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Perfect Pot Roast – CenterCutCook

The Perfect Pot Roast Recipe with instructions to make it in the oven or slow cooker! The secret for the best pot roast is to brown it to lock in the flavor. Serve with homemade gravy, tender carrots, onions and potatoes.

When I think of a list of ultimate Sunday dinner ideas, pot roast is high on the list. It’s the dinner my mom used to make so often for Sunday family dinners. She’d start the pot roast in the crock pot before we left for church in the morning and by the time we got home, the house smelled amazing.

Today I am sharing the perfect pot roast recipe with you that can be made in the oven or in the slow cooker / crock pot. We’ll discuss all of the tips and tricks for making the best pot roast! Let’s make this together, shall we? I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! ❤️

Pot Roast Ingredients

To make a classic pot roast, you will need the following ingredients:

  1. beef chuck roast – 4-5 pounds. Other cuts of beef like brisket can also work well but in this recipe I use a beef chuck roast.
  2. oil – this is a key ingredient for browning / searing the roast
  3. vegetables – carrots, onion, and potatoes are the traditional choices. Add in other veggies like celery or turnips.
  4. beef broth – you’ll need 4-5 cups. Sometimes a combination of broth and red wine is used. I use 1 cup red wine along with 3-4 cups beef broth.
  5. butter – this is used to make the delicious gravy for pot roast
  6. flour – flour is used to thicken the gravy
  7. salt and black pepper – liberally seasoning the pot roast is one of the most important steps to take to ensure you enjoy delicious pot roast every time.

How to Brown a Roast

Perhaps the most important step to take when you are making pot roast is to brown the chuck roast. Browning the meat helps to seal in all of the delicious flavor. Browning the pot roast will take a little extra time but it is a step you must take to ensure that you have the best pot roast!

Here’s how to brown a pot roast:

  1. Prepare the meat – to brown a chuck roast, pat it dry to remove any extra moisture to ensure that the pot roast browns well.
  2. Season – this is important. Generously season all sides of the meat with salt and black pepper. Feel free to add any additional seasonings you enjoy like garlic, onion powder, rosemary, or thyme.
  3. Preheat the pan – use a large heavy bottomed dutch oven (or a skillet if you’ll be cooking the pot roast in the slow cooker), heat oil over medium high heat. Make sure the pot and oil is preheated before placing the meat in.
  4. Brown the meat – place the pot roast in the preheated pan. Allow the meat to brown for 2-3 minutes – until a golden brown crust has formed. Flip the roast and allow the other side to brown. Repeat the process for all parts of the roast including the sides.
  5. Remove the meat from the pan

The last step to take is to brown the onions. Add a bit of oil to the pan, then brown the onions.

What is the secret to make the perfect pot roast?

Browning the pot roast is one of the most important steps you can take to make the most perfect pot roast. Additionally, seasoning the pot roast generously along with cooking it low and slow will ensure that your pot roast is perfect!

What kind of meat should I use to make pot roast?

Pot roast is most commonly make with a beef chuck roast. A chuck roast is ideal because it has good marbling throughout the meat. When a chuck roast is cooked low and slow, it is tender and delicious!

How to make perfect pot roast in the oven

Here’s a brief overview of how to make the perfect pot roast. Full detailed instructions are found below in the recipe card. Here’s how to make the pot roast in the oven:

  1. Season the meat generously
  2. Brown the roast – then remove from the pan
  3. Brown the onions – add a bit more oil to the pan, then brown the onions
  4. Return the roast to the pan – place the roast on top of the onions, then add in carrots and potatoes along the sides of the roast.
  5. Add liquid – add in enough beef broth so that the sides of the roast are covered. You’ll need 4-5 cups of broth.
  6. Bring it to a simmer then cook in the oven – once it’s come to a gentle simmer, cover the dutch oven and transfer it to the oven for 4 hours for a 4-5 pound roast or 3-4 hours for a 3-4 pound roast.
  7. Remove from oven – when the pot roast is fork tender and easily falls apart, remove it form the oven. The internal temperature of the meat will be about 190-200 degrees F.
  8. Make the gravy
  9. Serve

How long do I cook a pot roast in the oven at 275 degrees?

A 4-5 pound pot roast will take about 4 hours to cook until it is fork tender while a 3-4 pound roast will take 3-4 hours. When the roast has reached 190-200 degrees F, the meat will be tender and easily spreadable.

perfect pot roast

How to make pot roast in the slow cooker

Here’s a brief overview of how to make pot roast in the slow cooker. Detailed instructions are found below.

  1. Season the meat generously
  2. Brown the roast – then remove from the pan
  3. Brown the onions – add a bit more oil to the pan, then brown the onions
  4. Transfer the onions and meat – arrange the browned onions to the slower cooker, then place the roast on top of the onions. Arrange the potatoes and carrots on the side of the roast.
  5. Add liquid
  6. Slow cook – use a slow cooker or crock pot to cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for about 4 hours.
  7. Make the gravy – this is a quick and easy process using butter and flour along with the beef drippings.
  8. Serve

How to serve pot roast:

Pot roast is the definition of classic comfort food. Here’s how to serve it:

  1. With potatoes, onions, and carrots. This is the classic way to serve pot roast!
  2. Mashed Potatoes – these are The Best Mashed Potatoes
  3. Spaetzle – is a German egg noodle. I don’t have my own recipe for spaetzle but Mel from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has a great guide for how to make homemade spaetzle at home.
  4. Over egg noodles
  5. With rice or quinoa
  6. Make a pot roast sandwich!

Without question, my personal favorite way to eat pot roast is with onions, carrots and potatoes topped with homemade beef gravy. So good!

Perfect pot roast 5

Lastly, I’d like to give a big shout out to How to Geek who shared this recipe with me! Not only is he exceptionally knowledgeable in all things geeky, he also knows how to make a mean pot roast. If you are ready to rip your hair out because you can’t figure out why your computer is doing something, or you want to figure out how to backup your iPhone or iPad, How to Geek is going to have the answer you’re looking for!

Pot roast is hearty, comforting and so full of flavor! When you take the time to brown the meat, season it generously, and cook it low and slow, you are left with the most delicious and satisfying meal.

If you make this recipe, please leave a comment or tag me on social media and let me know what you think! Pot roast is a classic and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Oven Directions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees.

  • Use paper towels to pat the chuck roast dry.

  • Prepare the chuck roast – liberally season both sides of the roast with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the roast to the pan. The goal during this step is to brown all sides of the roast really well. You’ll need about 3-4 minutes per side. When the bottom of the roast is browned well, use tongs to flip the roast and brown the other side. You can also brown the sides if you wish, just use tongs to hold the roast up as the sides brown.

  • Remove the browned roast from the pan and set aside.

  • Add a bit more oil to the pan if necessary, then add in the onions and brown them on all sides. They might look a little burned but this is what you want.

  • Return the roast to the pan, placing it on top of the onions.

  • Arrange the carrots and potatoes on the sides of the roast.

  • Add in enough beef broth so that the sides of the roast are covered, about 4 cups.

  • Bring it up to a gentle simmer, then cover the dutch oven and place in the oven for about 4 hours for a 4-5 pound roast or 3-4 hours for a 3-4 pound roast.

  • When the roast is fork tender and will easily fall apart, it’s done.

  • Carefully remove the roast from the dutch oven. It is going to be super tender and a little tricky to transfer to a large plate. Remove the onions, carrots and potatoes as well.

  • Return the dutch oven to the stove with just the liquid remaining. Heat over medium high heat for about 5-10 minutes.

  • To make the gravy: Make a roux – In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat.

  • Add in the flour and whisk really well. Allow the roux to cook for a minute or two.

  • Mix the roux in with the liquid and whisk really well. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened a bit.

  • Season the gravy to taste with additional salt and pepper if you wish.

  • Use two forks to shred the meat, or cut it across the grain into slices.

  • Serve the roast with onions, potatoes, carrots, and gravy.

  • Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Use paper towels to pat the chuck roast dry.

  • Liberally season both sides of the roast with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper. This is important!

  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the roast to the pan. The goal during this step is to brown all sides of the roast really well. You’ll need about 3-4 minutes per side. When the bottom of the roast is browned well, use tongs to flip the roast and brown the other side. You can also brown the sides if you wish, just use tongs to hold the roast up as the sides brown.

  • Remove the browned roast from the pan and set aside.

  • Add a bit more oil to the pan if necessary, then add in the onions and brown them on all sides. They might look a little burned but this is what you want.

  • Transfer the onions to a large slow cooker. Place the roast on top of the onions.

  • Arrange the potatoes and carrots on the side of the roast.

  • Add in enough beef broth so that the sides of the roast are covered.

  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or on high for about 4 hours. When the roast is fork tender and will easily fall apart, it’s done.

  • Carefully remove the roast and veggies from the slow cooker and transfer them to a plate. Cover with foil.

  • Pour the remaining broth in a large stock pot and simmer over medium high heat for about 5-10 minutes.

  • To make the gravy: Make a roux – In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat.

  • Add in the flour and whisk really well. Allow the roux to cook for a minute or two.

  • Mix the roux in with the liquid and whisk really well. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened a bit.

  • Season the gravy to taste with additional salt and pepper if you wish.

  • Use two forks to shred the meat, or cut it across the grain into slices.

  • Serve the roast with onions, potatoes, carrots, and gravy.

  • Enjoy!