Mastering Slow Cooker Beef Tips: Perfecting Cooking Times in Your Crock Pot

Sabrina Dawson

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how long cook beef tips in crock pot
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Slow cookers, also known as crock pots, are a fantastic tool for preparing delicious and tender meals with minimal effort. When it comes to cooking beef tips in a crock pot, the key is to allow enough time for the meat to become tender and infused with flavor. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about how long to cook beef tips in a crock pot to achieve mouthwatering results.

Understanding Beef Tips

Crockpot Beef Tips and Gravy

Before delving into cooking times, it’s essential to understand what beef tips are and how they behave during the cooking process. Beef tips typically refer to small, bite-sized pieces of beef cut from tougher cuts of meat, such as stew meat or chuck roast. Due to their composition, beef tips benefit from slow cooking methods that break down the connective tissue and render the meat tender and flavorful.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

Crockpot Beef Tips Recipe · The Typical Mom

Several factors influence how long beef tips should be cooked in a crock pot:

Cut of Meat

The cut of meat used for beef tips plays a significant role in determining cooking time. Tougher cuts, such as stew meat or chuck roast, require longer cooking times to become tender compared to leaner cuts like sirloin.

Size of Beef Tips

The size of the beef tips also affects cooking time. Smaller pieces will cook more quickly than larger ones. It’s essential to ensure uniformity in size for consistent results.

Temperature Setting

Most slow cookers offer low and high temperature settings. Cooking beef tips on low heat allows for a longer, slower cooking process, resulting in more tender meat. However, if time is limited, cooking on high heat can expedite the process.

Additional Ingredients

The presence of additional ingredients, such as liquids and seasonings, can impact cooking time. Ingredients like broth, wine, or acidic marinades may help tenderize the meat and shorten cooking time.

Recommended Cooking Times

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Low Heat

When cooking beef tips on low heat in a crock pot, the recommended cooking time is typically between 6 to 8 hours. This extended cooking time allows the collagen in tougher cuts of meat to break down slowly, resulting in tender and juicy beef tips.

High Heat

If you’re short on time, cooking beef tips on high heat can significantly reduce cooking time. On high heat, beef tips may be ready in approximately 3 to 4 hours, though this can vary depending on factors such as the cut of meat and size of the beef tips.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Beef Tips

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Achieving perfectly cooked beef tips in a crock pot requires attention to detail and a few key tips:


Season the beef tips generously with salt, pepper, and any desired herbs or spices before adding them to the crock pot. This helps enhance the flavor of the meat and gravy.


For added flavor, consider browning the beef tips in a skillet before transferring them to the crock pot. Searing the meat creates caramelization and depth of flavor that enhances the overall dish.

Liquid Ratio

Ensure there is enough liquid in the crock pot to prevent the beef tips from drying out during the cooking process. Beef broth, wine, or marinades can all be used to add moisture and flavor to the dish.


Consider adding vegetables such as onions, carrots, and potatoes to the crock pot along with the beef tips for a complete meal. These vegetables not only complement the flavors of the beef but also absorb the savory juices as they cook.


Before serving, garnish the beef tips with fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme for a pop of color and added freshness. A sprinkle of grated cheese or a dollop of sour cream can also elevate the dish.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy

Instant Pot Beef Tips with Gravy - Our Salty Kitchen

Here’s a simple recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy to get you started:


  • 2 lbs stew meat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 (1 oz) package dry onion soup mix
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch


  1. Prepare the Stew Meat

    Before adding the stew meat to the slow cooker, it’s essential to ensure it’s ready for cooking. Remove the stew meat from its packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. This helps remove any excess moisture, allowing the meat to sear and brown properly for enhanced flavor.

  2. Season the Beef Tips

    In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, dried thyme, minced garlic, dry onion soup mix, beef broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and cornstarch. Whisk together these ingredients until they are well combined. This seasoning mixture will serve as the flavor base for the beef tips and gravy.

  3. Coat the Beef Tips

    Once the seasoning mixture is ready, pour it over the stew meat in the slow cooker. Ensure that the beef tips are evenly coated with the mixture, as this will help infuse them with flavor as they cook.

  4. Cover and Cook

    Place the lid securely on the slow cooker and select the appropriate cooking setting. For tender and juicy beef tips, it’s recommended to cook them on low heat for an extended period. This allows the meat to slowly break down, resulting in a more tender texture. Cooking on low heat typically takes between 6 to 8 hours, but you can also cook on high heat for a shorter duration if needed (approximately 3 to 4 hours).

  5. Check for Doneness

    After the recommended cooking time has elapsed, check the beef tips for doneness. They should be fork-tender and easily shred apart. If the meat still feels tough, continue cooking for an additional hour or until desired tenderness is achieved.

  6. Serve and Enjoy

    Once the beef tips are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy your delicious meal! Ladle the beef tips and gravy over your choice of starch, such as rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for a burst of flavor and visual appeal. Then, sit back, relax, and savor every bite of your homemade Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy.


Cooking beef tips in a crock pot is a convenient and flavorful way to enjoy tender and juicy meat. By understanding the factors that influence cooking time and following essential tips, you can create mouthwatering beef dishes that are sure to impress. Whether you prefer low and slow or need a quicker meal option, the crock pot is a versatile tool for cooking beef tips to perfection. Experiment with different cuts of meat, seasonings, and accompaniments to customize your beef tip creations and enjoy hearty and satisfying meals with minimal effort.