Slow Cooker Beef BBQ Sandwiches are perfect for a busy day. Put everything in the slow cooker in the morning, and dinner is done in the evening!
This sandwich is serious comfort food.
It’s one of those meals that you can assemble in the morning (it’ll take about 10 minutes to put everything in the slow cooker) and then dinner is waiting for you in the evening. Just add pickles, buns, and chips on the side! And may I suggest a Cookie Pie for dessert?!
Slow Cooker Beef BBQ Sandwiches also span numerous seasons. They are delicious in the summer with chips, corn on the cob, and a cold beer. And they are warm and comforting in the fall and winter along with baked calico beans and a cold beer. Cold beer knows no season! 🙂
My mom actually makes these sandwiches around the holidays. They’re a great make-ahead meal for the day after Thanksgiving, or for busy evenings around Christmas.
Now let’s talk about what these are not. These are not sloppy joes. First, they’re made with shredded beef (from a chuck roast) instead of ground beef. And there’s no ketchup to be found. Instead, the sauce is made with bbq sauce, apricot preserves, and a few pantry staples.
The sauce is lightly sweet but mostly tangy, and it’s the perfect complement to the rich and tender beef.
What is a chuck roast?
A chuck roast is cut from the shoulder, and it’s a bit tougher than other cuts of meat. As a result, it’s less expensive than cuts such as sirloin.
However, with low and slow cooking, a chuck roast becomes incredibly tender. It also stays moist and juicy, thanks to the marbling on the roast. It’s commonly used for beef stew, and it’s great for slow cooking, such as making this beef bbq.
- You can find a chuck roast in the meat section of your local grocery store. It may be labeled “pot roast” instead of chuck roast.
- BBQ sauce, apricot preserves, and Dijon mustard create a tangy, lightly sweet sauce for the meat.
- Onion and green pepper add even more flavor.
- I love serving these sandwiches on brioche buns. Potato rolls would be delicious, too!
How to make beef bbq sandwiches in a slow cooker
Start by cutting the roast into 4 pieces. This helps it cooks more quickly.
Then, whisk together the bbq sauce, apricot preserves, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and salt. Place the roast, the sauce, the chopped green pepper, and the chopped onion in a slow cooker.
Cook the roast on high for 3–4 hours or on low for 6–7 hours. I have a newer slow cooker, which I love, and the temperature runs a bit hotter than older slow cookers. My roast took about 3.5 hours on high.
You’ll know the roast is ready when the meat shreds easily with a fork.
Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board. Use a fork to shred the meat (it should shred easily when cooked all the way through). Place the meat back into the slow cooker and toss it with the sauce.
What type of bbq sauce is best?
I used Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce. Use whatever brand of bbq sauce that you enjoy.
Can I make beef bbq in the oven?
To make beef bbq in the oven, preheat the oven to 325°. Add all of the ingredients to an oven-safe dish and cover it. Place the dish in the center of the oven, and roast for 3.5–4 hours, or until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
Can I make these ahead?
To make beef bbq ahead, proceed with the entire recipe and let the beef and sauce cool completely. Transfer the beef and sauce to a freezer-safe airtight container, or a resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to one month. To defrost, place the container or bag in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to thaw. Then, place the meat and sauce in a saucepan and heat over the stove, or transfer to a covered microwave-safe dish and microwave until hot throughout.
What to serve with beef bbq sandwiches
First, let’s talk about the buns! I love brioche buns for these sandwiches. They’re soft and buttery, and the thickness of most brioche buns holds the bbq nicely.
Potato buns are my next choice—I love the flavor of them. But really, any type of hamburger bun would work. You like the sesame seed ones? Use those! Or how about pretzel buns? Everything is delicious on a pretzel bun.
For toppings, dill pickle chips or dill pickle slices complement the tangy bbq perfectly. If you like a little heat, sliced pickled jalapeños would be tasty, too.
For the side, potato chips are a classic. Or how about some frozen fries? I use my air fryer to cook frozen fries and frozen tater tots, and they come out perfectly crispy every time.
And German Potato Salad is another great one—you can serve it warm in the cooler months and room temperature or cold in the warmer months.
Slow Cooker Beef BBQ Sandwiches
- 2½–3 lb boneless chuck roast
- 1 cup bbq sauce (use your favorite variety)
- ½ cup apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- To serve: brioche buns, sliced dill pickles, sliced pickled jalapeños
- Cut the roast into 4 pieces. Place in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add the chopped onions and chopped green pepper.
- Whisk together the bbq sauce, apricot preserves, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and salt. Pour the mixture over the roast in the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3.5–4 hours or on low for 6–7 hours. The meat is ready when it shreds easily with a fork.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with a fork. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir to coat it with the sauce.
- Serve the beef bbq on buns with pickles and pickled jalapeños, if desired.