Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

This Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef has become one of our family favorites. Tender fall apart beef that simmers all day long in flavorful Mexican spices. If you are a fan of Chipotles Barbacoa Beef, you are going to love this recipe. We love to use the Barbacoa for quick and easy tacos. It’s perfect on a soft tortilla piled high with fresh pico de gallo, avocados and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

My very favorite slow cooker recipes are the ones that take the least amount of  preparation. On busy mornings, I just want to throw it in the slow cooker and go. With this barbacoa recipe, you simply season the meat and start the slow cooker. No need to sear the meat (though you can if you prefer) or add any additional liquids. The roast will release it’s own fat and liquid as it cooks. Starting the meat is a dry crock pot lets the meat develop it’s own flavorful crust similar to searing.

Start with a good quality cut of boneless chuck roast. A good quality cut will have a nice amount of fat that will render out in the slow cooker without being overly fatty. For very best results, use a fresh chuck roast you have not frozen.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Season meat on all sides and place is slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or until tender. You can see in the picture below that the roast has released plenty of liquid. You can also see that starting it in a dry crockpot has allowed the edges of the roast to develop a kind of soft crust that has a lot of flavor and adds texture to the meat.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef


Once the meat is tender, it’s time to shred and serve. Don’t discard the flavorful cooking liquid. Keep the juices in the slow cooker and let them combine with the shredded meat.


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Servings: 6 -8
  • 3 1/2 pounds of good quality boneless chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place boneless chuck roast in slow cooker and use seasoning to season on all sides.
  2. Cover and cook on low in slow cooker for 8-9 hours, or until meat is fork tender.
  3. Once meat is tender, shred in slow cooker and serve.
Recipe Notes

Do not add any extra liquid to slow cooker. The meat will release it's own fat and juices while cooking. Combine the cooking liquid in the slow cooker with the shredded meat to keep it moist and flavorful.


Perfect on tacos, in burritos, burrito bowls or just as a main dish with rice and beans!


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos

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  1. Oh my goodness! This looks amazing! my mouth wont stop watering! 🙂

  2. Do you use the entire mix of seasoning?

  3. Yum – thank you. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  4. I think the recipe has vanished! I can’t find it on the page and this is one of my husband and I’s favorite!

  5. Christine says:

    Hi – have you ever cooked the beef on high? I was hoping to cook it for dinner tonight but it’s already 12:30pm. :/

  6. Do you think you could do this with pork? I made it before with beef and loved it but accidentally bought the wrong meat at the grocery store this time!

  7. Do you think you could do this with a pork loin? I made it before with beef and loved it but I accidentally bought the wrong meat at the store this week!

  8. This is the best homemade Barbacoa! So easy to prepare and super yummy. My family keeps asking when I will be making it again. I am actually maki again today and I am making 2 roasts as I have a very large slow cooker. The seasoning is perfect and the liquid it creates is just the right amount. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe.

  9. This is a fantastic recipe! I picked it because I needed something quick and easy to do with a chuck roast in the freezer. The meat is so flavorful and literally fell apart when I went to shred it. I found it a bit salty so I will adjust that next time, but the spice mix was otherwise perfect. Thank you!!

  10. aaron clark says:

    this is not Barbacoa I’m sure it is good but not Barbacoa the real thing is made with cheek meat try cheek meat and you will see what real barbacoa is.

  11. Joann Leslie Zamora says:

    Do you think id be able to make 6lbs (double the recipe) of this in a 6qt crockpot?

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