This crockpot paleo BBQ pulled beef is so tasty you guys! Even in the busiest of times, I do my best to still eat food so delicious that it makes me wonder how something can taste so good and still be good for me.

When you’ve got a lot going on or little time to spend in the kitchen, a crockpot or slow-cooker recipe can be a major savior.

Having grown up in Texas, BBQ has been and remains a major part of my diet.

What’s the secret to good BBQ? Smoke and patience.

What’s the secret to good BBQ that requires way less equipment and expertise? Crockpot and a killer sauce recipe.

Slow-cooked brisket, if done properly, can fulfill your wildest dreams of a simple way to make amazing BBQ at home. And this crockpot paleo BBQ pulled beef hits all the major players for your BBQ cravings!

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I like my paleo BBQ sauce tangy, (a little) sweet, and smoky. I know that everyone has his or her own opinion of what “good BBQ sauce” should taste like. Feel free to experiment with more/less honey, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings until you find your own perfect BBQ sauce fit.

So much is going on right now. I’m writing to you from the middle of a perfect storm of house renovation, moving, and major work projects. Weeks like these really make you appreciate those quiet nights on a couch next to your loved one when you can lazily sip a glass of wine while watching Duck Dynasty (oh yeah … I’m a DD fan … a major fan, Jack!).

For starters, roughly chop the onions. Add them to a pot on medium/high heat. Keep stirring the onions until they start to turn brown. This should take about 3 (or so) minutes.

Chop the garlic. Add it to the pot.

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Pour the tomato sauce in the pot. Add the honey. Stir it all together until it starts to look dreamy.

DSC_0493Grab some liquid smoke. Stubb’s BBQ makes my favorite liquid smoke. I’m a lucky girl because I live about an hour away from the Stubb’s BBQ Restaurant in Austin, TX. They have really tasty food and their backyard is one of my favorite music venues. I’ve seen everyone from Coheed and Cambria, to Nickle Creek, to Thrice, to Regina Spektor on that stage. Great memories. I’m pretty sure it’s also the place where I got my first taste of Miller High Life, “the Champagne of Beers.” My friends had the gullible 21 y/o Cassy convinced it was the finest beer on the planet.

Add about a capful of the liquid smoke to the pot. Be careful not to add too much – this stuff is potent. Add in the chili powder. Add in the apple cider vinegar and water.

DSC_0497Wash, pat dry, and place your brisket in the crockpot. Cover in the black pepper and salt.

Pour the sauce over the brisket. Cook on high for about 2 hours then reduce the heat to low for the next 6 hours. It smells amazing.

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Pull out the brisket. Set it aside on a cutting board. Using two forks, start pulling the tender brisket apart. If some of the brisket towards the middle isn’t as easy to shred, don’t be discouraged, just whip out a knife and chop it up.

DSC_0652Meanwhile, pour the remaining sauce/meat drippins from the crockpot back into the pot you were using earlier. Using an immersion blender (or an actual blender), blend the sauce until it’s smooth.

DSC_0665Simmer on medium/low to help some of the extra moisture evaporate off. Note that this is not a thick BBQ sauce because of the extra water added to help cook the brisket. If you want it thicker, simmer it longer or add some arrowroot. Oh my goodness, our crockpot paleo BBQ pulled beef is just coming together!

Meanwhile, put your shredded brisket into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Ladle about 1/3 of the BBQ sauce over the brisket. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. This step helps the tasty goodness of the sauce creep into the last nooks and crannies of the pulled beef.

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Top with your favorite fresh herbs/veggies (I used cilantro) and enjoy!

I enjoyed mine in a “clean your veggie drawer out” Romaine lettuce wrap that was topped with chopped radishes, avocado, purple onion, jalapenos, more BBQ sauce, and extra cilantro. It was DEElish.  If you’re looking for more paleo-inspired BBQ dishes, you’ll love this Paleo Summer BBQ roundup!  I hope you love this crockpot paleo BBQ pulled beef as much as we did!

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crockpot paleo BBQ pulled beef

Crockpot Paleo BBQ Pulled Beef

5 — Votes 2 votes
By Cassy
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Total: 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This crockpot paleo BBQ pulled beef is so tasty! Delicious taste AND good for you - AND it cooks hands-off all day? Yes, please!

Ingredients  

  • 1 Brisket ~6 pounds, trimmed by the butcher – just ask
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 Medium-Sized Yellow Onions chopped
  • 6 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Can Organic Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Raw Honey
  • ¼ teaspoon or capful of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Water

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium/high heat.
  • Add onions to pan and brown for approximately 3 minutes
  • Add garlic and cook until just fragrant.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the tomato sauce, honey, liquid smoke, chili powder, and vinegar. Then add mixture to pan, and stir it all together until melted.
  • Add in the water.
  • Wash, pat dry, and place your brisket in the crockpot. Cover in the black pepper and salt.
  • Pour the sauce over the brisket and cook on high for about 2 hours.
  • Reduce the heat to low for the next 6 hours.
  • Pull out the brisket and set it aside on a cutting board.
  • Using two forks, start pulling the tender brisket apart. If some of the brisket towards the middle isn’t as easy to shred, don’t be discouraged, just whip out a knife and chop it up.
  • Meanwhile, pour the remaining sauce from the crockpot back into the pot you were using earlier. Using an immersion blender {or an actual blender}, blend the sauce until it’s smooth.
  • Simmer the sauce on medium/low to help some of the extra moisture evaporate off. Note that this is not a thick BBQ sauce because of the extra water added to help cook the brisket. If you want it thicker, simmer it longer or add some arrowroot.
  • Put your shredded brisket into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and ladle about 1/3 of the BBQ sauce over the brisket.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.
  • Top with your favorite fresh herbs/veggies {I used cilantro} and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Instant Pot Version:
  1. Heat oil in the Instant Pot on Saute.
  2. Add onions to Instant Pot and brown for approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the tomato sauce, honey, liquid smoke, chili powder, and vinegar. Then add mixture to Instant Pot, and stir it all together until melted.
  5. Add in the water.
  6. Wash, pat dry, and season the brisket and then place it in the Instant Pot.
  7. Place the lid on the pot, cover, and make sure the valve is set to sealed. Press the “manual” button and set to cook for 90 minutes.
  8. After 90 minutes is up, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes) and remove the lid from the pot.
  9. Once the  are done, follow the remaining instructions from Step 9 on.

Nutrition

Calories: 858kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 96g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 281mg | Sodium: 1104mg | Potassium: 1947mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 591IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 10mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 858
Keyword: bbq beef, crockpot pulled beef, paleo bbq beef

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.


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34 Comments

  1. I am just finishing this up and I just realized it says a SIX POUND brisket after I used a TWO POUND brisket! Haha, I guess I wasn’t reading as carefully as I thought, but I’m glad, because now I have all of this extra BBQ sauce to use throughout the week! YUM! Everything turned out great!

    1. So glad you liked it Heather! Extra BBQ sounds like a good dilemma to be in 🙂

  2. Can you fit 6# of brisket into a crock pot? I got a huge brisket from a farm and I know it won’t fit in my crock. Do you have an extra big crock pot?

    1. Hi Erika! Yes it can fit into a bigger sized crockpot. If it doesn’t fit in yours, you could try to half the recipe and only use 3 pounds of the brisket. Or just cut the brisket in half and try to maneuver it so it does fit. Hope that helps.

  3. Can you use regular honey also instead
    Of raw honey?
    This recipe sounds so good !

    1. Hi Rhonda, regular honey will work just fine! Hope you enjoy it!

  4. You are a superstar! Thank you for this recipe!

    I’ve never been able to get brisket quite right, and I used your recipe (even sourced liquid smoke online, which is hard to find in rural England), and it made the best ever tasting brisket and sauce ever!!

    I boiled the sauce down for about two hours, skimmed off some of the fat and added a little more honey before blitzing.

    Oh my goodness, it was so good. Thank you SO much. First time I’ve ever made a good tasting piece of beef. Delicious.

    1. Ah this just completely makes my day. Thank you so much, Felicia! I’m thrilled to know you liked it!

  5. Thanks for this recipe. Definitely going to give this a crack over the festive season.

    I want to also say thank you for diligently taking photos of each step of what we should be seeing. It helps immensely to avoid spoiling the broth so to speak!

  6. I know a lot of great paleo recipes, and I’m so happy when I find a new one. 🙂 I haven’t tried this yet, so thanks for the nice idea!

  7. I just wanted to let you know I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Its going to be my go to recipe for sure! I’ve even tossed around the idea of using chicken and pork. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!

  8. Love this! would it be possible to substitute the beef for another meat – say pork?

  9. Hi, Looks good but are you sure this recipe is gluten free to be paleo? I worry about the “smoke” and the bouillon

    1. Great question. I had to look up the ingredients on my bottle of liquid smoke before I answered you. The smoke is gluten-free but not soy free. I’m not sure about the bouillon. At the end of the day, the recipe calls for so little of the liquid smoke that the amounts of soy are trace. That being said, both the liquid smoke and the bouillon are optional. If you can’t find a paleo-friendly bouillon, you can just leave it out. I hope that helps!

    1. Grrrrrreat question! I hunted far and wide to find you an answer. My almost official answer is 15 ounces. I’ll check back to confirm shortly. Hope that wasn’t too late of an answer!

  10. Sorry, is this cooked on high and then low on the hob or in the oven and is it covered when in the crock pot?

    1. Hi Tom! It’s cooked on high and then low while on the counter. I shred, smother in the sauce, and cover with foil for re-heating in the oven. Hope that helps!