Chipotle's Beef Barbacoa Slow Cooker

Ok, so maybe it's not exactly like Chipotle's, but it's dang friggin' close. Actually I think it's identical to Chipotle's Barbacoa, but there will always be That One Person who disagrees.

First off, this isn't my recipe. I found this on TheKitchn's Web site.


  • 4 chipotle peppers (from a can) plus all the adobo sauce it sits in
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
  • 5 dry bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 5 to 7 pounds grass-fed beef brisket
  • 4 to 6 cups beef or chicken stoc



Stir together chipotle peppers and sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, clove, salt, lime juice, and cider vinegar in the insert of a slow cooker (if you have a food processor, pulse until combined first before adding). Place the brisket on top of this mixture. I like to cut my brisket in two pieces so it fits better in the slow cooker. Add stock to cover the meat and place bay leaves on top. Use tongs to move the meat around gently to combine everything and put the lid on.

Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Once finished, turn crock pot to WARM and let sit for 6 to 8 hours.

I like to make mine before bed and then let it sit on WARM overnight. This allows the meat to cook fully and then be shredded easily and it will essentially fall apart when pulled with a fork. If you don't have overnight to accomplish this, another hour of cooking on HIGH will get the job done. The meat will not be as tender, but it will still be tasty.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on rimmed baking sheet. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Discard the fat if desired. If you plan on frying it again before use, the small fat bits are extra tasty and should be kept! Place shredded beef in large bowl and ladle cooking liquid over the top a few scoops at a time. You want the meat to hold the liquid, but not swim in it.

I originally cut this recipe in half because I wasn't sure what I'd do with 5-7 pounds of beef brisket...but after I tasted it, I wish I made the full recipe!

If you're getting sick of the same meat over and over again, this recipe is definitely for you!

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