KEY for flavour in the broth and the beef!
  3. Sauté onion and garlic, then deglaze* the skillet or pot with red wine (or water or broth);
  4. Tip everything into a slow cooker, instant pot / pressure cooker or casserole pot for oven along with beef broth, carrots and celery;
  5. Sprinkle with dried rosemary and thyme then slow cook 8 hrs low, 55 min pressure cook on high, or oven 4 hours at 300°F/150°C;
  6. Add the potatoes partway through cooking and by the time the potatoes are cooked, the beef will be meltingly tender!

* Means simmering liquid and scraping bottom of pan to release the flavour stuck on the bottom of the pan from searing. It adds a ton of flavour into the cooking broth!

How to make a great Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

Best cut of beef for pot roast is chuck roast

The best beef for pot roast is Beef Chuck Roast. It’s an economical cut of beef that’s marbled with fat that needs to be slow cooked to breakdown the tough connective tissues so it becomes ultra tender to eat.

Chuck roast can be purchased in large pieces that are or aren’t rolled. You want to use rolled chuck roast for this recipe, otherwise the beef ends up all warped. Supermarkets and butchers should carry chuck roast that’s already rolled, otherwise, you can roll it yourself and tie with kitchen string or ask the butcher to do it for you.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast in a casserole dish, ready to be served

It’s essentially a slow cooked Roast Beef!

The key point of difference with this pot roast recipe is that the braising liquid is thickened so it comes out like a deeply flavoured gravy rather than a watery broth which is how most pot roasts are made.

So it’s essentially a slow cooked Roast Beef that’s fall apart tender that comes with a gravy and tender flavour infused vegetables. Complete meal in one pot!

Close up of Beef Pot Roast in a bowl, ready to be eaten

Because the beef needs to be mostly submerged in liquid while it slow cooks, you end up with lots and lots of liquid in the finished dish.

Which means, in my Pot Roast, you end up with lots and lots of very tasty gravy.

This is a sensational “problem” to have. Keep leftovers, drown your potatoes with them, toss through pasta (oh yes!!), serve it as a sauce for tomorrow night’s dinner.  

tender pot roast

tender pot roast simmered in a rich gravy full of flavour is a perfect weekday or weekend dinner. slow cooker, instant pot and oven methods included!

Fall apart, tender Pot Roast slow cooked and smothered in a delicious gravy with potatoes and carrots. A warm and hearty dinner recipe… this beef roast is a perfect complete meal you can prepare with minimum effort.

A reader favourite now on video!

Pot Roast is perfect for an easy weekday or weekend dinner! Minimal work and maximum taste happens underneath that lid! |

pot roast

When it comes to a Sunday dinner, nothing beats a classic as pot roast! Slow cooked dinners that can be cooked in a slow cooker, instant pot or in the oven.  A complete meal with veggies cooked right along your meat.

what is pot roast?

Pot roast is a big, tough beef cut (usually a cheap cut perfect for slow cooking), seared, covered and cooked slow with herbs and veggies in a flavourful broth until fall apart tender.

A good pot roast can be made with any cut of beef roast: chuck roast, round roast, or briskets. The beef is seasoned and seared then added to your slow cooker or  Instant pot with a braising liquid—for this recipe you’re going to use beef broth and balsamic vinegar which helps tenderise the meat and add a deeper flavour.

There are three main steps to the most perfect Pot Roast, whichever option you choose:

  • SEAR your roast first: the flavour you get when searing your meat first is incredible. The fat is rendered while juices are sealed. This step is well worth the extra time and dishes. While slow cooking, the meat will release amazing flavour into your gravy.
  • ADD veggies.
  • SLOW COOK using whichever method you like!

The amazing bonus is the rich gravy that get cooked right in the pot to drizzle all over your beef roast!

Pot Roast is perfect for an easy weekday or weekend dinner! Minimal work and maximum taste happens underneath that lid! |

pot roast vegetables

A pot roast usually includes a classic mix:

POTATOES: Yukon gold or red potatoes peeled russet potatoes. You will love the buttery texture of Yukon months pot roast recipe.
ONIONS: White or yellow onion are the best to use for adding flavour while slow braising.
CARROTS: Add them peeled or unpeeled. Make sure you cut them into thick chunks, as slicing them into thin discs will turn to mush.

best roasts for making pot roast

Tough cuts with lots of connective tissue that would be like chewing shoe leather if you cooked it quickly in a pan are the perfect cuts to use.

  • Chuck Roast: tender, falls apart and easy to shred.
  • Brisket: has a lot of connective tissue making it fattier cut that gets super tender while cooking slow, but can still be sliced for serving
  • Round: (bottom round, top round) a lean and easy to slice cut.

Slow cooking these cuts breaks the collagen down, tenderising the meat. The beef releases its juices into the broth, providing your roast with incredible flavour. Adding flour or cornstarch turns that liquid gold into a delicious, thick gravy.

Pot Roast is perfect for an easy weekday or weekend dinner! Minimal work and maximum taste happens underneath that lid! |

how to make pot roast in a slow cooker (crock pot)

Season roast with a good amount of salt and pepper and sear on all sides until browned (about 5-6 minutes each side). Transfer roast to the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add in all remaining ingredients and cook on low 8 hours. The meat will be so tender and falling apart, and the vegetables soft. Remember to taste test and add any extra balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt or pepper, until reaching your desired flavour.

PRO TIP: It’s better to cook pot roast on the low setting rather than the high setting when it comes to pot roast. Your meat will be tender and delicious every time.

how to make pot roast in an instant pot (electric pressure cooker)

Heat oil in the Instant Pot and set to ‘Saute’. When oil is hot, sear on all sides until browned (about 4-5 minutes each side). Add in all remaining ingredients and cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then use the quick pressure lever to release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid and transfer roast and veggies to a warm plate.

PRO TIP: the natural release portion of electric pressure cooking is an important step. We have found that if you release the pressure immediately after cooking, your beef may toughen up. Letting the pressure cooker sit for 15 minutes during the natural release stage produces a tender result.

oven method:

Use a dutch or heavy based oven-proof pot to sear your well-seasoned seasoned roast. Transfer roast to a plate. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the stock and balsamic vinegar to deglaze your pan, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in the flour and let cook for about 4 minutes (don’t worry about any lumps, they will cook out). Add the rest of your ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover with lid (or foil) and transfer to your preheated oven. Roast for 3-4 hours, or until meat is starting to falling apart. Transfer the roast, carrots, and potatoes to a warm plate, and use a spoon to skim the fat off the surface of the cooking liquid. Cut the roast into thick slices, and serve with the vegetables.


There’s something warm and comforting about a slow-cooked savory beef meal. As the hours roll on, it grows richer and more deeply infused with flavor. Expand your slow-cooking repertoire with these proven beef cuts.

Chuck Arm Roast

Economical and flavorful. Best when slow-cooked.

  • 29gPROTEIN
Top Blade_Denuded

Home of the second most tender muscle and cut into Top Blade and Flat Iron Steaks.


Identified by the 7-shaped bone it contains. Rich and flavorful, it’s ideal for the slow-cooker.

Chuck Cross Rib Roast_Boneless_Tied

A savory cut for roasting or slow-cooking to achieve a tender finish.

Chuck Tender (Mock Tender) Roast

Lean roast that requires slow-cooking to tenderize.

  • 28gPROTEIN

This cut is a good value with loads of beef flavor. Roast to highlight natural tenderness and flavor.

  • 22gPROTEIN

A relatively inexpensive cut with loads of beef flavor. Moist and tender when slow-cooked.

  • 26gPROTEIN

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