Skip to Content

BBQ Shredded Beef (Sandwiches)

This BBQ shredded beef is the perfect filling for sandwiches, baked potatoes, or served over a salad. You’ll love how easy this is to make in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.

BBQ Shredded Beef in a large white bowl served with coleslaw.

In my neverending goal to share more of Ohio with you, I’m making THE BEST BBQ beef sandwich recipe today!

As much as Ohio Shredded Chicken Sandwich is part of my youth, this sandwich is also part of my youth. In Ohio, if you were at a wedding, graduation party, birthday party, etc., you had chicken sandwiches and shredded BBQ beef sandwiches.

Both fillings could be homemade (like my recipes) or bought from our local poultry place, Root’s Shredded Chicken. I know beef isn’t chicken, but they know what’s up in the shredded meat sandwich department.

For this recipe, I’m using an easy-to-find boneless chuck roast that I cut into large 2-inch by 2-inch chunks, sprinkled with a brown sugar seasoning blend, and then cooked right in the Instant Pot.

However, if you don’t have an electric pressure cooker, you can easily make this in your slow cooker. It’s an easy recipe that can easily be adapted to whatever cooking device you own.

Oh, and as far as BBQ sauce is concerned, you can use whatever sauce is your favorite! I used Sweet Baby’s Rays in this recipe, but you could also use a homemade Easy BBQ Sauce if you have some on hand.

Chuck roast, spices, beef stock, and bbq sauce sitting on a table.

Ingredients for barbecue beef

  • Chuck roast
  • Spice and brown sugar mix
  • Beef stock
  • BBQ sauce

How to make

You can make this shredded beef in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker. My favorite method is the Instant Pot because it fully cooks the meal in under 2 hours. In the words of Ina Garten, “How easy is that?”

For your Instant Pot, you’ll largely cube the meat, cut out any extra fat pieces, season the meat, add to the pot, cook for 50 minutes, let it naturally release for a bit, then take it out and shred shred shred!

Then, add the meat back to the pot, add some BBQ sauce, and thin out the mixture with beef stock. Serve on top of buns, stuffed in a baked potato, or on top of a large dinner-sized salad.

For your slow cooker, you’ll coat the whole piece of meat in seasoning, add to your slow cooker, add in the stock, cook on low for 6-8 hours, shred, add back to the slow cooker, pour in BBQ sauce, let warm, and serve!

BBQ Shredded Beef (Sandwiches) topped with coleslaw and pickles.

Tips and tricks

Go boneless – Since you’ll shred this beef, I find buying a boneless meat cut easier. Why mess with bones if you don’t have to? Plus, it makes cutting into chunks and removing the larger fat pieces easier.

Storebought BBQ sauce – This makes the dish easy and affordable to make. Plus, you get the exact BBQ flavor you enjoy. My personal favorite storebought BBQ sauce is Sweet Baby Ray’s.

Freeze for later – If you’re looking for an easy dish to freeze, this meal is your friend! Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months in your freezer. This is the optimal time for freshness and flavor. Let defrost and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. If the mixture is too thick, add more BBQ sauce or thin it with beef stock.

BBQ shredded beef on a bun with coleslaw and pickles.

How to serve

I like to turn this shredded beef with BBQ sauce into tasty sandwiches to serve! My favorite way of eating it is on a fluffy bun with sweet and spicy bread and butter pickles and creamy coleslaw. This is the ultimate comfort food for you.

This meat also makes an excellent topping for baked potatoes or jacket potatoes if you’re British! If you remember my BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, it’s sort of the same, but instead, you’ll use BBQ beef instead of BBQ pork.

I also really love using this recipe as a salad topping. I love big salads for dinner in the summer, but I’m always looking to switch up my protein options. This would be an excellent substitute for steak in my Southwest Steak Salad.

What to serve alongside

I topped my BBQ beef sandwiches with creamy coleslaw and bread and butter pickles and served them alongside potato chips. If you’re looking for other tasty side options, you should try my:

FAQ’s

Yes, both are great options and work well for this recipe. Please check out the full recipe card for instructions for both.

I like to use Sweet Baby Ray’s but feel free to use whatever BBQ sauce you like and love.

BBQ beef in a large white serving bowl.

More BBQ recipes

BBQ Shredded Beef

This BBQ shredded beef is the perfect filling for sandwiches, baked potatoes, or served over a salad. You'll love how easy this is to make in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 pound boneless chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 18 ounces BBQ sauce storebought or homemade
  • 8 count sandwich buns optional

Instructions

  • Cut your boneless chuck roast into 2 inch chunks. Remove any large pieces of fat or connective tissue in the roast pieces. Add to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar spice mix over the cubed beef and toss to coat the meat in the spice blend.

For Instant Pot

  • Add your beef to the inside pot of your Instant Pot and pour in the beef stock.
  • Add the lid to the Instant Pot, turn the lid to the closed position, and make sure the vent is in the "sealed" position.
  • Put the Instant Pot on the "manual high" setting for 50 minutes.
  • After the Instant Pot comes to pressure and cooks for 50 minutes, let the cooker natural release for 10 minutes. *see notes
  • After 10 minutes, vent the Instant Pot, and remove the lid.
  • Remove the beef from the Instant Pot and add to a large plate or cutting board to shred.
  • Save 1 cup of stock in the bottom of the pot and throw away the rest.
  • Shred the beef and add back to the pot. Add the BBQ sauce and stir to combine.
  • If the bbq beef is too thick thin it out with some of the reserved beef stock. Keep the Instant Pot on the "keep warm" setting if you want to keep the beef warm while serving.
  • Serve on buns for sandwiches.

For Slow Cooker

  • Add your beef to the inside crock of your slow cooker and pour in the beef stock.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  • Remove the beef from the Instant Pot and add to a large plate or cutting board to shred.
  • Save 1 cup of stock in the bottom of the crock and throw away the rest.
  • Shred the beef and add back to the crock. Add the BBQ sauce and stir to combine.
  • If the BBQ beef is too thick, thin it out with some of the reserved beef stock.
  • Serve on buns for sandwiches.

Notes

When a recipe calls to let your Instant Pot “natural release” it means your pressure cooker will naturally (and very slowly) release the pressure.
Many recipes call for the pressure cooker to naturally release for a period of time because this helps the recipe cook just a little longer.
Since the pressure cooker will be slowly losing pressure you do not have to do anything; it will eventually lose all its pressure and the lid will unlock.
When a recipe calls for quick release, this means you will manually be letting the pressure out of the Instant Pot.
You will have to turn the vent to the “venting” position and a bunch of hot steam will come out of the vent. It is very important that you do not put your hand in the steam as it is VERY HOT.
This will then immediately unlock the lid and the food can be served.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 997mg | Potassium: 918mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 5mg
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue beef, bbq beef sandwiches, shredde beef
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!
BBQ Shredded Beef pin for Pinterest.
Brandy

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating




Julie

Tuesday 30th of April 2024

Brandy made this for me when I visited her and omg, it is SO SO good! It reheats very well and it's so tender and full of flavor. I can't wait to make this at home myself! She served this with coleslaw and spicy pickles and I just about went to heaven. Make this ASAP! You won't regret it!

SEEN ON

as seen on promo graphic

SEEN ON

as seen on promo graphic