How many pounds of meat will a 4-quart slow cooker hold?

In this article, we will answer the question “How many pounds of meat will a 4-quart slow cooker hold?”, and how to make a slow cooker pot roast?

How many pounds of meat will a 4-quart slow cooker hold?

Generally, a 4-quart slow cooker can easily cook 4-pound chicken or a 2-pound beef roast without overcrowding. Ideally, 5 to 6 Lbs of beef can be easily cooked in a 6-quart slow cooker. 

A 5-quart slow cooker is best to cater to the needs of a family of 3-4 people or a couple who loves leftovers. It can be used to make chilis, casseroles, soups, and stews.

A 6-quart slow cooker is perfect for families who often want to use a slow cooker for reheating or making soups and stews. If you have to entertain a gathering and need to make 12 pounds of beef or pork, cook them in batches using a 6-quart slow cooker instead of investing in a larger-sized model. 

If you overcrowd the slow cooker, quality will be compromised. Use the following timings as a reference when making eat in the slow cooker.

  • You need 9 ½ hours to make 6 to 7 Lbs. Pork butt roast.
  • You need 8 hours to cook both 6 Lbs. Chicken and a 6 Lbs. Bone-in Turkey Breast.
  • You need 8 hours to make 3 to 4 Lbs. Beef Roast.
  • You need about 6 hours to make 3 Lbs. Stew Meat.

The slow-cooker size guide 

Quarts Liters Servings Food preparation 
1-2 qt 1.7 L1-2 singles couples dips, oats, desserts, appropriate size slow cooker recipes
3-4 qt 4 L3-4couplesfamiliescasseroles, soups, stews, breakfasts, desserts
5-6 qt5 L5 families roasts, whole chicken, casseroles, soups, stews, breakfasts, desserts
7+ qt7.9 L6-7large familiesentertainers5-1b roast, 7-1b chicken, large cuts of meat, large lasagne
10 qt11.3 L9 or morelargefamiliesentertainers10-pound turkey or 12-pound roast

What to consider when choosing a slow cooker?

  • The number of people you need to cater to.
  • What kind of foods will the slow cooker be used for making. Will it be meat on the bone, casseroles, stews, or soups.
  • Do you have enough space to store the larger model for a slow cooker because It takes up more space?
  • Do you need a travel-friendly slow cooker? Should it include a lid lock?
  • Do you want a basic or more traditional slow cooker or you want one with more advanced cooking options?

How to make a slow cooker pot roast?


  • 3-pound beef chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 6 medium carrots (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 ½ pounds whole baby potatoes (halved if large)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional, for thicker gravy)
  • chopped fresh parsley (if desired for serving)


  1. Season the roast thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  1. Heta olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Place the seasoned roast carefully in the hot oil and sear each side for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the seared roast from the pan, transfer to a clean plate, and set aside.
  1. Saute onions in the pan until transparent. Then add garlic and saute until fragrant. Lastly, add the flour.
  1. Cook the flour for 30 seconds then adds the broth for deglazing. Scrape all the stuck browned food residues. Lower the heat and add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and dried thyme.
  1. Make a bed of carrots and potatoes on the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker. You can also use a larger model. Then pour in the broth mixture followed by placing the roast in this broth. Finally, place all the remaining vegetables such that they surround the roast.
  1. Cover the slow cooker and let the contents cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Switch to a high setting during the last hour to thicken the gravy If the meat and vegetable are tender enough. Add cornstarch and water in an equal ratio to thicken the gravy If you like.
  1. Remove the excess fat floating over the gravy. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste. Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley over the gravy before serving.


In this article, we answered the question “How many pounds of meat will a 4-quart slow cooker hold?”, and how to make a slow cooker pot roast?


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