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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Tips to Perfect Your Slow Cooker Pot Roast

We've all had pot roasts in our life - some great, some really bad!
Here are the easy and simple tricks to getting that PERFECT pot roast.

This post is sponsored by the Iowa Beef Council.

Photo of slow cooker and plated meals. Tips to Perfect Your Slow Cooker Pot Roast.

It's that time of year where a warm and filling home cooked meal beats just about anything to take the chill out of our bones. Who doesn't love a hearty and filling plate after a long day? I'm pretty sure we all do.

Pot roasts are a classic, traditional dish - and unless you've been living under a rock your whole life - I have no doubt you've heard of it! But, have you perfected how to make a great one? The Iowa Beef Council and I want to make sure you know the best ways.

This American term, pot roast, is a beef cut that is made by slow-cooking a usually less tender cut of beef in moist heat {in this case, the slow cooker!}. Cuts such as chuck, bottom round and bone-in roasts are mainly used. Since they are tougher cuts of beef, the process of slow cooking tenderizes the meat and makes them delectable to eat.

Slow Cooker with beef roast and ingredients.

Over the years I've made a great handful of pot roast recipes - both traditional ones and ones where I jazz them up and turn them into exciting, fun dishes. Remember making a pot roast doesn't have to be just pot roast!

BUT.....there are both tips and tricks to making a great one. Unfortunately, we've all had a dry slow cooker pot roast. One that wasn't cooked well. So let's dive in!

First, let's all acknowledge that not all slow cookers are the same. If you've had yours for years and know it's quirks, they by all means, you know it best. If you have a brand new one straight out of the box, I recommend reading the manufacturer's directions on cooking times and directions.

And second, remember slow cooking involves combining both liquid ingredients + a cut of beef that cooks over low heat for an extended period of time. Try not to rush the process - there is a reason it's called a slow cooker!

Plate and fork with shredded beef enchilada

My top 5 tips to perfecting a great slow cooker roast are simple!

1. Browning and searing the roast over high heat for just a few minutes BEFORE placing it in the slow cooker can make a world of difference in the flavor. Doing this seals in the juices of the roast, literally locking in flavor for later.

2. Make sure you have enough liquid to add to the slow cooker. Depending on the recipe you are making this could be - water, broth, beer, stock or a combination of a few. Liquid helps keep the roast moist. When finished, the extra liquid can be discarded or can be used to make a sauce by thickening it or reducing it.

3. Never underestimate cooking the roast just a bit longer if unsure and the liquid in the slow cooker is a plenty. You want that meat to be fork tender. If it's not, then it needs more cooking time.

4. Refrain from opening the lid to the slow cooker. Doing this brings down the temperature of the slow cooker and it will take time to bring it back up to the temperature you want. The only time I open the lid is very near the end of the cooking process to check the tenderness of the meat.

5. Follow the recipe you are using. Most recipes have been perfected and they know what they are talking about! Don't just guess cooking times or liquid or seasoning measurements.

Shredded roast beef on buns for sandwiches

Traditionally pot roast is served with cooked vegetables such as carrots, onions and potatoes that have simmered alongside the roast.

But that doesn't mean you always have to make it that way.

Here are a few recipes of mine that I think you will love. Some more traditional, some a whole lot different! But in the end, they all started the same way - in the slow cooker.

Phot of slow cooker and plated pot roast meals. Tips to Perfect Your Slow Cooker Pot Roast.

I truly hope you found this post helpful and informational! I always tell people cooking doesn't have to be difficult. We often just tell ourselves in our head that "we can't do something", but after we try it one time we realize it wasn't that hard. 

In fact often....pretty easy.

A big thank you to the Iowa Beef Council for sponsoring this post. The both of us love working together and of course we love giving you great beef recipes along the way. I hope you give a few of my slow cooker roast recipes a try soon.

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