How to Cook a Beef Shoulder in the Crock-Pot

Slow-cooking a shoulder roast in a Crock-Pot produces a flavorful, fork-tender dish.
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Slow-cooking a shoulder roast in a Crock-Pot produces a flavorful, fork-tender dish. Beef shoulder, also known as beef clod and beef chuck, refers to the shoulder and neck region of the cow. Because this area contains muscle, fat and gristle, it is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat.


The shoulder also produces the toughest cuts, such as flat-iron roast and chuck steak. While these cuts of beef are too chewy to broil, grill or oven-roast, they are flavorful and become tender when slow-cooked in moist heat. This makes the slow cooker one of the best ways to cook a beef shoulder roast.

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Read more: How to Cook a Chuck Roast Perfectly

Step 1: Place in Cooker

Thaw the beef overnight in the refrigerator if it is frozen. Do not thaw it on the countertop — this can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. For quicker thawing, submerge your beef inside its wrapper in cold water. Replace the water every 30 minutes.


Remove it from its packaging, and place the beef shoulder roast in the slow cooker.

Step 2: Cut the Onions

Peel an onion and cut it into quarters; then cut each quarter in half. Place the onion pieces on top of the meat.

Step 3: Add Some Carrots

Place baby carrots in a colander and rinse them under cold, running water; drain well. Toss the carrots into your slow cooker, spreading them around the sides of your beef. As explained by the University of Minnesota Extension, vegetables take longer to cook than the beef in your pot roast recipe.


Step 4: Prep the Potatoes

Scrub your potatoes under water; pat dry. Cut away blemishes on the skins. Chop your potatoes into 2-inch chunks and add them to the slow cooker, distributing them around the meat in the same way you did with the carrots.

Step 5: Season Your Meat

Season your meat and vegetables with salt and pepper to taste. Place the bay leaves on top.

Step 6: Add Some Liquids

Pour the beef broth over the meat and vegetables. The meat will produce natural juices as it cooks, but if you prefer more juice, add more broth or other liquids.


Step 7: Cook on Low

Put the lid on your slow cooker and cook the beef on low for eight to 10 hours or until the vegetables are tender and the meat registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit — the minimum safe temperature for serving beef, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Safely save leftovers for a tasty second meal. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, food that is at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.


Consume leftovers within three to four days or freeze them at 0 F for longer storage time. Reheat to a minimum temperature of 165 F.

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

Things You'll Need

  • 2- to 3-pound cut of beef shoulder

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 1/2 cups baby carrots

  • 4 potatoes

  • Salt and pepper

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 cup beef broth




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