Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches

By Polly Conner
April 27, 2020

A delicious dinner doesn’t get much easier than our Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches. This recipe has it all. It’s a dump and go recipe, it feeds a lot of people, it’s freezer friendly, and it’s so-dang-good.

Find our recipe for Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches here.

Slow cooker bbq beef sandwich on a plate with corn.

It was a very bad day when my husband left the BBQ beef leftovers out overnight. I knew it was an accident but I REALLY liked these sandwiches and was REALLY looking forward to having them for lunch that day.

Mama Bear was REALLY not happy.

But accidents happen.

I guess.

You’ll understand why I love these when you watch this short video of how these come together:

Recipe Video of BBQ Beef Sandwiches

What do I need to make these BBQ beef sandwiches?

I know you’re going to love the simplicity of this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of this homemade BBQ sauce or your favorite store-bought version

That’s it!

Ingredients for slow cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches

What kind of BBQ sauce should I use?

I think the secret to this recipe is in the sauce.

The BBQ sauce that is. The homemade BBQ sauce that we have on our site is killer and a non-negotiable for this recipe in my opinion.

But, if you are in a crunch, I guess you can use your bottled BBQ sauce. I can’t promise you it will be worth getting mad at your husband over but I empower you to make choices for your own life.

Homemade BBQ Sauce in a mason jar

How long do I cook a chuck roast in the slow cooker?

Great question! After testing hundreds (yes hundreds) of recipes for our cookbooks, we have really honed in on how long it takes to cook beef in the slow cooker.

For this particular cut of meat, you’ll want to cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat easily shreds.

Shredded beef in the slow cooker

Can you freeze BBQ Beef Sandwiches?

Yes! BBQ Beef makes a great freezer meal. You can prep it ahead and freeze before cooking OR you can fully cook it and freeze AFTER cooking. Both options work great.

FREEZER MEAL OPTION ONE: Place the seasoned roast and the BBQ sauce in a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze. Freeze the buns alongside the roast. When you want to eat it, thaw it in the fridge for 24-48 hours and then follow the cooking instructions.

FREEZER MEAL OPTION TWO: Follow all of the cooking instructions and let cooked meat cool. Freeze the buns alongside the roast. I like to freeze the fully cooked meat into smaller portions to have for lunches. Just an idea!

Want more freezer-friendly Crockpot meals?

We have SO many to choose from in this roundup of 20+ Crockpot Freezer Meals. Make sure to hop over and browse around.

Shredded Beef on a wooden cutting board

What to Serve with BBQ Beef Sandwiches?

These sandwiches work both in the summer or winter. Here are some side dish ideas that would go well with them.

BBQ Beef Sandwiches on a plate with corn and coleslaw

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 hours
  • Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Sandwiches
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwiches are worth the wait. So much delicious flavor from this slow cooker dish!

Find our Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches recipe here.


  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 1/2 cups of this homemade BBQ sauce or your favorite store-bought version
  • 810 whole wheat hamburger buns


Make It Now

  1. In a small bowl, mix the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper together.
  2. Rub the meat with the seasoning and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Pour BBQ sauce over the meat.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until beef easily shreds.
  5. Using two forks, shred the beef.
  6. Remove excess liquid and serve on whole wheat buns.

Freeze For Later

Rub the seasoning over the meat and place in a gallon size freezer bag. Pour the BBQ sauce over the meat, press the air out of the bag, and freeze next to a bag of wheat buns.

Prepare From Frozen

Let meat thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Cook in slow cooker as directed. Let buns thaw at room temperature. Enjoy!

This recipe is a great one for groups of people. Here are 25 More Slow Cooker Recipes that are great for a crowd.

25+ Slow Cooker Recipes for Groups of people

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20 replies
  1. Katie says:

    This was great, my third recipe that I’ve made from this site. (Also had the teriyaki shredded beef and insta-pot mashed potatoes). I’ll be searching for more here for sure! Thanks for posting great tasting recipes that are pretty easy/ quick to make.

  2. Shannon says:

    This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! One question: If I double the amount of meat, will the cooking time change for the crock pot?
    Thanks!! So many great recipes on this site 🙂

    • Rachel says:

      I haven’t tested this as a doubled meal, since it already makes so much. But, my educated guess is that if you cut the meat into large chunks that are all about the same size, it should cook evenly and for about the same amount of time. If you just buy a much larger roast, it will likely take a little longer. You want the meat to shred easily when done. Hope that helps!

  3. Beth says:

    Can I make the sliders in advance 30/1hour b4 guest arrive or is it something you need to serve as your going to eat?

  4. Brooke says:

    I’ll be honest when I taste tested the bbq sauce before pouring it over beef I was worried- wasn’t a fan. But I’m glad I kept going because 8 hours later im relieved that I’ll have great sliders to serve at my July 4th party and won’t have to worry about standing in the kitchen cooking while my guests are here!

  5. Kristi says:

    Hi! I’m going to make this tomorrow for a small group of friends. I have 2 questions: What kind of rolls would you recommend? And can I make the BBQ sauce today so I can put in crock pot first thing in the morning? (I would assume so, but just wanted to check)
    Thank you!

    • Polly says:

      Really any roll is going to work. I personally like to use wheat hamburger buns. And yes, you can for sure make it in advance. Good luck!

  6. Kyndall says:

    This looks great! Do you think this would work with stew beef instead of chuck roast? I have some in my freezer I need to use ;). Thanks for any thoughts!!

  7. Lori says:

    I’m hosting a gathering for my boxers tomorrow (I teach boxing to people with Parkinson’s disease) and I’m going to double this recipe and serve it on Hawaiian rolls. Thank you for the homemade BBQ sauce recipe too. I really try to keep everything as preservative free as I can. 🙂

  8. Beth says:

    Very yummy! I did a test recipe of this for my hubby and I and am making it tomorrow for a monthly community meal for families on the margins. Everyone will pitch in to help with the salad, yam fries, cut up fruit and Amish cookies, but this will be simmering away during the day and welcome everyone in. We have some crock pots that were donated. I’m always on the hunt for nutritious, family friendly meals that cross cultures well. Budget is important too of course so this is a bit of a splurge but at $4.99/lb for sirloin tip roasts this week (couldn’t find chuck roasts on sale) we will talk about the economies of scale as the leftovers can be worked into other main dishes in the days following these amazing beef buns. Thanks so much.

  9. Nancy VanCleve says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but I would love to cook this is advance for my (teacher) daughter, so she could just pull it out of the freezer COOKED, thaw it in the fridge that day, and just warm it up in the microwave for her crew that night. Do you think this would be okay? Thanks! I love your blog and recipes–I am not a cook but have prepared several recipes for my kids and they love them!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Nancy. Great question. You can definitely cook this one, store in a freezer bag or container, and then thaw and warm. What a sweet idea for your daughter’s teacher. We love hearing that our freezer meals are lovingly shared with others. 🙂

  10. Susan Larson says:

    I just made this recipe for my husband’s Friday night fellowship group. There were a dozen hungry guys and they ate all 5 pounds of beef (!). Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!! I found your website Tuesday on a google search for dinners that feed 15 to 20. I knew they were coming and had zero ideas besides the usual pizza delivery or packaged Italian beef sandwiches (too expensive). The BBQ beef was quick, delicious, and less than half the cost of take out.

    • Rachel says:

      Thanks so much, Susan. This is fantastic to hear that the recipe worked for his group. This is exactly why we keep doing what we do here at Thriving Home!