Chipotle Beef Barbacoa (Slow Cooker)

This Chipotle Beef Barbacoa recipe is extremely tender, juicy, bursting with rich, spicy (customizable), complex flavors and SO EASY made in the slow cooker!  

This Chipotle Beef Barbacoa is about to become one of your favorite go-to slow Mexican meats!  It’s great for large crowds (think taco bar/Game Day!) or make ahead meals like tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, enchiladas and you don’t want to miss my Barbacoa Beef Taco Bowls with Hash Browns!   

Beef Barbacoa Recipe Video

Chipotle Beef Barbacoa in a crockpot.

Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe

I have SO many irresistibly yummy recipes I’ve been itching to share with you but were postponed because of holiday recipes.  I love the holidays, but I love blogging more when it’s not the holidays because my heart belongs to Asian cuisine (like yesterday’s Yellow Thai Curry Chicken I had been waiting months to share!) and Mexican fair like this Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Barbacoa.  Can I get a HELLO DELICIOUS?!

What is Barbacoa Beef?

This Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Barbacoa recipe is INCREDIBLE.  Yes, all caps.  I am yelling.  Shouting at the top of my lungs how sensational this Barbacoa is!  My modern spin on Barbacoa Beef is inspired by traditional Mexican Barbacoa in which meat (sheep, goat or beef) is slowly steam-cooked in underground ovens or covered pits until crazy tender and shreddable while still remaining wonderfully moist.

My slow cooker barbacoa is no exception.  This flavor exploding shredded beef is slowly braised for hours in your slow cooker until melt-in-your-mouth tender infused with a tangy, chipotle sauce.  Modern day barbacoa beef is known for its strong flavor and perfect balance of chipotle peppers, cumin, oregano and lime juice.  And that balance tastes INCREDIBLE.

Both Patrick and I are in love with this rich, intensely flavored Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Barbacoa and YOU will not only love the full flavor but how simple it is to make! 

Just like my Slow Cooker Carnitas, Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken, Slow Cooker Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork, Chicken Tortilla Soup and Slow Cooker Honey Lime Salsa Verde Chicken, this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef is a dump-it-and-forget-it meal.  Well almost forget it.  The aroma will fill your home with it’s full bodied chipotle smell that reminds you what deliciousness awaits.

Showing how to make Chipotle Beef Barbacoa in a black pot.

Chipotle Barbacoa Ingredients

The ingredient list below may look lengthy, but that’s because I used so many spices to flavor this easy barbacoa recipe!

  • Beef chuck roast: Boneless chuck roast boasts great texture and fabulous marbling, which translates into rich flavor. 
  • Vegetable oil: You need just a little oil for searing the roast before adding it to the slow cooker.
  • Red enchilada sauce: Buy your favorite enchilada sauce, or make your own at home.
  • Chopped green chiles: Use mild green chiles so the barbacoa meat doesn’t become too spicy.
  • Chipotles in adobo sauce: I would say 2 chipotle peppers is medium spicy.  If you don’t like spice or want to make it kid friendly then reduce to 1 or less chipotle pepper.
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is best!
  • Apple cider vinegar: A few tablespoons of ACV perfectly complements the smoky, spicy flavor of the beef.
  • Brown sugar: You need a little sugar to balance out the heat in this dish.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Just a tablespoon is all you need to add some lovely umami flavor.
  • Liquid smoke: Liquid Smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauces in your grocery store and adds a wonderfully smokey flavor.
  • Dried herbs and spices: I used a mixture of cumin, oregano, chili powder, and more to flavor this Crockpot barbacoa.
Showing how to make Chipotle Beef Barbacoa  in a crockpot fresh cooked.

How to Make Barbacoa Beef

To make this easy Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef, we simply sear our meat to create the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor. Then, add ½ cup mild enchilada sauce, chopped green chilies, minced chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worchestershire sauce, liquid smoke and our bevy of handpicked fiestalicious spices.

Cover and cook low and slow until the beef shreds easily with a fork. Remove beef to a cutting board, shred, and add back to slow cooker and toss with slow cooker juices. Cook on low for another 20 minutes for beef to absorb juices.

Shredded Chipotle Beef Barbacoa  serving with tongs.

How to Make Tender Chipotle Barbacoa Meat

There are 4 factors to create the most tender beef roast, such as this slow cooker barbacoa:

  • Cut of meat. You have to start with the right cut of meat.  If you start out with a lean cut of beef, I cannot guarantee it will be melt-in-your-mouth tender.  Choose a chuck roast that is fresh, bright in color and contains lots of marbling because marbling = flavor and tenderness.
  • Searing the roast.  Searing the roast creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor and prevents the surface of the beef from becoming dehydrated.
  • Cooking for long enough.  Many people become frustrated when they check their barbacoa beef and it is not tender.  If this is the case, the roast simply needs more time to cook and tenderize, even 30 more minutes in the slow cooker can make the world of difference between an “okay” roast and a melt-in-your-mouth one. So, if your beef isn’t fall apart tender, be patient and roast on!
  • Shred and Soak. This one step will transform your slow cooker barbacoa experience!  Once tender, shred your roast into small sections then let it cook on low for 30 minutes.  This allows the spicy, rich broth to penetrate the meat and for the beef to become more flavorful, juicy and tender.
Close up of shredded Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

Tips for Making Beef Barbacoa

Two things to note about the ingredients.  I find 2 minced chipotles in adobo sauce (approximately 2 tablespoons) to be medium spicy and probably what most people will be comfortable while still being on the spicy side as Chipotle Beef Barbacoa is known for. If you are wanting to make this kid friendly, or don’t like much heat then I would use one or less chipotles in adobo sauce.

Another ingredient that sets this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef apart from other slow cooker recipes is the liquid smoke.  Liquid smoke adds an undeniably smoky flavor that helps this Chipotle Beef Barbacoa taste truly authentic.

Recipe Variations

  • Make it spicier: Add another chipotle pepper, chili powder, or spicy green chiles to make this barbacoa beef spicier.
  • Make it saucy: If you would like “saucier” beef, add additional enchilada sauce when you serve it.
  • Serve buffet style:  Line up slow cooker barbacoa, rice, tostadas and/or tortillas along with all the favorite toppings (lettuce, pickled red onions, cilantro, avocados, jalapeños, sour cream, Cotija cheese or queso fresco etc.).  Let family or guests pile on all their favs.  
Close up of Chipotle Beef Barbacoa in a bowl and serving spoons.

Can I Prep Mexican Barbacoa in Advance?

Yes! You can make the entire recipe as written, then reheat in the Crockpot later on. If you are not serving immediately, make sure to refrigerate the barbacoa beef IN its juices so it stays juicy.

How to Store Beef Barbacoa

Store this chipotle barbacoa meat in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 5 days.

How to Reheat Beef Barbacoa

You can reheat larger portions of this easy barbacoa recipe in the slow cooker or in a saucepan over medium-low heat. You can also gently reheat it in the microwave, but I prefer using the slow cooker or stovetop for such a nice beef roast.

How to Freeze Crockpot Barbacoa

Let the chipotle barbacoa meat cool compeltely, then seal inside a freezer bag WITH its juices and press out any excess air. Freeze on a baking tray so it freezes flat for easier storage. Frozen barbacoa will last up to 3 months.

What to Serve with Beef Barbacoa

Now all that’s left to do is decide how to use your extremely juicy, rich Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Barbacoa! Pile it on some Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans with some Tomatillo Avocado Ranch,  Homemade Salsa, Salsa Verde and/or Pico de Gallo. Or make the the best tacos, taco bowls (with hash browns!) burritos, nachos, enchiladas, oooooooooor quesadillas.

Serve any of the above Barbacoa Beef recipes with Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Lime Butter, Southwest Salad and Pina Colada Salad and you have a feast of fiestalicious proportions.

What else to make with Beef Barbacoa?

  • Beef Barbacoa Taco Bowls: You friends and family will love these taco bowls bursting with juicy, rich, spicy Beef Barbacoa, cheesy hash browns (drool), crispy lettuce, a medley of crunchy bell peppers, warm black beans, and cilantro corn all drizzled with tangy Avocado Ranch and showered with crunchy tortilla chips!
  • Beef Barbacoa Enchiladas: These shredded beef enchiladas are out of this world delicious and come together super quickly by using tender, flavorful Beef Barbacoa smothered in a rich tangy shortcut enchilada sauce.  You can make the beef ahead of time and even assemble the enchiladas completely ahead of time and refrigerate for an easy make-ahead dinner that everyone will LOVE! 
showing what to make with beef barbacoa by making taco bowls

More Easy Mexican Recipes:

If you love Mexican food, you will also love: 

See all of my Mexican Recipes HERE.


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©Carlsbad Cravings by

This is the BEST Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef I have ever tried!  Super tender, juicy, EASY and bursting with rich, complex flavors!  Great for large crowds or make ahead meals and makes the best tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc!

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

This Slow cooker Mexican Beef Barbacoa is extremely tender, juicy, EASY and bursting with rich, spicy (customiazble), complex flavors!  Great for large crowds (think taco bar/Game Day!) or make ahead meals like tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc!  
Servings: 8 -12 servings
Total Time: 3 hrs 10 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs

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  • 1 (3-5 lb) beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat, cut into 8-10 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Slow Cooker Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mild red enchilada sauce (use 10 oz. can if making my enchiladas recipe)
  • 2 4 oz. cans MILD chopped green chiles
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (more or less to taste) minced (approx. 2 tablespoons)**
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire
  • 1-3 teaspoons liquid smoke (depending on how “smoky” you like it)
  • 1 TBS EACH ground cumin, dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH chili powder, smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp EACH ground cloves, ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add cubed beef and sear on all sides. Transfer beef to a 6 qt (or larger) slow cooker along with all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours, OR until the beef shreds easily with a fork.
  • Remove beef to a cutting board (do NOT discard juices in slow cooker), shred, and add back to slow cooker and toss with slow cooker juices. Cook on low for 20 minutes for beef to absorb juices. Add additional hot sauce, lime juice or brown sugar to taste.
  • Remove beef with a pair of tongs to serving bowl or strain in colander so tacos, etc. don’t get soggy. If you would like “saucier” beef, add additional enchilada sauce.



Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
**I would say 2 chipotle peppers is medium spicy.  If you don’t like spice or want to make it kid friendly then reduce to 1 or less chipotle pepper. ***Liquid Smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauces in your grocery store and adds a wonderfully smokey flavor. ****If you are not serving immediately, then refrigerate the barbacoa beef IN its juices so it stays juicy.

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Carlsbad Cravings© Original

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Reader Interactions

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  1. Kelly says

    Do you think this would freeze well, in it’s juices, if properly wrapped/stored?

    • Jen says

      iHi Kelly! Yes, I do think this will freeze well!

  2. Carla says

    This looks so delicious! What kind of enchilada sauce did you use? The green or red?
    Cannot wait to make it!

    • Jen says

      Great question! I use red enchilada sauce – I will clarify in the recipe. Thanks!

  3. Kristine says

    I’ll be trying this with venison! Looks like a great (easy) recipe. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Yum! I’m totally intrigued – I have never cooked venison before but I think it will be an amazing combo!

    • Christine says

      With venison ! You are making my mouth water.

    • Susan says

      I made it with venison last night. Having cooked with venison for years, I knew it would not produce much liquid at all while cooking, so I added a 32 oz box of beef broth to the crock pot. Turned out really good!

  4. 2pots2cook says

    Truly enjoy your works ! I wish you have healthy and prosperous 2018.!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate that! I wish you the best 2018 too!!!

  5. Catherine says

    Barbacoa is my absolute favorite meal! I especially love it in Flour tortillas. I grew up in San Antonio and my first barbacoa exposure was from a little taqueria on the south side. It was like heaven on earth! We now live in north Florida and barbacoa is hard to find so I’ll have to give your recipe a shot! 🙂

    • Jen says

      HI Katherine, that sounds delicious! That’s too bad North Florida doesn’t have many barbacoa spots, hopefully this recipe helps fill the void! Hope you guys enjoy it 🙂

  6. Heather says

    What type of liquid smoke did you use, hickory or mesquite? Thanks!

  7. Joni says

    Made this tonight. It was delicious & my husband was quite pleased. I’m not a spicy gal, so I omitted the chipotles in adobo sauce all together. It was still very good with lots of flavor. Can’t wait to try another one of your recipes. Happy 2018

    • Jen says

      Happy 2018 to you too Joni! I am pleasantly surprised this Barbacoa was still a hit without the chipotles – phew! I hope you find more recipes to love here too! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  8. Kristina says

    The flavors of this Barbacoa are unreal! Sooo much better than. other recipes I’ve tried. I already can’t wait to make it again! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Kristina! I am thrilled you loved it so much!!

  9. Angie says

    WOW! This was fantastic. Made the recipe just as printed and it was a huge hit with my husband. We used for tacos one night and the next day used for tamales. This is a keeper recipe.

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m thrilled you and your husband both loved it and your tacos and tamales sound perfect for it! Thank you so much Angie!

  10. Marjorie J Mullen says

    Thank you Jen for this Beef Barbacoa recipe. I live in AZ and formerly in CO and my husband and I had never heard of it. But hubby who is a dyed in the wool fan of burritos said Heavens to Megatroid this is the BEST burrito I have ever had!! Now that’s saying a lot from a 71 year old beef burrito lover. The flavors are incredible and needless to say we are stuffed and have plenty left overs to have at least 3 more meals if hubby can possibly downsize his portions:) Made the chicken enchiladas a couple weeks ago and they were also awesome. Your recipes are our favs! Thank you so much!

    • Jen says

      You made my day Marjorie, thank you SO much for taking the time to comment! I am so flattered and so happy that your die hard burrito fan of a husband thought these were the best ever! Wahoo! I’m so happy you loved the chicken enchiladas too! Thank you thank you for making my recipes!

  11. Ellen says

    I made this today. The only change that I made was to omit the chipotle peppers during the cooking stage since one of my children does not like spicy food. We served it with chopped green onions, chopped red onions, chopped chipotle peppers and cheddar cheese. My whole family loved it! And is smelt so good when it was cooking

    • Jen says

      Hi Ellen, I’m so happy your whole family loved it and you were able to customize the spice level! Your whole meal sounds fabulous!

  12. Douglas says

    Made this twice and both time the meat just cooks and doesn’t pull apart. I end up having to dice the meat and I just have diced meat.

    • Jen says

      All slow cookers cook differently so it sounds like you just need to cook it longer. Cook it until it falls apart – that’s when you know it’s done.

  13. nicole says

    Every recipe I have made from this blog has turned out perfect. This one is no exception. Super easy and super delicious. I will be making this one again and again. Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind comment Nicole, I am so happy you are loving my recipes! I actually have this one in the crockpot again right now too 🙂 I’m so happy it was a hit!

  14. Tony says

    Roughly do you know how many calories per serving?

  15. Crab Dynasty says

    Love Chipotle. When I tavel I map out all the Chipotles on the way…lol..I make the cilantro lime rice and corn salsa they have on the menu. This is a great addition to my recipe box.

    • Jen says

      LOL! It sounds like you are a true Chipotle fan! I hope you love this version just as much!

  16. Jane says

    Hi I was wondering if you can tell me how to adjust this to cook in an instant pot. Excited to try this.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jane, unfortunately I am late the IP party and don’t have one yet so I can’t help you. Sorry!

  17. Cassie says

    What a fabulous dinner we had this evening thanks to you! My husband and I just loved the Barbacoa beef tacos. My house smelled so good all day I couldn’t wait to eat dinner. Thanks for sharing the awesome recipe!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Cassie, thank YOU for taking the time to comment! I’m so happy you both loved the Barbacoa So much!

  18. Alexandra says

    Do you have the conversions to make this in an instant pot? I love this recipe and would like to know if it is possible

    • Jen says

      I don’t have an instant pot, so I don’t – sorry!

  19. Erica says

    Hello! Would it be terrible to omit the searing portion before cooking the meat? Just don’t want to smell like smoked beef before throwing it in before work!

    • Jen says

      Hi Erica, searing the meat gives it a richer flavor but is not absolutely essential. Enjoy!

  20. Yolanda says

    I made this yesterday for a party – so I had to make a 30-serving portion. It was too large for my crockpot, so I did it on my stove for about 2 hours.

    Let me tell you, OH…MY…GOODNESS! It was absolutely THE FREAKING BEST. So delicious and I received so many compliments. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Jen says

      You are SO welcome! I’m thrilled it was such a hit and you were able to make it work on the stove for such a large quantity! Sounds like a fun partaaaay!

  21. Paul says

    Hi Jen
    just wondering do you have to use the onion and garlic powders? or can if use fresh onion and garlic?

    • Jen says

      Hi Paul, I think onion and garlic powders work better in this particular instance but you can use fresh if you prefer.

    • Kyle says

      Can you explain why this can’t be shredded in the crock pot?

      • Jen says

        You certainly can, I just find it easier to shred on a cutting board in order to discard any excess fat.

  22. SEAN says

    Can I substitute chipotle powder for the diced chipotles ?

    • Jen says

      Hi Sean, you absolutely can but I haven’t personally tried it so I’m not sure how much you would substitute. Google should let you know 🙂 ENjoy!

  23. Deb says

    This is a terrific recipe! Very flavorful without being overly spicy. Made this for a family, one person of which was low-carb and the other was “meat & potatoes” with a penchant for Mexican. So, tortillas for him, none for her. 🙂 Only change I made was to pressure cook (~20 min) rather than slow cook. Came out perfectly! Can’t wait to try your other recipes!!

    • Jen says

      Thanks Deb, I’m so pleased you as well as your low carb and “meat and potatoes” friends loved it! And that is amazing you made it in the pressure cooker in 20 minutes!

    • Nessa says

      At what temp?!? I’m dying to make it in the pressure cooker

  24. Lindsay says

    Hi there! I was just wondering if you can taste the cinnamon at all? Can’t wait to make this today! Love your website!

    • Jen says

      Hi Lindsay, thanks for your kind words! No you won’t be able to taste cinnamon – it just adds a depth of flavor that you can’t pick out.

  25. Nakia Brown says

    I made this last week, pretty much as written, except I Didn’t even use my beloved crockpot! I seared it in my cast iron/enamel Dutch oven, and transferred the whole thing, covered into the oven at 325 degrees. I probably cooked it for about 4 hours, since it was a smallish roast. 2.5 pounds. the sauce reduced a lot more than it would have in the crockpot, but it was still amazing!!! My husband was so in love!!! LOL! I think I will continue to make it using my dutch oven. No dirtying anything extra! 😉 Thanks so much for this recipe! Absolutely fantastic!!!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Nakia! I am thrilled you were able to make it in the oven and that it was a huge success! Less dishes is always a good thing!

  26. Loretta says

    Hi, Going to make this Saturday and its just the 2 of us and i would like to know , How long will this last in the fridge and can i leave the meat in the crockpot bowl when i put the meat in the fridge or do i need to transfer the meat to another container or a ziplock bag and can i freeze what meat is left and for how long can it stay in the freezer.? Sorry I am not very smart about stuff like this …

    • Jen says

      Hi Loretta, you can store cooked beef for up to 5 days. You can leave the meat in the crockpot bowl but let it cool a little before putting in the fridge or the bowl can crack. Yes, you can transfer the meat to a freezer bag and freeze for up tot 3 months.

  27. Loretta says

    Hi I noticed in a comment that posted you used mesquite smoked liquid ..I have hickory,.can i use that or do i need to use mesquite?

    • Jen says

      Hi Loretta, you can absolutely use hickory. enjoy!

  28. Ashley H Beeks says

    Would it be ok to make this with a pork butt, or is it made best with a pork shoulder? I have one in the freezer and need to do something with it.

    • Jen says

      You can absolutely make this with pork butt! Beef tastes, well “beefier” and is inherently juicer because it is fattier, but that is the only real difference.

  29. Victoria says

    Hi I was wondering if it’s necessary to use liquid smoke?! Will it change the flavoring of the recipe if I exclude it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Victoria, it adds a nice smokey flavor but you certainly don’t have to use it. enjoy!

  30. Rebekah says

    My husband was still talking about this 3 days later! It reheated well for him to take to work the next day. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

    • Jen says

      That’s awesome, I’m thrilled it was such a hit! Thank you Rebekah!

  31. Kathleen says

    Dear Jen a friend just posted this mouth watering recipe and I can not wait to try it. I have a question…home canning is making a come back. I have just purchased a Carey electric pressure cooker combo pressure canner. Do you know how I could convert this recipe to a raw pack canning recipe? My concern is if I raw pack the meat then distribute the spices equally among each jar will they be too pungent after the canning process? Or deepen too much their flavor over time as they are stored? I want to retain as much nutritional flavor as possible. I do not want to crockpot the meat then double cook by pressure canning. I am new to your sight and it looks amazing! Where have I been?! Regards,Kathleen

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Kathleen! Unfortunately, I have never canned anything so I am not an expert and can’t help you – sorry!

  32. Debbie says

    Do you know how many calories, fat, etc?

  33. Janelle says

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. I am making this for my son’s bday party and we are having a taco bar. I plan on making it in the slow cooker the day before and refrigerating it. Would it be best to reheat it on the stove and then put it back in the slow cooker on warm the day of the party? I just don’t want to dry it out and I don’t want to hassle with cooking anything the day of the party. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Janelle, this Beef Barbacoa works great to cook the day ahead! I would shred it and leave it in the juices in the refrigerator, then reheat it with the juices. Enjoy!

  34. Ty says

    I love this recipe and make it all the time. I recently got an instantpot and was wondering if you have one too and have tried this recipe in there?

    • Jen says

      Hi Ty, unfortunately I haven’t converted it to an instant pot recipe yet, sorry!

  35. Victoria says

    Yet another amazing recipe I’ve made from your site! The flavors in this dish were so mouthwatering from the moment you could smell it cooking to the last bite! Will definitely be made again. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome, thank you Victoria for taking the time to comment! I’m so pleased you liked it because it’s one of my favs – you have great taste ;).

  36. Chuck Anderson says

    Have you ever tried to thicken the juices from the crockpot for a drizzle or chance? Seems like it would be full of flavor!

    • Jen says

      Hi Chuck, I haven’t tried that as the meat is already so flavorful – but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be delish!

  37. April says

    Fabulous recipe. We had a 4.3 pound roast and the meat cooked in 6 hours. I omitted the bay leaves since I’m not a fan of them, but otherwise included everything.
    I’m not usually a fan of chilis so I was surprised I liked it so much. I think part of my dislike of chilis is the texture, so as I was shredding the meat I put it in a bowl, and once all of the meat was out of the crock pot I used my stick blender to blenderize the sauce before I dumped the meat back it. It was wonderful!
    I used 2 tsp of smoke and thought it was perfect. I’m a wimp when it comes to spice but this was not too spicy for me–just under my threshold.
    I cooked some rice with butter and cilantro lime seasoning to go with it and it was great! We plan to eat the leftovers as soft tacos. In the future we think we’ll grill some corn on the cob for a side and get a lime to squeeze over our bowls before eating. It’s definitely been added to our meals list!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I’m thrilled tot hear this Beef Barbacoa is a repeat and that the spice level was perfect. Your entire meal sounds fabulous!

  38. Josey says

    You mention “my enchilada sauce” recipe in a couple of recipes but I can’t seem to find it. Would you be able to post a link please? We can’t buy enchilada sauce here. Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Hi Josey, I am referring to store bought enchilada sauce and haven’t posted my own homemade recipe yet – coming soon!

  39. Josey says

    Sooooo good. I am thinking I need to work my way through your blog. The barbacoa was delish! I made the cilantro lime dressing again as well.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Josey, I’m so pleased you loved the barbacoa and cilantro lime dressing! It would be a tasty journey through my blog 😉

  40. Meagan says

    If I have a 4qt slow cooker, do you think that will effect anything with how the beef cooks/marinates?
    Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Meagan, you will likely have to halve the recipe as the slow cooker shouldn’t be more than 3/4 full. Good luck!

  41. Lily says

    Hello! Should the beef be fully cooked before you add it to the slow cooker? Thanks!

    • Jen says

      Nope, just seared. Enjoy!

  42. Lori K. says

    I just made this barbacoa recipe on 1/27/21 and it’s definitely a keeper! Wonderful, well rounded flavor & my husband thought it was outstanding as well. I took a chance & used hot enchilada sauce and it was perfect. Relatively speaking, it’s very little enchilada sauce in relation to the meat, so it did not taste too hot. Turned out perfect. This replaces my old recipe, which was very good. Thanks for a winner recipe! Yum!!

    • Jen says

      I like your style Lori by using the hot enchilada sauce – yum! I’m so pleased this recipe is a new favorite, thank you!

  43. Marie says

    This is my new favorite Barbacoa recipe! I had a craving for nachos with barbacoa, and this recipe delivered. I followed it exactly for a 5 lb roast.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Marie, I’m thrilled it’s your new favorite, thank you!

  44. Jillian says

    I’ve made this amazing recipe a few times now! Tonight, I’m making it for a bigger crowd! If I wanted to up the amount of meat to (let’s say) 8 pounds, would that work? Would I double the other ingredients? Same cooking time or longer?

    Thank you for this heavenly recipe!

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased it’s a favorite! When doubling a recipe, I typically double all of the ingredients except the salt and the heat (maybe to 1 1/2 times) and then add more to taste at the end of cooking. And yes, it would require probably 2 hours longer cooking time (but don’t take my word, make sure to check it). Good luck!

  45. Lisa Kelly says

    This recipe looks sensational. I would like to know if you think brisket would work instead of chuck?

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! Brisket might take longer to cook in order to become tender but would still be tasty.

  46. Debbie says

    Will this work with a bottom of the round

  47. Katie says

    Can you partially smoke the meat 1st, instead of using liquid smoke?

    • Jen says

      I have never tried that but I don’t see why not! You may just need to reduce the overall cooking time.

  48. Connie says

    Hi Jen, Do you prefer cooking on low or high in the crockpot? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Jen says

      Hi Connie, I always prefer cooking on low. Enjoy!

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