Introduction: Deli Roast Beef in a Slow Cooker

I love me some roast beef sandwiches, but I'm pretty darn picky about the meat. Unless I'm willing to spend $18/lb (and can actually find it), I normally make do with less than my ideal.

I also don't like running the oven because of how much energy it consumes and how quickly it heats up the house. Plus it's slightly treacherous (for me anyway) to be poking my head inside to test for doneness.

However, with a slow cooker, I get my ideal deli-style roast beef without turning on my oven, and it's SUPER easy and only cost me about $15 for the whole thing rather than a single pound!


PS: I'm keeping it simple in the intro photo with toasted bread on the skillet with some butter, a slice of provolone, and a little extra black pepper. Boom! Nothing else needed for delicious sammich!

Step 1: Prep

You will need a cut of beef such as eye round, bottom round, or top round. We used a 2.7 lb top round which is a little more expensive than the others but worth it in my opinion. Be careful that it can still fit in your slow cooker! Our roast just fit inside our 5 quart crock pot.

If yours isn't already trimmed, do so now or have the butcher do it when you're in the grocery store. Be sure to keep the trimmings for other recipes. Beef fat is good stuff.

Dry rub with your favorite seasonings and coarse salt. We used:

  • Smoked coarse salt*
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked grains of paradise
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Garlic powder

Tie if necessary.

You will also need a trivet of some sort that's safe to use and that also fits inside the slow cooker. Although I haven't done it, I imagine you could use small mason jars (e.g., the 4 oz variety) to prop the meat off the bottom of the cooker if you don't have a trivet that's right for the job. You just really want to "float" most of the roast, or you will get a sloppy bottom which is no bueno.

*This stuff is SO tasty! Just be careful because a little can go quite a long way which is why we basically cut it with kosher salt.

Step 2: Cook

Set the trivet (or whatever) and prepared roast in the slow cooker and set it to high.

Cook for roughly 1.5-2.5 hours until the internal temperature is the correct doneness:

Rare: 130°F

Medium Rare: 135°F

Medium: 145°F

Medium Well: 155°F

Well: 160°F

You will want to start checking after about an hour depending on your slow cooker and roast, and it's probably best to switch off the power when the internal temperature is 5°F below your goal temp to prevent it from shooting up and over.

Step 3: Rest

Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes covered at room temperature. Or just turn off the power and crack the lid 2-3"...

Then refrigerate or serve by slicing against the grain. Yum!

Note: We don't have a motorized meat slicer, so we used a carving knife. The sharper the blade, the better. Just take your time and slice it thin - it's definitely possible.

Honestly, I wish there was more to this, but I guess that's the beauty of the slow cooker. There's no worry about losing moisture to a large oven and having to tent, and the heat is uniform. So long as you use a trivet (or something), you also don't have to worry about a sloppy bottom and will have a beautifully cooked piece of meat ready for some sammich making!

Research for this Instructable came from The Hungry Mouse and America's Test Kitchen.

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