Pot Roast vs Beef Stew: Difference and Comparison

Meat is the food of animal flesh that is eaten by humans. Since the time of Pre-historicism, humans have hunted animals and eaten their flesh.

Humans began to civilize animals like chickens, cattle, rabbits, pigs, cows etc., which led to the production of meat for industrial purposes. Meat contains proteins, and fat, i.e., cooked or seasoned, to get a taste of it.

Worldwide the consumption of meat has grown drastically. Pot Roast and Beef Stew are the two ways in which meat is cooked.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pot Roast is a slow-cooked beef dish made by roasting the meat in a covered pot with vegetables, while Beef Stew is a savory dish made by stewing beef with vegetables in liquid.
  2. Pot Roast is made with larger cuts of beef, while Beef Stew uses smaller cuts of meat.
  3. Pot Roast is served as a main course with vegetables, while Beef Stew can be served as a main course or a soup with bread or rice.

Pot Roast vs Beef Stew

Pot roast features a large cut of beef cooked with root vegetables. Beef stew is made with smaller cuts of meat and a wider variety of vegetables. Additionally, pot roast is cooked in the oven or on the stove, while beef stew is cooked in a slow cooker pan.

Pot Roast vs Beef Stew

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Pot Roast is a term used to determine a dish that is made up of beef. It is made in a very slow manner with very tough-cut beef, which is cooked in moist heat.

Vegetables are seldom used in pot roasts. Different types of cuts are used in Pot Roast, like bottom round, short ribs, chuck steak, and 7-bone roast.

These terms are American. Globally many different types of cuts and butchering techniques are used for Pot Roasts. Meat is roasted, i.e., cooked in the oven, giving a juicy flavour to the beef.

Beef Stew consists of solid beef and vegetables; when cooked, the resulting food product becomes gravy. Any combination of vegetables can be used with Beef Stew.

It contains smaller pieces of meat, i.e. it takes slightly less time to become tender than Pot Roast. Usually, in Beef Stew, water is used, but stock, i.e., bone broth, can also be used.

Sometimes, a small amount of red wine is also used to bring the flavour.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPot RoastBeef Stew
Time for cookingIt requires a long time.It requires less time.
Size of MeatBig Piece of MeatA small chunk of Meat
VegetablesNot added with MeatAdded with Meat
GravyLess gravyA lot of Gravy
MethodCooked in OvenCooked in Pressure Cooker

What is Pot Roast?

The origin of pot roast can be traced back to France when French immigrant brought their method of cooking à l’étouffée for tenderising the meat to America or New England at that time. Then Pot Roast recipe was spread from Germany to Pennsylvania to the Midwest.
It was cooked in marinated and sauerbraten(a traditional roast in Germany) roast. It was larded and slowly cooked to give it a rich and juicy flavour.

Pot Roast is a beef dish that is very popular in America. It is cooked by a very slow process to make the meat moist.

Sometimes, veggies are used for presentation in it. There are different types of cuts in which beef is served, such as bottom round, chuck steak, short ribs, and 7-bone roast.

These techniques are used for Pot roast. Pot Roast is cooked in an oven, but it can’t be roasted in it as it becomes unsuitable.

Pot roast is a variation of the French dish boeuf à la mode. With time it has been modified by American Jews and German Americans.

Water is also added while preparing Pot Roast. Sometimes before putting a liquid, the roast is browned to add extra flavour.

Browning is done by lowering the temperature by increasing the cooking time. Any of the techniques can be used to prepare Pot roast.

The end product will be tender, succulent meat and has a gravy as well. In America, it is also known by the name Yankee Pot Roast.

It is served with onions, carrots, and potato simmered in gravy. Pot Roast has many variations in different countries Boliche is a Cuban Por roast dish which is around a roast of beef stuffed with ham.

pot roast

What is Beef Stew?

Stew has been very common since ancient times. The oldest evidence of Stew was found in Japan during the Jomon period, which was 14,00-300 B.C.E. People of Amazon used to make Turtle stew by boiling it and mixing ingredients.

Evidence has been found that dates back to 8000 years ago. Beef Stew is a traditional dish in France. Its first evidence was found in the 19th century.

Beef stew is not very old. Back in the 19th century, it was not much popular as it was made from leftover cooked meat.

Beef stew is very important for French cuisine, and since the 20th century, it has been referred Burgundian speciality. Beef stew is served with boiled vegetables or pasta.

Beef Stews came from France to England and then New England, i.e. America. In France, it is also called Beef burgundy or Beef Bourguignon.

Beef stew is made in red wine or red Burgundy. Beef Stew is also made with stock which contains vegetables like onions, garlic, carrots, and bouquet garmi(a kind of herb). 

Beef stew is garnished with mushrooms, pearl onion and bacon. It also sometimes contains braised beef, which is a cooking method in which meat is wet and dry.

It is cooked in a Pressure cooker at a low temperature so that all the flavours get mixed. Small chunks of meat are used with flavourings and seasonings.

It is very much similar to soup. It has less liquid than soup, and it takes a longer time than soups. It can be served on a plate with gravy as a sauce and with solid ingredients.       

beef stew

Main Differences Between Pot Roast and Beef Stew    

  1. Pot roast requires more time to cook as it has large pieces of meat to become tender. Beef Stew requires less time than Pot Roast as it has small pieces of meat.         
  2. Pot roast contains large pieces of meat which are cut differently. Beef stew consists of small pieces of meat, and it is cooked at a low temperature.
  3. Vegetables are not added to the meat in Pot roast, only used as a presentation. Vegetables are a must for Beef stew with various flavours and seasonings.
  4. Pot Roast has very little gravy or no gravy at times. Beef stew is like soup, so gravy is a must.
  5. Pot Roast is cooked in an oven. Beef Stew is prepared in a pressure cooker so that vegetables and meat can easily become tender.               
Difference Between Pot Roast and Beef Stew


  1. https://academic.oup.com/jas/article-abstract/69/7/2883/4705169             

Last Updated : July 13th, 2023

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