10 Easy Ways to Cook Meat in the Slow Cooker

updated Nov 15, 2023
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

The slow cooker is one of our favorite tools to turn tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, like pork shoulder, beef chuck roast, and brisket, into tender, totally delicious meals. You’ll need some time and planning, although it requires very little effort and delivers a big reward.

From shredded chicken and carnitas, to brisket and pot roast, here are 10 easy ways to cook meat in your slow cooker.

10 Ways to Cook Meat in the Slow Cooker

1 / 10
Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
This recipe delivers the most delicious payoff imaginable — meat so tender and juicy it practically falls right off the bone.
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2 / 10
Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker

It doesn’t get much easier or more versatile than slow-cooker shredded chicken. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it recipe, and requires just two ingredients: boneless, skinless chicken breasts and your choice of water or chicken stock. Use the shredded meat in salads, tacos, grain bowls, sandwiches, and more.

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3 / 10
Crispy, Juicy Chicken Thighs in the Slow Cooker
Slow-cooking chicken thighs without any cooking liquid on low heat, crisps the chicken’s skin while slowly braising the thighs until juicy and tender.
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4 / 10
Pork Chops in the Slow Cooker
Pork chops cook on top of a layer of vegetables in the slow cooker, resulting in an incredibly flavorful, hands-off meal.
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5 / 10
Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker
Pile it onto buns, drape it over nachos, roll it into burritos, spoon it over rice, or simply eat it straight-up. You will be overjoyed.
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6 / 10
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Spicy, savory, and tender pork shoulder.
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7 / 10
Slow Cooker Maple & Dijon Pot Roast

The slow cooker is ideal for pot roast. This classic recipe starts with budget-friendly beef chuck roast, and the low, slow cooking turns it into a tender hearty dinner. Here the sauce gets an extra punch of flavor, thanks to Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and a splash of balsamic.

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8 / 10
Slow Cooker Brisket and Onions
The classic flavors of brisket you crave with the ease of the slow cooker. This recipe produces the most crowd-pleasing, tender pot of brisket you've made.
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9 / 10
Slow-Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Barbacoa is a simple dish that starts with a piece of brisket, chiles, and a mess of spices for a rich, flavor-packed broth, and can be made into all sorts of meals. Use it for tacos, burritos, loaded nachos, or even hash for breakfast in the morning.

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10 / 10
Slow-Cooker Roast Beef Po' Boys

A really good batch of tender shredded beef is a force to be reckoned with, and this recipe is your guide to getting it right every time. Use it on Southern-inspired po’ boys as it’s used here, add to another type of sandwich, toss it with pasta, or pile it on a grain bowl.

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