Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

Shredded beef is a favorite in my household.  My husband loves to eat it (and, I admit I am a fan, too)… But, I especially love how easy it is to make. And, it’s pretty versatile, too!

I know I’ve shared recipes for shredded beef here in the past, so you may be wondering why I’m revisiting the subject. The thing is, over the years, I’ve changed my method a bit. It was never really that difficult, but I’ve recently cut out a few steps that I’ve found don’t seem to make that big of a difference in the way the meat turns out.  It’s always juicy and flavorful!

I think this recipe is a good standard recipe to have on hand… The cider vinegar and molasses lend a nice BBQ sauce flavor to the meat, but it’s not too saucy. You can, of course, substitute other flavors for the sauce… Just stick to about one cup of liquid (which may not seem like a lot, but a little goes a long way). Beef stock works as a great  base, and then you can add any spices and flavorings that you like!

I used this shredded beef to make wraps with lettuce, carrots, and some shredded cheese.  But, it’s also great served on hamburger buns with cole slaw.  The leftovers can be used in casseroles or even on top of pizza.  Be creative!

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef
(Makes 8 – 10 servings)

  • 2 1/2 pound beef roast
    (or a thick cut of London Broil works well, too)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper on each side. Sear all sides of the beef in a hot heavy bottom pan (or in the insert of your slow cooker if it can be used on the stove top) over medium-high heat.  Remove the meat from the pan.

Add the onions and cook them in the beef drippings until they are soft and start to have some golden color (about 6 – 8 minutes).

Meanwhile, whisk together the molasses, vinegar, paprika, and chili powder in a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup.  Pour the mixture over the onions in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly.

Transfer the beef to your slow cooker and pour the sauce and onions over the top.  (If you are already cooking in your slow cooker insert, simply return the beef to the pan and ladle some of the sauce over the top of the beef.)

Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily.  In the last hour of cooking, remove the beef from the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat, and then return it to the slow cooker.  Continue to cook with the lid off for the remainder of the cooking time to allow the sauce to thicken a bit.

19 Responses to Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

  1. I just made slow cooker pulled pork for the first time this weekend and we just loved it. I’ll be doing it again and doing slow cooker beef and chicken as well. We had our pulled-pork on crusty rolls and tacos and wraps will be on the next menus!
    Thanks for sharing your beef recipe!

  2. Oh, this recipe is utterly perfect for this Thursday, in our home. All of us will be super-busy from Thursday into next week. We planned a slow cooker meal, but hadn’t decided what we wanted. Well, now I’m pretty sure everyone will agree with this! I love how simple it is, and that it included molasses- I can just imagine how much flavor, smokiness, and moisture it adds to the beef!

    Lovely post, Jen!

    I’ll be sure to report back after dinner on Thursday! :)

  3. Slow cooked, shredded beef (or meat of any kind, really) is one of my favorite things in the winter months. I will definitely be trying this one out soon, it looks great Jen!

  4. YUM, this looks amazing! I love slow cooker recipes – so easy and the results are so tender. This beef looks super delicious!

  5. Think I’ll run home at lunch and throw a London Broil in the slow cooker! What a great idea. All this rain is really making me crave BBQ- and hate all of my winter clothes. :/ I have this great BBQ rub that I think I’ll try instead of simply paprika and chili- are you all familiar with World Spice Merchants? I’ve yet to order anything from there that isn’t amazing. (http://www.worldspice.com/blends/bbq-rub-memphis-beale-st)

  6. I am making this for dinner tomorrow, has anyone made this recipe? I see posts that everyone loves shredded beef and pork, but I want to know reactions for this recipe…please!

  7. I made this just as the instructions said, but it has a “dark brown” taste. Ant ideas how to fix it? Do you think brown sugar would help?

  8. I made this just as the instructions said, but it has a “dark brown” taste. Any ideas how to fix it? Do you think brown sugar would help?

  9. I tried this using a Dutch oven and baking it for four hours. The sauce was burned by then so I removed the beef, shredded it, and made another batch of sauce. I mixed it all together and put it back in the oven for an hour so the flavors could meld. Next time I will check the oven after two hours, and add water so that when the sauce evaporates, it won’t burn the molasses.

  10. If i use a smaller size london broil, mine is about 1 1/2, should i half the time too and cook it for 3-4 hrs?