Elaine's Sweet and Tangy Loose Beef BBQ Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Elaine's Sweet and Tangy Loose Beef BBQ Recipe
  • READY IN 8+ hrs

Elaine's Sweet and Tangy Loose Beef BBQ

Recipe by  

"This recipe is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants creation. I researched several BBQ recipes online and in my cookbooks and combined bits and pieces of different things I liked about them. The result was a wonderful and tangy loose BBQ for sandwiches that is very easy to make and takes little hands-on time. My in-laws who are in their 70s both said it was the best BBQ they had ever had. It was awesome!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 24 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    8 hrs

    8 hrs 30 mins


  1. Place the roast into a slow cooker along with the water. Cover, and cook on LOW for 2 to 4 hours, or until beef can be easily shredded with a fork.
  2. Shred the beef, removing fat as you go. Remove 1/2 cup of the broth from the slow cooker, and reserve for later. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Mix in the salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic. Stir so that the meat is well coated.
  3. Cover, and continue to cook beef on LOW for an additional 4 to 6 hours. Add the reserved broth only if necessary to maintain moisture. Serve on toasted buns. The meat can be frozen for future use.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Easy Cleanup
  • Try using a liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 12, 2007

This is really good. I'm giving it 4 stars because I think the cook time is way off. I used only a 2.75 lb. roast, and after 5 hours it was JUST getting to the point of being able to easily shred. The taste though is divine! I halved the recipe (since I was using a smaller roast), added a packet of Onion Soup Mix (per others reviews, thought this was a good addition) and added a quartered whole onion while it cooked. After the meat was done, I took out the 1/2 cup of broth, and then put the rest in a saucepot. I then added to the broth pot all the ingredients and brought to a slow boil for a couple of minutes, then added everything (meat and sauce) back to the crockpot for another 4 hours on low. Because I was running low on ketchup, and based on the reviews, I only used 1/4 cup ketchup and 1 1/4 cups Hickory Smoke Kraft BBQ sauce (for full recipe, I'd use 1/2 cup ketchup and 2 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce). I did not use the additional salt because of the soup mix, and I used maybe 6 shakes (12 for full recipe) of Tabasco in place of the cayenne. This recipe tastes authentic and it's addictive! Served with cornbread. (Sorry, I think this is the longest review ever!)

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 05, 2006

I tried to make this recipes today by following the directions EXACTLY as written, but the meat was so tough I couldn't shred the beef. I would not recommend this recipe!

Oct 11, 2003

My grandmother has made Beef BBQ this way for over 50 years, she uses bottom round so you can eliminate the fat picking step. She also cooks it on top the stove covered on very low heat, stirring once in awhile, until most of the liquid is gone ( about 3 -4 hours ) and the meat has shreaded by the cooking process.

Dec 30, 2003

After reading the review that noted the strong ketchup taste, I decided to use a new ketchup product from Heinz - Ketchup Kick'rs, smokey mesquite flavor to replace the ketchup. I also scaled the recipe to 8 servings because I happened to have a 2 lb chuck roast on hand. I cooked the meat the afternoon/evening before. Shredded and assembled the recipe before bed and put it and the broth in the fridge overnight. At two the next afternoon, I continued with the recipe. I did have to use most of the broth (the good thing was by chilling it, I was able to remove all the fat). I served it with jalapeno slices, sliced onions that were broiled slightly to take the bite out and coleslaw as optional toppings on toasted (broiled) french bread. My husband had been dreading this roast, yet absolutely loved this recipe - even had a second sandwich. I would have given 5 stars, but because I think it was the Mesquite ketchup that made it so good only gave it 4.

Feb 05, 2007

I scaled the recipe down to 10 servings, just threw everything in the crockpot on low and cooked overnight. In the morning, I just fished out the excess fat. So easy! I added a bit more brown sugar than called for. Didn't smell too great cooking (very vinegary), but tasted WONDERFUL! Will surely make again and again and again! :)

May 23, 2007

None Better! I start it three days before I want to serve it. cook on day one, shred and de-fat day two. Cook again and serve on day 3

Dec 04, 2003

This is an outstanding and simple recipe that can be used for beef or pork. Using the slow cooker allows you to start it one day, cook thru the night, shred and mix with seasoning and be ready the next day. Great for weekend activities. Try using pork and add one cup mustard, one cup vinegar.

Jan 23, 2005

As a Californian, I had to use Tri Tip. Came out excellent, I browned the meat first, used the Kicker's Mesquite Ketchup for 1/2 of the amount of Ketchup and used the full amount of garlic. Needed to cook on high for about 4 hours before adding the sauce, and them simmered on low for 3 hours more. All of my Southern friends loved the sandwiches!


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  • Calories
  • 231 kcal
  • 12%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 10.7 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 60 mg
  • 20%
  • Fat
  • 13.7 g
  • 21%
  • Fiber
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 16.3 g
  • 33%
  • Sodium
  • 594 mg
  • 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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