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How to Make Pulled Beef in the Slow Cooker

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Learn how to make pulled beef in the slow cooker! It takes just 10 minutes to prep and after slow cooking, you’ll be left with flavorful, tender, and totally delicious shredded beef. This slow cooker shredded beef is a blank canvas and you have so many options for ways to turn it into multiple meals and I’m sharing plenty of ideas on how to serve this up for dinner below. It’s a great recipe to make ahead for busy weekdays or use for meal prep as it’s amazing flavor just gets deeper and deeper.

If you love hands-off slow cooker recipes like this one, be sure to give my salsa chicken, chicken thighs and potatoes, slow cooker brats, slow cooker beef stew, and crock pot pesto chicken next time.

Shredded beef in a slow cooker with gold spoon.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What You’ll Love About Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

  • Deliciously tender and flavorful beef
  • So many ways to use it
  • Takes just 10 minutes to prep
  • Hands-off 6-8 hours cooking time
  • Easy to make ahead
  • Made with simple ingredients

Ingredients

  • Beef – I’ve used a chuck roast with some marbling to help it cook into tender and luscious shredded beef.
  • Oil – This is for searing the meat so use a vegetable oil like avocado or canola oil.
  • Red wine vinegar – This gives the crock pot beef a bit of tang, it’s not noticeable, but helps balance the richness of the beef. You could also use white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Onion – I’ve used a white onion, but it’s really just for flavor, so you can use white onion, yellow onion, or even red onion.
  • Garlic – Use whole cloves here as we’re just using it to flavor the meat.
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Ingredients to make shredded beef in crock pot.

How to Make Pulled Beef

This is an overview on how to make shredded beef, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Season. Season beef liberally with sea salt and black pepper.
Sear. Heat oil in a skillet and sear beef until browned on both sides.
Chuck roast searing in a skillet
Cook. Add beef to the bottom of the slow cooker and add onion, garlic, and red wine vinegar. Cook until beef shreds easily.
Beef in crock pot.

FAQs

What cut of beef is best for shredding?

A beef chuck roast (sometimes called chuck eye roast) like we’ve used here is the best cut of beef for this shredded beef recipe as it has marbling (fat) to keep it tender and infuse it with delicious, rich, and great flavor. You could also use tri-tip, round roast, or bottom roast cuts.

How do you cook beef until it falls apart?

Choose a cut of beef with some marbling which will help keep it nice and tender while cooking. Cook on low heat in the slow cooker for a longer time, which will result in super tender beef.

Why is my meat not shredding in crock pot?

If your meat doesn’t shred easily, it might just need to cook for a longer time. I typically find that if I cook things like this on High, they aren’t quite as fall-apart tender as they are cooked on Low. But if it’s cooked for long enough, you can turn the slow cooker to warm and let sit for 15-20 minutes, and then try shredding. This sometimes helps!

Can you overcook pulled beef in slow cooker?

Yes, you absoultely can overcook meat in the slow cooker and it will end up tasting dry and mushy.

Shredded beef in tongs on tortilla.

Storage Instructions

Store the shredded crock pot beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

Reheat pulled beef recipe in the microwave or a hot skillet until heated through.

Can you freeze shredded beef?

Yes, you can freeze the pulled beef in an airtight container for 2-3 months.

Plate of shredded beef tacos.

What to Serve with Shredded Beef

I love crock pot shredded beef recipes like this one because they can be used so many different ways and that’s exactly why I kept the seasonings really basic. Once the beef is cooked, it’s perfect for shredded beef sandwiches and shredded beef tacos.

How to Feed Pulled Beef to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the easy shredded beef in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Depending on how you’re serving this beef, serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

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Crockpot shredded beef in tacos.

More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

If you like beef crock pot recipes like this one, you might also like some of these other slow cooker recipes:

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Shredded beef in a slow cooker with gold spoon.

How to Make Pulled Beef in the Slow Cooker

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Description

Learn how to make pulled beef! Just 10 minutes prep and after slow cooking, you’ll be left with flavorful, tender, and totally delicious shredded beef. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 lbs. chuck roast beef (can be whole or cut into two pieces)
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 white onion (left whole)
  • 3 cloves garlic, lightly smash (remove skins but leave whole)

Instructions

  1. Season beef chuck roast with sea salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet and brown chuck roast pieces on all four sides. Do this in batches if your pan isn’t big enough. Brown for about 2 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer meat to slow cooker and top with red wine vinegar. Nestle onion and garlic in the meat and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until beef is tender and shreds easily.
  4. Use shredded beef chuck roast in shredded beef tacos and beef sandwich melts


Notes

  • Use a high-quality beef with a decent amount of marbling for the best flavor. The meat will end up cooking in its own liquid, so no extra liquid is necessary.

Keywords: how to make pulled beef, shredded beef, slow cooker shredded beef

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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