Tender and juicy Slow Cooker Steak Bites are an easy comfort food dinner the whole family will love. Featuring tender bites of steak, a whole head of garlic, and a buttery thyme sauce, these steak bites are an incredible easy dinner the entire family will love.
This post was developed in partnership with Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are our own.
Comforting Slow Cooker Steak Bites
I can already hear your skepticism through the screen. Steak bites in a slow cooker? Are you sure about that?
Trust me, I had the same concerns. I thought slow cooking steak might make it soft and mushy, or give it the tough consistency of overcooked steak.
But friends, I was wrong. These steak bites are the furthest thing from tough OR mushy. Instead, they are fall-apart tender, ultra juicy, and full of flavor.
Talk about a surprising and extremely satisfying cooking win! We finally have a way to pair comforting, beefy steak with the ease and convenience of slow cooking.
So, what’s the secret to making steak bites in the slow cooker? Searing the steak in a skillet first to add rich, caramelized flavor, then cooking it low and slow to tenderize and deepen the flavor.
This recipe received the highest praise from my beef loving husband, and if your family is anything like mine, they’ll go wild for these Slow Cooker Garlic Butter Steak Bites too!
What Makes These Garlic Steak Bites Special:
- Prepared in the slow cooker to save time and make dinner prep less stressful.
- Uses a whole head of garlic. You heard correctly! These garlic steak bites use a whole head of garlic, and it.is.magical. If you’re worried about it being too strong, don’t be! Slow cooking mellows the garlic, giving it incredible, caramelized flavor. It’s reminiscent of our Slow Cooker Shredded Beef!
- Has a rich, buttery wine sauce. We use the fond (the little meaty bits left in the bottom of the pan after browning) + wine, thyme, butter, broth, and Worcestershire to create a pan sauce that is rich and nuanced in flavor.
- Steak– We have made this recipe with both sirloin and T-bone steak and both were great. The sirloin was a bit more tender and required less prep work because it comes boneless. We recommend grabbing whatever is on sale at your local grocer.
- Salt– Whether it’s steak and scallops or a sous vide filet, most steaks only need a generous sprinkling of Kosher salt to enhance their flavor. Kosher salt is often the only seasoning we use for steaks!
- White wine– It isn’t often we pair beef with white wine, but a crisp white works well here without overpowering the subtler flavors of garlic and thyme.
- Beef stock- We have often sung the praises of Better Than Boullion for a convenient alternative to stocking your pantry with boxed stocks and broths.
- Worcestershire sauce– We add just enough to enhance the umami flavor of the steaks.
- Garlic– By now you know, we’re using a WHOLE HEAD of garlic cloves. You can buy pre-peeled cloves to make this part easier.
- Thyme– We love using fresh thyme in this recipe. Rosemary would also be lovely. If you use dried herbs, cut the amount in half.
- Cornstarch– This helps thicken the juices just a bit.
- Unsalted Butter– What’s a garlic butter steak bite without the butter? Use unsalted butter to keep the sauce from becoming overly salty.
How to Make Steak Bites in the Slow Cooker
- Season steak. Place the steak in a bowl and toss with the salt until evenly coated.
- Sear steak. Heat enough oil to coat a large skillet (we love this cast iron fryer) over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef, spreading it evenly over the pan. You may need to do this in two batches. Sear for 1-2 minutes, or until browned, then flip and sear for an additional 2 minutes. We want to get some good color on the steak without fully cooking it.
- Deglaze the pan. Transfer the steak to the slow cooker, then add the wine to the pan, scraping up any browned bits as it bubbles. Pour all the browned bits and juices from the pan into the slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir in the beef broth, worcestershire, garlic, and thyme. Whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry, then stir it into the pan as well. Top with sliced butter.
- Cook. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
Storage and Make Ahead Instructions
- Leftover steak bites should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
- Slow cooker recipes are, by nature, make-ahead friendly. If you’d like, you can prepare the entire recipe in advance, then allow it to cool and refrigerate it. When ready to eat, place it back in the crock pot on low for an hour or reheat in a low oven.
What to Serve with Crock Pot Steak Bites
How can I thicken the sauce?
When the steak bites are finished cooking, you’ll be left with a slow cooker full of the delicious tasty garlic butter juices they’re swimming in. We enjoyed the juices as is.
For a thicker, gravy like sauce: Whisk together a slurry of 1 Tablespoon cornstarch + 1 Tablespoon of the slow cooker juices, then stir it back into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.
What can I substitute for wine to deglaze the pan?
If you prefer not to use wine, you can use additional beef broth to deglaze the pan.
Do you have to brown steak before adding it to the slow cooker?
Technically, no. You can place raw steak in the crock pot without searing it first. It will cook completely in the slow cooker and should be pretty tender.
That said, we prefer to sear steak first. This extra step adds color and builds flavor in both the meat and the pan juices before adding them to the slow cooker.
Will steak go soft in the slow cooker?
You might be worried about cooking steak in the slow cooker. We were also concerned steak might get mushy, or perhaps even worse, tough, if cooked in the slow cooker. Thankfully that was not an issue.
The slow cooked steak bites were extremely tender without being mushy or soft. That said, we do recommend a shorter cooking time than the usual 8 hours.
Is stew meat the same as steak bites?
Stew meat is not the same as steak bites, but it should still work well for this recipe. Stew meat benefits from low and slow cooking, so this is a great budget friendly option.
Is this recipe gluten free?
Yes, these steak bites are gluten free as long as they’re prepared with gluten free beef broth and gluten free Worcestershire sauce. Always check labels if you’re preparing a dish for friends with gluten sensitivities.
More Beef Slow Cooker Meals for Easy Weeknight Dinners
Put your crock pot to good use with these other family favorites:
- Loaded Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
- Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef
- Slow Cooker Beer Pot Roast
- Crock Pot Barbacoa Tacos
- Slow Cooker Steak Chili
- Crock Pot Round Steak
- Crock Pot Taco Meat
- Crock Pot Hamburger Soup
You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite comfort foods to support your heart health. Research shows eating lean beef (like sirloin steak!) can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Plus, just a 3 oz. serving contains 25 grams of protein!
Visit www.OhioBeef.org, and follow the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more beef nutrition facts, cooking tips, and recipes. Plus, meet one of the more than 17,000 family farmers here in Ohio. Use #OhioBeef to share photos of the recipes you make this Valentine’s Day!
- 2 ½ lbs sirloin steak, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil, for coating
- ½ cup crisp dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups lower sodium beef stock or broth
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and halved or quartered
- 1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch + 1 Tablespoon water
- 4-5 thyme stems
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- Season steak. Place the steak in a bowl and toss with the salt until evenly coated.
- Sear steak. Heat enough oil to coat a large skillet (cast iron works great for this) over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef, spreading it evenly over the pan. You may need to do this in two batches. Sear for 1-2 minutes, or until browned, then flip and sear for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until browned but not cooked through. Transfer the steak to the slow cooker and repeat with the second batch.
- Deglaze the pan. Add the wine to the pan, scraping up any browned bits as it bubbles. Pour all the browned bits and juices from the pan into the slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir in the beef broth, Worcestershire, garlic, and thyme. Whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry, then stir it into the slow cooker as well. Top with the thyme and sliced butter.
- Cook. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, stirring once if possible. Before serving, remove any thyme stems. See notes for instructions to make a thicker gravy from the pan juices.
To thicken the gravy, whisk together 1 Tablespoon cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of the slow cooker juices. Stir the slurry into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low an additional 30 minutes, or until thickened.
Check labels, particularly on the broth and the Worcestershire, to ensure they're gluten free.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 568mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 40g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.