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Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

by , on
Jan 11, 2023

Let chuck roast slowly simmer in garlic, onion, Worcestershire, and soy sauce for the day, and you’ll have the best fork-tender, pull-apart beef for sandwiches, enchilada or burrito filling, and more. Add this Slow Cooker Pulled Beef recipe to your recipe stash; it will be one you return to repeatedly.

Don’t get me wrong; I love a Prime Rib with a perfectly crisp crust and a dollop of creamy horseradish on the side. But sometimes, nothing beats a simple, shredded beef sandwich. And while we primarily use this Slow Cooker Pulled Beef with our homemade bbq sauce for sandwiches, it is also great in burritos, quesadillas, shredded beef tacos, or served on its own with noodles or over mashed potatoes.

A sandwich sitting on a wooden plate with a jar of barbecue sauce.

As January is National Slow Cooker Month, I have teamed up with two of my favorite food bloggers to share more slow cooker recipes with you. Sheila’s Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper Dip and Kathleen’s 3 Ingredient Chili Cheese Dip (Crock Pot) will be perfect for the upcoming Superbowl! I’m excited to make them as I know our friends and family will love.

what is the best cut of beef for pulled beef?

Beef chuck roast is the best cut of beef for any pulled or shredded beef recipe. This cut of beef comes from the front shoulder of a steer, which means there is a good deal of collagen, fat, and marbling. The collagen and fat melt during the slow cooking and essentially self-braise the meat.

And not for nothing, the chuck roast is a budget-friendly beef cut, making it especially perfect for this slow cooker shredded beef recipe.

Beef in Slow Cooker.

can you overcook pulled beef in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can overcook anything!

Different crock pots cook at different temperatures. I have two crockpots; one has three settings (warm, low, and high). I’ve never used the high because it actually boils on warm and I really only use it for soups or broths. My other crockpot seems to be better calibrated. All this to say, you know if your crock pot runs hot or cool, so take that into consideration.

I find that my slow cooker cooks this shredded beef to perfection right around nine hours on low. If your crock pot runs hotter, it may be done sooner. If it runs cooler, it may take a bit longer. This is why I recommend lifting the lid quickly, around eight hours. If you can pull it apart with your fork, it is done!

BBQ sandwich on a wooden plate.

can I put raw beef straight into a slow cooker?

Absolutely! I often sear beef before putting it into the crockpot for extra flavor. But, in this case, I wanted this recipe to be as easy as possible, so I opted not to sear the meat.

That being said, if you feel the need to sear, then sear away!

how do you cook beef so that it shreds?

When the connective tissues of meat break down, you will be able to shred it. This happens when you apply low and slow heat to meat, along with a little moisture and acidity to help the process along. Crockpots and slow cookers are uniquely suitable for this purpose. The low setting temperature (around 190°F) permits certain enzymes in the meat to stay active long enough to tenderize the meat, while the slow time, moisture, and any acidity help turn the collagen into soft and delicious gelatin.

This is why tough cuts of meat are great for slow cooker beef recipes; they contain large amounts of collagen.

Shredded beef.

how to cook pulled beef in the oven?

Follow the recipe as written, but add an extra cup of liquid. Use a dutch oven with a well-fitting lid to prevent moisture and steam from escaping. I actually will wrap a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pot before I put the lid on for extra assurance.

Cook in a 275°F oven for 4-5 hours until pull apart tender.

does beef get more tender the longer you cook it in a slow cooker?

You want to stop cooking your beef once it is pull apart tender. After that, it will begin to get tough and dry out.

Beef cooked in a crockpot.

step by step …it couldn’t be easier

A bbq sandwich sitting on top of a wooden plate.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

Yield: 3 lbs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes

Let chuck roast slowly simmer in garlic, onion, Worcestershire, and soy sauce for the day, and you'll have the best fork-tender, pull-apart beef for sandwiches, enchilada or burrito filling, and more. Add this Slow Cooker Pulled Beef recipe to your recipe stash; it will be one you return to repeatedly.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 cup broth, red wine or water
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Place boneless chuck roast into the slow cooker insert.
  2. Sprinkle garlic, onion, and smoked paprika over top.
  3. Drizzle broth, wine or water, Worcestershire, and soy sauce over everything.
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours until it pulls apart with a fork. Quickly check at 8 hours (low) or 5 (high) to see if you can pull the beef apart with a fork. If not, give it another hour.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 835Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 282mgSodium: 1047mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 85g

Did you make this recipe?

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2 Comments

  1. Sheila Thigpen

    January 14, 2023 at 10:56 am

    YUM! There is so much flavor in this pulled beef! Can’t wait to make it again for our Super Bowl party!

    Reply
    • lynn

      January 17, 2023 at 10:51 am

      Your guests will love it!

      Reply

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