Let the slow cooker do the heavy lifting with this easy Slow Cooker Pulled Beef recipe! This make-ahead main dish is easy to scale for a group and makes an easy weeknight meal. Best of all? It only uses 4 ingredients. Juicy and full of flavor, this shredded beef never disappoints!
Everyone loves a no-fuss meal, and this Slow Cooker Pulled Beef is a tasty choice for any season or occasion. This versatile juicy beef tastes great piled high on a bun with some fresh horseradish, but can also be used for tacos, nachos, or even pasta.
Why you will love this recipe
▶︎ Easy on the pocketbook. This pulled beef is best when made with a chuck roast, which is of the most affordable cuts of beef available.
▶︎ It freezes and reheats well. Short on time? Make this ahead of time and have pulled beef at the ready whenever you need a quick and easy dinner.
▶︎ A simple meal to make for a group. This shredded beef is easy to double (or triple) to feed a hungry crew with minimal effort. Add some simple sides and your meal is complete. No Mayo Potato Salad and Caprese Pasta Salad are always a hit.
The ingredient list is short and sweet.
A few ingredient notes:
Meat: Use a chuck roast. The marbled fat adds a lot of flavor to the meat and keeps it from drying out.
Bouillon: Better than Bouillon is my favorite as it adds more robust beef flavor, but you can also use beef bouillon cubes.
Every meal should be this easy to prepare.
Simply add the chuck roast, soup mix, season with black pepper and pour hot water over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours. Carefully remove from slow cooker and place on cutting board.
Use 2 forks to shred the beef, remove the ribbon of fat and discard. At this point, it is ready to eat. Alternatively, you can put the shredded meat back into the slow cooker (with the juices!) and keep it warm until needed.
The toughest cuts of meat are the best for pulled beef. The marbled fat melts into the meat making it juicy and tender. Chuck roasts, shoulder roasts and rump roasts work well. Chuck is my favorite.
Yes, you can! Simply place everything in a Dutch oven and bake at 250°F for 5 hours. Use 2 forks to shred the beef and serve!
If the meat doesn't shred easily with a fork, it isn't done. When the meat is properly cooked it will literally fall apart with a gentle tug of the fork.
Slow Cooker Pulled Beef will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 6 months.
Expert tips for the best pulled beef
✘ Low and slow is the key to tender meat in the slow cooker. Don't try and rush it.
✘ Don't season the meat with salt. But be sure to use pepper! There is enough salt in the soup mix and the bouillon without adding additional salt. If you are watching your sodium intake, use reduced-sodium versions of the soup mix and bouillon.
✘ Cook it long enough. Looks are deceiving because the meat will look like it is done much earlier than it is. If the meat doesn't shred easily with a fork, it isn't done. Put the lid back on and cook longer.
✘ Use a roast with fat in it. This isn't the time to use lean beef as the end result will be dry and stringy. Use a less expensive cut of meat with fat in it and let the slow cooker works its magic.
✘ Make it ahead of time! Slow cooker meals are great options for making ahead of time and freeze really well. Place the meat in a freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer for easy storage.
More Easy Main Dishes
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Slow Cooker Pulled Beef
- 3 pounds chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons beef bouillon base
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup hot water
- Place the beef in the slow cooker and top with the bouillon, onion soup mix and pepper. Pour the hot water over the top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4.3 pounds chuck roast, 2 tablespoons beef bouillon base, 1 envelope onion soup mix, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup hot water
- Remove the beef from oven and shred the meat. Pour the juices through a strainer (but save the liquid) to separate the onion bits. Add the onion bits back to the meat. Put the liquid in a different container and refrigerate to allow the fat to separate from the juices.
- When juices are solidified, skim the fat from the top and pour juices over meat to store.
- To serve: Reheat in slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours.
- Best cuts of meat to use: The toughest cuts of meat are the best for pulled beef. The fat melts into the meat making it juicy and tender. Chuck roasts, shoulder roasts and rump roasts work well. Chuck is my favorite
- If the meat doesn't shred easily with a fork, it isn't done. When the meat is properly cooked it will literally fall apart with a gentle tug of the fork.
- To make in the oven: Simply place everything in a Dutch oven and bake at 250°F for 5 hours. Use 2 forks to shred the beef and serve!
- Slow Cooker Pulled Beef will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 6 months.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.