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5 from 8 votes

Crock Pot Beef Barbacoa

Just like your favorite meat from Chipotle, this copycat Beef Barbacoa is a simple way to enjoy a flavorful, restaurant-quality meal at home!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword beef barbacoa, crock pot beef barbacoa, spicy beef barbacoa recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
0 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 - 8 people
Calories 463.5kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 2-3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (SEE NOTE BELOW FOR A LESS SPICY DISH)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Optional, for serving: corn or flour tortillas, pico de gallo or salsa, queso fresco or other cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped onion, lime wedges, tomatoes, sour cream


  • In a 6-quart slow cooker, stir together chipotle peppers, onion, garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, sugar, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in beef and toss to coat.
  • Cover and cook until beef is very tender; about 6-8 hours on LOW or 3-4 hours on HIGH.
  • Remove beef and shred with forks. Stir the beef back into the cooking juices. Use a spoon or tongs to serve.



  • Using the entire can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce yields a very spicy barbacoa. If you prefer a mild dish, you can use only a portion of the chiles or omit them altogether. You can also just use the adobo sauce for a sour-sweet flavor and a slightly less fiery smoky heat. Be aware, however -- if you omit the chipotles in adobo, you're also eliminating some great flavor. The chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños, and the adobo is a tangy, slightly-sweet sauce. Together, the canned peppers and sauce give the barbacoa a ton of flavor! When preparing this dish for my family, I typically use some of the adobo sauce and just a small amount of peppers.
  • The meat is done when it's fall-apart tender and shreds very easily with a fork. If the meat seems tough, continue cooking for a bit longer.
  • You might be tempted to add beef broth or other liquid to the slow cooker, but don't! There will be plenty of liquid in the pot by the end of the long cooking time.
  • Barbacoa in the Oven: You can roast the beef in a Dutch oven instead of using the slow cooker. To do so, bake in the oven at 325°F until the meat reaches at least 200°F and easily shreds with a fork (approximately 3-4 hours).


Serving: 1/8 of the recipe | Calories: 463.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.5g | Protein: 41.3g | Fat: 27.8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 665.5mg | Potassium: 609.8mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5.8g