Pot Roast: To Brown Or Not To Brown, That Is The Question

photo by Tenille @ Feisty Frugal & Fabulous

This was a recent post on my Facebook page:

Let’s talk pot roast: Do you brown before crock pot or not? The answer: about 50-50. There were 18 comments from my friends, 9 said yes, 7 said no, and 2 said “sometimes.”  I was asking because I usually do, but I was feeling particularly lazy that day and just didn’t feel like dragging out the skillet, browning the meat, then having to wash the skillet afterwards. So, I just seasoned it, threw it in the crockpot with a chopped up onion, and let that baby cook. And you know what? It tasted just the same as if I had browned it. With less work. I don’t know if I will continue to cook my pot roasts this way in the future or not, because I have suffered pot roast guilt over this. But who knows, maybe I can do it half the time.

Whether you brown or you don’t, you can try out this tasty Slow Cooker Pepsi Pot Roast at Feisty Frugal & Fabulous. It takes a little bit more work to get this one started than the one I made today, but hey, what’s another minute or two? And what do you do? Brown or not?

About Karen

Karen Eidson is telling the world way too much about her, whether they want to know it or not. She writes about her life of living full time in an RV, eating a gluten free diet, things she does for fun, and things that are important to her. She makes you look at photos of her grandchildren, talk about her husband's survival of oral cancer, and shows you things she has made. You know you want to look.


  1. I brown my roast first. I think it holds the juices in. Your photo looks mighty yummy!
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

  2. I’m too lazy to brown first.

  3. When the weather’s nice, I have Gordon brown it on the BBQ. Saves the messy pan and greasy stove, otherwise I don’t bother. I used to cheat and use kitchen bouquet or something like that to give the illusion but we can’t eat that kind of stuff anymore.

  4. I am way too lazy to brown it first…and mine is always plenty juicy!

  5. That looks really, really good! I do brown mine, but I do it for my own sensibilities. I find raw meat repulsive looking so if I brown it, it doesn’t bother me as much. However, it always comes out the same whether I do or don’t. You’re so right.

  6. I do neither simply because I don’t use a crock pot…I know crazy right? But one day…yes one day…I WILL!! 😉

  7. I must be too lazy to brown first… 😉

  8. I didn’t even know that browning first was an option. I need to learn more about cooking, lol.

  9. I brown mine first.

  10. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    I brown first only if I am browning in the pan that I will cook it in (no extra dish washing.) For the crock pot? No way. It’s not necessary.

  11. My grandma always browned her pot roast first and it always tasted delicious. I have never made one (how embarassing!) because my husband doesn’t like them.

  12. Thanks for a great post! When I make a pot roast in the oven, I absolutely brown it first; when I make it in a slow cooker (where it’s completely submerged), I don’t brown it. The slow-cooked pot roast is vastly superior.

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