Busy day? Save time with this simple and easy-to-make slow cooker shredded beef recipe. Juicy and flavorful, you will love having this beef on hand all week long.
When my life is busy, the slow cooker is my best friend. Slow cooker shredded beef tastes delicious on its own (my husband’s preferred way of devouring it) but I love using it all week long in soup recipes, tacos, salads, chili, quesadillas and more.
This recipe could not be more flavorful or easier to make. Here’s what’s inside:
- Beef roast: The star of this recipe, use bottom round or chuck for your protein.
- Seasoning: Cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, dried oregano, and chili flakes and sliced onion create an irresistible combination of flavors.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes: Sweeter than other types of tomatoes, the additional contrasting smoky flavor makes for a perfect add for the meat.
- Brown sugar: An optional ingredient, light brown sugar caramelizes and tenderizes the meat, making it more sweet and juicy.
- Beer: Used as a tenderizer, beer brings out the richness of the meat. As the alcohol evaporates in the slow cooker, it leaves behind amazing tasty flavors in the meat.
- Cilantro: With attractive leaves and a complex, citrusy flavor, cilantro is a great garnish when serving this shredded beef.
How to Make Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
First, put together a quick spice rub. Combine all of the spices in a medium-sized bowl and mix them together: Cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, dried oregano, brown sugar and chili flakes.
Second, add the seasonings to the base of the slow cooker. (Pro tip: Make a double or triple batch of this spice blend to use the next time you make fajitas, tacos or chili!)
Third, place the beef on top and rub the spice blend evenly on all sides of the beef roast. Make sure every part of the beef is covered in seasoning, boosting the flavor as the meat tenderizes and slowly cooks.
When it comes to cooking meat in the slow cooker, onions are almost always a given for any cook. As a fourth step, chop and scatter the onion slices on top of the roast.
Fifth, add tomatoes. For charred goodness, I love using fire-roasted tomatoes. Similar to onions, I like to have a tomato product when slow cooking roast beef.
Next, add beer such as a porter or IPA for more depth of flavor. The alcohol burns over during the long cook time, leaving behind deep, rich flavors from the beer, providing subtle background notes in every single bite.
Finally, after cooking the beef on low for eight hours, shred it with two forks before serving. Garnish with cilantro if you wish.
Customize This Recipe
- Don’t have beef on hand? Swap out the meat in this recipe with another protein, like chicken or pork!
- Is there another spice you’ve been wanting to use? If you feel it’d be a great addition, try incorporating it into this recipe.
- Want a spicier kick? Try adding a bit more chili flakes or cayenne.
- Need to make a larger quantity for company, or planning to freeze for later, this recipe can easily be doubled for larger roasts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s an ideal substitute for the alcohol?
To make this dish alcohol-free, use beef broth as a substitute.
Can I cook shredded beef in the oven?
Yes! The oven is the ideal slow cooker. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 20 to 25 minutes per pound.
How can I freeze the shredded beef?
After the shredded beef cools, divide it into freezer-safe containers. The shredded beef will last for up to three months in the freezer, or longer if vacuum-sealed.
If you made this, I would love to see your creation! Tag @TheLemonBowl on Instagram to be featured. I also have more slow cooker recipes for you while you’re here:
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Chicken
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil (Shredded Pork)
- Slow Cooker Beef Curry
Your fork is waiting.
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
- 3 pound beef roast (such as bottom round or chuck)
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 12 ounces beer (such as porter or IPA)
- cilantro (optional garnish)
- Mix together all of the spices (cumin through chili flakes) in the base of the slow cooker and place beef roast on top. Rub spice blend evenly on all sides of the beef roast.
- Scatter onion slices on the top of the roast along with diced tomatoes and beer.
- Cook on Low for 8 hours. Shred with two forks before serving. Garnish with cilantro if you wish.