Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

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Barbecue Beef Sandwiches are an easy slow cooker shredded beef sandwich recipe!

barbecue beef sandwich on a sesame seed bun with pickles and red onion

This is one of those recipes that cooks in your slow cooker all day long, and it doesn’t need any tending to at all. I love those kinds of recipes- especially for busy days. You get to go about your day doing whatever you want, and then 8 hours later you just open up the slow cooker and dinner is ready. These Barbecue Beef Sandwiches are delicious, and everyone loves them too!

ingredients displayed for making barbecue beef sandwiches- steak cut into slices and condiments for sauce

Ingredients needed for Barbecue Beef Sandwiches:

  • flank steak
  • brown sugar
  • tomato paste
  • onion
  • ketchup
  • cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • molasses
  • mustard
  • chili powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper
  • buns and desired condiments

adding steak and sauce to slow cooker

How to make BBQ Beef Sandwiches:

Flank steak is sold in a big hunk, so you’ll cut that into pieces about 3-inches wide. Then you’ll rub the pieces of steak with a simple rub mixture of brown sugar and pepper. And finally, you’ll mix the sauce ingredients directly in the insert of your slow cooker, put the rubbed steak in the sauce and then you’ll put the lid on and cook it for 8 hours.

The best slow cooker:

I have the Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker, and I absolutely love it. It’s the same slow cooker I’ve had for many years, and it’s just a workhorse and works perfectly. If the cook time finishes while you are away from the kitchen, the slow cooker automatically switches to a “warm” setting. It’s easy to attach the lid and transport. And the insert always cleans easily.  It think it’s the best slow cooker!

shredded barbecue beef on a cutting board

How to shred beef:

After the cook time has ended, you will need to remove the steak from the slow cooker and move it to a cutting board for shredding. The easiest way to shred beef is to stand two forks next to each other back-to-back inside a portion of the meat. Pull them apart to create shreds of the beef. Continue to do so on all parts of the steak until it is all shredded apart.

barbecued beef in a slow cooker

Then you’ll put the shredded beef back into the slow cooker, and stir it around to soak up all of that wonderful sauce.

barbecue beef sandwich on a sesame seed bun displayed on a white plate with glasses of soda in the background

That sauce-coated shredded beef is then ready to pile onto buns to create your Barbecue Beef Sandwiches.

two barbecue beef sandwiches stacked on top of each other displayed on a white plate with glasses of soda in the background

Eat them with just the shredded beef, or add any desired condiments like red onions, pickles or cole slaw. Enjoy!

Here are a few more sandwich recipes you might like to try:

barbecue beef sandwich on a sesame seed bun with pickles and red onion
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Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

This easy slow cooker recipe makes a great sandwich!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 309kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue, Beef, slow cooker



  • pounds flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Twelve 2½-ounce sandwich buns
  • red onion rings (optional)
  • dill or sweet pickle slices (optional)


  • Cut the steak into 3-inch strips. Combine the rub (brown sugar and pepper), and then rub the steaks well with the mixture.
  • Add all the sauce ingredients to your slow cooker and stir to mix well. Add the steaks and turn to coat with the sauce.
  • Cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 1 hour. Then reduce to low and cook 7 or 8 additional hours, until the beef is tender. Remove the steak from the slow cooker (leave the sauce in there), and place it on a cutting board. Shred the steak with two forks, and then return the shredded beef to the slow cooker. Stir to coat with the sauce.
  • Spoon 1/2 cup of the shredded beef onto the bottom of each half of the buns. Top with onion rings and pickles, if desired. Place tops of the buns on top of the beef, and serve.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg
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  • Rosanna wrote:

    This recipe is exactly what I need for my BBQ party next week. However, I have a question, what can I use as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce? Thank you so much.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure– perhaps Google subs for Worcestershire sauce. You might get some ideas?