Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 10 reviews

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef is a versatile dish you can incorporate in a lot of other Mexican favorites! This Chipotle Copycat Recipe makes a tender and juicy dish for everyone to enjoy!

You can have this for dinner along with the other Mexican favorites such as the Mexican Salad, Chipotle Black Beans, and Chicken Tostadas.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Recipe

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Chipotle Copycat

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef is what you get after shredding beef that has been cooked for long hours in your crockpot, made juicy with broth! It is also full of flavors having been seasoned with a balanced mixture of saltiness, sourness, spiciness, and savoriness!

If you like this dish at Chipotle, then, you will appreciate this easy recipe. You will no longer have to go to the restaurant to enjoy this dish. You can have this at your home and give in to your cravings anytime!

It is also versatile, and you can use this recipe to prepare a lot of other recipes with it. Hence, you can make this in a large batch, and store for later.

This recipe is a great time-saver as you can make a lot of other things while preparing this. You can just prepare the ingredients then, put them in your crockpot. It is super delicious and tender that is better than at any restaurant! Set the timer and forget about it for the rest the day. Come dinner, you will have a sumptuous Mexican dish!

What is Barbacoa Beef?

Originally, this is made by digging an underground oven and placing a pot over it containing the meat wrapped in leaves, organs, broth, and various herbs and spices. What comes out is tender meat that can be shredded and put in tacos and tortillas.

Today, this simply can be done in the slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Chipotle Copycat

How do you make Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Copycat

  1. Make a puree out of the ingredients, except beef, by putting them into a blender. These ingredients are broth, Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (yes, add the sauce), minced garlic, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, dried oregano, paprika, cumin, sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  2. In the crock, put in the brisket chunks, then, top with the puree and bay leaves. Cook on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours or on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, until the meat is fall-apart tender.
  3. Once the meat is soft and fall-apart tender, shred it effortlessly with two forks. Put back the shredded meat into the juice and let it absorb the juice and all the flavors for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving using a slotted spoon.

How do you make Barbacoa Beef without a Slow Cooker

  • You can use the Dutch oven for this and cook on medium-high heat.
  • Or, you can use the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to prepare the baking dish well by ensuring that the aluminum foil is airtight so that no steam escapes while the whole thing is cooking.

What to serve with Barbacoa Beef?

You will love it with cilantro, onions, and lime.

Serve it with rice, beans, salsa, on tortillas, in burritos, on nachos, in tacos, in enchiladas, in empanadas, in quesadillas, on baked potatoes, or solo. You can just eat it as it is!

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Is Barbacoa Beef Keto?

This dish is keto-friendly as it is high-fat and low-carb. If you are on the ketogenic diet, this is perfect for you!

How do you store it? How do you reheat it?

Refrigerate this in airtight containers to be consumed within the week. Or, freeze in freezer bags, packed in single portions, and keep for two months.

Also, keep the juice in an ice tray, and freeze. This way, it allows getting only the amount that you would need, thaw, and use to cook with the meat again when you reheat.

How do you keep Barbacoa Beef juicy in the fridge?

Put the shredded meat into the juice again before storing it in the fridge.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Chipotle Copycat

Recipe Tips

  • For a deeper and richer beef flavor, sear the side of the beef chunks in oil. Then, from the skillet, transfer them into the slow cooker.
  • Aside from the brisket, you can use beef cheek, chuck roast, or even beef tongue!
  • You can also let the meat absorb the flavors of the puree by marinating overnight. Put everything in a bowl and securely cover with plastic wrap.

Watch recipe video:

Save Recipe
5 from 10 reviews
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Recipe
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 8 hours Total time: 8 hrs 15 mins


  • 3 pounds  beef brisket  (or chuck roast - trimmed of extra fat and cut into 2-inch chunks)
  • 1/2 cup  beef broth 
  • 2  medium Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce  (add more if preferred)
  • 6 cloves  garlic  (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon  onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon  apple cider vinegar 
  •  Juice of 1 lime 
  • 1 tablespoon  dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon  smoked paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon  cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon  sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  red pepper flakes 
  • 2  whole bay leaf 


  1. Add all the ingredients, except beef and bay leaves to a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the beef chunks to the slow cooker. If you have time, for extra flavor, you can saute them in a pan and after that transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the pureed mixture on top of the beef and add the bay leaves.
  4. Cook for about 4-6 hours on HIGH or for about 8-10 hours on LOW. The beef is very tender and falls apart when shredded with a fork.
  5. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
  6. Shred the meat using two forks into the cooking juices. Let the beef absorb some of the juices for about 30 more minutes before serving.
  7. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to serve.
Calories: 377 Carbohydrates: 3 Protein: 47 Fat: 18 Saturated Fat: 6 Cholesterol: 140 Sodium: 709 Potassium: 806 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 0 Vitamin A: 465 Vitamin C: 0.2 Calcium: 38 Iron: 5.6
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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

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Alli Smith

This looks like the perfect dish to serve when the family comes over for Sunday lunch. I'm always looking for new recipes to cook in the slow cooker and this one definitely looks like a winner.


Pam Wattenbarger

This looks like a great dish to try for a day when I'm busy. I could get it in the slow cooker and it would be ready and waiting when I got home!


Sarah Bailey

OK now this looks absolutely delicious - my other does love a good beef dish and I could imagine him tucking into this and really enjoying it.


Denay DeGuzman

My family loves beef barbacoa! Your crockpot recipe is perfect for making this delicious Mexican favorite. It's ideal for mid-week meals and weekend get-togethers like Memorial Day and the 4th of July!


Amber Myers

I need to try this for sure! This would be perfect in tacos. Plus I love when I can use my slow cooker.



I'm all for slow cooker recipes. This recipe would be perfect for dinner tonight. My family loves BBQ. 



When life gets hectic, and you really want a good meal that evening, the crock pot is a blessing! I see this as a substitution for Taco Tuesday next week!


Lisa Favre

I have never heard of Barbacoa beef but it sure does seem tasty! I have to get myself a slow cooker - they're awesome and you could do so much with them!



I love using my slow cooker and I'm always on the lookout for new slow cooker recipes to try. I'm def going to try this. Looks good!



I love to cook from scratch for my family, but I don't enjoy recipes that keep me enslaved for hours! That why I love slow-cook recipes. So slow-cook + BBQ (which I love in every shape and form) = a winning recipe for me! Thanks for sharing! I. Must. Try!


Terri Steffes

I will have to look for this on menus when we head to Mexico in December! In the meantime, I can make this for my family!



I would love to make up a big batch of this and freeze it. Great tips! That could be dinner for a long time.



I have never had this before. It looks really delicious though. I definitely want to give this a try. I'm sure my husband and I would really enjoy this.


Kita Bryant

This looks so good! I am determined to cook this summer more since the kids are at home and I don't have to drop off and pick up. This will be one of those dishes



I keep hearing about Barbacoa, but I wasn't very familiar with what it is. Thanks for sharing this recipe!



I can't wait to try this recipe! I'm always looking for new ways to season up my meat for tacos and this sounds great.


Crystal Lopez

The slow cooker is the perfect way to make this. It looks like it would feed an army, which makes it my kind of recipe.


Lia Mae

Now I know what to make in my slow cooker, looks like a delicious recipe. Can’t wait to try it out!


Fatima Torres

Slow cooked meat is my weakness. I love trying different combination of flavors. These would be a hit.


Kelly Null

I made this yesterday for our weekly taco night. Soooo yummy! I made queso as well and layered with the barbacoa in burrito shells. By far the best taco night thus far. Thanks for a great recipe!!


Cynthia Ray

I love this! Its easy! And so delicious and my family approved it. The first time i made it, i used a chuck roast i didn't sear beef it still came out great. This is my second time making using beef brisket this time i seared beef. I don't doubt its gonna cone out as delicious. Thank you so much.


Thank you Cynthia for your review. Glad you loved it.


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