How To Make Cross Rib Roast in a Slow Cooker

Inspired by an intriguing episode of Barefoot Contessa, I embarked on a culinary adventure to recreate and add my twist to the cross rib roast slow-cooked to perfection. Channeling my inner Ina Garten, I took up the challenge to bring this rich, flavorful beef cut to my dinner table using the handy and versatile slow cooker.

To make a cross rib roast in a slow cooker, prepare a dry rub with seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Apply this to a 3-4 lb roast, then sear it in a hot skillet for a flavorful crust. Transfer the seared roast to a slow cooker, add a cup of beef broth, and cook on low for about 8 hours. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F for safe eating. Let it rest before serving to reabsorb juices.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the secrets behind preparing a succulent cross rib roast in a slow cooker. We aim to provide not just a recipe but a journey that will end with a deliciously tender roast on your dinner plate, ready to impress your family and friends. Expect insights on beef cuts, cooking times, seasoning choices, and expert tips, serving as your roadmap to a successful culinary experience. This isn’t merely an exercise in cooking; it’s an invitation to create culinary magic right in your kitchen.

Cross Rib Roast in a Slow Cooker

What is Cross Rib Roast?

A cross rib roast, often referred to as a shoulder roast, is a meat cut that comes from the shoulder section of a cow. Known for its robust flavor and layered texture, this cut is one that promises a hearty meal.

The Uniqueness of Cross Rib Roast

What sets the cross rib roast apart from other beef cuts is its perfect balance of lean meat, connective tissue, and marbling fat. This combination ensures that with slow, controlled cooking, the roast becomes exceptionally tender and rich in flavor. The connective tissues break down to create a natural, savory gravy that enhances the dish’s overall taste. Moreover, due to its positioning in the shoulder, the roast enjoys a robust flavor profile that’s deeper than many other cuts, making the cross rib roast a unique choice for those who enjoy exploring the diverse world of beef.

What is the Difference Between Cross Rib Roast and Prime Rib?

Cross rib roast and prime rib are both popular cuts of beef, each with their own unique characteristics and flavors. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right cut for your next culinary venture.

The cross rib roast, as mentioned earlier, comes from the shoulder section of the cow. It’s a leaner cut of beef, characterized by its layers of lean meat and connective tissue. This cut is ideal for slow cooking methods, such as using a slow cooker, to break down its tougher fibers and yield a tender, flavorful result.

On the other hand, prime rib, also known as a standing rib roast, is cut from the rib section of the cow. It’s considered a more premium cut due to its generous marbling and tenderness. The prime rib is typically cooked at a high temperature for a short time to preserve its natural juiciness and tenderness.

cross rib vs prime rib

Here’s a comparison chart to provide a clear distinction:

Cross Rib RoastPrime Rib
OriginShoulder SectionRib Section
Ideal Cooking MethodSlow CookingHigh-Temperature Roasting
Flavor ProfileRobust, Deep FlavorRich, Juicy
CostMore EconomicalMore Expensive
TendernessBecomes tender with slow cookingNaturally tender

Each cut offers its own unique taste and texture, and your choice between the two should be based on your desired outcome, cooking method, and budget.

Gathering Your Ingredients

Roll up your sleeves and put on your chef’s hat; it’s time to assemble the troops for our culinary conquest. And by troops, I mean the essential ingredients for your cross rib roast. This is not just about grabbing a piece of meat and some random spices; it’s about selecting a quality cross rib cut and the perfect seasonings to elevate its flavor.

Choosing a quality beef cut is like choosing a partner for a dance-off – you need the one with the right moves. Look for a cross rib roast that’s deep red in color, with a fair amount of marbling for that melt-in-your-mouth experience.

As for seasonings, don’t be shy; this is your chance to showcase your flair. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder are the faithful four. For the herbs, thyme, rosemary, or sage could bring that touch of earthiness to the table. Feel free to experiment and let your palate guide you.

Preparing Your Cross Rib Roast

Now that you have gathered your star-studded cast, let’s move on to preparing the main lead – the cross rib roast. Start by cleaning your roast under cold water and patting it dry. This will ensure a perfect surface for our tantalizing roast rub.

Creating a roast rub is like mixing a magic potion, each ingredient contributing to the enchanting flavor profile. Combine your chosen spices and herbs in a bowl. This will be your dry rub, so make sure it’s well mixed. Rub this all over your roast, giving it a good massage. It’s not just about coating the meat; it’s about infusing it with flavor. Let it sit and marinate for a few hours, allowing the seasonings to work their magic.

Congratulations, you’ve just taken the first exciting steps towards a flavorful cross rib roast, slow-cooked to perfection!

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Cross Rib Roast in a Slow Cooker

Savor the deep, robust flavors of this slow-cooked cross rib roast. With a tantalizing dry rub and the slow cooking magic, this roast transforms into a tender, succulent dish that will impress at any dinner table.

  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale
  • 34 lb Cross Rib Roast
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Thyme or Rosemary
  • 1 cup Beef Broth

Equipment Needed

To prepare and cook a cross rib roast in a slow cooker, you’ll need the following equipment:

  1. Cutting Board: A sturdy cutting board is essential for preparing your roast and herbs.

  2. Sharp Knife: This will be used for any trimming needed on the roast and chopping the herbs.

  3. Mixing Bowl: To combine your spices and herbs to create the dry rub.

  4. Skillet: You’ll need a skillet to sear your roast before transferring it to the slow cooker.

  5. Slow Cooker: The main equipment for this recipe. It should be large enough to accommodate the size of your roast.

  6. Meat Thermometer: This is crucial to ensure your roast is cooked to the safe internal temperature of 145°F.

  7. Tongs: For turning and serving the roast.

  8. Serving Platter: A large enough platter to present your beautifully slow-cooked cross rib roast.


  1. Gather your ingredients and prepare the dry rub by mixing salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and your chosen herbs.
  2. Apply the dry rub generously over the roast.
  3. Sear the roast in a hot skillet until all sides have a rich, caramelized crust.
  4. Transfer the roast to your slow cooker, pour in the beef broth, and set the cooker to low.
  5. Let it cook for approximately 8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  6. Allow the roast to rest before serving, letting it reabsorb the juices.


Feel free to experiment with the dry rub, adding spices that suit your personal taste. Always let the roast rest before serving for maximum juiciness.

  • Author: Jay Whyms
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cross Rib Roast, Slow Cooker Recipe, Easy Cross Rib Roast, Tender Beef Roast

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Expert Insights on Slow Cooking Cross Rib Roast

When it comes to slow cooking a cross rib roast, some professional chefs have shared their pearls of wisdom. Many praise the technique for its ability to tenderize the meat and deeply infuse it with flavor. As Chef Gordon Ramsay puts it, “The transformation of a tough cut of meat into a melt-in-your-mouth delight is the magic of slow cooking.”

However, every magic trick requires careful execution to avoid common pitfalls. Overcooking is one mistake to steer clear from. While slow cooking is a forgiving method, going beyond the recommended time can result in a dry and tough roast. Also, not searing the meat before slow cooking is a missed opportunity. That caramelized crust enhances the flavor significantly, as celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver often emphasizes in his shows.

Another common mistake is neglecting the resting phase post-cooking. Letting the roast sit for a while allows the juices to redistribute, making each bite juicier and more flavorful.

Lastly, let’s have a look at how slow cooking stands against traditional cooking methods for a cross rib roast:

Slow CookerTraditional Cooking
Cooking TimeLonger (Approx. 8 hrs)Shorter (Approx. 3-4 hrs)
Flavor InfusionDeepSurface Level
Attention RequiredMinimalMore Frequent Monitoring
Skill LevelBeginner-FriendlyRequires Some Experience

While both methods have their pros and cons, slow cooking tends to be more beginner-friendly and forgiving, making it an excellent choice for those new to cooking cross rib roast.

Leftover Cross Rib Roast: A Treat for Future Meals

Did you know that leftover cross rib roast can turn into a star ingredient for your next meal? Indeed, if you find yourself with leftovers, rejoice! These morsels of tender, flavorful beef can be repurposed in countless delicious ways.

Cross Rib Roast in a Slow Cooker
  1. Roast Beef Sandwich: Thinly slice your leftover roast and layer it between crusty bread with your favorite cheese, condiments, and fresh veggies for a satisfying lunch.
  2. Beef Tacos: Shred the beef, warm it in a pan with a splash of beef broth and your favorite taco seasonings. Stuff it in a soft taco shell with fresh veggies and a dollop of sour cream.
  3. Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry: Dice your beef and toss it in a pan with your choice of mixed vegetables. Add some soy sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a quick, nutritious dinner.
  4. Beef and Noodle Soup: Cut the beef into cubes and simmer it in a pot of beef broth with noodles and veggies. You’ll have a comforting soup that’s perfect for chilly days.
  5. Beef Fried Rice: Stir fry the diced beef with cooked rice, veggies, and a splash of soy sauce for a quick and hearty meal.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. With leftover cross rib roast, the culinary possibilities are only limited by your imagination! Remember, to maintain the best quality, refrigerate your leftover roast in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap within two hours of cooking.

5 Best Slow Cookers For Cross Rib

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Concluding Thoughts on Slow-Cooked Cross Rib Roast

After our deep dive into the world of slow-cooked cross rib roast, I hope you’re as excited as I am about this culinary journey. The process of slow cooking, from the preparation of the ingredients to the anticipation as the tantalizing aromas waft through your kitchen, is a testament to the simple joys of home cooking.

Slow-cooked meals have a way of conjuring up feelings of comfort, warmth, and home. There’s something quite magical about transforming a tough piece of meat into a tender, juicy, flavor-packed masterpiece using nothing but time and patience.

But what I find even more gratifying is the versatility of the slow-cooked cross rib roast. From being the centerpiece of a sumptuous feast to finding new life in various delightful dishes, this humble cut of beef truly offers so much.

So, whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting out, I encourage you to embark on your own slow-cooking adventure. Experiment with different herbs and spices, try various cooking techniques, and most importantly, have fun. Remember, in the world of cooking, even mistakes are delicious!

Embrace the art of slow. Savor the flavors of patience. Here’s to the delightfully long, savory simmer of a slow-cooked cross rib roast, and the mouthwatering adventures it brings to your table.


Hey there, I'm Jay Whyms – web developer by day, food maestro by night, and full-time family man!

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