How to Slow Cook Beef Top Round Roasts

To slow cook a top round roast, brown it with seasonings the day before and refrigerate overnight.
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Top round roast in a slow cooker can be as tender and tasty as more expensive meat dishes, if you take your time in the preparation. After it cooks for hours with herbs, vegetables and broth, you'll have a memorable meal to enjoy with your family.


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To slow cook a top round roast, brown it with seasonings the day before and refrigerate overnight. The next day, add herbs, vegetables and beef stock, and cook on high for 6 hours.

Crockpot Top Round Roast Recipe

Ed Wiley III, owner and chef of The Prime Smokehouse in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, shares the recipe below with

Things You'll Need

  • One top round, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds

  • 1 pound soft butter

  • 3 large sweet yellow onions

  • 8 large cloves of garlic (rough cut)

  • 2 large rutabagas

  • 2 large sweet potatoes

  • 3 or 4 parsnips

  • 2 large russet potatoes

  • 3 or 4 large carrots

  • fresh thyme

  • fresh rosemary

  • fresh cracked black pepper

  • kosher salt

  • 3 cups of beef stock

  • 3 cups dry red wine

Instructions for the day before:


  1. Poke holes throughout your top round, using an ice pick or a narrow-bladed knife. Rough-cut your garlic cloves, and push the pieces into the holes.
  2. Season the beef with kosher salt and black pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, drizzle some vegetable oil and get the pan very hot. Crust the beef on all sides, and remove.
  3. Caramelize the onions in the same skillet, and put them to the side.
  4. Cover the beef and refrigerate until use the next day.


Instructions for the next day:

  1. Mince the fresh herbs and fold them into the soft butter.
  2. Pat the butter all over the top round.
  3. In the bottom of your crock pot, lay your root vegetables, and season them gently with salt and black pepper.
  4. Cover them with your caramelized onions.
  5. Lay your roast atop the onions and add the beef stock.
  6. Cover, and roast for 3 hours on high.
  7. Add the red wine, cover and continue roasting for an addition 3 hours on high.


Read more: How to Make a Tender Sirloin Tip Roast in a Crock-Pot

Frequently Asked Questions on Roasts

People often ask, "What's the most tender roast?" According to Wiley, less expensive cuts of beef can vie with the most expensive if they're prepared well. "Don't believe for a minute that filet mignon and prime rib are the only cuts of beef fit for a king. In fact, tougher, less expensive cuts, such as chuck roasts, briskets and round roasts, lend themselves to a pot roast you might find at a royal feast," he says.

What's the best cut of beef for a Sunday roast? "My preference is the top round. While this meat tends to be extra dense — after all, hind muscles are what a 1,000-pound steer uses for walking and running — it's ideal for slow-cooking," Wiley advises.

How do you tenderize a top round roast? "Generally, I'd suggest marinating or pounding out a cheaper cut of meat like a top round, but the best technique for turning it into a succulent, savory, fork-tender meal is taking your time," he says. "Although you'll be putting your roast in a slow cooker for 5 or 6 hours and forgetting about it, you should still give it plenty of love beforehand."

Read more: A Roast Beef Recipe That Makes for the Perfect Entrée and Next-Day Sandwiches

Meat Eating Guidelines

According to the Mayo Clinic, top round roast is a cut of meat that falls into the extra-lean category. This designation indicates that a 3.5-ounce serving contains less than 5 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams cholesterol. Other extra-lean beef cuts include sirloin tip steak, and top sirloin steak, as well as eye of round roast and bottom round roast.

In addition to choosing lean cuts of beef, pick those labeled either "Choice" or "Select" instead of "Prime," which contains more fat. Also, opt for meat with less visible fat.

Beef is a source of protein, one of the nutrients essential for many aspects of health. However, the USDA recommends eating meat in small portions. Rather than eating beef every day, try to get more of your protein from plant sources such as beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds.