Crockpot Barbacoa Beef

This slow cooker barbacoa beef recipe is easy to make at home and it is tender and full of flavor!  Use it in beef barbacoa bowls, salads, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, omelets and more.

Barbacoa Slow Cooker Recipe

What is barbacoa?

Barbacoa is an authentic Mexican meat recipe that is typically made with beef, goat or lamb. It is seasoned with dried chilies and spices and slow cooked until it is very tender.

So, now you know what barbacoa meat is, let’s get to the recipe.

This crock pot Barbacoa Beef smelled so good, I kind of expected the neighbors to come by looking to get in on the action.

I’m only sad that smell-o-vision has yet to be invented, so you would be able to get a whiff right through your screen.

Instead, let’s talk about the way it looks. Check out the crispy outer bark and those fork-tender inside pieces. This beef barbacoa recipe is pretty much the husband’s dream dinner. No need to add anything else, he’ll just have a plate of beef, please.

Looking for barbacoa recipes? Here is a great one! Barbacoa Crock Pot recipe

I did garnish it with a little cilantro so he’d get his daily serving of vegetables.

Ahhhh, just kidding. I had you there for a minute, didn’t I?

Sadly, I didn’t really allow him to eat an entire plate of beef for dinner. Instead, I made Barbacoa Beef Bowls. Yes, they were awesome!

Barbacoa Slow Cooker recipe

I’m trying really hard to put together more “regular” meals for us to eat for dinner. Most days I open the fridge to look for something to have for dinner and it’s just a hodgepodge of random dishes. A Thai-style soup, some lemon-pepper roast vegetables, and taco meat. Hmmmmm.

I mean, I’m creative, but I’m not THAT creative. I’m trying to organize my blog cooking by region-of-origin each week now so we have more cohesive meals.

barbacoa recipe slow cooker

This slow cooker beef barbacoa recipe is awesome because you can make it and either use it up right away, or freeze some of it for later. Besides making Barbacoa Beef Bowls, or a barbacoa salad, you can also use it as a filling for barbacoa tacos, barbacoa quesadillas, barbacoa burritos, and barbacoa tamales.

Ready to get beefy?

Here’s the Recipe!

Crockpot Barbacoa Beef

Crockpot Barbacoa Beef

This slow cooker barbacoa beef recipe is easy to make at home and it is tender and full of flavor!  Use it in beef barbacoa bowls, salads, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, omelets and more.

Yield: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes


  • 3 dried ancho chilies, seeded, stemmed, and torn into pieces
  • 2 dried chipotle chilies, seeded, stemmed, and torn into pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds chuck roast
  • 1 white onion, sliced


  1. Set a saute pan over medium heat and add the chilies and garlic. Toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups broth to the pan and turn off the heat. Let the chilies soak and the broth cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a blender along with the oregano, cumin, coriander, and salt. Puree.
  2. Return the pan to the stove, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, place the chuck roast in the pan and sear for 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan and place in the crock of a slow cooker.
  3. Add the sliced onion to the hot pan and saute until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add the extra 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Transfer the onions to the slow cooker.
  4. Pour the pureed chili pepper mixture on top of the beef and onions. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until fork tender.
  5. Remove the beef from the cooker and shred with a fork. Skim the fat from the liquid in the slow cooker and toss the juices with the shredded meat.


You may want to put the reserved drippings in the fridge to help solidify the fats before skimming.




Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 586|Total Fat: 39g|Saturated Fat: 15g|Trans Fat: 2g|Unsaturated Fat: 21g|Cholesterol: 189mg|Sodium: 671mg|Carbohydrates: 4g|Fiber: 1g|Sugar: 2g|Protein: 57g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

Did you make this recipe?

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October 8, 2014 | Last Updated on November 23, 2020 by Linda

17 thoughts on “Crockpot Barbacoa Beef”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made it for dinner last night, and it was delicious. I am very excited to eat the leftovers for the next couple days. I am lazy, so I used canned chipotles instead of the dried peppers and it still turned out very good. Also I let it cook in my crockpot for 12 hours (I work long days and my crockpot doesn’t have a timer) and it was still very tender, not dry.

  2. Oh my god this beef look SO soft, moist and delicious. This recipe is definitely the perfect excuse for me to pull out and use my slow cooker. Thanks for the great idea!

  3. I have a terrible habit of never reading the recipe beforehand. I just scan the ingredients and dash to the store! So, I had to use chipotles in adobo, but removed the seeds. Hope that works! Also, there were 4 ancho chiles in my bag so I just used them all….hoping that doesn’t backfire!

    It sure does smell good! My only other huge mistake is I took too long to do all of this and didn’t get it into the crock pot until nearly 11am! So, gonna try a few hours on high first, then switch to low.

    Will be turning this into the bowls, pretty excited about it!!!

  4. I’ve been OBSESSED with my crockpot lately! This looks so good–definitely going to give it a try soon!


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