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Slow cooker barbacoa street tacos lined up and topped with cilantro and diced onion.
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5 from 26 votes

Barbacoa (True Texas Style)

Authentic tasting barbacoa! This easy to make at home slow cooker barbacoa, is simply seasoned and perfect for loading into tacos! 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: main dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings: 8
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Serene


  • 1 tbsp oil canola, vegetable, avocado
  • 2 pounds beef cheeks or beef chuck roast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ onion quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 bayleaves


  • Chop the beef into 1-2 inch chunks. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, sear the meat briefly on all sides. Careful not to crowd the pan. Continue until all meat is seared.
  • Place the beef into the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt. 
  •  Add in the quartered onion and smashed garlic cloves. Add in the bay leaves. 
  • Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours until the meat easily shreds. Remove the bay leaves and large pieces of onion.
  • Shred the meat. Return the meat to the slow cooker, stir into the juices. Let cook for another 20-30 minutes on LOW. 
  • Serve warm on corn tortillas to make street tacos.



1. Beef Cheeks: this cut is a lot fattier, I would recommend purchasing double the amount of meat you need since half of it will render out as fat during cooking. 
2. Salt: use 3/4 teaspoon of salt per pound of beef. 
3. Storage: refrigerate in a covered container for up to 5 days. Freezer for up to 3 months. 


Serving: 1 | Calories: 221kcal | Protein: 23g | Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 280mg