how to cook a beef joint in a slow cooker

Learning how to cook a beef joint in a slow cooker doesn’t have to be intimidating – and it’s definitely worth the effort. If you’re looking for an easy, delicious way to make the most of your cuts of beef, then this is the guide for you. We’ll walk through choosing the right cut of beef, preparing it correctly, understanding cooking times and temperatures as well as providing some tasty serving suggestions so that when dinner time comes around all you need do is sit back and enjoy. So let’s get started on our journey into learning how to cook a perfect beef joint in a slow cooker.

Table of Contents:

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef

When it comes to slow cooking, choosing the right cut of beef is essential. The wrong cut can lead to a tough and chewy meal that no one will enjoy. Here are some tips for selecting the best cuts of beef for your slow cooker:

1. Chuck Roast:

This cut has plenty of marbling which makes it ideal for slow cooking as it breaks down during the long cooking process, resulting in tender and juicy meat. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to other cuts so you won’t have to break the bank when preparing this dish.

2. Brisket:

Brisket is an incredibly flavorful cut with lots of fat that melts away while cooking in a crockpot or Dutch oven, making it perfect for pulled beef sandwiches or tacos. It does take longer than chuck roast but the end result is worth it.

3. Short Ribs:

raw chuck roast

These are another great option if you want something more special than just plain old pot roast. They have a lot of flavour and become very tender after hours in a slow cooker – perfect for stews or braised dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks). Plus they look really impressive on the plate.

4. Round Steak/Rump Roast:

If you’re looking for something leaner than chuck roast but still full-flavoured then round steak/rump roast might be what you need. This cut doesn’t have much fat so make sure not to overcook it as it can dry out quickly – keep an eye on your thermometer when checking doneness.

When selecting the right cut of beef for your slow cooker, consider factors such as size and fat content. Now that you have chosen the best option for your recipe, let’s look at how to prepare it properly.

Key Takeaway: Four cuts of beef suitable for slow cooking: Chuck Roast, Brisket, Short Ribs and Round SteakRump Roast. Each cut has its own unique flavour and benefits to consider when choosing the right one for your dish.

Preparing the Beef Joint

When it comes to preparing a beef joint for slow cooking, there are several steps that should be taken. The first step is to trim any excess fat from the joint. This will help reduce the amount of grease released during cooking and ensure that your meal isn’t overly greasy or fatty. It’s also important to season the beef before placing it in the slow cooker. Rubbing salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and other herbs and spices into the meat will give it an extra layer of flavour when cooked slowly over time.

Next, you’ll want to brown the beef on all sides in a skillet with some oil or butter before transferring it into your slow cooker. Browning helps lock in moisture and adds another layer of flavour by creating caramelised bits on the surface of your roast which can then be deglazed with wine or stock for even more depth of flavour.

Finally, once you have placed your seasoned and browned beef joint into your slow cooker, add enough liquid such as broth or water so that at least half of the meat is submerged while cooking. This will ensure that everything cooks evenly without drying out too much during its long simmering time.

Once the beef joint is prepared, it’s time to start cooking. In the next section, we’ll discuss what temperatures and times are needed to get a perfectly cooked beef joint in your slow cooker.

Cooking Times and Temperatures

However, it’s important to know the right cooking times and temperatures for your cut of beef. Generally speaking, you should cook your beef on low heat for 8-10 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.

For smaller cuts such as steaks or roasts, reduce the cooking time by about half. For example, if you’re using a steak that’s 1 inch thick, cook it on low heat for 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours. If you’re using a roast that’s 3 inches thick, cook it on low heat for 6-7 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

raw meat inside of a kitchen appliance

When selecting your cut of beef, keep in mind that tougher cuts like chuck roast will require longer cooking times than more tender cuts like sirloin steak. You can also adjust the temperature depending on how well done you want your meat—cooking at higher temperatures will give you medium to well-done results while lower temperatures are best suited to rarer doneness levels.

Finally, remember to always check the internal temperature of your meat with an instant-read thermometer before serving; the USDA recommends 145°F (63°C) as a safe minimum internal temperature when serving cooked meats.

When it comes to cooking a beef joint in a slow cooker, it’s important to get the timing and temperature right. With this knowledge in hand, you can move on to exploring different serving suggestions for your delicious meal.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving a slow-cooked beef joint, there are many options available. Potatoes are always a classic accompaniment and can be served in a variety of ways – mashed, roasted or boiled. Roasted vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and onions make for an excellent side dish too. If you’re looking for something more substantial, why not try adding some dumplings?

Sauces also work well with beef joints and can add extra flavour to the meal. Rich gravy is a popular choice but if you want something lighter then opt for horseradish cream or mint sauce instead. Alternatively, why not whip up your own homemade sauce using ingredients like garlic, tomato puree and herbs?

If you’re feeling adventurous then why not serve your beef joint with Yorkshire puddings? This traditional British dish is easy to make from scratch and goes perfectly with the rich flavours of slow-cooked meat. Or if you prefer something sweet then try pairing your roast dinner with apple sauce – it’s sure to go down a treat.

No matter what accompaniments you choose for your slow-cooked beef joint, just remember that all good things come in moderation; so don’t overdo it on the potatoes.

FAQs in Relation to How to Cook a Beef Joint in a Slow Cooker

Do you need to put water in slow cooker with beef?

Yes, it is important to add water when cooking beef in a slow cooker. The liquid helps keep the meat moist and prevents it from drying out or burning. It also helps create steam, which can help break down tougher cuts of meat and make them more tender. When adding water, use enough to cover the bottom of the pot but not so much that it submerges the food. You may need to adjust this amount depending on how long you plan to cook your dish.

How do you keep roast beef from drying out in a slow cooker?

To keep roast beef from drying out in a slow cooker, it is important to use the right amount of liquid. Start by adding 1/2 cup of broth or water for every pound of meat. This will help create steam and prevent the roast from becoming dry. Additionally, make sure to cover the slow cooker with its lid so that moisture does not escape during cooking. Lastly, try using vegetables such as carrots and potatoes to add more moisture while also creating a delicious side dish.

How long does raw beef take to cook in slow cooker?

Cooking raw beef in a slow cooker can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours on low heat. The exact cooking time will depend on the size and cut of the meat, as well as how much liquid is used. Generally speaking, you should plan for at least 6 hours of cook time if using a 3-4 quart slow cooker with 1 pound or less of beef. If you are using larger cuts or more than 1 pound of beef, then it may take up to 8 hours to fully cook the meat through. Always check the internal temperature of the beef with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached an internal temperature of at least 145°F before serving.


With the right cut of beef, some simple preparation, and the correct cooking times and temperatures, you can create a succulent meal that your family will love. So don’t be afraid to try it out – you’ll be surprised it is so easy to learn how to cook a beef joint in a slow cooker.

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