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Super tender with a slight kick, this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe is a tasty dish that can be served up many ways. Perfect for potlucks, family meals, and gatherings.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe on plate with pico, rice and guacamole.

I’m a huge lover of Barbacoa, always have been. I had to share my Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe with you, it is one of my favorite Mexican-themed recipes that we make.

WIth delicious spices and tender meat you really can’t say no to this one, and it’s a fix and forget it meal! Those are the best, especially now when it’s getting warmer and I don’t want to turn on my oven.

Anything that I can throw together and have done in a few hours I’m down for, it saves me time during dinner because it’s ready to serve and go.

This is one reason why we love our slow cooker so much and that I post a lot of various slow cooker recipes, they are just fun, easy, and always tasty.

Some of my favorite slow cooker recipes that we have on our site include: Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Slow Cooker Beer Brats and Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches.

Overhead of Barbacoa on plate with sides.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  • With various spices and ingredients, it all works together to create an amazing flavor.
  • There are so many different ways to serve this!
  • This makes a nice hearty batch.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (FULL RECIPE BELOW):

Beef chuck roast or brisket cut into large chunks
Beef broth
Chipotle chilies in Adobo sauce
Adobo sauce
Apple cider vinegar
Lime juice
Garlic
Oregano
Ground cumin
Salt
Pepper
Ground cloves
Bay leaves

Ingredients needed to make a Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe.

HOW TO MAKE THIS SLOW COOKER BARBACOA RECIPE:

  1. Cut the beef roast into 7 or 8 large chunks and place in the crockpot.
  2. In a blender, combine the beef broth, Chipotle chiles, Adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, black pepper and cloves. Puree until smooth.
  3. Pour the contents of the blender over the beef in the crockpot.
  4. Toss the pieces of beef to coat in the sauce mixture. 
  5. Push the bay leaves down into the liquid in the crockpot.
  6. Cook the beef in the crock pot on high for approximately 4 to 6 hours (depending on the size of the pieces) or 8 to 10 hours on low until they are tender.
  7. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce.
  8. Use two forks to shred the beef. You can remove the pieces from the crockpot and place them on a cutting board to make shredding easier.
  9. Return the shredded beef to the crock pot and stir to coat the shredded meat with the sauce.
  10. When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to remove the shredded meat.

Step by step photos on how to make a Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe.

WHAT KIND OF MEAT IS BEST USED FOR BARBACOA?

Traditionally, beef, lamb, or goat is used when making barbacoa in Mexico. In the USA we typically use some type of beef roast – chuck roast, brisket or other types of beef roasts that can be slow-cooked in a slow cooker (round roast, rump roast, etc) can also work.

WHAT DO YOU SERVE THIS WITH?

You can serve the shredded meat in soft tortillas with a squeeze of lime, some pico de gallo, and a bit of fresh cilantro on top.

You can also use it to create a burrito bowl. Place some rice in a bowl and top with the shredded barbacoa meat, fresh pico de gallo, and a bit of guacamole.

There are so many other different ways as well that you can think of, these are the most common ones that we use.

WHAT SEASONINGS WORK BEST FOR THIS RECIPE?

Traditionally spices are combined with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make the marinade that the beef will be slow-cooked in.

Vinegar and lime are added to help tenderize the meat. Spices include oregano, cumin, and bay leaf. The one spice that people are tempted to leave out is the addition of a small amount of ground cloves.

Even just a half teaspoon of ground cloves deliciously blends with the other flavors in the marinade, so you don’t want to leave it out.

Close up side view of Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe on plate with sides.

HOW TO STORE:

This can be stored in an airtight container where it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 days.

This can also be frozen, place cooled meat in a freezer bag or container and it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To defrost, remove to the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water or broth.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Serve this in various different ways, see my tips above.
  • This can be cooked on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  • Chuck roast or brisket work best for this recipe.
  • This has a kick from the chipotle and adobo, if you want less spice you can leave some of that out.
  • This can be frozen, see my tips above.
  • Make sure you get a good cut of meat, this can be the make or break on the tenderness for shredding.

Fork holding up some of the Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe.

Love your slow cooker? Love a nice spicy dish? Then I think you absolutely have to make this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe ASAP!

If you like this recipe you might also like:

If you’ve tried this SLOW COOKER BARBACOA RECIPE let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 4 votes

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 10 minutes
Super tender with a slight kick this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe is a tasty dish that can be served up many ways. Perfect for potlucks, family meals and gatherings.
Servings 12 - 14

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Cut the beef roast into 7 or 8 large chunks and place in the crockpot.
  • In a blender, combine the beef broth, Chipotle chiles, Adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, black pepper and cloves. Puree until smooth.
  • Pour the contents of the blender over the beef in the crockpot.
  • Toss the pieces of beef to coat in the sauce mixture.
  • Push the bay leaves down into the liquid in the crockpot.
  • Cook the beef in the crock pot on high for approximately 4 to 6 hours (depending on the size of the pieces) or 8 to 10 hours on low until they are tender.
  • Remove the bay leaves from the sauce.
  • Use two forks to shred the beef. You can remove the pieces from the crockpot and place them on a cutting board to make shredding easier.
  • Return the shredded beef to the crock pot and stir to coat the shredded meat with the sauce.
  • When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to remove the shredded meat.

Notes

  1. Serve this in various different ways, see my tips above.
  2. This can be cooked on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
  3. Chuck roast or brisket work best for this recipe.
  4. This has kick from the chipotle and adobo, if you want less spice you can leave some of that out.
  5. This can be frozen, see my tips above.
  6. Make sure you get a good cut of meat, this can be the make or break on the tenderness for shredding.

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 860mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican

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5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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