The Ultimate Slow-Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef

by Heather on April 12, 2012

What I’m about to show you should be illegal because it’s so easy.  In fact, it may just BE illegally easy and here I am risking my life as I know it to share it with you guys.


You’re welcome.  You know, in advance before I get locked away.  Not that I’m dramatic or anything…

In all seriousness though this is the easiest dinner I think I’ve ever made.  You literally whisk the sauce together, pour it over the meat, let it cook in the crockpot all day and then shred and enjoy.  And the amount of cooking you do?  Zilch.  Unless you count shredding as cooking.


Want to know a secret?  I may have snacked on the leftovers all day long for the next few days and didn’t even care that I was having shredded beef as a “snack.”  I mean really, who does that?


I’ll tell you who…me.  And I have no shame!


The great part about this (besides the super-easy part) is that you can literally mix your own sauce to match your taste or mood.  Need some spice in your life?  Toss in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper…I won’t judge.  What about some sweetness?  Brown sugar or molasses baby!  What about some smokiness?  Lord help me, you could add some cooked bacon or even some chipotle peppers.  OMG.  The options are limitless, and I would be willing to guar-an-TEE that you, your family, your friends, or that guy you met on the street today will all love it.


(Unless said people are veg/vegan…in which case they probably won’t.)


Let’s rock this!


  • 1 roast of your choosing (mine was a rump roast, around 4 lbs)
  • 24 oz. bbq sauce of your choosing
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • black pepper to taste

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the meat in the bowl of your slow cooker.  Put the meat in there and turn to coat.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 until the meat shreds easily.  Remove the meat with 1 hour to go and shred with two forks, then add it back in to the sauce and let it finish cooking the final hour.  Serve hot!

Man, it was almost painful writing that out.


NOT! :)

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{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sara April 12, 2012

YUM, this looks amazing. Love using the slow cooker, and this recipe looks extra fantastic! :)


2 Blog is the New Black April 12, 2012



3 Kim in MD April 12, 2012

I love slow-cooker recipes, and I am so glad that you are making easy meals in these early days of motherhood. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious, which this looks like it definitely is!


4 kale April 12, 2012

This post made me laugh. I’d be snackin’ on that bad boy shame-free too!


5 j3nn April 12, 2012

Oh man, that looks divine!!! I’m drooling. :)


6 Tina @ Best Body Fitness April 12, 2012

I do something similar and LOVE it! So tasty. I adore BBQ!


7 Urban Wife April 12, 2012

“Man, it was almost painful writing that out.” <— hilarious! :)

This is perfect for husband, who loves BBQ.


8 Feast on the Cheap April 12, 2012

Oh my goodness, looks so juicy and tender!


9 Anna @ On Anna's Plate April 13, 2012

This looks great– I have a feeling we’re about to put our slow cooker into major use in the upcoming months :-) I’m marking this recipe!


10 Jen of My Tiny Oven April 13, 2012

This looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it. You always have the best recipes!!


11 Emily @ runningmyliferace April 13, 2012

I made almost the exact same thing today, except I used a pork rump roast. I was completely amazed at how well it turned out and how easy it was! Yay for easy, delicious meals and left overs.


12 Suzanne April 14, 2012

Looks like a great recipe to have on hand for family and friends thanks :)


13 Dale May 4, 2012

Seems like all the other ingredients add up to barbeque sauce… so why not just do all ingredients or all sauce? Seems wasteful in terms of effeciency to do all the ingredients.


14 Heather May 4, 2012

i find that adding the other ingredients livens up the flavor of a store-bought sauce as well as adds the extra liquid needed for a slow cooker recipe. hope that helps!


15 Denise Peace May 4, 2012

I do something similar…so delicious and easy! May try adding a bit of the vinegar/ brown sugar. I also throw pork roast in….I don’t like it quite as well, but it is easier on the budget. I really like the pork with chipotle……put it on buns or corn tortillas or just eat with a bit of brown rice. Yummmmmmmm!


16 Anneke May 15, 2012

This looks so amazing and mouthwatering! Yummy!


17 miriam June 21, 2012

that looks absolutely disgusting, american food, que asco!!


18 Heather June 21, 2012

Hi Miriam,

Then I suppose it’s a blessing to you that you have such fantastic Spanish food at your disposal! I for one love American food and this was delicious.

Much love,



19 Alex November 4, 2012

Heather thank you for this great idea…..I tried it with corned beef (silverside) and it came out amazing!!!

Cant wait to try it with Pork!


20 lisa November 11, 2012

this is truly a great way to cook your beef. everyone loves it.


21 Karen December 29, 2012

This may be a dumb question but I’m asking anyway…is the roast thawed or frozen? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!


22 Heather December 29, 2012

No such thing as a dumb question! :) I used thawed meat (well, I don’t think it was ever frozen…); I haven’t tried it with frozen so I can’t say for SURE that it would work that way, but I do use frozen chicken when I make shredded chicken in the slow cooker!


23 deborah January 19, 2013

Went in search of a crock pot BBQ beef, and this was my first stop! This sounds delicious, and oh so easy!! I had a 2.5lb. rump roast that I’m trying this out on, with half of the ingredients, and letting it cook all night! Hubby brought this, and a larger one, home which we roasted, for the first time I might add, and it was true to what people told me a rump would be … the toughest piece of meat I’d ever had! :( Ended up putting it in the crock and cooking it until it was more tender, shredded it and added it to make beef n’ noodles. Forgive me, but that was definitely one way to recycle that rump!! Lol!! I’m hoping this smaller one comes out even more tender … hey, I’ll let you know! :) I’m going to look around here some more, and I’ll be following you, too! Thanks ever so much, Heather!! Blessings!


24 Heather January 19, 2013

I hope you like the smaller one! It’s definitely a tougher piece of meat unless it’s cooked low and slow :)


25 deborah January 20, 2013

It was awesome, Heather! When hubby got up the next morning he had no idea what that heavenly smell was … it cooked on low all night, done by lunch, and was so much more tender than the first one! It had such a wonderful flavor with your ingredients, too … this one is a keeper! Thanks again, ever so much!! :)


26 Heather January 21, 2013



27 Jacquie January 30, 2013

I would definitely not use a rump roast for this recipe. A rump roast has no fat or marbling which is crucial to a moist and tender piece of meat. In fact in my opinion a rump roast isn’t a good cut for anything. Use a chuck roast. It has some fat and connective tissue that breaks down during a slow cook and has great flavor. This is the perfect cut of meat for shredding and for making a slow cooked pot roast. A chuck roast is similar to how it cooks as a pork shoulder/Boston butt when making pulled pork. This is just my opinion.


28 Brad February 7, 2013

I was excited to have found this! I have two chuck roasts which are fresh from my uncles farm. They are probably around 4 lbs or so between the two. I cut them into halves so they would fit better in our crockpot. I will wake up at 5am tomorrow morning so I can shread them!


29 Lori A February 23, 2013

This recipe is not only easy and can be somewhat quick, but extremely delicious. Have made it twice for my family and a few friends and just got a request for the recipe.


30 Heather February 23, 2013

That’s great! I’m so glad you like it – it’s a go-to around our house!


31 Lori March 6, 2013

Made this tonight for my family (husband and 3 teenage boys). Huge success. They loved it and I loved that it was so simple. This will become a staple in our house for sure.


32 Heather March 7, 2013

YAY! I’m so glad you and your family liked it!


33 Kathryn March 7, 2013

Giggling here; Well, you have no shortage in Passion…….
I think I’ll defrost my roast and pick up some BBQ sauce for the crock pot tomorrow.
A side of slaw and maybe some sweet potato fries, should put my two lbs. back on. Eh, what the heck…..!! Printing…….

Thank you….enjoyed your recipe….:+)



34 Deborah April 20, 2013

This is actually ridiculously good. My son was thrilled because it had no ONIONS in it, which I would have added except I was out. This made the house smell great and tasted like more. Thanks… this will be a staple from now on.


35 Heather April 21, 2013

I’m so glad your family liked it! I’m never one to be afraid of onions, but I have a lot of friends/family who aren’t fans either – now we can all eat the same meal! :)


36 Emma May 11, 2013

Can’t wait to try this but I only have a fan assisted oven at my disposal. Tried a spiced, pulled pork recipe and it required about 5hrs at 150C per 3kg (6lb 8oz). Would this recipe require the same kind of temperature and time? Would appreciate some advise! Thanks :)


37 Heather May 12, 2013

Hi Emma! You know, I can’t totally say since I didn’t make it in an oven, but I think it’s safe to assume you could make it the same way. Just make sure you have a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches the proper temperature, and when it shreds easily with a fork it’s good to go!


38 matt May 11, 2013

looks good but it’s not Q, you can’t just pour over bbq sauce and say it’s bbq, get out the smoker, put some genuine smokey goodness into the meat and stop it with your lazy slow cooking. Smoke the beef for 10hrs then add some sauce, 1000 times better flavour trust me.


39 Heather May 12, 2013

Thanks for the input Matt – totally agree that real BBQ with smoke and slow-cooked sauce is the way to go. But if you’re strapped for time and need something simple this is a great alternative!


40 scooter May 22, 2013



41 Babs May 26, 2013

Tried this for dinner today, it was great. So easy, I couldn’t believe it and so delicious, I couldn’t believe it


42 Jo Ann Ehnes June 3, 2013

Great recipe. Easy and was a HUGE hit at my Memorial Day BBQ. Thank you for helping me out in a jam for my BBQ menu and got a request last night by my daughter to make it for dinner tonight. Guess what is in my crock pot? Yup, your pulled beef recipe.


43 Heather June 3, 2013

I’m so glad you liked it Jo Ann! Definitely a great dish for a party!!!


44 Denise June 5, 2013

Hi Heather Just wondering how many servings this made.I am having 20 people over and am trying to decide how much meat to buy. Thanks


45 Heather June 5, 2013

Hey Denise! I would say that the recipe makes enough for 6-8 really hearty servings, so you may want to double or even triple it to feed 20!


46 bernie June 12, 2013

I love’d reading this. You need to write some romantic comedy. I would so read it!


47 Pam June 19, 2013

Making this delish dish for dinner tonight! We love BBQ! Thanks for this extra easy yummy recipe, Heather!


48 Heather June 19, 2013

Aw, thanks Pam! I hope you guys love it!


49 Georgia July 2, 2013

Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to try it out for my Fourth of July bbq, which will be held indoors due to excessive heat and probable thunderstorms. This sounds like a lovely way to still keep to the bbq theme. :D


50 Heather July 3, 2013

Totally understand being stuck inside; it’s supposed to be kind of rainy here too I believe! But definitely a great menu item for a 4th of July party – I hope you love it!


51 Suzy July 27, 2013

This was mmm mmm greaaaat! Put it on before I went to bed and woke up to the aroma of luscious southern barbeque! Thanks!


52 Heather July 27, 2013

I’m so glad you liked it Suzy!


53 mary jane July 31, 2013

Has anyone frozen this recipe?
Did it still taste good?
How did you reheat it?
Thanks a bunch.


54 Heather July 31, 2013

I haven’t frozen it and haven’t had feedback that anyone else has, but I can imagine it would probably taste fine if you defrost it completely and then slowly reheat on a stovetop! I’d love to hear if you try it and how it works!


55 Dina August 26, 2013

Just want to tell you that I tried this today and it was perfect…thanks for posting hope I can pin it but you didn’t give me the choice



56 Heather August 26, 2013

I’m so glad you liked it Dina! Just one question: what did you mean by I didn’t give you the choice to pin it? I’d love to help if I can!


57 dina August 26, 2013

Hi i meant i could not add it to pintrest …i usually find amazing recepies there and your recepie is worth sharing ;)
Have a nice day


58 Heather August 26, 2013

Interesting…it worked for me :/ You should be able to hover your mouse over the photo you want to pin and the Pinterest symbol will show up in the top right corner. If you just click on that it should let you pin it. I hope that helps!


59 Sue September 12, 2013

Is “slow cooker” the same as a crockpot? I used the recipe with a chuck roast and it smelled heavenly all day, but was SOOOO salty. Any insights? I had a smaller roast (1.6 lbs.) so I used one third of your suggested ingredients, trying to adjust appropriately.

Thank you.


60 Heather September 13, 2013

Hi Sue!

Yes, a slow cooker is the same as a crock pot (in my book anyway). The only thing I can think of is if the BBQ sauce you used was salty? The dijon and the Worchestershire can make things taste pretty salty, so if the original BBQ sauce was salty they would have accented that.

I’m so sorry, those are the only suggestions I can think of!


61 Kim Tracy Prince October 18, 2013

Made this last night and even my little boys liked it. Thank you!


62 Heather October 19, 2013

I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it Kim!!! And I think saying even kiddos liked it is the ultimate compliment ;)


63 Lisa October 23, 2013

I made this recipe yesterday in the crock pot. Simply AMAZING! I cannot wait to eat it for the next several days. I put it all together in the morning while getting my kids ready for school. Totally simple, totally tasty, totally going to do it again. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!


64 Heather October 23, 2013

I’m so glad you liked it Lisa!!!


65 Mary October 29, 2013

Didn’t have apple cider vinegar so substituted with red wine vinegar. Tripled the recipe for a party. Was an absolute hit. Will definitely make again. have had people ask for the recipe. great job. Thank you


66 Heather October 29, 2013

Thanks Mary! And good thinking on the vinegar sub – sounds delicious to me!


67 Stephanie November 4, 2013

We made this for dinner tonight! Wonderful! Put it on a whole wheat wrap with some cheese– fabulous!


68 Heather November 5, 2013

Yum! I love the idea of using it in a wrap!


69 Jennifer November 11, 2013

This would also taste good on top of a baked potato or on nachos. Yummo!


70 Heather November 11, 2013

Oh, so true! Great ideas Jennifer!


71 HB November 14, 2013

Great recipe and love the pictures! I’m making this today while I’m at work. I have a 1 lb roast in a crock pot on low and it is probably going to cook for about 12 hours. Is that too much time do you think? I hope it doesn’t come out burned! Thanks for the great post and blog


72 Heather November 14, 2013

AH! Sorry, that last comment was for a separate post! That might be a bit long, but if you can add a little more liquid it might be OK! Either way I hope it turns out great!


73 HB November 15, 2013

I did add some water to the crock pot before I left, about 1/4 cup worth.

Unfortunately when I got home the roast was burnt. I was able to salvage some of it (enough to make two good sized sandwiches) but I had to throw a lot of it away. Next time I try this I will either not cook it for so long or add more water. Thanks for your recipe again!


74 Kelsey December 31, 2013

Tried this overnight with about 4 lbs of rump roast…. it went for 8 hours and is SUPER tough, won’t shred. I’m beginning to think it’s me, because my husband can make fantastic pulled meat in the crockpot and mine are always tough. Terrible feeling to waste all of those ingredients. :(


75 Heather December 31, 2013

I’m sorry Kelsey :( I wish I knew how to troubleshoot; if you didn’t make any changes to the recipe ingredients then it sounds like you did everything right. The only thing I can think of is that maybe our crockpots cook differently? I feel terrible you couldn’t eat it!


76 A January 10, 2014

Thank you for the recipe.
We liked the flavor but could not have it again for left overs. The flavor was too intense. The mixture made a lot of extra sauce. I made the mistake of adding a sweet onion to the pot. The flavor was very tangy. Will definitely make this again.


77 Shelley McIlmoyl February 1, 2014

Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it three times and am about to make it a fourth! This is so easy and is so much better than anything else I’ve made! Even my super picky brothers love it! They couldn’t complain because they were too busy stuffing their faces with it. :) I’ve switched out the beef for pork and it’s still amazing!
So thank you for all the sweat it cost you in presenting us with this recipe. lol


78 Heather February 1, 2014

Thank you so much Shelley – that’s SO FUNNY about your brothers :) And I love that you changed out pork for beef, that sounds fantastic!


79 Amanda March 12, 2014

Just got all my ingredients together in the crockpot and our house smells sooo good! I’m finding any and every reason to open the crockpot to taste!! Lol I was wondering, I saw that some used water to prevent burning but what about a little beer? We’re a bbq loving family and we always put a little beer in our sauces so I thought what about in this recipe? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


80 Heather March 12, 2014

OH that’s a great idea Amanda! The beer would add a ton of flavor too; the only thing I would do is make sure you put it in early enough to cook off the alcohol!


81 Angela July 11, 2014

Yum…that’s looks good…I am going to make that today!!! I had my first BBQ sandwich the other day…so I had to find a recipe…Thank you!


82 sara August 26, 2014

hi there, does anyone know if i can use a silverside/corned beef roast for this recipe?? and do you think if i slow cook covered in the oven it would still work? or would it be better to put in a pot on the stovetop…?


83 Heather August 26, 2014

Hey Sara! I think any roast that’s fairly lean would work well (although I’ve never heard of a corned beef roast before…as long as it’s not actually corned beef I’m sure it would be fine). Slow cooked in the oven would probably be fine too, although I’ve never actually tried that. Oven would be better than the stove though!


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