Dutch Oven Pot Roast

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There’s nothing more delicious and comforting than Dutch Oven Pot Roast with gravy. This easy one-pot meal features fork tender roast and creamy gravy that cooks low and slow in a cast iron dutch oven.

A big slice of juicy pot roast is classic comfort food the whole family will love! It’s especially good when served with garlic mashed potatoes and traditional southern sides.

fork piercing pot roast in a blue dutch oven.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • TENDER – the meat is so tender it falls apart with a fork!
  • FLAVORFUL – chuck roast is loaded with rich beefy flavor from the slow roasting process
  • ONE POT – you can sear the meat, cook and clean up all in one pot!
  • BUDGET FRIENDLY – chuck roast is one of the most economical cuts of meat
  • EASY DINNER – easy recipe to make for Sunday supper or weeknight dinners
  • VERSATILE – add baby carrots and red potatoes for a one pot meal
  • COMFORT FOOD – the best and most delicious comfort food ever!
pot roast with gravy over mashed potatoes with dutch oven in background.

What Cut of Meat is Best?

A rump roast is an excellent choice for this recipe. But, over the years, I’ve learned that a chuck roast has good marbling and can actually be just as tender if cooked low and slow for long periods of time.

Chuck roast is usually more economical than other cuts of beef. You can use sirloin tip but I’ve found that you don’t always get that pull-apart tender effect with sirloin. Brisket can be tough unless it’s cooked for many hours.

Slow Cooker vs Dutch Oven

For years I made roasts in a slow cooker (or crock pot) until I created this dutch oven pot roast recipe. A dutch oven with a tight fitting lid retains heat and cooks a piece of meat until it’s so tender it falls apart!

A slow cooker can do that too, but the texture inside is dry and stringy. The meat basically sits in water for hours until it dries out. Dutch ovens cook food faster and actually roast the meat which keeps it juicy and full of flavor.

When you spend a lot of money on a beef roast, you want to make sure it’s the juiciest pot roast ever! Invest in a large 6-quart pot from Lodge, Tramontina or Le Creuset (ad) and I promise you’ll taste the difference.

Ingredients

These simple ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. See recipe card for quantities.

  • steak seasoning – can use salt and black pepper as an alternative
  • boneless beef chuck roast – a budget friendly cut of beef
  • olive oil – to braise the meat
  • garlic cloves or minced garlic – choose how intense you want the flavor
  • onions – cut into wedges and place under beef
  • beef broth – provides liquid for braising with great flavor
  • cornstarch and water – thickens the gravy
  • half and half cream – adds richness to the sauce
  • red potatoes and carrots (optional) – use if you want to create a one pot meal

How to Make A Tender Pot Roast

This technique couldn’t be easier and produces great results every time!

1 – DRY RUB – sprinkle steak seasoning or salt and pepper over the chuck roast on both sides.

adding dry rub to roast.

2 – SEAR – add olive oil to dutch oven on the stove top. Bring to medium-high heat until oil is sizzling. Sear the side of the meat, then brown the other side. Flip over and sear all edges of beef. Take meat out of pot with kitchen tongs (ad) and place on a large plate.

chuck roast being seared in a dutch oven.

3 – BROWNED BITS – pour a little beef broth into the dutch oven and scrape up the browned bits with a spoon over low heat. Add garlic and onions that have been cut into wedges.

4 – BEEF BROTH – place the meat back in the dutch oven on top of the onions. Pour beef broth in the pot but don’t pour it over the meat or it will remove the seasoning.

beef stock being poured over chuck roast.

5 – BAKE – close lid and make sure it fits tightly. Bake beef at 325 degrees. After 2 hours, add 1 cup of water to the pot. After 3 hours, check to see if beef pulls apart by inserting a large fork into the meat and pulling. If it pulls apart easily it’s done. If not, bake 1 more hour. Adding veggies? Go to the next step.

6 – VEGETABLES – if adding diced red potatoes and carrots, place them beside the meat after it has cooked for 3 hours. Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper. Bake for 1 more hour until easily pierced with a fork.

How to Make Pot Roast Gravy

Pot roast gravy is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It’s not just any gravy…it’s creamy homemade gravy made from the cooking liquid and browned bits at the bottom of the pot.

1 – When the meat is done, remove it from the pot with tongs and place it in a large baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. If you added potatoes and carrots, remove them as well. Keep the onions and liquid in the dutch oven.

gravy being poured over roast in a dutch oven.

2 – Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth. Pour into the pot and turn the heat on the stovetop to medium. Stir until it thickens while adding 1 cup of water.

3 – Next, add half and half cream. Stir until gravy is the perfect consistency. Ladle over beef in baking dish. Serve with mashed potatoes or vegetables.

Recipe FAQS

What size dutch oven should I use?

You’ll need at least a 6-quart pot for a 3 to 4 pound roast. You can use a smaller pot and cut the roast into pieces, but a 6-quart vessel is the standard size.

Do I have to sear the meat?

It’s recommended to sear the meat to seal in the juices and create a flavorful crust. It gives the beef a richer flavor and makes the gravy even more delicious. The best part is you can sear the beef on top of the stove in the same pot used to bake it in the oven!

How much pot roast to serve per person?

The standard serving size is about 3 to 4 ounces of meat per person if there are side dishes being served. A 3-pound roast will serve 8 people, while 4 pounds will serve 10 to 12 depending on appetites.

What’s the best way to keep beef from drying out?

Using gravy, au jus or beef broth is the easiest way to keep beef moist and juicy. If you’re making it ahead, keep the roast in a baking dish with gravy or au jus poured on top. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm (around 170 degrees) until time to serve.

How can you tell when pot roast is done?

The beef will be done if you stick a fork in it and it pulls apart easily. If there’s no ‘give’ to the meat, put it back in the oven and cook it for a total of at least 4 hours.

How do you cut pot roast?

If you follow this recipe you shouldn’t need to cut the roast. It will absolutely fall apart when pulled with two forks. If you want to carve it, use a sharp knife and cut against the grain into thick slices.

mashed potatoes in a blue dish.

Freezing and Storage

This recipe freezes well if the beef is mixed with the gravy and placed in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months or refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days.

Leftover pot roast also makes delicious Vegetable Beef Soup! Just mix the leftovers with a can or two of diced tomatoes and add frozen vegetables, more beef stock, and salt and pepper to taste.

Expert Tips

  • Make sure to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. It’s easer to do this once you’ve added broth or water and turned up the heat.
  • Use cornstarch instead of flour to thicken the gravy. It creates a smoother sauce with less chance of lumps.
  • Add half and half instead of heavy cream to the gravy. Heavy cream will thicken it too much. Whole milk is can be substituted if cream is not available.
fork holding up a bite of pot roast.

Variations

Use herbs such as fresh rosemary, fresh thyme or bay leaf to add extra flavor if desired.

Add a cup of red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon) to the gravy and omit the cream. This creates a mouthwatering au jus which is a thinner sauce with no dairy added.

A few pot roast recipes call for Lipton onion soup mix mixed with water instead of beef broth. If you go this route, read the labels carefully because some brands contain MSG.

More Dutch Oven Recipes

Love one-pot recipes? Try these other dishes that are sure to please…

Recipe Card

pot roast with gravy in a dutch oven.

Dutch Oven Pot Roast With Gravy

Dutch Oven Pot Roast with gravy is an easy one pot meal featuring fork-tender chuck roast and gravy that cooks low and slow in a dutch oven.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dutch Oven, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 370kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons steak seasoning
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 onions cut into wedges
  • 32 ounces beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water
  • ½ cup half and half cream
  • red potatoes and carrots if desired

Instructions

POT ROAST

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Dry Rub – sprinkle steak seasoning or salt and pepper over the chuck roast on both sides. Rub it in well.
  • Sear – add olive oil to dutch oven on the stove top. Bring to medium-high heat until oil is sizzling. Sear the side of the meat, then brown the other side. Flip over and sear all edges of beef. Take meat out of pot with kitchen tongs and place on a large plate.
  • Browned Bits – pour a little beef broth into the dutch oven and scrape up the browned bits with a spoon over low heat. Add garlic and onions that have been cut into wedges.
  • Beef Broth – place the meat back in the dutch oven on top of the onions. Pour beef broth in the pot but don't pour it over the meat or it will remove the seasoning.
  • Bake– close lid and make sure it fits tightly. Bake beef at 325 degrees. After 2 hours, add 1 cup of water to the pot. After 3 hours, check to see if beef pulls apart by inserting a large fork into the meat and pulling. If it pulls apart easily it's done. If not, bake 1 more hour. Adding veggies? Go to the next step.
  • Vegetables– if adding diced red potatoes and carrots, place them beside the meat after it has cooked for 3 hours. Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper. Bake for 1 more hour until veggies are easily pierced with a fork.

CREAM GRAVY

  • Remove Meat – take roast out of pot with tongs and place it in a large baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. If you added potatoes and carrots, remove them as well. Keep the onions and liquid in the dutch oven.
  • Thicken Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth. Mix with the drippings in the pot and turn the heat on the stovetop to medium. Stir until it thickens. If it's too thick, add 1 cup of water and whisk until smooth.
  • Add Cream – Next, add 1 cup of half and half cream. Stir until gravy is the perfect consistency. If it's not thick enough, add more cornstarch mixed with a little water and turn up the heat. Stir until thickened.
  • Serve – Ladle hot gravy over beef in baking dish. Serve with mashed potatoes or vegetables.

Notes

  • This recipe freezes well if the beef is mixed with the gravy and placed in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months or refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days.
  • The standard serving size is about 3 to 4 ounces of meat per person if there are side dishes being served. A 3-pound roast will serve 8 people, while 4 pounds will serve 10 to 12 depending on appetites.
  • A good rule of thumb is to allow 1 hour per pound of meat. So a 3 pound roast should take 3 hours to cook at 325 degrees. If it’s not fork tender after 3 hours, cook it 1 hour more. 

Nutrition

Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 569mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 0.05g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for this great recipe. I love your notes and helpful tips on how to make a tender pot roast.

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