Keep your favorite pot roast from going to waste with these tips.
Pot roast is a hearty, wholesome comfort food that many people associate with warmth, sustenance, and relaxation.
A fork-tender, richly-flavored pot roast is a perfect main course for any occasion: hosting guests, bringing along to a potluck, or preparing at home for a warm dinner.
Preparing a pot roast in advance is a great way to make the most of sales at your local grocery store or butcher shop, and saves you time when you need to come up with a quick, warm meal at the end of a busy day.
Delicious as it may be, there’s a good chance you’ll have leftovers. So then what?
Can You Freeze Pot Roast?
You can definitely freeze a pot roast, even a fully cooked roast!
In fact, freezing a pot roast is the perfect way to preserve your dinner for months to come.
A frozen pot roast is good for up to 6 months in the freezer, which means you have plenty of time to pull it out for dinner or keep it on standby for days you’re rushed, unwell, or just want a break without sacrificing the home-cooked flavors your family loves.
To freeze your pot roast, allow it to cool completely to room temperature.
Remove the carrots and potatoes — this is key to freezing a pot roast for long-term storage.
Transfer the beef to an airtight, freezer-safe container or a large, heavy-duty freezer bag along with some of the juices to keep it moist.
You can portion this out individually if it’s for one, or pack up an entire roast. It’s up to you!
Squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
Airtight containers are the best way to extend the shelf life and maximize the food safety of your favorite pot roast recipe.
You can also freeze the meat prior to cooking.
This is a particularly good method for saving money on groceries over time, as you can stock up during great sales at the market.
When properly stored in an appropriate freezer container, uncooked beef can be used within 4 to 12 months.
Can I Freeze a Pot Roast with Vegetables?
Safety-wise, you can. Freezing a pot roast with vegetables is possible, and food safe.
So if you already did this and want to eat it, no harm there if you like the taste.
However, we don’t recommend it!
If you want to keep your vegetables intact and prevent them from becoming mushy, you will want to remove them from the roast before freezing.
You can roast vegetables of your choice in an oven and freeze them in a freezer safe bag to prepare them in advance for a quick heat-up later on when you serve your prepared pot roast again.
Potatoes, carrots, and parsnips roast and freeze well.
Here are the best tips for roasting and freezing vegetables to serve with your pot roast:
- Choose a vegetable that is fresh, without softness or bruising.
- Roast the veggies about five minutes shy of doneness so reheating them does not cause them to overcook.
- Allow the vegetables to cool completely after roasting to reduce excess moisture.
- Divide into smaller portions. This makes defrosting easier.
- Freeze the vegetables quickly and individually by laying them on a cooking sheet and placing it in the freezer until frozen. This keeps them from sticking together when storing them in bags or containers. Use caution to not allow them to become freezer burned.
How Do You Reheat a Frozen Pot Roast?
Reheating a delicious pot roast once you’ve frozen it is very easy — just follow these simple steps!
There are several cooking methods to reheat a pot roast, and how you do it will depend on the resources available to you and how much time you have to prepare the meal.
This may be the easiest way — and quickest — to reheat your beef roast, but the convenience is costly.
It won't produce the best results because your microwave won't heat it as evenly as other methods.
Select a microwave-safe dish that is large enough for the desired amount of pot roast that you will be re-heating.
Pour leftover pot roast juices into a container with meat and veggies to keep it flavorful and prevent dryness.
Cover the container appropriately, without tin foil or plastic wrapping or bags.
Set the microwave to a reheat setting. If none, use high. Reheat for 30 seconds at a time.
Overheating will ruin the meal. Check the roast by touch or a food thermometer.
Plug in a slow cooker and set it to warm. If this isn’t an option on your appliance, set to low.
Low temperatures may take a little while, but it sets you up for a more delicious meal.
Place the roast in the slow cooker and add broth from the first time you cooked it.
You will also want to add water and/or thick gravy to suit your tastes.
(Some people add extra seasoning like garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, or Worcestershire sauce to their crockpot pot roast.)
Slow cook for 2-4 hours. Check after 2 hours to see if it’s ready. You could also use an Instant Pot.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place leftover pot roast in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil, or place in a casserole dish and cover with a lid.
You can cut the meat into smaller amounts, but it isn’t necessary.
Reheat until warmed through. This should take 30-45 minutes.
Can You Freeze Raw Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions?
Freezing fresh produce is a great way to save it for future use.
You will want to partially cook any vegetable before freezing it, as it removes some of the naturally occurring water and prevents it from becoming mushy when thawed again.
Leave about 5 minutes of cook time so it isn’t overcooked when you take it out of the freezer and heat it up.
Consider parboiling your vegetables.
Best Tips for An Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast
You will want to place the firm, slow-cooking root vegetables at the bottom of a roast.
Examples are carrots and potatoes. Browning your meat prior to slow cooking will increase flavor.
Consider, as well, sauteeing your vegetables before adding them to the crock pot.
The rich, caramelized flavor will make your roasted dinner much more enjoyable.
Keep the lid closed while cooking.
Continually peeking in on or checking your meat will add up to 20 minutes of cooking time — that adds up fast!
Do not overcrowd your crock pot.
You will want to fill it between ½ and ⅔ full and make sure that the lid still fits snugly and completely on top.
Trim fat off your meat. This prevents oily or greasy meals.
While some is good for flavor or texture, too much can ruin a meal.
If using red wine, use only a splash. Alcohol will not evaporate in a slow cooker, so a small amount goes a long way.
Add fresh ingredients before serving.
Consider a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of fresh herbs, sauteed garlic, grated Parmesan, or hot sauce as a last-minute addition to your roast.
This ties together the long-cooked meal with some fresh favorites!
Tip: Try this Italian pot roast recipe.
And if you love pot roast, we bet you'll also be a fan of our hit slow cooker Salisbury steak recipe, great for special occasions or a good idea on a quiet Wednesday.
Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.Tags: Pot Roast, Roasted, Beef, Slow Cooker, FAQ, Dinners, Meat, Frozen, Freezer Meals