Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Sandwiches

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Juicy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef is our family’s newest dinnertime obsession. Use this pulled beef to make Shredded Beef Sandwiches, or store leftovers in the fridge or freezer for easy meal prep.

If you love easy crock pot recipes like Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, you’ll love this meltingly tender, flavorful shredded beef. Serve it in hoagie rolls with the au jus dipping sauce for a crowd-pleasing, French Dip Sandwich-inspired sandwich.

A hand dipping a shredded beef sandwich into a ramekin of beef drippings.

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Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Sandwiches

This slow cooker shredded beef was a happy accident. We had a tri-tip roast in the fridge and my husband had the inspiration to rub some Montreal steak seasoning over it and place it into the crock pot, along with a few other simple ingredients. 

Fast forward 8 hours, and we opened the lid to the juiciest, most flavorful slow-cooked beef roast. After shredding the beef, we loaded it between hoagie rolls with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and melty mozzarella to serve dipped au jus. Needless to say, these shredded beef sandwiches were an instant hit with the whole family. If you’re a fan of mouthwatering, cheesy, beefy sandwiches like our Philly Cheesesteak, then I’m certain these shredded beef sandwiches will be your new go-to favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

What makes this tri-tip recipe a must-try? Let me count the ways…

  • Easy to Prepare – With a bit of trimming and prepping, have your roast beef ready for the crock pot in minutes. Aside from some eventual shredding, it’s mostly hands-free.
  • Great for Sandwiches – Slow-cooked, shredded beef is amazing in a hoagie roll with melted mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, and sautéed mushrooms. It’s truly a winning beef sandwich that’s also family-friendly.
  • Ideal for Meal Prep – This recipe makes a generous batch of tender, shredded beef, and it’s perfect to portion out and keep refrigerated for healthy meal prepping.
Tongs in a slow cooker with shredded beef

Ingredients

You only need a handful of ingredients to make extra-juicy slow cooker shredded beef. Below is a short overview, with the full details available in the recipe card below the post.

  • Beef – We use a tri-tip roast for this recipe. This is a triangular-shaped sirloin cut (where the name “tri” comes from). It’s tempting to use chuck roast because it’s less expensive, but I highly recommend tri-tip. Tri-tip is less fatty, tenderizes faster, and shreds easier.
  • Seasoning – Montreal steak spice adds wonderful flavor to a beef roast. It’s one of our favorite seasonings for beef and is available in most US grocery stores. Onion powder, garlic powder, and dried rosemary bring even more flavor to the beef and marinade.
  • Oil – Use a high-heat oil to get a nice golden sear on the beef.
  • Beef Broth – We like to use low-sodium beef broth, but you can substitute chicken stock.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Adds depth and richness and brings out the natural umami flavors of beef.
The ingredients for slow cooker shredded beef.

Pro Tip: If you can’t find Montreal steak seasoning where you are you can get it online, or use regular all-purpose steak spice or carne asada seasoning instead. A rub with coarse black pepper will also do in a pinch.

How to Trim a Tri-Tip Roast

Before cooking your tri-tip, we recommend trimming off the layer of fat that sometimes covers one or both sides of the roast. If you’ve purchased trimmed tri-tip, you can skip this part as the fat is already removed. Otherwise, use a sharp knife to carefully cut the fat away from the rest of the meat. Fat is nice to have when oven-roasting, but not so great for slow cooking.

Side-by-side photos showing how to trim the fat from a tri-tip roast and season the beef.

How to Make Shredded Beef in a Crockpot

Shredded beef is great for making French dip-style sandwiches, and it’s just as good for meal prep. Here’s how to make extra juicy slow cooker shredded beef:

  1. Season and Sear the Beef – Give the roast a generous seasoning with Montreal steak spice. Use your hands to rub it all over and pat it on the meat. Next, sear the beef in a hot skillet with a bit of oil, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Add to the Slow Cooker – Add the broth to the slow cooker along with Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, and rosemary. Place the meat into the marinade, turning it over a couple of times to make sure it’s nice and coated.
  3. Cook – Cover and cook on low for about 7-8 hours.
  4. Shred – When the beef is tender enough to pull apart, take it out of the slow cooker and use two forks to shred it. 
  5. Strain the Au Jus – Use a sieve to strain the pan juices. Discard any solids then spoon off the excess oil from the pan juices.
  6. Combine – Put the beef back into the slow cooker and add about half of the leftover juices. The remaining juice makes a delicious au jus for dipping!
Photo collage showing the process for cooking shredded beef in the slow cooker.

Pro Tip: Before returning the shredded beef to your slow cooker, I recommend straining the liquid left in the pot through a sieve and spooning out any excess fat. Your beef will be cleaner, and the juice will also be better for dipping.

Common Questions

Can I use a chuck roast instead?

When I tested this recipe using chuck roast, I ended up throwing away a fair amount of fatty meat, which felt like a waste. If you absolutely must use chuck roast, add an extra hour to the cooking time as the beef takes longer to become tender.

Is it necessary to brown the beef before slow cooking?

It’s not 100% necessary to sear the beef first, however, it does enrich the flavor and also speeds up the cooking time in the crock pot.

Can I double the recipe?

You can double it if you have 2 separate slow cookers and can cook it in 2 different batches, otherwise, it may overload a single slow cooker and it won’t cook through properly.

What if I don’t have a slow cooker?

You can use the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot (most of them have this function nowadays),

Tongs stuck into shredded beef inside the slow cooker.

How To Make Shredded Beef Sandwiches

We serve our shredded beef with hoagie rolls or hamburger buns to make easy beef sandwiches to dip au jus. The kids love it and it’s quickly become one of our family’s favorite weeknight meals. Here’s how to make your own shredded beef sandwiches:

  1. Toast the hoagie roll with a bit of butter. 
  2. Pile on the beef, add mushrooms and/or onions (if using), followed by slices of mozzarella. 
  3. Broil the cheese until melted.
  4. Dip – Pour the leftover pan juices into ramekins and use them for dipping the sandwiches.
Photo collage showing how to assemble a shredded beef sandwich on a hoagie roll.

More Ways to Serve

Alone or in a sandwich, this slow cooker shredded beef is a seriously tasty, no-fuss meal. Try these other easy serving suggestions:

Make-Ahead

Shredded beef leftovers reheat really well (and don’t taste like leftovers), which makes this recipe perfect for meal planning.

  • To refrigerate: Store your leftover beef airtight in the fridge either all together or in portions for up to 3-4 days. 
  • Reheating: Warm shredded beef in the microwave or in the oven until heated through. If you find that your beef is a bit dry on the reheat, add a bit of water or beef broth to help loosen it up.
  • To Freeze: Store the cooled shredded beef airtight in containers or freezer bags (preferably vacuum-sealed) and keep it frozen for up to 6 months.
A shredded beef sandwich in a hoagie roll served on white plate next to au jus for dipping.

A soft hoagie roll piled high with mouthwatering slow cooker shredded beef – what’s not to love? My kids are always so happy when I make these shredded beef sandwiches and it’s a recipe you won’t want to miss.

More Sandwich Recipes

Looking for more family-approved sandwich recipes to try? These are our top-rated sandwiches and burgers.

Shredded Beef Sandwiches (A Slow Cooker Recipe)

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

A shredded beef sandwich in a hoagie roll served on white plate next to au jus for dipping.

Juicy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef is a must-try crock pot recipe. Use it to make shredded beef sandwiches for dipping au jus, or store or freeze leftovers for easy meal prep.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Course: Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine: American

Keyword: shredded beef crockpot, shredded beef sandwiches, slow cooker shredded beef

Skill Level: Easy

Calories: 415

Servings: 6 servings (makes 6 large sandwiches)

To Serve:

  • Hoagie Rolls
  • Caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms, optional
  • Sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
  • Reserved juices from slow cooker beef, for dipping

  1. Season beef all over with Montreal steak seasoning and pat it into the meat. Heat a large heavy skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, sear the meat for 2-3 minutes per side or until a golden brown crust has formed.

  2. In a slow cooker, add beef broth, Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, and rosemary. Set meat into the juice and turn to coat.

  3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until easily shredded with a fork.

  4. Transfer beef to a large bowl and shred beef with 2 forks. At this point, I will remove and discard any excess fat on the meat for really clean meat.

  5. Strain the liquid in the slow cooker through a sieve into a separate bowl and discard any solids. Spoon out and discard excess fat floating at the top and keep the remaining juice as a dipping sauce for serving.

  6. Add the shredded beef back into the slow cooker and pour in about half the liquid or enough to make the beef juicy and moist (the beef will soak up most of the juices).

To Make Shredded Beef Sandwiches

  1. Toast a hoagie roll with butter on a skillet or griddle until golden. Top with beef, onions, mushrooms, or your desired toppings. Add cheese and broil for 1-2 minutes until melted. Dip with reserved beef juice to serve.

  • Makes 6 hoagie-sized sandwiches or 8 burger-sized.
  • Nutritional information is for shredded beef only.

Nutrition Facts

Shredded Beef Sandwiches (A Slow Cooker Recipe)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 415 Calories from Fat 198

% Daily Value*

Fat 22g34%

Saturated Fat 7g44%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 12g

Cholesterol 147mg49%

Sodium 342mg15%

Potassium 955mg27%

Carbohydrates 3g1%

Fiber 0.3g1%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 48g96%

Vitamin A 40IU1%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 77mg8%

Iron 4mg22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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