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Pile this Crock-Pot Barbecue Beef on toasted buns for an easy busy day dinner. Your slow cooker will help you create the flavors of summer anytime of year!
It’s March, you know, the time of year when we have blue, sunny skies and 70 degree weather. When we wear flip flops, and shorts, and t-shirts and frolic in the sun.
Okay, maybe that’s going a bit far but it has been so sunny and gorgeous here in Oregon for the past couple of days. I’ve been sharing the gorgeousness on my Instagram stories and I hope you’ll follow along.
Unfortunately, I’ve been holed up inside my house working all day, not frolicking, but I’ve made an effort to get my sad, pale self outside as much as possible to bask in the sun. Have you ever watched a cat in a sunny spot? That’s me. Despite everything we all know about sun exposure, I crave it like chocolate and coffee.
Since this completely inappropriate but gorgeous weather started, I have been craving barbecue. My food clock has been set to summer.
Instead of standing out in the dark with a flashlight over my grill, I opted to put together some finger lickin’ good barbecue sauce, pour it over a chuck roast in my slow cooker and let it go all day. It totally and completely hit the spot and I highly recommend you try it – pronto!
How to Make Crock-Pot Barbecue Beef
We start by adding a diced slice of bacon to a large saucepan. Cook and stir the bacon until it has rendered a bit of fat and is slightly browned. Adding a little bacon at the beginning of the process will add great flavor and that unique smokiness that only bacon brings.
Next you’ll add diced onion and minced garlic and cook, stirring, until softened.
The remaining barbecue sauce ingredients are added – ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, thyme, cumin, paprika, and fresh ground pepper. I like to add a touch of cayenne pepper for a little kick but this is totally optional.
Combine all this good stuff and allow it to simmer while you prepare your 3 to 4 pound chuck roast.
Cut the roast down into 5 or 6 chunks and trim as much fat as you can from the edges of each piece. This task will result in a cleaner barbecue sauce and is well worth the effort.
Pour that luscious sauce you just made over the beef, cover the Crock-Pot and set to either low or high, depending on when you need it.
Now walk away, forget about it, and go on with your day.
After 7 to 9 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high, the beef will be fork tender and ready to shred right into that beautiful sauce.
Toast those Buns!
One of the easiest ways to ruin a good juicy sandwich like Barbecue Beef is to serve it on soft rolls that have not been toasted. In order to ensure that your rolls will hold up, place them on a baking sheet and toast them in a 400 degree F oven for a few minutes, watching closely to be sure they don’t burn.
The flavor of this made from scratch sauce is incredible, friends…
I serve this Crock-Pot Barbecue Beef on rolls with coleslaw but this is versatile stuff.
It is also spectacular served over the top of mashed potatoes, or baked sweet potatoes, with lots of the barbecue sauce drizzled over the top.
Craving more? Another slow cooker sandwich favorite – Crock-Pot French Dip Sandwiches.
This post was originally published on January 12, 2012. It has been updated with new text and images.
Crock-Pot Barbecue Beef
- Olive oil
- 1 slice thick sliced bacon diced
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste (optional)
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 3 pound chuck roast cut into large chunks and trimmed of excess fat
- Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and place over MEDIUM heat. Add the diced bacon and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the diced onion and cook and stir for another minute or two, or until the onion begins to soften. Turn heat to LOW. Add the garlic. Continue to cook and stir for just a minute or two. Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, molasses, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, cayenne (if using), and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well and allow to simmer over LOW heat while preparing the chuck roast.
- Cut the chuck roast down into 5 or 6 chunks. Trim and discard as much of the excess fat from the edges as possible.
- Place the chunks of roast in a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the barbecue sauce over the roast and cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 7 hours or until easy to shred.
- At end of cooking time, use two forks to shred the beef into the sauce in the Crock-Pot.
- Serve on sandwich rolls or over the top of mashed potatoes.