Have a cheap steak that you need to cook or just don’t want to fire up the grill to make it? This Slow Cooker Steak recipe is the perfect solution! You can make a delicious steak with very little effort but produce a tasty result.
How Do I Make a Steak in the Slow Cooker
There are many different ways to cook a steak, but a steak cooked in a slow cooker is one of the best ways. You can use a frozen or a fresh steak to make a steak in your slow cooker. You’ll simply need to put it in your slow cooker with a little bit of water and cook at a low temp until it’s nice and tender.
Making a steak in the slow cooker is a great way to use less expensive (more tough) cuts of meat and still get a delicious and tender steak. Adding in a few flavoring extras like seasonings or caramelized onions will really help bring out the flavor in your steak as well.
Keep scrolling down to see exactly how we make steaks in our crockpot!
Making a Slow Cooker Steak
We don’t enjoy steaks very often, but since we buy our meat in bulk we usually tend to have some in the freezer most of the time and it’s fun to pull one out here and there for a Sunday treat.
We’ve yet to buy a grill though at our little homestead so my only option for cooking would be in the oven or on the stove top. I’ve never had much luck with fully cooking a steak on the stove top and I know those of you with no air conditioning can relate…but I’d do just about anything to not heat up my oven during these hot days!
Our solution to this problem is simple and we just love it! Not only do we get a soft and tender steak no matter what cut we use, but it’s also full of flavor and I don’t have to worry about getting it too well done or heating up the house while I’m making it. How? We are now connoisseurs of the slow cooker steak!
This is really so easy to make I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it before. I love to cook just about anything in the slow cooker! Here’s all you need to do to make the perfect slow cooker steak. And don’t forget about this recipe for Steak Sauce to go with it!
Instructions for Making Steak in the Slow Cooker
Since I originally wrote this blog post, I no longer have a crock pot, but I do have an Instant Pot with a Slow Cooker Lid. It’s wonderful to have one appliance that can do multiple things!
You can use any cut of steak, just remember the thicker the steak the longer you will need to cook it. Most of the steaks in our freezer are less than an inch thick. I’ve used both thawed and frozen. Frozen will need to cook a little longer of course. Start by putting the steak in the slow cooker.
Add in water until it covers the steak halfway up the sides.
Add in your favorite spices. To please our whole family I usually just add a bit of minced onion and minced garlic. You could also use the Roast Seasoning recipe found in my book, Little House Living.
Cook in the slow cooker for 6 hours on high for a frozen, thick steak. A thawed steak should be finished at about 4 hours if cooked on high. You can always cook it on low if you need to put it in earlier in the day. If you are using a much thinner cut of steak, you may need to cook it for less time.
That’s all you have to do! It only takes about 5 minutes to put together and once it’s cooked you have an amazing tender steak with great texture. It’s not quite like a roast but much more tender than your average steak.
Want to make this recipe often? Print out the Crock Pot Steak Recipe below to add it to your Recipe Binder!
Slow Cooker Steak
- 2 lbs Steaks
- 2 tablespoons Minced Onion
- 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Salt
You can use any cut of steak, just remember the thicker the steak the longer you will need to cook it. Frozen will need to cook a little longer of course. Start by putting the steak in the slow cooker.
Add in water to your slow cooker until it covers the steak halfway up the sides.
Add in your favorite spices. We add minced garlic, minced onion, and some salt.
Cook in the slow cooker for 6 hours on high for a frozen steak. A thawed steak should be finished at about 4 hours if cooked on high. You can always cook it on low if you need to put it in earlier in the day.
Bonus Flavor Additions for Steak
If you really want to make the flavor of this steak stand out, here are some things you can try.
- Cook the steak in beef broth instead of water.
- Add onion soup mix for your flavoring. (I have a recipe in my book!)
- If you use beef broth for the liquid, add a bit of cornstarch to make a gravy to top your steak when it’s done cooking.
- Add some mushrooms into your onions when they are almost done caramelizing.
- Add in some chopped bell peppers to the onions when they are almost done cooking.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container with a lid in the fridge.
Now to really make your slow cooker steak extra amazing you have to make some delicious caramelized onions to top it with! Here’s how I make them:
How to Make Shortcut Caramelized Onions
Chop up one medium-sized onion. (Or really, as many onions as you want if you want to make a big batch of this and save some for later!)
Place in a saucepan with a little butter. You can also use vegetable oil if you prefer or need something dairy free.
Fry for a few minutes before adding a spoonful of brown sugar. You don’t need much! Continue to fry the onions until they are translucent and perfectly caramelized. Place on top of your steaks for a real treat!
The above method is a shortcut way to make caramelized onions. For typical caramelized onions, skip the sugar and continue to cook the onions over a low heat until they’ve reached a very tender and brown stage (natural caramelization). This process takes quite a while so if you don’t have an hour to spend on your onions, you can use the shortcut method above.
Serving Suggestions for Slow Cooker Steaks
For some added carbs, serve the steak over white rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.
What Steak is Best for the Slow Cooker?
Some cheap cuts of beef that will work well with this recipe are:
- top round steak
- sirloin tip steak
- eye of round steak
- bottom round steak
- Arm chuck roast
- top blade steak
Is Steak Good in the Slow Cooker?
We think it’s great! It’s not the same as a traditional steak that’s been fried on the stove top or on the grill, but it’s so nice and tender. Such a great way to use up those cheaper cuts of meat!
How Long Does Steak Take to Cook in the Slow Cooker?
About 4-6 hours or less, depending on the thickness of the steak and if it’s going in frozen or fresh.
Do You Have to Cook Meat Before Putting it in the Slow Cooker?
No, you don’t. If you want to, you can sear the edges of the meat in a skillet before starting it in the slow cooker for a little bit of added flavor. But if you prefer not to heat up your stove, you can just put the meat in the slow cooker raw.
Can You Put Raw Meat in the Slow Cooker with Vegetables?
Yes, you can, however, vegetables will cook much more quickly than the meat so I would recommend not adding them in until the last hour or so of cooking.
Looking for even more slow cooker recipes? Here are more of our favorites!
- Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Crockpot Chicken Rice Soup
- Crockpot Drumsticks and Fresh BBQ Sauce
- Frugal Crockpot Chicken
- Homemade Vegetable Soup
- Crock Pot BBQ Meatballs
- 77 Quick Slow Cooker Meals
- Bean With Bacon Soup
What are your favorite steak toppings and pairings? Have you ever tried making steak in the slow cooker?
This Slow Cooker Steak recipe was originally published on Little House Living in August 2014. It has been updated as of September 2022.