Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa—flavorful, seasoned beef chuck roast that shreds like a dream and is perfect for so many different dinners. Try this barbacoa beef in cheesy quesadillas, crispy tacos, rolled up as enchiladas or piled on top of nachos.
Get the INSTANT POT Barbacoa Beef recipe here
Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
This barbacoa beef is so flavorful and tender. This is a cook-all-day type of slow cooker recipe and is totally worth it! We served our beef on tacos and then I also made a pan of enchiladas for another day with the leftover beef. This beef would be perfect on a Cafe Rio type of salad too. There are so many ways to enjoy this barbacoa beef: salads, nachos, tostados, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, rice bowls, etc. Get creative with toppings and enjoy slow cooker beef barbacoa for dinner this week!
Keys to getting tender, flavorful roast in the slow cooker
- I used a beef chuck roast. This cut of beef does really well in the slow cooker. It was on sale at Winco for only $2.99 a pound.
- I cut the beef roast into 6 equal pieces. This ensures that all the beef cooks in a reasonable amount of time and each piece gets coated in the delicious sauce.
- I cooked it for a long time. Beef chuck roast needs the long cooking time to get tender and break down the connective tissue. Even when cut into 6 smaller pieces (about ½ pound each) it still needed an 8 hour slow cooking time on low. If you’re plopping a huge roast into your slow cooker it will need an even longer cooking time. Up to 12 hours.
- I browned the beef to add an extra flavor dimension. Yes this does take some extra time up front but it bumps up the depth of flavor a lot.
- I added in some liquid. A flavorful beef broth plus the other seasonings help the beef to be tender and flavorful.
More Beef Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Love…
What Equipment Did You Use?
To make Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa I used my Ninja Auto-iQ 6 Quart Slow Cooker.* My favorite feature of this slow cooker is that it has a stove top function. This is perfect for sauteing or browning before you slow cook. This slow cooker has four manual cooking functions: slow cook, stove top sear/Saute, steam, and bake.
Flavorful, seasoned beef chuck roast that shreds like a dream and is perfect for so many different dinners. Try this barbacoa beef in cheesy quesadillas, crispy tacos, rolled up as enchiladas or piled on top of nachos.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 ½ pounds beef chuck roast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup beef broth
- 4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (canned)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- Cut your roast into 6 equal size pieces. Cut off all excess fat and silver skin. Use a paper towel to pat the roast dry. Sprinkle the kosher salt and pepper all over the meat and use your fingers to press it into the meat.
- Heat a large pan on your stove top over medium high heat. Add in the oil and swirl it around. Use tongs to place each piece of meat in the bottom of the pan so that each piece is touching the bottom of the pan. Let the meat sit there and sizzle and brown for 5 minutes. Use tongs to turn the meat over and let it brown on the other side for 5 minutes.
- While the meat is browning add the beef broth, chipotle chilies, garlic, cumin, oregano and ground cloves to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Use tongs to move the meat to the slow cooker. Pour the blended mixture over the top of the meat. Add in the bay leaves.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-12 hours, or until beef is tender.
- Remove the beef and place on a cutting board. Remove bay leaves and discard. Shred the meat. Add the meat back into the slow cooker. Add in the lime juice. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to strain off juices from meat and then serve and enjoy!
I used my Ninja Auto-iQ 6 Quart Slow Cooker.*
- Category: Beef
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.