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Overhead view of a plate of slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos with salsa and avocado

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 (3oz) servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef – Tender slow-cooker barbacoa beef makes the most amazing tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, nachos, and more! (Gluten-Free)




  • 34 lbs. beef roast (I use chuck roast), cut into 5-6 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or another neutral-tasting oil)
  • 2 canned chipotle chilis packed in adobo, diced (Note: 2 peppers, not 2 cans of chilis!)
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mild green chilies
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Optional: Cilantro, for garnish.


  1. If you plan to sear the beef first, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pan over medium heat. Brown the beef on all sides. (Do this in batches, if necessary, so you don’t crowd the pot.) Transfer browned beef to the crock of your slow cooker.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine chipotle chiles, green chilies, garlic, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, and broth. Pulse or puree mixture until fairly smooth. (A little texture is fine, you just don’t want any large pieces.)
  3. Pour the spice/broth mixture over the beef to coat.
  4. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Use two forks to shred the beef (this can be easier if you place the beef on a cutting board so you can easily separate fat or gristle from the beef.).
  6. If desired, skim fat off the top of broth and discard. Return shredded beef to the broth and stir in the lime juice. Toss the beef with the remaining broth to coat.
  7. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and serve!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

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