How to Cook a Choice Chuck Roast

by Molly Thompson ; Updated November 15, 2017

The chuck roast comes from the shoulder area of the cow and is often heavily-muscled, so it can be tough if not prepared correctly. The ideally cooked chuck roast will be fall-off-the-bone tender, and you can achieve this result by slow-cooking the roast in a covered pot with a little liquid. The slow cooker method provides the extended cooking time and the added liquid needed to tenderize the roast as it cooks, preventing it from getting dried out and tough.

Season the roast thoroughly with salt and pepper. Use sea salt and coarse-ground pepper to create a flavorful outer crust on the roast as it cooks.

Heat one to two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the roast on all sides until it is uniformly browned. Remove the browned roast from the frying pan and put it into a 4-quart slow cooker.

Cut a medium onion into bite-sized chunks. Add the onion pieces to the slow cooker, spreading them uniformly around the roast. Pour liquid over the meat and onions, adding 1/4 cup of liquid per pound of meat.

Cover the slow cooker and cook the roast on "Low" for six to eight hours. If you want to cook potatoes, carrots or other vegetables with the chuck roast, clean and peel them, cut them into uniform bite-sized pieces and add them to the slow cooker for the final 1 1/2 to 2 hours of cooking time. At the end of the cooking time, check your roast for to make sure it is completely cooked: It should be tender enough to easily pull off pieces with a fork.


  • You can braise a chuck roast on the stove in a tightly-sealed, large pot. Season and brown the meat, then add one cup of liquid to the pan with the meat. Cover the pan tightly and simmer over low heat. After cooking, allow the roast to set for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

    Use different cooking liquids and seasonings to add flavor to your roast. Water will cook the roast, but using beef broth or wine will give it a richer flavor. Combine water with spicy tomato sauce for a tasty alternative. You might also add thyme, rosemary or dry mustard to give your roast a more distinctive flavor.

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About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.