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pot roast- dutch oven to slow cooker

I want to make a pot roast, but will not be able to be home enough for it to oven cook.
If I make an oven recipe, do I need to add/change anything for slow cooker? This one marinates overnight, then cooks. Do I need liquid?

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  1. you'll need to sear the meat first in a pan before you add it to the slow cooker. I would put in about half the amount of liquid into the slow cooker as compared to what you would add to the dutch oven.

    1. You don't really have to sear the meat before adding to the slow cooker. I use the slow cooker very often. I don't always sear the meat first. Add about 1/3 of your original liquid amount.

      1. I don't suppose you really "need" to or "have" to brown the meat first, but the searing, browning, caramelizing, etc. really does bring another layer of flavor to the table....You may want to consider browning/caramelizing any vegetables added to the pot too....Whatever you do...

        Have Fun & Enjoy!

        1. I just did a pot (chuck roast) over the weekend and seared it well for the first time in doing crock roasts for years. I just didn't see the big deal about searing when doing crock cooking - I mean the whole point is to sear in the juices which is kind of a mute point when doing a pot roast. So my advise would be to skip that step and avoid additional clean up.

          On to liquid - unless you are buying heritage meat cuts, I would not add any add'l liquid. It's been my experience that supermarket roasts (meats) have enough liquid injected that it produces plenty of it's own au jus.

          Assuming you'll be adding the vegetables at the same time as starting the roast, you may want to cut them larger than you normally would to keep them from overcooking and falling apart.

          3 Replies
          1. re: CocoaNut

            I mean the whole point is to sear in the juices which is kind of a mute point when doing a pot roast...
            Searing/browning meats do not "sear/seal in the juices"...That's an old Kitchen Myth!
            It does however add texture and flavor to the meat...It's not anything one sees, but rather something ones taste......


            1. re: Uncle Bob

              UB! I agree whole-heartedly about the flavor added by searing.... even the texture, particularly on dry cooked meats.

              However, the liquid/steam/condensation used/generated in crock-cooking a pot roast would greatly reduce/diffuse any added flavor on the surface of the meat itself "which makes <searing> kind of a mute point when doing a pot roast".

              Searing would infuse some fairly good flavor into the jus, but I use it in such small quantity, I suppose I overlooked the benefit of a good sear to that end. Thus, will amend my statement concerning the jus.

              As to "searing in the juices" being an old myth - well, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. :)

              1. re: CocoaNut

                Disagree all you want....The fact remains..Searing/browning meat does not seal in juices...It does however create flavor and texture on the surface of the meats as well as adding a layer of flavor to any liquids associated with the cooking process.....This really is "Old News" :)


                Bon Appetit

          2. I'm a big believer in searing for texture and flavor, especially for long cooking. If you don't sear, the meat can end up bland and mushy. Reduce the liquid by 1/2-1 cup (for a family size recipe) but you want a little. If I want the liquid to reduce for better flavor, I'll fold a kitchen towel under the lid for evaporation but it takes longer to cook then. Oh, I oil the crockpot well for easy clean up.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              Oh, I oil the crockpot well for easy clean up.

              For even easier cleanup (even easier than having someone else do it for ;you!) I use these:


              1. re: al b. darned

                "even easier than having someone else do it for ;you!"

                That would be my husband! I've seen those liners but it just seems like more money and more waste. My husband does it for free, although he uses prolific amounts of water.:-)

            2. I just made the marinade- it has a ton of liquid- 1c water, 3/4 c balsamic, little soy sauce, & 1 c ketchup (and a few other things). I plan to cook it tomorrow.
              ***So, why do I need to not put in all the liquid- what will happen if I do? In the dutch oven I would cook it in all the marinade, then serve it with it.

              9 Replies
              1. re: readytocook

                The crock pot doesn't allow for evaporation the way a dutch oven does and you'll end up w/ a lot of liquid, from the meat and the marinade. But, since I like the concentrated marinade, after cooking, I do the towel thing above.

                1. re: chowser

                  I've recently been using the slow cooker bags for easier clean up. Also- if you cook in it often, instead of using a kitchen towel, you can use cloth diapers. Sounds odd, but they work great for soaking liquid. You can get an inexpensive pkg of them. A bunch of kitchen uses for them.

                  1. re: readytocook

                    That is brilliant and should be added to the tip thread.

                    I have to admit when I first read it I thought you said *disposable* diapers! I would however love to hear any other unique uses you have for the *cloth* diapers, please.

                    1. re: just_M

                      I thought the same thing about the disposable! But, I think the cloth diapers would be perfect--and absorb more than a doubled kitchen towel and a good size.

                      1. re: chowser

                        Definitely not disposable, yuk! They are meant to absorb so they work great. I use them to drain things like frozen spinach, canned pineappple.

                        BTW, the pot roast came out terrific, my new favorite recipe. I did just toss the remaining marinade.

                        1. re: readytocook

                          Yeah for the roast! I'll definitely look into getting some diapers (funny as my kids are 12 and 16 :-) Thanks for the tips. M

                2. re: readytocook

                  With the liquid from the marinade, plus what the cut of meat produces, you'll end up with boiled beef - which is fine if you're aware of that.

                  Obviously the marinade flavors are enjoyed with the beef, so I would suggest reducing your marinade by at least half, maybe more, prior to adding it to the crock pot. I think you'll be surprised at how much liquid the roast produces and you'll probably need to reduce the liquids yet again after cooking.

                  Thinking about it, reducing it (with the inclusion of ketchup) will make the marinade a little sticky - more likely to adhere to the roast, which could be a great flavor enhancer.

                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    Thanks everyone- I will not add all the marinade & cook remainder in a saucepan prior to serving if needed. Interested to see how it turns out compared to the dutch oven.

                    1. re: CocoaNut

                      That's a good idea, too, to reduce the marinade first. I do find that I need to reduce the liquids after cooking, usually on the stove because it's faster, after removing the meat. The lazy thing I've done is add some uncooked rice at the bottom.