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A plate of slow cooked bbq pulled beef inside of hamburger buns
5 from 12 votes

Slow Cooker + Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Beef (aka Shredded Beef)

Slow cooker BBQ pulled beef recipe with instructions on how to make it in the Instant pot aka Pressure cooker too! So tender and juicy. Easy yet so flavorful! Make them into shredded beef sandwiches which are perfect for feeding a crowd! 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Southern American
Keyword instant pot shredded beef, pulled beef, shredded beef, slow cooker pulled beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 7 people
Author April Wright


For the roast

  • 2.5 lbs boneless chuck roast
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder plus 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tbsp onion powder plus 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or Better than Bouillon beef base
  • salt for taste
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • bread your choice of hamburger buns, dinner rolls etc.


For the Slow Cooker

  1. Season the roast. Pour the beef broth into the slow cooker then add the beef. Slow cook for 6-8 hours on low.

  2. Carefully remove the beef. Be careful because it's very tender and will probably fall apart. Place it into a large bowl. Shred the roast with a fork or an electric hand mixer (for faster results).Add the barbecue sauce and mix to combine. 

For the Instant Pot

  1. Season the beef with the seasonings. Close the lid and "lock" it. Set the steam release knob to the sealing position. Press the pressure cook button and set to high pressure. Using the + buttons set to 60 minutes. 

  2. Once the cooking cycle is done and the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. 

  3. Turn the steam release knob to venting. Carefully remove the beef and place it into a large bowl and shred with two forks or an electric mixer. Lastly, add the bbq sauce or homemade. 

Recipe Notes

Cook tips


Instant Pot Burn Notice - 




No 1. Couple reasons for this warning. If you receive a burn notice you most likely need to add more broth or water (if you like) to the instant pot. Don't worry if you get the warning. I got the warning so of course, had to add more liquid. I initially tried to get away with 1/4 cup of  but it wasn't enough.  The liquid measurement in the recipe card is what you can start with. 




No 2. The knob was not turned to sealing position. Make sure the knob is set to sealing.





No 3. The burn notice could be that the lid wasn't locked. Make sure the lid is locked. For more instant pot troubleshooting info you can check out the pressure cooker site



Prep - As you season the roast beef, with your fingers press the seasoning into the steak so it can "stick" to the steak. 


Coat all sides of the roast with the seasonings. Don't be afraid to press down hard enough until the seasonings stick. Just pretend you are giving the roast a nice massage. If you don't press down on the roast the seasonings may fall off. 



Pulled beef - If it's not done after 60 minutes, use your instinct and cook it a bit longer. The beef may need to cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes. 



Storage - Store in air-tight container. Place in the refrigerator for up to one week. Freeze up to a month in the freezer. 




Recipe has been updated 3/6/2019