As the days grow darker and the nights grow colder, you and your family will likely be craving comfort food; food that will warm you through and put some meat on your bones. For that, there is nothing better than the traditional pot roast, which is why we’ve sifted through hundreds of recipes to find you the best.
This article will not only show you our favorite affordable pot roast Crockpot recipes but will also explain why they are good for your wallet as well as your soul. We’ll also show you how to buy a Crockpot if you haven’t already have invested in one.
Why Are Pot Roast Crockpot Recipes Good Value For Money?
Crockpots are a staple in most family homes for a reason. They make tasty, filling meals with little effort and for little money. They are invaluable to the busy parent or even the busy single person, but how can they save us money?
Less Expensive Ingredients
When you are cooking dinner with a slow cooker, as Crockpots are sometimes known, you are actually advised to use cheaper cuts of meat as the cooking process will soften the connective tissues, without toughening the muscle. So instead of paying $5.19 per pound (an example based on one local butcher) for pork chops, you could pay as little as $1.99 per pound for pork butt. That’s a tasty saving.
Less Energy Usage
Many critics of slow cooking argue that because the Crockpot is on for a long period, compared with pressure cookers like the Instant Pot, then it will be wasting energy. Fortunately, many Crockpots run at such low power that the difference is hardly even noticeable. Some models of Crockpot are even fitted with a built-in thermometer or timer to turn the appliance off when it reaches a certain temperature or time so that you’ll save even more energy. All you have to do is reheat the meal when you’re ready to eat.
Reduces Water Usage
If your family is on a water meter, then Crockpot recipes can also save you money by simply making sure there is less to wash up at the end of it. Another benefit is that the low cooking temperature and glazed pot make it easier to clean. If you’re not on a water meter, it will save you electricity from running the dishwasher, gas from running the hot water, and over time, will save you money on dishwasher tablets or washing up liquid.
Less Food Waste
The low temperature of the slow cooking process means that it’s very hard to burn the food and, depending on how many times you get distracted while cooking, that could save you a ton of wasted food and stop you from ordering take-out to save yourself from preparing another meal from scratch.
Less Human Labor
Meals that are slow-cooked take a lot less effort, as you simply put the ingredients (i.e., potatoes, beef, vegetables) in a pot and leave to cook. Some might debate whether freeing up your time is a cost-saving benefit, but we’d argue that it is. If you saved half an hour on cooking, you could put in some overtime at the office or walk to work rather than take the car or repair your trousers rather than buy new ones. This is the hidden value of saving you time.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Using A Slow Cooker?
Of course, slow cookers aren’t perfect, but their disadvantages are minor, compared with the benefits. Plus, there are plenty of solutions that allow you to negate these issues without giving up your Crockpot.
Less Nutritious Food
Vegetables that are slow-cooked may lose trace amounts of vitamins and nutrients, but if you’re concerned about that, you can always blanch or sauté them before you pop them in the pot. Some beans also need boiling before cooking to kill off certain toxins, according to the USFDA.
This shouldn’t take much extra time as you already have to sear your meat before adding it to the Crockpot. The searing process involves heating olive oil or butter in a large skillet and placing the meat in it to brown on all sides, which helps seal in the juices.
If there has been a power cut during the day while you were out at work, you might come home to an uncooked dinner, but this is rare. If it happens, you can always transfer the ingredients to a stovetop pot (i.e., a Dutch Oven) and finish cooking.
Electrical Fire Risk
One issue that we should address relates to a storyline in the NBC drama This Is Us, in which (SPOILER WARNING) patriarch Jack Pearson is killed in a house fire that started because of a malfunctioning Crockpot. This was a powerful storyline and touched a lot of people, but it’s important to note that Crockpots aren’t dangerous or any more likely to cause a fire than any other electrical appliance. If you take good care of your Crockpot, repair any damage, and unplug it from the socket when not in use (which also saves money), you shouldn’t have any problems with it.
The 14 Best Pot Roast Crockpot Recipes
Okay, we’re going to get into the real meat of the article now – pun very much intended – and explore the best pot roast Crockpot recipes in the known universe.
If your family is full of fussy eaters, never fear. All of these recipes passed the taste test of three very picky eaters, and two even got the vegetarian stamp of approval, so let’s dive right in.
1. Classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast By Don’t Waste The Crumbs
There’s a reason why the traditional pot roast is so beloved in the US. It’s tasty, healthy, and hearty, everything that a good dinner should be. It’s also super cheap and easy to make. That’s why we wanted to start this list with a recipe that takes the pot roast back to basics; just beef, carrots and potatoes… oh, and a whole lot of love.
This version recommends homemade cream of mushroom soup and dried onion seasoning, but you could easily swap it for the packaged version if you’re pressed for time.
2. Crock Pot Roast With Pumpkin By Will Cook For Smiles
If you want to make the most of seasonal vegetables or you have some leftover pumpkin from Halloween and Thanksgiving, then this is the recipe you need. Not only does it capture the fall flavor palette perfectly, but it’s perfect for a little social media bragging.
All you have to do is season the meat with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, before searing it until golden brown. Then, cut into chunks and add it to the Crockpot along with onions, carrots, pumpkin, and gravy.
3. Easy Paleo Crockpot Roast From My Natural Family
Are you looking for a meal that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and adheres to the clean eating diet? Then check out this recipe, which recommends substituting white potatoes for turnips and arrowroot starch and meat juices for the gravy. If you only need your dinner to be gluten-free, you can use spelt flour to make the gravy.
It’s a simple meal of beef and vegetables, but the taste would fool you into thinking it came from a high-priced restaurant, rather than your kitchen.
4. The Vegan Portobello Pot Roast From A Virtual Vegan
Whether you’re doing Meat-free Mondays or you want to try something different, this flavorful plant-based dinner is for you. You have to sear the Portobello mushrooms before placing it in the slow cooker with the vegetables, broth, herbs, and (if your taste requires) red wine.
Serve with mashed or roast potatoes and possibly some more red wine.
5. Slow Cooker Italian Pot Roast By Wishes And Dishes
This delicious recipe involves using Italian seasonings to flavor beef chuck roast and creating a tomato sauce for it to stew in. It’s fancy enough to be a treat for guests and versatile enough to be served with risotto or mashed potatoes.
6. Slow Cooker Ranch Pot Roast By The Midnight Baker
This exciting twist on an American classic adds a subtle savoriness to the meat and the pan juices, with ranch dressing mixture and Italian dressing mixture being used as a dry rub for the beef chuck or rump.
7. 5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Pot Roast By A Mind “Full” Mom
Love pot roasts, but want to make them a little bit easier? Try this recipe, which calls for a cut of beef, beef broth, prepared horseradish, carrots, and potatoes… unless you count the salt and pepper and olive oil used to sear the meat.
Now, you’re probably wondering about the horseradish, something not called for in any other recipe on this list. Well, it adds an incredible (but not overpowering) flavor to the roast and helps to tenderize the beef chuck. Talk about a meal’s MVP.
8. Crockpot Ranchers Roast Beef And Gravy By Heather Likes Food
This is not your average roast beef. Instead, it uses ranch dressing mix, pepperoncini, and sour cream-spiked gravy to create a tender pot roast that everyone will enjoy, even if they’re a little surprised.
9. Seitan Pot Roast By Fool A Carnivore
Seitan, which is a protein made from soy, is a great stand-in for beef. But don’t let the vegan label fool you; this is a hearty meal, calling for 20 small new potatoes, 1 pound of carrots, 12 pearl onions, and six cloves of garlic, on top of the herbs and seasonings. As the author says, it might even fool a carnivore.
10. Coca-Cola Pot Roast By Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen
This doesn’t seem like a recipe that should work, calling for both Worcestershire sauce and Coca-Cola, but it produces a succulent dinner that will melt in your mouth and encourage the kids to clear their plates. It’s sure to become a fast favorite for children and adults alike.
11.Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast With Sour Cream Sauce By The Spruce Eats
If you love the traditional beef pot roast but want to spice it up a little bit, then why not try this delicious recipe with a sour cream sauce? All you have to do is cook the beef and vegetables as normal, before adding in a sour cream mixture to the Crockpot about 20 minutes before the meal is done and serve over hot cooked noodles.
12.French Onion Pot Roast By The Little Kitchen
Most pot roast recipes call for cream of mushroom soup, but there are plenty of people who don’t like or have an allergy to mushrooms, so what should they use instead? This recipe shows you how to get a tender pot roast using French onion soup (or dry onion soup mix) instead.
13.Slow Cooker Beef Roast With Sweet Potatoes By The Slow Cooking Housewife
This gluten-free recipe calls for the sweeter (and healthier) sweet potatoes to be paired with beef and onions. It also uses red wine, rosemary, and thyme to bring out the flavor of the beef.
It does have a little bit more prep time than most recipes, with the stock, sauce, and onions needing to be cooked in a pan before being added to the slow cooker. For that reason, it might be worth doing the prep the night before, chilling the food in the fridge, and sticking it in the Crockpot before work.
How do you make the sour cream sauce? Glad you asked because it couldn’t be simpler. Just combine sour cream, flour, and white wine in a bowl.
14.Budget Pot Roast By Better Homes And Gardens
Want to know how to save money on your favorite meal? This is a great recipe, making use of the cheapest vegetables (carrots and potatoes) and the cheapest cut of beef (chuck), without losing any of the flavors.
Okay, we have to stop talking about recipes now because we’re all getting far too hungry and, if we haven’t already put the Crockpot on, we’ll need to start dinner.
How Do You Know What Crockpot To Buy?
Now that you’ve been thoroughly convinced about the benefits of a slow cooker – and found 14 new recipes that you’re dying to check out – it’s time to think about investing in one if you haven’t already. The problem is that there’s plenty of choice on the market and prices can range from $20 to a massive $200, so how do you know which one is right for you? Let us help you with this simple guide.
How Much Should You Spend?
The old adage of buy cheap, buy twice, defiantly applies to electrical items, so you should always read reviews online to see how other people have fared with a particular Crockpot brand before buying it. However, sometimes the price is increased by fancy features, like an auto-stir function, that sound nice but don’t do much to improve the quality of your meals.
If this is your first experience with a Crockpot, choose one in the $40-$60 range. You’ll get fewer bells and whistles, but you’ll still be able to make a fantastic dinner.
What Size Do You Need?
Getting the right size for you will save you power and maintain portion control, but the size you need depends on how many people you’ll be cooking for on a regular basis. As a quick guide:
- Small (50 – 100 fl oz): Suitable for 1-2 people
- Medium (100 – 175 fl oz): Suitable for 3-4 people
- Large (175 – 230 fl oz): Suitable for 5 or more people or batch cooking
Please note that this guide used the size stated the box, but you should know that you can only cook a meal that is roughly two-thirds the size of the stated size as you can’t fill the pot up to the top.
What Settings Do I Need?
Okay, so now it’s time to assess which of the settings are must-haves and which are luxuries. The more settings on your cooker, the more expensive it will be. However, it could have a lot of benefits in the long run. A lot of the decision on settings comes down to your personal preference. Here are some that we couldn’t live without:
- Indicator Light: This tells you that the slow cooker is indeed working, even if you have to leave before it warms up.
- Timer: If you have to be out of the house for longer than the recipe states – it’s never an acceptable reason to cut out of the office early – a timer can switch the cooker off and keep the food warm until you get home.
- Auto cook: This means the machine starts on a high temperature, to kill off any nasty bugs, before dropping down to a simmer.
Well, that’s it from us on Crockpot pot roast recipes, but now we want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on using a Crockpot versus a pressure cooker? How do you feel that slow cooking saves you money? What recipe featured here are you desperate to try? And what delicious recipe did we leave off? (Aside from your mom’s, because hers is the best and no one could replicate it.) Let us know all that and more in the comments below.