Pot Roast Vs Roast Beef – Definition, Differences & More

Pot roast and roast beef are popular staples in the United States, especially on special occasions or festive periods. They are different cooking methods that transform tough cuts of meat into tender cuts.

Pot roast is a beef dish made by slow-cooking tough cuts of beef until it is fork-tender. Roast beef, on the other hand, is beef that has been roasted over high heat.

Although they both have a lot of similarities, there are some key differences between these two delicacies. I will differentiate extensively between these two staples in this article. So, let’s get started.

What is pot roast?

A pot roast is a beef dish made by cooking tough cuts of beef at low heat in a pot or oven. This dish was introduced by French immigrants and has since been a staple meal in the United States.

The cuts of meat used for this dish include chuck roast, rump roast, and round roast. These cuts of beef are tougher than other cuts of meat but are more flavorful and less expensive.

How is pot roast made?

Pot roast is usually cooked on low heat for a long period. It is done in a pot on the stove or roasted in an oven.

For the stove method, the roast is first spiced in a large pot with salt and pepper. Then vegetables such as carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes are added.

Afterward, it is spiced further, and herbs are added to enhance the taste. Then, the beef broth is added to the mix, and it is left to simmer at low heat for about 2 – 3 hours.

For the oven method, the roast is spiced and dressed with vegetables. Then, it is baked at a temperature of around 325°F for 3 – 4 hours. Afterward, it is wrapped with foil and left to rest for 10 minutes before it is served.

What is roast beef?

Roast beef is also a beef dish made by roasting or cooking beef in the oven. It was introduced by English immigrants, and since then, it has been a popular main course dish in the United States.

The cut used for this dish is tenderloin, round steak, flat steak, and chuck roast. This is because of their unique taste and tenderness, which they render during roasting.

How is roast beef made?

Roast beef is usually cooked at an internal temperature of 325°F. The preparation method starts with seasoning the beef with kosher salt and pepper.

Afterward, the roast beef is fried on both sides in a frying pan with olive oil until it is golden brown. Then, the golden brown roast is placed in a roasting pan and cooked to 145°F; this usually takes around an hour.

At this point, the roast beef would have become more tender. It is then allowed to rest for 10 minutes before it is served and eaten alongside gravy.

What is the difference between pot roast and beef roast?

Both pot roast and roast beef transform tough cuts of beef into tender dishes. However, there are a few key differences between these two dishes. They include:

1. Cooking method

The first and obvious difference between pot roast and roast beef is their cooking method. While roast beef is slow-cooked dry, pot roast is cooked in liquid (broth, wine, stock, or water).

2. Cut of beef used

Another key difference between these two dishes is the cut of beef used in making them. Pot roast features chuck roast, rump roast, and round roast, while roast beef features tenderloin, round steak, and flat steak.

3. Cooking time

The time required for cooking these two dishes is also another way to differentiate them. Roast beef cooks for 1- 2 hours overall, and pot roast cooks for 4 – 5 hours overall.

4. Their origin

Pot roast originates from France, while roast beef originates from England. However, they were both introduced to the US by immigrants and have since become staple meals.

5. Texture

Although they are both tender, pot roast tends to be tougher than beef roast.

Pot roast vs roast beef – Nutritional information

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a 100-gram serving of pot roast and roast beef contains;

For pot roast

  • Calories: 297
  • Protein: 29g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Sodium: 47mg
  • Potassium: 231mg
  • Cholesterol: 116mg

It also contains calcium, cobalamin, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B & C.

For beef roast

  • Calories: 170
  • Protein: 28g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 86mg
  • Sodium: 47mg
  • Potassium: 377mg

It also contains saturated fat, trans fat, cobalamin, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B6 & C.


Pot roast vs roast beef – Which is healthier?

Overall, roast beef tends to be a healthier option than pot roast as it contains less fat and a moderate amount of calories.

What else is roast beef called?

Roast beef is also called chuck eye roasts, chuck pot roasts, and chuck roll roasts.

Can you use other types of meat for pot roast and roast beef?

Yes, you can. You can use lamb and pork, but your dish may lack in quality.

Which herbs are used to make pot roast?

Rosemary, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and oregano are some of the best herbs used in making pot roast.

What is the best liquid to use for pot roast?

The best liquid for pot roast is beef broth or stock. However, you can also use vegetable broth, chicken broth, wine, water, or even beer.

Conclusion: Pot roast vs roast beef

Pot roast and roast beef are delicious, whether you are buying at a restaurant or making it yourself at home. However, you should know how they differ and which cooking method is best for the cut of steak you have.

Also, check out this comparison of round roast vs chuck roast.

Thank you for reading this article.