Slow-cooked in homemade barbecue sauce, this crockpot BBQ beef is wonderfully flavorful. I love serving it in lettuce wraps!
The idea for this recipe came to me when I was staring at the chuck roast I had in the fridge, wondering if I could make something different with it. Something a bit more exciting than plain pot roast.
Don't get me wrong - I love homemade pot roast. It's the ultimate comfort food. But variety is the spice of life, and sometimes you just feel like making something different!
Combining two favorites into one dish
Then it occurred to me - my family adores pulled pork and pulled chicken. Why not try the same concept with beef? I was curious to see what would happen if I combine a favorite cut of beef - chuck roast - with my delicious homemade barbecue sauce and let them cook away in the slow cooker.
The resulting BBQ beef is amazing - rich, flavorful, filling, and so comforting. I've been making it often. In the winter, it's wonderful over hot cauliflower mash. And in the summer, I love serving it in lettuce wraps.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few ingredients to make slow cooker BBQ beef. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
BBQ sauce: As mentioned above, I use my tried-and-tested homemade bbq sauce in this recipe. It's easy to make, it requires no cooking, and it's delicious. But you can certainly opt for store-bought instead. My homemade sauce is made with tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, garlic and onion powders, smoked paprika, and a sweetener.
Beef chuck roast: One of my favorite cuts of beef. VERY flavorful, but requires slow cooking or it's tough. Try to select a well-trimmed piece, or ask the butcher to trim it for you. I've got nothing against fat (it's delicious!), but when making shredded meat, you don't want large pieces of fat in there.
How to make slow cooker BBQ beef
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by mixing the BBQ sauce in a bowl or a jar. It's very easy! Simply add all the ingredients and whisk to combine.
Next, place the meat in your slow cooker. Pour the BBQ sauce on top and use your hands to make sure the meat is well coated.
Cook the meat for 5 hours on HIGH or for 8 hours on LOW, until it's very tender. I tried cooking it on high for 4 hours and it wasn't tender enough to shred - so I recommend 5 hours on high. Carefully remove the lid - hot steam will escape - and use two forks to shred the meat and mix it with the cooking juices.
How to serve crockpot BBQ beef
Another great bed for this dish is mashed cauliflower. And you can also serve in on a bed of raw young spinach leaves. The warm sauce will wilt the spinach just enough to lightly cook it.
And as mentioned above, in the summer, I prefer to serve this dish in lettuce wraps, as shown in the photos.
How to store the leftovers
Leftovers keep very well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power, to prevent splatters and also to prevent the meat from drying out.
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Slow Cooker BBQ Beef
- 3 lb. beef chuck roast well-trimmed
- 7 oz tomato paste (¾ cup)
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (not fine table salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I use ½ teaspoon stevia glycerite)
- Place the meat in your slow cooker pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce ingredients.
- Pour the BBQ sauce over the meat. Use your hands to ensure the meat is well coated.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Or cook on HIGH for 5 hours.
- Carefully remove the lid (hot steam will escape). Use two forks to shred the meat and mix it with the cooking juices. Serve immediately.