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BEST Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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Consistently rated the BEST slow cooker pot roast recipe EVER!  The depth of flavor is simply phenomenal and is guaranteed to get rave reviews from around the whole dinner table!   Make it in your slow cooker or on the stove top – either way you’ll be sitting down to a truly memorable, mouthwateringly delicious meal!

slow cooker pot roast recipe best ultimate crock pot

I can’t think of anything better than coming home to the smell of a roast wafting through the house, beckoning “it’s dinner time.”  And this one is exceptionally flavorful and delicious.

The smell of a cooking roast is nostalgic to me.  It’s said that smell is more closely linked to memory than any of the other five senses.  The smell of freshly baked bread might trigger memories of grandma’s kitchen;  the scent of cologne or perfume, a romantic encounter; the odor of mothballs, a great aunt’s house; the stench of stale carpet, those penny-pinching college dorm days.  Whatever the association might be, smell is a powerful thing.  And not that this has anything to do with pot roast, but I thought it was interesting so I’ll throw it in here anyway.  From Psychology Today:

The actual ability to smell is highly linked to memory. Research has shown that when areas of the brain connected to memory are damaged, the ability to identify smells is actually impaired. In order to identify a scent, you must remember when you have smelled it before and then connect it to visual information that occurred at the same time. According to some research, studying information in the presence of an odor actually increases the vividness and intensity of that remembered information when you smell that odor again.

I may have to rethink how I approach my children’s learning.  Instead of Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven in the background while they’re studying, I may instead need to place some fragrant flowers, a jar of cinnamon – or a Pot Roast next to them! ;)

slow cooker pot roast recipe best crock pot

Okay, back to the Pot Roast.  For eating purposes, that is.

For me, roasts are associated with Sunday.  Growing up at home (and still in my own home today) roasts were always ideal to serve on Sundays.  A couple of hours at church, including travel, meant just the right amount of time to be able to place everything in a timed oven or a slow cooker before leaving, and then come home to a ready meal.  My mom would often already have the potatoes peeled in advance and covered with water in a stock pot, so when we got home – starving and ready to eat! – all she had to do was boil the potatoes, prepare another vegetable, and thicken the gravy.  And before long we were seated at the table as a family enjoying great food and family bonding time.

What to Serve With Pot Roast

Pot roast is a hearty and flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes.  Here are just a few options:

Feel free to mix and match any combination of side dishes.  But in the end, the real star of the show is this incredible pot roast and whichever sides you choose to go with it, your guests are going to love the meal!

slow cooker pot roast recipe best crock pot

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe

I know your tummies are rumbling, so let’s get that roast a-cookin’!

But before we do, let me stress one thing I learned from my mom about cooking roasts:  Probably THE single most important factor to the flavor of the finished roast is to fry it until it’s very browned on all sides before cooking it.  That is the KEY to a deliciously flavorful roast so whatever you do, don’t skip that step!  And don’t be afraid to get it good and browned.  Not only will it greatly enhance the flavor of the roast itself, but all those burnt bits on the bottom of the pan is what will give the gravy that irresistibly wonderful flavor.

Okay, let’s get started!

First prepare the rub by combining all of the pot roast seasoning spices/herbs together.

pot roast seasoning herbs spices

Rub, rub, rub that roast down on all sides using every last bit of that spice rub.

slow cooker pot roast recipe seasoning on meat

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (I use and love Lodge) or heavy skillet and liberally brown the roast on all sides.

Remove the roast and place it in the slow cooker.  I use and love my Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 7 Qt Slow Cooker.  I’ve been using it regularly for the past 8 years and it’s still working as good as new.

Add the broth to the Dutch oven and bring it to a boil, scraping up the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan (that’s called “deglazing” for those of you who don’t know).  Add the tomato paste, red wine (if using), and salt and return it to a boil for a couple of minutes, stirring to combine.

adding the sauce

Place the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic around the sides and on top of the roast in the slow cooker.

Add the bay leavers and place the strips of bacon on top.  I don’t usually add bacon, but I did this time.  I thought, “why not?” As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “There isn’t anything so good that bacon won’t make it even better.”

Pour the beef broth mixture over the pot roast.

adding veggies and bacon

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.

If you have the time I highly recommend cooking it on low for 8-9 hours for an ultra flavorful, tender roast.

Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a medium stock pot, leaving the roast and vegetables in the warm slow cooker. 

making the gravy

To make the gravy:

Bring the liquid from the slow cooker to a gentle boil. 

Make the flour slurry to thicken the gravy by whisking the flour in the extra beef broth until it’s dissolved.  Whisk flour slurry into the simmering gravy and continue whisking constantly until the gravy is thickened.  thickening gravy with flour slurry

Add salt and pepper to taste.  

Place the roast on a serving platter and spoon the vegetables around it.  Discard the bay leaves and bacon.  Pour a little of the gravy over the roast (it looks nicer that way) and serve the pot roast with the extra gravy, some potatoes, and veggies of your choice.

slow cooker pot roast recipe best crock pot


slow cooker pot roast recipe best crock pot

For another delicious roast, check out our German Senfbraten (Pork Roast with Mustard Gravy)!

For more delicious beef dishes be sure to try our:

slow cooker pot roast recipe best crock pot

BEST Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Consistently rated the BEST slow cooker pot roast EVER!
4.67 from 258 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 495 kcal


  • 4 pound beef round roast or chuck (depending on how lean you prefer it)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (use one with a high smoke point - I use avocado oil)
  • 2 carrots , roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery , roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 strips bacon , cut in half
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional but highly recommended; can substitute more beef broth)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For the Dry Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley
  • For the Gravy Slurry:
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour mixed into a slurry with 1/2 cup beef broth


  • Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub together in a bowl. Rub down the roast on all sides with the dry rub. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over high heat and liberally brown the roast on all sides. Place the roast in the slow cooker.
  • Add the broth to the pot, return to a boil, and whisk to loosen up the browned bits. Add the tomato paste, wine, and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaves in the slow cooker around and on top of the roast. Lay the strips of bacon alongside and on top of the roast. Pour the beef broth/tomato paste mixture over everything.
    Cook on low setting for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours (or until the beef is fork tender). If you have the time we recommend the low setting for the most flavorful and tender beef.
  • Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a medium stock pot, leaving the roast and vegetables in the warm slow cooker. Bring to a boil and whisk in the gravy slurry and continue whisking until the gravy is thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the pot roast on a serving platter and spoon the vegetables around it. Discard the bay leaves and bacon (or chop up the bacon and return it to the veggies) . Pour a little gravy over it and serve with gravy on the side along with potatoes and your choice of sides.


Serving: 0.5poundsCalories: 495kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 64gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 180mgSodium: 1092mgPotassium: 690mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 970IUVitamin C: 2.5mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 6.3mg
Keyword Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Originally published on The Daring Gourmet Oct 24, 2013

slow cooker pot roast recipe

kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating

4.67 from 258 votes (161 ratings without comment)


  1. I made this recipe yesterday and we loved it! After 60 years of marriage making the same pot roast that my husband thought was the only pot roast he could enjoy I took the plunge and tried this recipe. We both thought that it was the best we had ever had and I will make it again soon.

  2. This is quite good. at his time, I am out of sweet paprika, but have smoked paprika. Do you think it would work well?

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I love smoked paprika but I wouldn’t add it to the pot roast, its flavor will be too overwhelming. If you don’t have paprika and don’t want to wait until you have it to make the pot roast, I would simply omit it.

  3. Holy MOLY is this good! I made it tonight, followed the recipe exactly, and it was perfect! Served with red mashed potatoes. I will make this over and over – I’m so happy I found this recipe!

  4. Hi there…I have made this before a few years prior and it was LOVELY! However, I’m thinking of doing by converting to dutch oven conversion method (325F at 15 mins/per hour for Slow Cooker). If you were doing it this method, would you do the searing and put the roast aside whilst you sauteed the onions / prepared the sauce? Or would you still start in one pot and then into the dutch oven? By doing it this way, I can make slow cooker mashed potatoes.


    1. Thank you, Darrin! Yes, to make it the conventional way in the Dutch oven I would sear the roast in the Dutch oven, transfer it to a plate, cook the onions in the Dutch oven until they’re nice and golden, add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until softened. Add the wine and bring it to a rapid boil for a minute. Stir in the broth, tomato paste, salt, and bay leaves. Return the roast to the Dutch oven and then proceed with cooking, later following the same steps for thickening the gravy. Happy cooking! :)

  5. This recipe has been a favorite since I first tried it a few years ago. The gravy puts it over the top! Definitely add extra carrots as others have suggested…I make mashed potatoes and toasty baguettes to accompany the roast. Hearty, tasty perfection!

  6. I followed this exactly as written, except I doubled the recipe. I served this at a church gathering and everyone commented on how tasty and tender it was. Thank you!

  7. Delicious. Sautéed garlic for 30 sec in pan after browning meat. Added plenty of extra carrots, pearl onions, potatoes. Did not use the bacon. Turned slow cooker to high and thickened gravy in there. Added a little Gravy Master into the flour slurry; only had chicken stock left so used that.

  8. I’m going to be making this a second time. My family loved it. I will be adding way more carrots this time as my 2 year old grandson ate all of them!

    1. Hi Jenn, sweet paprika the same thing as anything labeled “paprika powder.” Unless it specifically says “hot paprika” then it’s sweet. Virtually every grocery store carries it. If for whatever reason you can’t find it you can simply omit it.

      1. This is my only go to pot roast recipe now. Fwiw, the bacon makes it next level delish! I was wondering if I could put the rub on the night before I start it(6 am)? I could always omit the salt until morning.

  9. Hello, I made this and did not have any wine but it was fine without. I did have really good beef stock from roasting and then boiling beef soup bones. This was really really good!! My husband really liked it. Any idea how to make this with a pressure cooker? Good recipe, Thanks!

  10. I just made it for tonight’s dinner. Was the best I’ve ever had. Delicious! I added 10oz. Fresh portobello mushrooms and an extra carrot and celery and onion and 3 potatoes peeled and quartered

  11. Excellent!!! I think my cut of meat was too lean, so not as tender as I would have liked, but the flavour was fantastic and the gravy was over the top!!!