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Overhead horizontal image of three beef barbacoa tacos on a beige plate, with shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeno, and wedges of lime, on a striped cloth with fringe on top of a gray surface.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Tex-Mex Beef)

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


The best slow cooker barbacoa is a dish that does so much more than simply sitting on a plate. It’s versatile, flavorful, and oh-so-tender.


  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 22 1/2 lbs tri-tip, London broil, or sirloin beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies


  1. In a small bowl, stir together cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Rub the beef with the seasoning mixture.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat it with the oil. Once oil is hot, sear the meat on all sides. This should take approximately 1 minute per side.
  4. Place the beef in the slow cooker. Pour the diced tomatoes over the top.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred the meat into pieces and stir to combine with the juices in the slow cooker before serving.
  6. Serve in flour or corn tortillas with your favorite toppings.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: Tex-Mex beef, slow cooker barbacoa, Instant Pot