Learn how to cook ultra tender steaks with this simple recipe for Steak in the Slow Cooker or Crockpot. With just 7 ingredients and very little effort, you can make a rich, fall apart tender slow cooker steaks with onions and au jus any day of the week!
Continue to read on and make your next weeknight dinner extraordinary! If you don’t have a crock pot, try this recipe for slow cooking steaks in the oven instead.
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About these slow cooker steaks
If you’re a steak lover like me, you know there’s nothing quite like a juicy, tender cut of meat that melts in your mouth. But, what’s the best way to cook a tender steak? Some swear by firing up the grill. Others insist that searing and oven-baking is the way to go. Some are certain the only way to make it is by using the reverse-sear method, while others folks say the grill or a sous vide is the ticket.
What I’m about to tell you flies in the face of all the traditional steak cooking advice you’ve ever heard. Using your trusty slow cooker, you can have delicious, fall-apart-tender steak any time of the year without breaking a sweat. That’s right, pals! Steak in a SLOW COOKER!
Why you’ll love this steak recipe
Aside from being the most hands-off method I’ve ever encountered for cooking up a hunk of delicious beef, this steak in the slow cooker recipe is also:
- Quick & Effortless – This easy slow cooker steak is super simple to make — just toss in your favorite seasonings and let it cook low and slow while you go about your day. It takes just 10 minutes of prep! By the time your day is done, you’ll be greeted with fork-tender, fall-apart steak and a delightful au jus that rivals any restaurant around. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
- Made With Only 7 Ingredients – Chances are, you already have more than half of them on hand.
- Comforting & Hearty – What’s better than meat and potatoes with a lick-the-plate yummy gravy? This right here is the Midwestern dictionary definition of comfort food.
So, what are you waiting for? Get that crockpot out and start cooking up some mouthwatering steak!
Ingredients for steaks slow cooker
As promised, you only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe for steak in a slow cooker. Here’s what to grab:
- Steak – My family loves ribeyes, NY strips, and top sirloin steak best. Feel free to pick your favorite.
- Yellow Onion – For allium sweetness and some textural interest for the jus.
- Substitutions: You can also use red or white onions or shallots if needed.
- Low-Sodium Beef Broth – For making a rich jus. Using low-sodium beef broth (or beef stock) means you’re less likely to overdo it on the seasoning.
- Substitutions: Low-sodium vegetable, mushroom, or even chicken broth can also be swapped in.
- Worcestershire Sauce – For a hit of umami flavor and some saltiness.
- Substitutions: Miso paste, Maggi Seasoning, soy sauce, tamari, or fish sauce can also be used.
- French Onion Soup Mix – For a deeply seasoned pan-gravy.
- Substitutions: Feel free to swap in a tablespoon of your favorite steak seasoning for each pound of meat.
- Minced Garlic – Fresh is best, but I won’t tell if you decide to use minced jarred garlic or garlic paste to save some time.
- Butter – For richness and a velvety texture for the jus.
- Fresh Thyme – Optional, but deliciously herbal. Plus, I love using it to garnish fall apart steaks.
- Substitution: Feel free to swap in about 1 teaspoon of dried thyme instead.
Optional variations & dietary adaptations
As much as I love this steak in the slow cooker recipe just the way it’s written, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make it your own. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- From Scratch – Omit the French onion soup mix packet and replace it with a homemade mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, and dried herbs.
- Gluten-Free – Use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and French onion soup mix.
- Dairy-Free – Swap in vegan butter to keep the lac-tards happy.
- Spicy – Add some red pepper flakes and/or diced jalapenos to the steak in the slow cooker for a pop of heat.
- Get Veggie With It – Feel free to bulk up your meal with extra veggies by tossing in some sliced bell peppers or mushrooms.
How to cook tender steaks in a slow cooker
Wondering how to cook a tender steak? Look no further than the slow cooker or crockpot!
- Prepare the slow cooker: For easy clean up, line your crock pot with a slow cooker bag or liner; alternatively, lightly spray the bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
- Season steaks: Place the steaks on a clean work surface and pat dry with paper towels. Next, season the steaks generously on both sides with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Add ingredients to crockpot: Scatter the sliced onions all over the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, pour in the broth and Worcestershire sauce. Then, place the seasoned steaks on top of the sliced onions. And sprinkle the top of the steaks with the French onion soup mix and minced garlic. Finally, lay the pats of butter, along with the fresh thyme sprigs if using, on top of the steaks.
- Slow Cook Steak: Cover the slow cooker and cook the meat on low for 5½ to 7½ hours, or until the steaks are cooked to your liking.
- Rest: Transfer the steaks and onions from the slow cooker to a platter or clean work surface and lightly tent with foil. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy: Serve the slow cooker steaks with your favorite steakhouse side dish, such as warm dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, French fries and/or creamed spinach. Enjoy!
Expert tips for slow cooker steak
- Brown the steak before adding it to the slow cooker. While this is an optional step, it will help to lock in the juices and give it a nice crust. If you’re in a rush, even just browning one side of the meat will add lots of flavor!
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the steak is cooked to your desired level of doneness. For this recipe, I’m going for a well-done, fall-off-the-bone texture, but you’re welcome to pull it as soon as you’re happy!
- Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing it. This will help the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and keep it moist and tender.
- If you’re short on time, you can cook the steak on high for 3-4 hours instead of on low for 6-8 hours. However, your steaks will not be as tender!
- If you prefer a steak sauce to an au jus, make a slurry of cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch and water and add it to the slow cooker. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until visibly thickened.
- If you’re using a tough cut of steak, such as flank steak, you can add some acidic ingredients like red wine or vinegar to the crockpot. This will help to break down the fibers and make the meat more tender.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. If you like your food spicy, add more red pepper flakes or jalapenos. If you prefer a milder flavor, use less garlic or thyme.
FAQs: steak in the slow cooker
What are the best cuts of steak for slow cooking?
The best cuts of steak for slow cooking are typically those with a lot of connective tissue and marbling. These cuts tend to be tougher and benefit from long, slow cooking methods that help to break down the fibers and make the meat more tender. Here are a few examples of great cuts of steak for tender slow cooking:
- Chuck steak: This cut comes from the shoulder area of the cow and is known for its rich, beefy flavor.
- Brisket: If you’re wondering how to cook a tender brisket steak, I recommend the slow cooking method. This cut comes from the breast area of the cow and is often used to make barbecue brisket. It has a lot of fat and collagen, which makes it perfect for low and slow-cooking.
- Short ribs: This cut comes from the rib area of the cow and is known for its rich, meaty flavor. Feel free to use either boneless or bone-in varieties.
- Sirloin tip: This cut comes from the hindquarters of the cow and is leaner than some of the other cuts on this list. However, it still has enough connective tissue to benefit from slow cooking.
- Flank steak: This cut comes from the abdominal area of the cow and is known for its rich, beefy flavor. It can be a bit tough if cooked quickly, but slow cooking can help to make it tender and delicious.
That said you can absolutely make slow cooker rib-eye steaks or strip steak in a slow cooker, too! No matter which cut of steak you choose, be sure to season it well and cook it low and slow to get the best possible flavor and texture.
Can you overcook steak in a slow cooker?
Yes, it is possible to overcook steaks in a slow cooker. While tough cuts of meat will become tender if cooked for long enough, if they are left in the slow cooker for too long, they can become dry and stringy. Overcooking can also cause the flavors to become dull and muted.
To avoid overcooking the steak, it’s important to follow the recipe closely and check the meat periodically to make sure it doesn’t become overcooked. The cooking time will depend on the specific recipe and the size and thickness of the meat, so it’s important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak as it cooks.
As a general rule, most slow cooker steak recipes will take anywhere from 4-8 hours on low heat, depending on the cut of meat and the recipe. But be sure to check the recipe and the meat temperature periodically to ensure that it’s not overcooked.
While it is possible to overcook steak in your crockpot, this recipe is braising the steak rather than dry-cooking it. Since there is plenty of moisture from the beef broth, even cooking steak to a well-done temp of 165-F will result in a juicy (albeit fall-apart) tender steak.
Serving slow cooker recipe with steak
This baked steak in a crock pot is a winner for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy family dinner or a special gathering with friends. I have a feeling you and your guests won’t be able to get enough of it.
This crockpot steak is a flavor-packed party in every bite. The beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and infused with savory and aromatic seasonings like thyme and garlic. The French onion soup mix gives it extra oomph, while the Worcestershire sauce adds a subtle tanginess.
The buttery sauce is rich, velvety, and perfect for drizzling over the steak or sopping up with a piece of crusty bread. Every forkful is a symphony of flavors that will make your taste buds sing with joy. It’s hearty, comforting, and downright delicious — even all on its own!
Six pairing ideas for steaks slow cooker
In terms of what to pair with it, consider:
- Fruits – Make it a light, healthy, and speedy meal by macerating fresh fruits to create a refreshing fruit salad.
- Salads – Keep dinner on the light side by pairing your tender steak with your favorite salad. I personally love my Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, Italian Chopped Salad Recipe, White Cannellini Bean Salad, Grilled Peach Salad With Burrata recipes.
- Potatoes – Meat and potatoes are to dinner what PB&J is to lunch. Try my baked potato skins, mashed sweet potatoes, rustic mashed potatoes, potato frittata, mini roasted potatoes with garlic recipes for a delightful addition to your plate.
- Carbs – If the potato isn’t your jam, serve your slow cooker steak with rice or egg noodles.
- Veggies – If you’re someone who doesn’t consider potatoes a vegetable, feel free to add some color to your plate. I suggest trying my list some Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Corn Succotash, Corn on Grill, Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus recipes for a well-balanced meal.
- Crusty Bread – Or, better yet, try making a batch of garlic butter and dinner rolls for sopping up every last drop of the delicious onion jus!
- Drinks – Don’t forget to quench your thirst! Try a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, a hoppy IPA or a rich porter for beer lovers, a classic whiskey cocktail like a Pink Vodka Lemonade or Old Fashioned, or a refreshing mocktail like sparkling water with a twist of lime.
- To store leftover slow cooker steak, let it cool to room temperature first. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- If you want to freeze the leftovers for longer storage, you can also wrap the steak tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. The steak can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
- When reheating the leftovers, you can reheat the steak in the microwave or on the stovetop until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). You may also want to add a little extra liquid, like broth or water, to help rehydrate the meat and prevent it from drying out.
- Enjoy your leftover slow cooker steak in sandwiches, salads, or even as a topping for pizza or nachos!
Alright, friends! If you’ve been wondering how to cook a tender steak, try the slow cooker! These slow cooker steaks may take a while to cook, but it’s a totally hands-off process. Besides, they’re totally worth the wait.
So, let’s raise a glass (of red wine, perhaps?) to slow cooking and savoring every bite. Until next time, remember: you’re a steak-ing genius!
More delicious steak recipes!
- Chinese Pepper Steak with Onions
- Steak Stir Fry with Zucchini
- Fajita Marinade Skirt Steak
- Easy Chimichurri Sauce (for flank or skirt steak)
- Thai Steak Noodle Salad
How to cook a tender steak at home 👇
Steaks in a Slow Cooker
- 1 Slow Cooker or Crock Pot (for slow cooking steak)
- 2-3 Pounds Steaks (NY Strip, Top Sirloin, Ribeye)
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- 1 medium Yellow Onion – thinly sliced
- 1 ¾ Cups Low-Sodium Beef Broth
- 2-3 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 TBS French Onion Soup Mix (substitute: your favorite steak seasoning)
- 1 TBS Minced Garlic
- 2 TBS Butter – sliced
- 6-8 sprigs Fresh Thyme - Optional
- Gather Ingredients and Prepare Slow Cooker: Gather and prep all the ingredients. For easy clean up, line your crock pot with a slow cooker bag or liner; alternatively, lightly spray the bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
- Season Steaks: Place the steaks on a clean work surface and pat dry with paper towels. Then, season the steaks generously on both sides with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Layer Ingredients in the Slow Cooker: Scatter the sliced onions all over the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, pour in the broth and Worcestershire sauce. Then, place the seasoned steaks on top of the sliced onions. And sprinkle the top of the steaks with the French onion soup mix and minced garlic. Finally, lay the pats of butter, along with the fresh thyme sprigs if using, on top of the steaks.
- Slow Cook Steaks: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5½ - 7½ hours, or until the steak is cooked to your liking. (See Notes)
- Rest: Transfer the steak and onions from the slow cooker to a platter or clean work surface and lightly tent with foil. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy: Serve slow cooked steaks with your favorite steakhouse side dish, such as warm dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, French fries and/or creamed spinach. Enjoy!
- The length of time the steaks take to slow cook will depend upon the strength of your slow cooker and the thickness of your steaks, as well as how fall-apart-tender you prefer your steaks.
- How much meat do I need? Wondering how much meat you need per person? Rule of thumb: For boneless steaks
- 1/2 pound per person for adults
- 1/4 pound per person for children
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