BBQ Beef

5 from 1 vote
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Mouthwatering slow cooker shredded BBQ beef is smothered with savory seasonings and cooked for hours until it’s fall-apart tender. Made easily in the crockpot with just 4 ingredients, it’s deliciously sweet and tangy. Perfect for your next potluck or cookout!

Looking for more tasty BBQ recipes? Try my Instant Pot BBQ chicken and barbecue pulled pork, too.

A BBQ beef sandwich with coleslaw on a white plate.


Summer is on the way, and there’s no better way to feed a crowd than with a big batch of juicy crockpot BBQ beef. This recipe makes the most succulent, flavorful beef that’s rubbed with savory seasonings and then slow-cooked for hours before it’s tossed in sweet-tangy barbecue sauce. This shredded beef is so simple to make, and I always get requests for the recipe. Stock up on fluffy sandwich rolls because this beef is guaranteed to be on repeat!

Why You’ll Love This BBQ Beef Recipe

  • Low and slow. The slow cooker is the best way to cook a beef roast that turns out succulent and tender. Long hours over low heat give the meat plenty of time to soak up all the flavors of the sweet-smoky spice rub.
  • Set it and forget it. Another great thing about the slow cooker is that you can add the beef to the crock in the morning (or the night before), and return to a delicious slow-cooked meal that’s ready to serve.
  • Easy ingredients. I like to let a juicy cut of beef do the talking, so this recipe calls for just 4 ingredients. With a tasty spice rub, some mustard, and barbecue sauce, you can make 5-star BBQ beef that tastes totally smokehouse-worthy.
Ingredients for BBQ beef.

Ingredients You’ll Need

I’ve included some notes on the whole 4 ingredients you’ll need to make the most flavorful BBQ beef. Have a scroll down to the recipe card for the printable list of ingredients.

  • Chuck Roast – Also called pot roast or center cut roast, chuck roast is a rich and flavorful cut of beef that’s great for slow and low cooking. 
  • Mustard – You can use yellow mustard, or another kind, like brown mustard or even Dijon.
  • Dry Rub – I use my favorite homemade dry rub recipe. It’s easy to make and you can use it on everything from ribs to chicken thighs. Feel free to use your preferred spice rub.
  • Barbecue Sauce – Choose your favorite BBQ sauce, either homemade or store-bought.

How to Make BBQ Beef in the Crockpot

Here’s a short step-by-step showing how easy it is to make this juicy slow cooker BBQ beef. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • Prepare the beef. First, use a sharp knife to trim away any hard fat from the chuck roast. Rub the beef with yellow mustard to coat, followed by the dry rub.
  • Cook. Place the beef into your crockpot or slow cooker. Cook on Low for 8-9 hours, until the meat falls apart easily.
  • Shred the beef. Take the beef out of the crockpot and shred it using two forks. 
  • Finish and serve. Afterward, return the shredded beef to the pot and stir in the barbecue sauce. Your saucy BBQ beef is ready to serve!

Can I Make This in the Instant Pot?

Yes! If you’d prefer to make this BBQ beef in the Instant Pot, I recommend cutting the whole roast into 3-4 inch pieces. Afterward, follow these steps:

  • Prep. Rub the meat with mustard and dry rub as directed.
  • Combine. Add the beef to the Instant Pot along with 1 cup of beef broth. 
  • Cook. Cook the beef on High Pressure for 60 minutes, followed by a 10-minute natural release.
  • Shred. Shred the beef and toss it with barbecue sauce.
Shredded BBQ beef in a large bowl.

Tips for Success

These are my final tips for cooking the juiciest, most flavor-packed BBQ beef:

  • Don’t overcook. While slow cookers are designed for cooking over long periods, it’s still possible to overcook beef that’s left for too long. Overcooked beef will be tough, so make sure to follow the cooking directions and check the meat for doneness.
  • How to tell when beef is done: Similar to overcooked chuck roast, undercooked roast is also tough. Cook the beef until it’s tender and comes apart easily with a fork.
  • Adapt the spice to taste. This recipe leaves a lot of room for variations, so feel free to change up the dry rub and barbecue sauce to suit your tastes. You can make this BBQ beef sweeter, spicer, or milder depending on what you like.
Metal tongs resting in shredded BBQ beef inside the crock pot.

Ways to Serve BBQ Beef

Saucy BBQ beef is delicious in beef sandwiches, served between fluffy buns with homemade coleslaw. It’s perfect for potlucks and summer cookouts, paired with easy BBQ sides like corn on the cob and pasta salad. Don’t forget a slice of cool and creamy strawberry jello pie for dessert!

For a fun weeknight dinner, enjoy BBQ beef as a filling for beef tacos, or replace the chicken in BBQ chicken nachos with juicy shredded beef instead. In the winter months, turn your BBQ beef into a cozy dinner served over mashed potatoes or polenta.

A BBQ beef sandwich with coleslaw, next to potato chips on a white plate.

Can I Make This BBQ Beef Ahead of Time?

Definitely. You can slow-cook and shred the beef as directed, and then refrigerate it in an airtight container. When you’re ready to reheat, simply add the shredded beef to the crockpot along with the barbecue sauce, and cook on Low until hot, then serve.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. Store any leftover shredded BBQ beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. You can also enjoy leftovers cold in sandwiches or as a topping for rice bowls!
  • Reheat. Reheat the BBQ beef in the oven at 350ºF, covered under foil, until it’s hot throughout. You can also warm the beef in a skillet on the stovetop, sprinkled with a little water to help loosen up the sauce.
  • Freeze. This BBQ beef is very freezer-friendly, so you can store it airtight and keep it frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the beef in the fridge before reheating.

More Beef Recipes

Metal tongs resting in shredded BBQ beef inside the crock pot.
5 from 1 vote

BBQ Beef

By Erin
Mouthwatering BBQ beef is rubbed with savory spices, slow-cooked until it’s fall-apart tender, and tossed with sweet-tangy barbecue sauce. Perfect for a potluck or cookout!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 3-4 pound chuck roast
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup dry rub
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


  • Trim and hard fat from the chuck roast. 
  • Brush with yellow mustard evenly over the entire roast. Sprinkle the dry rub over the meat and rub to make sure it is fully coated. 
  • Place in the bottom of the crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours until tender and easy to pull apart. 
  • Remove from the crockpot and use forks to shred. 
  • Return the meat to the crock pot, pour in barbecue sauce, and mix until everything is evenly coated. 


  • Instant Pot directions: Cut meat into 3-4 inch pieces. Brush with mustard and coat with seasoning. Pour in 1 cup of beef broth to the IP. Add beef pieces. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, 10 minutes natural release. Remove the beef, shred with forks, and toss with barbecue sauce to serve.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 577mg | Sugar: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 598
Keyword: bbq beef, beef bbq in crock pot, slow cooker bbq beef
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. This is such a delicious recipe. I make BBQ all year long, and this is definitely going into my rotation. It was so good!