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Close up photo of three barbacoa tacos on a cutting board with pink flowers in the background.
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5 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Barbacoa Beef Recipe is a delicious and easy slow cooker dish made with chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, brown sugar, garlic, cumin, cloves, and limes for a spicy crowd favorite!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs 10 mins
Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Caribbean, Mexican, Mexican Inspired
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 386kcal





  • Cut the roast into large chunks. and rub them all over with salt and pepper.
  • Place them a few at a time in a large skillet to sear on all sides, repeat until all of the meat has been seared. Transfer the meat to a crockpot.
  • Add all of the paste ingredients EXCEPT the bay leaves into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour the paste over the top of the meat and top with the bay leaves. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stirring occasionally.
  • About 30 minutes to 1 hour before done, remove the bay leaves and pull the beef out of the crockpot. Shred it on a cutting board. Then add the beef and any juice back into the crockpot and stir it up.
  • Serve over tortillas, arepas, nachos, or in a salad. Drizzle with lemon juice just before serving.



  1. You want to cut the meat up into big chunks and sear them to get more flavor out of the dish, plus the meat will break down faster.
  2. This is 5 peppers from 1 can, not 5 cans of peppers. You can add more or less depending on how spicy ou want the recipe. 
  3. Shelf Life: 
    • In Crockpot: On the “warm” setting for up to 4 hours after cooking.
    • Refrigerator: 3 to 4 days in an air-tight container.
    • Freezer: 3 months in a freezer bag, with excess air squeezed out.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 668mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 43IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 5mg