Slow Cooker Roast

by Jen on February 15, 2010

Dear readers,

I consider myself a pretty good cook. I cook dinner every night for my family. And I enjoy cooking. I have even begun to enjoy baking! But I have a nemesis in the kitchen.

I love to use my slow cooker. I especially love to make soups and stews in my slow cooker. But the one thing I can’t cook in my slow cooker is roast! I love a good roast. It reminds me of family Sunday dinners. Comfort food.

But for some reason, my roast always turns out dry. Originally, I thought it was my slow cooker that was drying out the roast. I thought it was cooking too hot and therefore, cooking it too much. So for Christmas, my parents bought me a new slow cooker. It has 3 different sized bowls. Perfect for different sized meals.

So last night, I thought I would try it out. I bought a beef roast and cut it in half (the five of us can’t eat a whole roast so I need to cut it in half). I decided to put the roast in the medium sized slow cooker bowl. The recipe said to cook the roast for 8 hours. Since mine was smaller, I only put it in for 6. By dinner time, the roast was done. Actually, it was over done! Hubby described it as sandpaper! Sandpaper? Yup. *Sigh* Thank goodness I had made some gravy to go along with it, that helped it slide down our throats a little easier.

This is not the first time I’ve turned a roast into sandpaper. It’s probably the 14th time! Each time I tell Hubby we are having roast, he cringes. He asks me, “so, is it going to be better this time?” And each time I tell him it’s going to be better. Lie. Each time, it’s the same ol’ dry roast.

I’ve figured out it’s not my slow cooker. Nope, can’t use that excuse anymore. It’s me. I’m screwing it up. And I don’t like to screw up in the kitchen. Cooking is the one thing I’m good at. So naturally, I need to fix my dry roast problem.

I’m asking for a little help here…..please….pul-ease!!!

Are there any slow cooker experts out there?

Am I cooking it too long? Maybe I should only cook a small roast for 2 hours? Is it even possible to cook such a small roast? Maybe I shouldn’t bother cutting it in half?

Deserately Seeking a Nice Juicy Roast

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brandi February 15, 2010 at 9:19 pm

What are you putting with it? If there isn't enough liquid, it'll dry out quickly. I like to make mine with potatoes, carrots, dry onion soup mix, and plenty of water. The water turns into a "gravy" type liquid that is great to pour over the top of the meat and veggies. I usually add enough water to have half of the meat actually sitting in liquid.

Another option is to use a bottle of Italian dressing with your roast, then shred it up. The oil and flavorings are fabulous with the roast!

I hope it turns out well for you!


2 Confessions From A Working Mom February 15, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I have no help to give you… other than to reiterate, this is why I don't cook!

Confessions From A Working Mom


3 Beth February 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Do you put water in with it? Roast is one of the few things I CAN cook in my slow cooker, and I just put the meat in with potatoes, carrots, an onion, and then dump a bunch of water in.


4 Pennie February 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Here's my suggestion – Cook the whole roast and cook it exactly the way it says…and then freeze the leftovers. When you need another meal, just pop it out of the freezer, defrost and reheat…it tastes very good with mashed potatoes – honest! Try it! I'll bet it's just because you have too small of a piece of meat in there…

OR – make the whole roast and eat half one day and another day make shredded beef tacos or beef sandwiches or beef stew. Easy peasey. Just try it – cut yourself a break…I'm sure it's not you. It's just you have too small of a piece of meat, so it's too hard to judge the cook time. 🙂


5 Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy February 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

I was going to ask the same thing as everyone else… are you adding water? I put water and beef onion mix in with mine. the other thing I do is smoother it in bbq sauce and make shredded beef


6 Arizona Mamma February 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

What else are you putting in with it? I have a recipe under my Tasty Tuesday section for a stove top pot roast, but I bet it would work out well in the slow cooker. Have a look at it, and see if you are using similar ingredients. I am really curious.


7 Cheryl February 16, 2010 at 12:04 am

I am no help..I have never been able to cook a nice moist roast…let me know what you find out!


8 Laura February 16, 2010 at 1:24 am

Hey Jen

I try to follow my mom's recipe. She always puts in enough water to cover the roast as well as some onions and some soya sauce. Yep, sounds wierd but it works. I usually rub the roast with olive oil and spices before putting it in to give some extra flavour.

Hope that helps.



9 CalgaryDaddy February 16, 2010 at 2:39 am

I love me some slow cooker recipies! My wife cooks a roast now and then in ours and I think she only puts it on for linke 4 hours. At what temparture, I dont know. What Size? I dont know either? Pretty useless comment? I would agree. Maybe I should check with her before randomly answering things I know noting about?




10 Laura February 16, 2010 at 3:11 am

I agree with other people…more liqued. Other than that I have no idea because I don't know what I'm doing either. 🙂 Good luck!


11 Just Jenn February 16, 2010 at 5:17 am

Yep… that is me! I gave up … if we crave roast (rarely) we buy the already cooked from Costco… My kids love it! and they don't love meat! Thats my tip!
hee hee
Just Jenn~


12 Helga February 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I make roast all the time and mine comes out great in the crock pot.

I put the roast into the crock pot and season it really well. Then I cut up potatoes, celery, an onion and I put two small bags of baby carrots in there. Then I put one packet of Lipton Onion soup and half a cup of water and leave it in the crock pot for 6-8 hours. I don't like putting too much water in there because I think the roast tastes blah then.

I have never had a bad experience with my roast and it was the first thing I learned to cook.

Good luck :o)


13 Alyssa February 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hi, I'm in agreement with above comments, only want to add I always cook roasts on Low. Do you think it might have something to do with the meat you're buying? Seriously, I think sometimes we don't do ourselves any favor by buying "lean" meat…it's the marbling of fat that probably gives it "juiciness" and moisture.
It may not be the healthiest, but it sure is good!!!


14 ~Lisa February 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

I've diligently read each and every previous comment, because my family also runs the other way when I announce we're having roast beef for dinner. My hub says 'woodchips' rather than sandpaper! After all these years, I think I'm gonna go with JustJenn's advice, and pick up my next roast at Costco!


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