Slow Cooker BBQ Beef

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Our Slow Cooker BBQ Beef features tender, shredded beef flavored with a dry rub and slow cooked for up to 6 hours in your slow cooker. It makes the best shredded bbq beef sandwiches!

If you follow our blog, then you know that for a while we lived in Florida. A lot of the condos and complexes we lived in banned grills and smokers. As a result, I had to learn how to prepare BBQ beef and BBQ chicken without a grill.

I used a lot of cast iron griddles over the years to create savory burgers and BBQ Grilled Chicken.

Grilled Pork Chops and easy homemade hamburgers are two of my cast iron favorites. Most of the time we used the slow cooker for other types of dishes like Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks or Crockpot BBQ Meatballs.

A bbq beef sandwich served with bbq sauce.

How to Make Slow Cooker BBQ Beef

  1. Combine the barbecue sauce and beef broth in a large measuring cup or mixing bowl.
  2. Next, liberally apply the dry rub to all sides of the chuck roast. Then, place the roast into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker.
  3. Carefully, pour the barbecue sauce mixture into the slow cooker around the roast, and try to avoid washing off the dry rub.
  4. For the best results, set the crock pot to LOW and let the BBQ beef slow cook for 5-6 hours. But, feel free to cook the roast on HIGH for 2-3 hours if needed.
  5. Once finishes cooking, use tongs to transfer it from the cooker to a waiting plate or large bowl. Shred the beef using two forks, a set of meat claws, or tongs.
  6. Last, return the beef back to the cooker and serve it with the juices and sauce. This will keep the meat moist and juicy.
  7. You can serve slow cooker BBQ beef as a sandwich, on nachos, with Texas toast, or as is. Enjoy!
Collage showing how to make slow cooker bbq beef.

Crockpot BBQ Beef Tips and Variations:

  • I used a 2 ¼ pound roast for this recipe. Adjust the cook time accordingly for a larger sized chuck roast.
  • I recommend cooking the crockpot bbq beef on low instead of high. The low setting produces the most tender and moist meat. The high setting has a tendency to dry out the meat a bit.
  • Use your favorite homemade or store bought barbecue sauce. I usually go for something similar to Sweet Baby Ray’s.
  • Serving suggestions for shredded bbq beef:
A close-up of the shredded bbq beef sandwich.

What cut of meat is used for BBQ beef?

That depends on your taste preferences. For shredded BBQ beef, like this slow cooker BBQ beef, then you would want to use a chuck roast.

For sliced BBQ beef, then a brisket works best. Either way, to keep the meat tender and juicy, then it has to be slow cooked.

The best method is a smoker; however, few people own the right equipment. However, you can use a slow cooker (crock pot) or your oven at a low temperature (less than 250°F.).

What cut of beef is best for shredding?

I like chuck or bottom roast with good marbling (fat distribution) is best for shredding.

As the beef slow cooks, the fat will, “melt” and add a ton of flavor to the meat. Best of all, as it melts, the beef loosens up for shredding.

Will BBQ sauce burn in the crockpot?

No, it won’t burn as long as it’s mixed with another liquid like broth or water. If the sauce is poured directly over the meat, it can burn if it’s not combined with another liquid.

If you’re concerned about the barbecue sauce being diluted by the beef broth, slow cook the roast first without the sauce. Shred the meat, add the sauce to the crockpot, and cook for an additional 45 minutes to an hour.

You’ll still need a little beef broth when cooking the roast to keep it and the dry rub from burning. Another option is to use a little less beef broth.


Refrigerator: When it comes time to store leftovers, store the meat with the liquid from the slow cooker. Doing so will keep it from drying out in your fridge. Store the crockpot bbq beef in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

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The shredded bbq beef sandwich served with coleslaw.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef

4.7 from 3 votes
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Author: John
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 24 ounces low-sodium beef broth
  • 18 ounces barbecue sauce
  • 2 ¼ pounds beef roast, chuck, top, or bottom
  • cup dry rub, (We used brown sugar and hickory flavor.)


  • In a mixing cup, whisk together the beef broth and barbecue sauce. Set aside.
    24 ounces low-sodium beef broth
    18 ounces barbecue sauce
  • Sprinkle the dry rub evenly over the roast on all sides. Rub the seasonings in so they soak into the meat.
    ⅓ cup dry rub
    2 ¼ pounds beef roast
  • Place the roast into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. Pour the beef broth/barbecue sauce mixture around the roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours.
  • After the time is up, remove the lid and use tongs to remove the beef from the slow cooker. Shred the beef using two forks or a set of meat claws. Return the meat to the slow cooker or serve immediately.
  • See post for storage options.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ¼ pound bbq beef. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.


Serving: 0.25pounds | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 2894mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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