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The Best Barbacoa recipe! Tender, deliciously seasoned beef cooked low and slow in the slow cooker. Perfect for tacos, burritos, and salads.

Photograph of barbacoa beef on a tortilla.
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One of my favorite things to order when we happen to be in an area where we can visit a certain restaurant has always been their barbacoa. It always makes for a meal that is out of this world. But, even though restaurant barbacoa may be readily available in most areas, they are few and far between in my neck of the woods. I’d have to drive about 40 miles to the nearest one. I have to say, my easy homemade barbacoa rivals that restaurant favorite! I hope you enjoy it, too!

Barbacoa Beef Recipe

Making this tender, delicious barbacoa beef in the slow cooker is so easy and so incredibly delicious!

Ingredients

Photograph of recipe ingredients for how to make barbacoa.

To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients.

  • Beef – I prefer to use a chuck roast for this recipe. It becomes incredibly tender and flavorful in this recipe. Note that you can just place the whole chuck roast into the slow cooker without cubing, or cube it if you prefer.
  • Beef broth – Adds moisture to the beef as it cooks.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Helps to balance the recipe.
  • Garlic – You can use fresh garlic that has been finely chopped, or you can use Stone House Seasoning in place of the garlic and salt in the recipe.
  • Chipotle chilis – You’ll use canned chipotle chilis that are canned in adobo sauce. Remove the chilis from the sauce and chop them to use in the recipe. 
  • Adobo sauce – You will also use a portion of the adobo sauce from the canned chipotle chilis. This adds incredible flavor to the recipe.
  • Seasonings: Cumin, Chili powder, and Salt – Adds depth of flavor to the recipe. In place of the salt and garlic, use Stone House Seasoning.
  • Optional toppings: Red Onion, Cilantro, and Lime

How to Make Barbacoa Beef

Photograph of beef ready to be cooked.

Add chuck roast to the insert of the slow cooker.

Photograph of seasonings to be added to beef for barbacoa.

Stir together beef broth, apple cider vinegar, garlic, chilis, adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Pour into the slow cooker.

Beef with sauce in a pot ready to cook.

Cook on low setting for 8 hours.

Photograph of barbacoa beef shredded in a pot with two forks.

Shred the barbacoa beef in the slow cooker using two forks. It absorbs even more of the delicious barbacoa sauce as it is in the slow cooker.

Barbacoa on a platter with cilantro, lime slices, and two forks.

Use a pair of tongs or a fork to easily serve the barbacoa with a drizzle of additional sauce.

How to Serve Barbacoa Beef

Barbacoa beef is delicious in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, soups, and salads. That spicy kick is unmistakably delicious!

Barbacoa on soft tortilla with lime, cilantro and red onion.

We especially love to toast tortillas and then pile on our barbacoa with our favorite toppings of red onion and additional cilantro.

Served with a side of salsa and a fresh squeeze of lime, it is a meal my whole family loves!

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions

To make ahead, prepare it according to the recipe instructions. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To freeze, store in an airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Other Favorite Beef Recipes

Pot Roast Recipe

Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Swedish Meatballs

Here’s my Easy Barbacoa recipe. I think you are going to make this again and again!

5 from 16 votes

Easy Barbacoa Recipe

Dinner 8 hrs 5 mins

Photo of barbacoa on soft tortilla with cilantro, red onion, and extra sauce drizzled on top.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Servings 6
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
The Best Barbacoa recipe! Tender, deliciously seasoned beef cooked low and slow in the slow cooker. Perfect for tacos, burritos, and salads.

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 1 (4-5 pound) chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2-3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce chopped
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Optional Toppings:

  • red onion
  • cilantro
  • lime

Instructions 

  • Add chuck roast to the insert of slow cooker. In a 2 cup measuring cup stir together beef broth, apple cider vinegar, garlic, chilis, adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt. Pour into slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8 hours.
  • Shred beef in the slow cooker using two forks. Serve barbacoa with a drizzle of additional sauce.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator or in the freezer for a few months.

Video

Notes

To make ahead, prepare it according to the recipe instructions. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze, store in an airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 343mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Slow Cooker Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was a hit on a blustery fall day. My husband said it does taste just like that certain restaurant’s version. Thanks for a really easy meal.

  2. 5 stars
    Easy, fast and delicious. It was great because it was a warm day and didn’t have to heat up kitchen. Made it exactly as recipe stated. My slow cooker runs pretty warm even on low so I cooked it for 7 hrs The flavor was amazing. Served with a big side salad. Yummy, will definitely be a repeater.

  3. 5 stars
    I saved this recipe several years ago and finally decided to make it. Ah, it is fabulous! I live in San Diego so chipotles in adobo sauce are readily available and really makes this recipe. I put only the beef on a flour tortilla, no toppings and it was so good. Thank you Robyn.

  4. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe, I cut it in half for a 2 lb roast, and it comes out perfect every time,…if some one wants salt they can add it to their own serving…but its perfect for me as it is…thank you so much for sharing this recipe

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