How to Cook a Tip Roast in a Slow Cooker for Philly Steak Sandwiches

by Brynne Chandler
Philly cheese steaks are sometimes served with green peppers along with the onions.

Philly cheese steaks are sometimes served with green peppers along with the onions.

Philadelphia is famous for its cheese steak sandwiches, and rightly so. While the delectable treat’s origins are debated, there is no argument when it comes to the pleasure you can derive from a sublime combination of tender juicy beef, sweet grilled onions and velvety melting cheese. Regardless if you prefer cheese or not on your Philly steak sandwich, it all starts with the beef. Braising your tip roast -- which is just a cut away from top sirloin but less expensive -- in a slow cooker results in meat so tender that one might think it was pounded into melt-in-your-mouth goodness by Rocky’s own two hands.

Rinse your roast with cool water and pat off all of the excess moisture with paper towels.

Trim off all visible fat from the meat. While a tip roast is generally lean, if you leave fat on the roast, it can cause the juices to become greasy.

Season the tip roast with salt, pepper and other spices, pressing the spices gently into the meat with your fingertips. Table salt and pepper work fine, but you can also use coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Follow your recipe for exact amounts.

Place the seasoned roast into the slow cooker. If your recipe calls for other ingredients or seasonings, such as sliced onions, smashed garlic, or dry mustard, add these to the cooker as well. Pour either enough water or dry red or white wine over the meat so that you have about 1 inch of liquid on the bottom of the cooker. The beef will release a lot of juice as it cooks, so don’t worry if that doesn’t look like enough liquid. While you can dry roast a tip roast in a slow cooker without the liquid, braising it in a small amount of liquid leaves you with enough rich juices for dipping.

Cover the slow cooker and cook the tip roast for 8 to 10 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.

Insert an internal thermometer into the roast at the thickest part. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends not serving beef until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. However, since your beef continues to cook once you remove it from the slow cooker, if you prefer your tip roast rare, remove it from your cooker when it reaches 135 F.

Let the beef rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain.

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Items you will need

  • Paper towels
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onions, sliced (optional)
  • Garlic, peeled and smashed (optional)
  • Dry mustard (optional)
  • Water
  • Dry wine (optional)
  • Internal thermometer
  • Chef’s knife


  • For an authentic Philly taste, grill onions for topping the sandwiches rather than using the ones you added to the slow cooker for flavor.
  • Use the drippings from the bottom of your pan for an au jus dipping sauce.


  • Do not marinate the meat before cooking it because the slow-cooking process will tenderize it enough, and acidic marinades can actually make meat tougher.

About the Author

Brynne Chandler raised three children alone while travelling, remodeling old homes, taking classes at the Unioversity of California Northridge and enjoying a successful career writing TV Animation. Her passions include cooking, tinkering, decorating and muscle cars. Brynne has been writing fun and informative non-fiction articles for almost a decade. She is hard at work on her first cookbook, which combines healthy eating with science-based natural remedies.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images