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+ servings

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef Tacos

These tender, juicy, and delicious slow cooker barbacoa beef tacos will become your favorite taco recipe. The beef is slow cooked in a flavorful marinade, and served on warm corn tortillas with toppings of your choice. You will love this barbacoa beef!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: barbacoa beef, barbacoa beef tacos
Servings: 8 people
Author: Tania


  • Large slow cooker
  • Large skillet
  • Food processor


  • 3.5 pounds beef chuck roast, excess fat trimmed
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced


  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 5 chipotle peppers in adobo, plus the juices (see note below)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice

For serving and toppings

  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced onions
  • Sliced radishes
  • Lime wedges


  • Cut the beef chuck roast into 3 chunks. Pat the meat dry with paper towel. Season evenly on all sides with the 3 teaspoons of salt and the 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the beef on all sides, until nicely browned. Transfer the meat to a large slow cooker. Set aside. Tip: Searing the meat develops caramelization and browning, which adds so much flavor. The trick is letting the meat sear undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes per side, so that it can develop that beautiful golden brown crust. Prior to searing, make sure to pat the meat dry. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  • Make the marinade: In a food processor, combine the garlic cloves, chipotle peppers in adobo (including the juices), ground cumin, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice. Pulse to combine until you get a smooth and even marinade.
  • Pour the marinade over the beef in the slow cooker. To the slow cooker, add the beef broth, dried oregano, sliced onions, and bay leaves. Stir everything so that it’s combined (it doesn’t need to be perfect, just a few stirs to incorporate the ingredients).
  • Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook on LOW for 8 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.
  • Once the cooking time is up, shred the beef. If needed, season with more salt and pepper.
  • Serve over warm corn tortillas, and top with cilantro, diced onions, radishes...or any toppings you’d like! Serve with a few lime wedges. Enjoy!


  • Chipotle peppers in adobo: These usually come in small 7 oz cans, and can be found in the Mexican and Latin good section of most grocery stores.
  • Why sear the meat: Searing develops great flavors through caramelization and browning. It will make your barbacoa beef tacos taste amazing! Don't skip this step. For proper searing, be sure to pat dry the meat throughly and then season it. Also, don't overcrowd the pan when you sear it, otherwise it will steam instead. Sear the meat undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes per side or until a nice golden brown crust develops.
  • Tortillas: I love using corn tortillas for this recipe. Make sure to warm them up before serving. To warm them up, you can microwave them (place a damp paper towel on top to create moisture). You can also warm them up over open flame if you have a gas stove.
  • Storing: Refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container.