When you have some Cube steaks in the refrigerator or freezer and a slow cooker on the countertop, you’re only a few hours away from a tasty and easy meal. Cooking Cube steak in the crockpot with plenty of flavorful liquid turns out a tender and juicy cut of beef. As long as you don’t leave the meat cooking all day long, you won’t have to worry about it getting too soft and falling apart. Create your own crockpot Cube steak masterpiece with these tips and tricks.
Prepping the Crock Pot
All you really need to start this recipe is a clean slow cooker. If you want to make cleaning up as easy as possible, line the insert with a disposable crockpot liner. However, it’s not necessary since there’s not a lot of browning that will result in things being stuck to the inner surfaces. There’s no need for any aluminum foil or greasing of the slow cooker insert. If you’re going to add chopped onions and sliced mushrooms to the mix, place them in the crockpot first before layering the meat in.
Prepping the Cube Steak
Even though the sauces and other ingredients you add to the crockpot add flavor and salt, you’ll still want to season the Cube steak with at least salt and pepper before cooking it. You can also dredge the meat in seasoned flour to add to the texture of the finished dish. If you want a greater depth of flavor, try searing the Cube steak briefly in a cast iron pan before placing it in the slow cooker. Brown the meat for just one minute on each side in oil so it doesn’t get a chance to toughen up.
Other Ideas for Sauces
Try mixing up the ingredients for barbecue sauce like apple cider vinegar and brown sugar right in the crockpot on top of the Cube steaks. By the time the meat is done cooking, you’ll have a sweet and savory sauce with just the right consistency from simmering. Teriyaki sauce also makes a flavorful addition for a more Asian twist on your weeknight meal. You can also use your favorite gravy mix and the recommended amount of beef broth or a pre-made jarred gravy in exchange for the sauce ingredients in the recipe below.
Can You Overcook Cube Steak in the Crockpot?
It’s always possible to overcook meat, including Cube steak. In fact, this cut may toughen up again or completely fall apart if you leave it in the slow cooker for too long. Eight hour cook times are too much even for when you cook Cube steak. Aim for about 3 to 4 hours at most for tender and flavorful beef that isn’t too soft to enjoy. This also prevents any chances of the sauce getting too dry and burning around the edges, which can create an off taste throughout the entire dish.
Cube Steak in an Instant Pot
Instant Pots are similar countertop appliances that aim to make cooking easier, but they don’t cook with the same principles as a crockpot. Instead of low and slow cooking, Instant Pots apply a lot of heat and pressure to quickly cook steaks and other dishes. You only need to pressure cook this cut of beef for 20 to 30 minutes in one of these appliances. It’s a lot shorter process than using a crockpot, but some people prefer the slow method because of the depth of flavor that develops over time.
Cube Steak Crock Pot Cooking Tips and Tricks
Skip the searing step if you don’t want to make another pan dirty. It’s helpful for a slightly richer flavor, but you’re not likely to notice when you’re in a hurry for dinner. Avoid the urge to shorten the cooking time by switching to high. The meat may cook all the way through without a problem, but it’ll be much tougher and less flavorful than if you took at least three hours to simmer it on medium. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of condensed soup or similar cream-based sauces to develop your very own signature Cube steak dish.
What to Serve with Cube Steak?
Since this Cube steak recipe produces plenty of rich gravy-like sauce to serve on top of the meat, you’ll want side dishes that can stand up to the combination. Rice and mashed potatoes are the classic side dishes to pair with this kind of steak, but riced cauliflower is lighter and works just as well. Glazed carrots or sweet potatoes bring out the sweeter side of the gravy. Deep fried green beans or corn nuggets put a twist on the usual side dishes. Don’t overlook casseroles like wild rice and broccoli or chopped salads that combine nuts, fruits, vegetables, and more. Something like couscous or risotto really elevates the Cube steak above its humble roots.
Crock Pot Cube Steak Recipe
Dust off your largest crockpot for this recipe. You’ll want plenty of space so the Cube steaks aren’t too heavily layered as they cook. If you do have to overlap the meat quite a bit, try to flip them once you’ve added the sauces so the liquids get a chance to distribute before cooking begins.
- 2 pounds of Cube steak, about 4 to 5 steaks
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of high-heat oil (optional, for searing)
- ½ yellow onion, sliced or chopped
- 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup or Golden Mushroom Soup
- 1 packet of Onion Soup Mix
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
1. Let the Cube steaks come up to room temperature, which should take under 15 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. If searing, heat the oil in a cast iron pan and brown the meat for 1 minute per side.
2. Set the crockpot on medium heat. Place the mushrooms and onions in the bottom of the insert. Layer the meat on top. Pour in the condensed soup, not adding any other liquid. Sprinkle the onion soup mix in on top and mix it together, flipping the meat so some of the liquid reaches the bottom of the crockpot.
3. Cook on medium for 3 to 4 hours, checking for when the steaks become easily pierced by a fork. Leave the crockpot on low for up to 2 hours more before serving.
Add up to ½ cup of beef broth or water for a thinner gravy. For thicker gravy, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in cold water, then add it to the crockpot when the heat is still on and there are 30 minutes of cooking time left. Stir every ten minutes until the mixture thickens.
Let the crockpot do all the hard work when it comes to cooking Cube steak. Your family will give you all the praise, especially if you pair it with the right side dishes. Cube steak may not be as fancy as a Porterhouse steak, but it’s still a delicious meal that’s worthy of regular rotation on your meal plan.
Crock Pot Cube Steak
- 2 lbs cube steak, about 4-5 steaks
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 tbsp high-heat oil (optional, for searing)
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced or chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup or golden mushroom soup
- 1 packet onion soup mix
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Let the Cube steaks come up to room temperature, which should take under 15 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. If searing, heat the oil in a cast iron pan and brown the meat for 1 minute per side
- Set the crockpot on medium heat. Place the mushrooms and onions in the bottom of the insert. Layer the meat on top. Pour in the condensed soup, not adding any other liquid. Sprinkle the onion soup mix in on top and mix it together, flipping the meat so some of the liquid reaches the bottom of the crockpot
- Cook on medium for 3 to 4 hours, checking for when the steaks become easily pierced by a fork. Leave the crockpot on low for up to 2 hours more before serving