How much water should I put in a Crock Pot for pot roast?

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How Do You Use A Crockpot?

The instructions for using a crockpot are quite straightforward. You simply need to put the raw ingredients into a pot. You may or may not add liquid into the pot. Add wine, stock, or plain water to the ingredients.

When adding the liquid, keep in mind that it won’t cook-off, and add as much liquid as you need the final dish to have

If you are cooking meat, you can brown it before cooking it in a crockpot. This will provide a richer flavor and a more appetizing appearance. 

As there is also a Warm setting on the crockpot, you can also use it to keep your food warm during parties and large family gatherings

Once all the ingredients are inside, you choose your preferred setting – High or Low, set the cooking time, and wait for your delicious meal to be ready. 


Several Rules For Cooking In Crock Pot

To pick the right size crock, you need to be aware of the rules of cooking in a crock-pot.

First of all, know your cooking time. The shortest cooking time in the slow cooker is for sauces – around 1-2 hours on a high-temperature setting. The longest, 7+ hours is for large meat chunks, pork shoulders, and roasts, and best when cooked on a low setting.

Soups, stews, and everything else slow cooker-friendly need between two and seven hours to cook.

Here are a few rules to remember:

  • When using water or other liquids, (except rice), use half the amount required in the recipe, because a slow cooker keeps moisture. Liquids won’t evaporate as they would in a standard pot.
  • Whatever size of a crock pot you have, never fill it to its full capacity. Fill it up to 3/4 and cook according to the recipe.
  • Cooking rice is different in the slow cooker and requires using more water than for any other food. It is also different from the diverse rice cooking procedures of the rice cooker and instant pot.
  • Fresh ingredients vegetables require more time to cook than canned and frozen. I noticed it needs about four hours to perfectly cook frozen lasagna but four and a half when I prepare it fresh.
  • When cooking ground beef, remove grease first by browning and draining meat.
  • Pasta and some tender vegetables go in the slow cooker in the last hour.
  • Seafood should be added in the last half an hour of cooking.
  • Dairy products are added last in the slow cooker, just before serving.


Most crock pots have three settings, Low, High, and Warm. You can cook your pork loin on either LOW or HIGH, but the amount of time will differ based on which setting you choose.

If you choose to cook on LOW, it will take about 6 to 8 hours depending on exactly how large the loin is. If you choose to cook on HIGH, it will take from 4 to 5 hours.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Video

Another mistake was using onion powder and garlic powder in place of the real thing. Those have their place but not here. The fresh onion and garlic and so much flavor.

And have you ever tried crock pot roast with fresh herbs? It’s so much better than dried so it’s worth the splurge. You can often even find them bundled together in a blended package.

Then last but not least the vegetables. I was always adding potatoes in cubes and using Russet potatoes. How does that turn out in the end? Potato soup! Instead use a waxier a potato (Yukons) and keep the potatoes whole. Then cut them up at the end if you’d like, or just serve them whole no one will care.

Everyone will be too busy savoring each bite to care about the potato size details. This is the ultimate pot roast recipe! Simple ingredients yet layers of rich, satisfying flavor.

3. And an Onion and Any Other Aromatics You Like

Quarter an onion and stick that in there with the pork to help flavor the cooking liquid. You can also add other aromatics: a crushed garlic clove or two, a few bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, some dried chiles, etc., depending on the flavor profile you're going for.

Why yes, that’s a can of good old-fashioned cola I’m pouring in to the slow cooker.

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Anna Stockwell

Tips to Help You Buy the Right Size Crock Pot

Now that we’ve given you some guidelines related to how many people, in general, you want to cook for, that is not the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing the right crock pot for you.

What you want to cook is equally as important as how many people you are cooking for. Though the smaller crock pots are ideal for smaller food portions, you might want to do the occasional beef or pork ribs or a big roast.

In such instances, you will definitely need a bigger crock pot. Smaller crock pots only come in a round shape which makes it harder for them to accommodate the aforementioned foods.

Some recipes also require a pot in pot method and these can only be done in larger and oval pots. A pot in pot method is when you place a casserole dish, baking pan, small rack, or other utensils inside the crock pot and slow cook it that way.

If you want to try out these recipes, you definitely need a bigger crockpot. Some larger pots also come with additional accessories like metal cooking inserts which can be used on a stovetop for browning and to sauté.


The older crock pot models that we grew up on were stove units that you needed to monitor. The current crock pot models come equipped with timers that switch it off once the cooking is finished.

You can simply load you’re your ingredients, set the timer then head off to bed or work while your crock pot cooks your meal.

Some models also come with a keep-warm function which keeps your food warm once it’s cooked until you are ready to eat.

It’s worth mentioning that the popular multicooker Instant Pot is also capable of acting as a crockpot with the added advantage of having a host of other functions as well.

Does Meat Need to Be Submerged in a Slow Cooker?

Yes and no. It all depends on how you want your end product.

If you want your meat to break apart easily, don’t dry cook it in the Crock-Pot. You will have to submerge your meat in liquid if you want it to be extra tender.

Leaner meats also need to be submerged in a liquid when prepared in a slow cooker. When cooked dry, they become tough and stringy, which defeats the tenderizing intent of simmering meat in a Crock-Pot.

If you are using a dry meat recipe, dry cooking works perfectly. The only liquid you’ll need is that which creates the steam. Dry cooking fatty pieces give them a great flavor while keeping them moist.

You should also follow a few other rules when cooking meat in a Crock-Pot:

  • If you want to make sure your meat is brown, sear it before placing it into the Crock-Pot. Chicken is an exception to the rule and can be put to cook in a Crock-Pot directly.
  • Skin chicken before placing it in a slow cooker. If left on, chicken skin comes out with a viscous texture instead of with the preferred crunchiness.
  • Marinate your meat overnight if you intend to dry cook it, as this will allow for the absorption of the seasonings and heighten the level of liquid for the steam.

“Use less liquid.” 14 ways to make the most of your slow-cooker this season:

— Chatelaine (@Chatelaine) October 24, 2016

What is the Largest Crock Pot Size?

The largest crockpots have been grown over the past few years, with the biggest ones being up to 10 qt. There are a number of reasons for this large size. First, the larger crockpots allow for a greater amount of food to be cooked, along with a longer cooking time compared to smaller ones that have less capacity. Additionally, there have been cases where a family has purchased a new 10 qt.

7. Turn That Cooking Liquid Into a Sauce

While the pork is cooling down enough that you can handle it, pour all the liquid that's left in the slow cooker (you'll be surprised by how much liquid is in there!) through a strainer and into a a fat separator, if you have one, or a large measuring cup. Pour off or skim off the fat, then transfer the liquid to a large skillet or wide pot and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half at least and is starting to thicken, then have a taste (careful, it's hot!). To even out that rich, earthy porky sauce, add some of the same ingredients you started with to brighten it up: try a squirt of ketchup or some store-bought barbecue sauce or perhaps some citrus juice or a bit more hot sauce. Then whisk and taste again and keep tinkering until the sauce is exactly how you want it—after all, you're in charge here, not me.

What if I use too much liquid in crock pots?

Well, this question is very common amongst people using slow cookers.

And the answer to this question is simple as it looks. If you used too much liquid in your slow cooker, you might get overcooked or will have a bland taste.

And if the food you are preparing requires a limited amount of water, here are a few ways which you can take to prevent the dryness without the addition of too much liquid.

  1. Start with defrosting your food. Frozen food has extra liquid if it is not properly and tightly sealed at the time of storage. And as a result, the extra liquid will end up increasing the intended amount which was actually required while cooking.
  2. Before placing them in crock pots, make sure that the frozen food has been thawed well.
  3. For high-fluid vegetables and meats, dip them in flour first and then place them in slow cookers. This will generally reduce the number of liquids they release.
  4. Try adding a thickener. As the thickness of the liquid will redeem the lost taste.
  5. If in case the extra liquid has made your food go tasteless, you can add some seasoning to your food to enhance and boost the taste.

Oven Vs Crockpot Cooking Time

If you are wondering how long it will take you to cook an oven dish in a crockpot, here’s a chart that clearly shows the difference between the cooking times of an oven and a slow cooker. 

While the oven works faster, a crockpot provides the most tender results. Moreover, you can load it with ingredients and go about your day until it’s dinner time. You certainly can’t do it with an oven. 

OvenCrockpot On Low SettingCrockpot On High Setting
15 to 30 minutes4 to 6 hours 1.5 to 2.5 hours 
35 to 45 minutes 6 to 8 hours 3 to 4 hours 
50 minutes to 2.5 hours 8 to 10 hours 4 to 6 hours 
3 hours and more 10 to 12 hours 6 to 8 hours 

Converting A Crockpot Recipe To Oven

Cooking in a crockpot is easy but you don’t always have so much time. Sometimes you need your dinner ready within an hour or two instead of waiting for it to cook for multiple hours in a slow cooker.

Or perhaps you don’t have a slow cooker at all. 

Whenever you want to recreate a crockpot recipe but using the oven, use the braising method. Cook the meat and vegetables in a covered pot with liquid to create steam. We recommend having your oven at 325°F

Here’s how to convert common dishes from a crockpot to an oven. 

  • Chicken breasts that typically take 2 hours to cook in a slow cooker should be braised in the oven for 90 minutes for similar results. 
  • Cubed pork and beef may take the same amount of time to cook in the oven as they would in a crockpot. If you need to cook them faster, use another cooking method. 
  • When it comes to large cuts of meat, there isn’t much difference between the cooking times of a crockpot and the oven if you are using the braising method to achieve similar results. So, if a recipe tells you to cook a pork butt for 4 hours in a crockpot, cook it for 4 hours in the oven. 

For crockpot recipes that use vegetables and ingredients other than meat, follow the chart above.

Cook in the oven for around 30 minutes if the recipe suggests cooking 1.5 hours on High in a crockpot, 45 minutes for 8 hours on Low in a crockpot, and so on. Set your oven to 350°F

How Does Crock Pot Works?

A crock-pot has two temperature settings on the base – low and high.

It means that you aren’t cooking at specific temperatures, for example, as you do in the oven. The slow cooker gives away low or high heat and maintains the heat level for longer, enough to cook the food in the vessel evenly.

Because it cooks at not specific temperatures, the slow cooker is good for retaining moisture, and the food cooked in it is juicy and full of flavors.

Generally, if you choose a low cooking temperature, it will take twice as much time as it would if you have chosen high. The low setting is somewhere around 170 degrees Fahrenheit, while high setting is about 280 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, you can check your crock pot model for more information regarding temperature settings, whether crock pot is compatible with foil, how you should use and clean this kitchen appliance, etc. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally break your crock pot.

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