Slow cooker BBQ beef is a hearty meal with a minimum fuss that delivers maximum taste. This recipe is made with just a handful of simple ingredients, most of which you already have in your pantry.
And the best part? The slow cooker does most of the work while you kick back and enjoy the aroma of simmering beef filling your home. My slow cooker is my secret weapon for getting hearty meals on the dinner table with a busy family. Because nothing beats the convenience of a set-it-and-forget-it meal.
And these Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches are a crowd-pleasing dinner and a family favorite. Juicy meat cooks all day, and then at dinner, pile it on buns with melty cheese, jalapenos, and bacon and top it off with crispy fried onions. It’s so good!
In this post, I will guide you through this recipe step by step. We’ll cover everything from the ingredients you’ll need to the best cut of beef and even some tips for how to serve these delicious sandwiches.
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
- Chuck roast: You might be tempted to substitute this with a leaner cut, but the marbling in chuck roast makes for a melt-in-your-mouth experience after slow cooking.
- BBQ sauce: I use my favorite store-bought Dinosaur BBQ sauce, but use whatever you like best. Homemade barbecue sauce works great too!
- Bacon: Half of it goes in the Crock Pot with the beef, and the other half is used as a topping later because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want more bacon?
- Yellow onion
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic or garlic powder
- Brown sugar
- Jalapenos: Don’t worry if you’re not big on heat – the slow cooking process mellows the jalapenos out nicely.
- Buns, cheese, and crispy fried onions: For serving these sandwiches.
🥣How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches
- Toss your beef, BBQ sauce, half the bacon, onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and half the jalapenos into your trusty slow cooker.
- Cover and set it on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when the meat is fork-tender.
- Once your meat is tender and juicy, it’s time to shred it up using two forks. Then drain the excess liquid from the slow cooker and put the beef back in it.
- Add a slice of cheese to your bun, followed by the shredded beef. Top it off with the leftover bacon, jalapenos, and a generous sprinkle of crispy fried onions.
🍴Serving Ideas for Your Cowboy Beef Sandwiches
Classic BBQ sides like coleslaw, corn on the cob, or fresh salad are always a crowd-pleaser in my family. If you’re in the mood for something more hearty, why not whip up some air fryer sweet potato fries or onion rings?
They are surprisingly easy to make and are the perfect texture complement to the tender beef. Or, if you’re like me and always seem to have leftover baked beans in your fridge (seriously, how does one small can produce so much?), those would pair beautifully with the delicious flavors of the BBQ beef sandwiches.
While I usually use the meat for sandwiches, this BBQ beef is also delicious over rice, pasta, or baked potatoes. It is a versatile dish!
💭How to Store
First, allow your leftover BBQ beef to cool completely.
Once cooled, transfer your leftover beef into an airtight container. If you’ve made enough to feed an army and can’t finish it all within a few days, you can also store it in a freezer-safe bag and pop it in the freezer. Label it with the date so you don’t find yourself playing the “Is this still good?” game in a few months.
Your shredded BBQ beef will stay good in the fridge for about three to four days. In the freezer, it can last up to three months. So, whether you’re batch cooking for the week or prepping for a future day when you don’t feel like cooking, these beef sandwiches have your back.
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
- The best cut of meat: I usually go for a chuck roast. It’s an inexpensive, flavorful cut that holds up well to slow cooking. You want a piece of meat that’s marbled with fat. Don’t let that word scare you off! Fat equals flavor, and slow cooking will turn it into delicious, tender beef.
- Some like it hot: Slow-cooked Jalapenos do not add that much heat. But if you are sensitive to heat, you can leave them out.
- Smoky flavor: Add a little liquid smoke to give your sandwiches even more BBQ flavor.
- Crispy toppings: The crispy bacon and French fried onions contrast beautifully with the melty cheese and soft beef. But feel free to add your favorite beef sandwich toppings, like more BBQ sauce, mushrooms, or horseradish.
Absolutely! I’ve made this recipe with pork and even chicken, and it’s just as lip-smackingly good. Just remember, the cooking time might vary depending on the type and size of the meat.
You bet! Slow cooker barbecue beef is excellent for meal prep. You can cook the meat ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Then, when you’re ready to eat, heat it up and pile it onto those buns.
No slow cooker? No problem! This shredded beef barbecue recipe can easily be adapted for the oven. Place the ingredients in a Dutch oven and cook at 275°F until the beef is tender. It’ll take about 3 to 4 hours. Remember to check on it occasionally and add more liquid if needed.
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Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Recipe
- 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
- 2 cups BBQ sauce
- 1 pound bacon cooked and divided
- 1/2 medium onion sliced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 ounce can diced jalapenos
For serving the sandwiches
- Sliced Colby jack cheese or your favorite cheese
- Crispy fried onions
- Add the beef roast, BBQ sauce, half of the cooked bacon, the onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and half of the jalapenos to the slow cooker.3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, 2 cups BBQ sauce, 1 pound bacon, 1/2 medium onion, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup brown sugar, 4 ounce can diced jalapenos
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours until the meat falls apart with a fork.
- Shred the beef using a couple of forks or with meat claws.
- Drain most of the liquid from the slow cooker and add the beef back into it.
- To assemble the sandwiches start with a slice of cheese on your bun. Top with the shredded beef.Sliced Colby jack cheese, Rolls
- Then add the leftover bacon and jalapenos, and finish with the crispy fried onions.Crispy fried onions, 1 pound bacon
- Chuck roast is an inexpensive yet flavorful cut that holds up well to slow cooking.
- Jalapenos that are slow-cooked do not add that much heat. If you don’t like it spicy, leave out the ones for topping the sandwiches.
- Use whatever type of cheese you like and your favorite BBQ sauce.
- You can also serve barbecue beef on rice, noodles, or baked potatoes.
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Nutrition facts are estimates.