Beef Arm Roast: What is It and How is It Cooked?

July 25, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton
Edited by John Smits 

The beef arm roast is a cut of beef taken from the primal chuck of the cow, and is better known as a beef chuck roast. If you’re looking for a way to put your Dutch oven, crock pot, or smoker to use, then beef arm roast is the perfect roast recipe to try. It’s an affordable cut of beef compared to steaks like rib eyes, tomahawks, or New York strips. 

Today, I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to make my delicious beef arm roast. My braising method is foolproof when slow-cooked in a Dutch oven on your stove or smoker. I have been doing it this way since cooking school. It’s low-key one of my favorite cuts of meat on a cow – inexpensive, beefy glory. Let’s dive in! 

Beef Arm Roast

What is Beef Arm Roast?

Beef arm roast is cut from the cow’s chuck primal. It is also called seven bone roast, chuck roast, arm roast, arm pot roast, round chuck cut bone, blade roast, and sometimes sold generically as “pot roast.”

The smaller beef arm roast cut is also called an arm steak.

The cut is taken from the cow’s front shoulder muscle and is tough, fatty, and full of connective tissue. That’s why it’s best to use slow cooking methods such as stewing, braising, and, of course, BBQing.

The toughness melts away over time and yields beef that is gloriously tender, moist, and so dang tasty.

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What is Arm Roast Good For?

C’mon – it’s pot roast – one of the finest Sunday lunches known to humans. Hit an arm roast with BBQ rub, cook it in liquid until it’s meltingly tender, and you’ve got some good eating.

It can be shredded with forks and served over egg noodles or with mashed potatoes. You can also serve it with a crusty loaf of bread.

You can also slow-cook it in a stew and throw in some baby potatoes for an awesome one-pot meal. Even the toughest cuts, like arm roast, will become fall-apart tender when cooked low and slow.

How to Make Beef Arm Pot Roast?

Planning and Preparation

Before you go to the butcher or local grocery store, first calculate how much meat you actually need. 

For a boneless roast, plan around 1/2 lb of raw weight per person. For a group of 4-6 guests, plan around 2-3 lbs of beef arm roast. If that roast has a bone, go for 1 lb per person.

I like to buy extra (or cook 2 roasts) because the cold leftovers taste SO good the next day.

If you want to prepare roast beef, allow me to differentiate between pot roasts and roast beef. A pot roast is cooked in liquid (braised), while roast beef is slow-cooked without liquid.

A recipe is only as good as its ingredients. Look for beef that’s good quality, checking the color, fat content, and marbling. Beef should be dark red, fatty, and well-marbled.

If your grocery store has a butcher, order your chuck arm roast from the counter. Freshly cut meat is always better than the meat that’s been sitting in the refrigerated coolers. 

close up of a roasted beef arm

Step 1: Get Your Items Ready 

Below are some of the things you’ll need to have ready for this roast recipe:

Crockpot, Instant Pot, or Dutch oven

The first thing you’re going to need is an instant pot, crock pot, or Dutch oven. You need a slow cooker because you’ll be slow-cooking the roast.

Note that you can also use your instant pot as a slow cooker. These appliances use pressure to shorten cooking times.

If you are looking to buy a pot, you might as well get a large Dutch oven or other roasting pot so that you’re able to accommodate a large roast. 


You’re going to need a pan because you’ll be searing the roast before slow-cooking it. Searing will brown the meat, an effect known as the Maillard reaction, which improves the flavor of food. Toast, smash burgers, and a well-seared steak are all examples of foods that benefit from the Maillard reaction.


Make sure you have some tongs. They make it a lot easier to turn the roast. 

The Beef Roast

Now, as far as the main ingredients go, you need a beef arm roast.

I like to use about 3 to 4 pounds of roast. If you need more meat, grab another roast rather than a larger one. 

Beef Stock 

Next up, you’re going to need beef stock. I like to use the Better Than Bouillon brand. Plan on 4 cups per 3 pounds of beef, and be prepared to add more as the liquid reduces. You want the entire roast covered.


Next up, you’ll need a little fat. Use it to help sear the arm roast. I like to reserve bacon fat when I make bacon and use it for roasts. Feel free to use olive oil or butter if you’re fresh out of bacon fat or kosher. 


Time to season that chuck roast. Use around 4 tablespoons of your favorite rub per 3 pounds of meat. Make sure there’s some salt in there – around 1 teaspoon per 3 pounds if your rub doesn’t contain salt. Coat the roast with seasonings on every side and let it sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes

Step 2: Sear the Beef 

Take the meat to the stove to sear this bad boy in the fat. Stick it in a cast iron pan over high heat. You will want to sear each side for about one to two minutes

Optional: If I’m shredding the beef, I like to cut it into 4 smaller pieces. You’ll brown more surface area this way. If you want slices of beef, leave the roast intact.

Step 3: Cook the Beef in Broth 

Now that the searing is out of the way, all you need to do is plop your roast in the pot filled with broth. 

Make sure that the roast is almost all the way submerged.

Step 4: Add Some Veggies and Seasoning

I like to toss some potatoes, carrots, and onions in the Dutch oven as well. That way I’ve got a complete meal in one pot.

Some people like to put onion powder or garlic powder in their liquid as well. 

I like to use roughly chopped onion, slivers of garlic (I’m a garlic fiend), and sprigs of rosemary. I place the sprigs on top of the meat and then a couple of them in the broth. 

That way, we’re going to pack flavor into the meat and the beef broth.

Step 5: Cook Low and Slow 

Put the lid on your slow cooker and let it cook at a low simmer for the next 5 hours. You can go longer – the liquid guarantees juicy, tender beef. Turn your crock pot on in the morning, and when you get home from work, you will have a perfectly slow-cooked pot roast. Don’t worry, it’s safe to leave a crock pot on when you’re away, just make sure to follow the necessary safety precautions

If you’re using your grill or smoker, set the temp to 225°F before sticking your Dutch oven on there. Leave the lid off your Dutch oven so the roast and veggies can absorb that wonderful smokey flavor.

The roast is done when it is fall-apart tender and shreds easily with a fork, around 200°F. You can undercook it (the roast will still be tough), but it’s a difficult dish to overcook.

Remove the roast and veggies from the liquid to serve. Reserve the liquid for making gravy, soup, or another use.

sliced beef arm

How to Cook Beef Arm Roast for Roast Beef?

This is how I make roast beef out of chuck roast that’s perfect when sliced up and stuck on sandwiches. Unlike pot roast, it’s cooked in a dry environment – I like to make mine in the oven.

Step 1: Season and Sear the Roast

Season 3-4 pounds of meat with 4 tablespoons of your favorite rub – coat the entire surface. Then sear that roast briefly at high heat in a roasting pan (a large, oval pan with a high edge and lid, which is used for roasting and braising). 

This creates a nice crust and roasted aromas.

Step 2: Transfer to the Oven 

After searing, the roast stays in the roasting pan and is placed on the oven rack. 

It is cooked at around 325-350°F. The roast should be placed on the middle rack. A 3-4 lb roast will take 2 to 3 hours in the oven. Aim for an internal temperature of 145°F.

Step 3: Pour Over the Juices 

During cooking, liquid (e.g., beef stock) is spritzed over the roast, ideally up to three times. This keeps the roast nice and moist.

So how do you know when the inside of the roast has reached perfect doneness? 

If you want to level up your cooking game, buy a quality meat thermometer. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and measure the internal temperature. 

You can easily check when the roast has reached your desired doneness. For perfect roast beef, I try to pull the roast from the oven at 145 to 150°F internal temperature.

The minimum temperature recommendation from the USDA is 145°F. 


  • When the meat is at the desired temperature (around 145°F), it should be removed from the oven, covered with aluminum foil, and left to rest for 15 minutes. This way, the juice will redistribute evenly throughout the meat. If you let the roast rest in aluminum foil for about 15 minutes before slicing, the juices will distribute themselves throughout the roast. 
  • When slicing, you should cut the meat against the grain. 
  • Is your roast tough? No problem! Simply cut the meat into thick slices and let it simmer in a thick sauce for another 20-30 minutes. A good sauce can be made with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. And voilà, your beef is saved. 

How to Make an Arm Stew?

Looking to transform that chuck roast into a delicious stew that’s perfect for cold weather? Here’s my recipe for beef arm that’s slowly stewed in a roasting pan with liquid. You can do this on the stove or in the oven. 

Step 1: Chop Vegetables Up

Start by roughly chopping vegetables such as onions, carrots, and leeks. The vegetables can be varied according to taste. 

I like to play around with what veggies I toss in there. I’ve had good luck with savoy cabbage, potatoes, and peas. 

Add around 2 pounds of veggies total.

Step 2: Cut and Season the Meat and Sear

Dice the roast (3-4 pounds) into bite-size chunks. Season the meat with salt and pepper, or 4 tablespoons of your favorite rub, then sear it in a roasting pan on both sides with butter or oil for about 2-3 minutes. Let it brown. 

When the meat is nicely browned, remove it from the roaster and set it aside. 

Step 3: Fry the Vegetables 

Now the vegetables are fried in the remaining fat for about 2 minutes before they are deglazed with liquid (e.g., water, wine, or stock).

Which wine is best for deglazing vegetables and meat? Definitely red wine! Beef flavors harmonize particularly well with strong red wine. 

Step 4: Return the Meat to the Pot

Put the meat back into the roaster and pour some wine and dark beef stock over it (6 cups total). 

Let the meat stew at a simmer or low heat (approx. 250°F in your oven) for 1.5 to 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

When the beef and veggies are tender, your stew is ready to serve.

raw beef arm on a cutting board

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As you can see, making a beef arm roast is quite simple. The slow-cooking method is the best because it’s a tough cut. Just let it cook for 8 hours on the “low” setting on a crock pot, or 4-5 hours at a gentle simmer on the stove. When it’s done, it’ll be fork tender and will fill your kitchen with wonderful aromas.

You can also sear it and cook it in the oven for roast beef, or use it to make stew.

When you get a chance, go hit up the butcher and pick yourself up a beef arm roast (get about 3 to 4 pounds). Transform the tough cut into pot roast, and you’ll have a meal that your whole family is sure to love.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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