If you’re looking for a new take on classic ground beef burgers, then look no further than these delicious pulled beef burgers! This tender pulled beef makes for the perfect bite!
There’s no debate that a nice juicy burger is one of the best meals on the planet. There are so many variations of burgers, and now you have a new one to try - pulled beef burgers!
This recipe produces the most tender BBQ pulled beef sandwiches using an instant pot or crockpot. Then, we top these burgers with crispy jalapenos and tangy quick pickle onions and radishes. It’s simply the best pulled beef burger recipe out there!
Looking for some sides to serve with this delicious burger? Try these!
Why make pulled beef burgers over ground beef?
Pulled beef burgers are a great alternative to ground beef burgers for a couple of reasons. First, pulled beef is more flavorful and tender than ground beef. Next, pulled beef burgers are a great way to use leftover beef from a brisket or chuck roast. And lastly, pulled beef can be made in an instant pot or crockpot, whereas ground beef can't!
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted.
Chuck Roast: This is the perfect cut of meat for tender and juicy pulled beef!
Substitutions: A brisket or other roast such as a rump roast can be used instead of a chuck roast. However, chuck roast is the best cut of meat for pulled beef.
Olive Oil: We use olive oil to saute the beef to help keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Substitutions: Butter, ghee, or another animal fat such as duck fat can be used in place of olive oil.
BBQ Sauce: We use a brown sugar bbq sauce for this recipe. It provides a sweet and tangy flavor for the beef to take on!
Substitutions: Any type of your favorite bbq sauce can be used.
Beef Stock: In order to cook meat in the instant pot you need a liquid! If you don't have any liquid the burn error will come on and the pot won't work.
Substitutions: Another type of stock or broth such as vegetable, chicken or bone can be used. Water can also be used but it won't be as flavorful.
Radishes: Every burger needs some good toppings and radishes are light and crispy - a perfect burger companion!
Substitutions: No substitutes but these can be omitted.
Red Onion: Another topping to accompany the radishes are red onions. They add a nice flavorful bite to the burger that counteracts some of the sweetness of the bbq sauce.
Substitutions: White or yellow onion can be used in place or red onion.
White Vinegar: Our quick pickled radishes and onions need an agent to pickle them, and that's what vinegar is for! The acid in vinegar slows down the decaying process in the vegetables.
Substitutions: Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a substitute, but it will give the vegetables a stronger apple taste.
Spices: We keep it simple with the spices and just use salt, ground black pepper, and cane sugar!
Substitutions: Sorry, no substitutions for salt and pepper. However, any type of sugar can be sued for cane sugar.
Brioche Buns: The best burger buns are brioche buns, hands down! We love these toasted with some butter spread on.
Substitutions: Any type of bun can be used. Also, you can skip the bun and make a pulled burger bowl on a bead of rice or leaf green instead!
Crispy Jalapenos: These delicious pulled beef burgers deserve a crunch finish on top. That's why we top them with crispy and crunchy jalapeno slices.
Substitutions: Any type of crunchy topping can be used such as crispy onions or wontons.
How to Make This - Step by Step
Step one: Cut the roast
Cut chuck roast into approximately 2” chunks.
Step two: Sauté the beef
Turn the instant pot on sauté mode and add 2 tablespoon olive oil. Saute chuck roast pieces for a couple of minutes on each side until brown. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper while sautéing. Note: you may need to do this in two batches if all the pieces don’t fit.
Step three: Mix and add the sauce
Once the beef pieces have sautéed, add the beef stock to the instant pot with all the chuck roast pieces. Mix so that you scrape any pieces of meat off the bottom of the pot.
After you’ve mixed, add the BBQ sauce on top, and then don’t mix again. We want the barbecue sauce to sit on top of the meat to soak in!
Step four: Cook
Set the instant pot to high pressure and cook for 50 minutes.
Step five: Chop the radishes
While the beef cooks, chop up your onions into ½ inch slices. Also, slice your radishes into as thin of pieces as you can. We use a mandolin to slice ours, but if you don’t have one a knife works fine!
Step six: Quick pickle time
Fill a large mason jar with the onion and radish slices. Then, fill it halfway with white vinegar and halfway with water. Next, add ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and sugar. Then, close the lid and give it a shake! Refrigerate until the beef is done cooking.
Step seven: Release pressure
Once the beef has cooked, release the pressure in the instant pot manually. Then, pull apart or shred beef using two forks.
Step eight: Assemble and enjoy!
Assemble the best pulled beef burger you’ll ever have! Toast your buns, top with the pulled beef, quick pickle radishes and onions, crispy jalapenos, and more BBQ sauce if desired. Enjoy!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
In this recipe, let the quick pickle onions and radishes set for about an hour while the meat cooks. Given this amount of time, they’ll be fairly crispy still. If you want them more tender then you can make them the night before to allow the vinegar more time to react with the vegetables and pickle them even more!
Pulled Beef Variations
There are so many great ways to use pulled beef beyond these pulled beef burgers. Here are a few:
Pulled Beef Sandwiches: Instead of burger buns get some nice sourdough or French bread. Then, sauté some bell peppers and onions. Add your pulled beef and top with cheese for a tasty pulled beef sandwich!
Pulled Beef Sliders: Make yourself a whole batch of mini sandwiches. You can make pulled beef sliders using Hawaiian rolls, which will amp up the sweetness of the slider. Then, top with something spicy to offset the sweetness such as hot BBQ sauce or chipotle mayo.
Pulled Beef Bowls: This recipe is very similar to the barbacoa at Chipotle Mexican Grill. To make a pulled beef bowl, simply start with your beef and rice and then add your favorite toppings such as avocado, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce, corn, sour cream, beans, and more!
There are so many options! That's what makes pulled beef so great!
Facts and Common Questions
The chuck roast cut is widely viewed as the best cut of meat for tender pulled beef. The chuck roast is the front shoulder of the cow and has a good amount of fat on it. The fat is what makes pulled beef so juicy and delicious!
Briskets are also cuts that make good pulled beef, but they tend to be more expensive than chuck roasts. Therefore, chuck roasts are budget-friendly and great tasting!
Pulled beef burgers are tender and savory. Some sort of light vegetable paired with a crunchy topping makes for great additions to pulled beef burgers.
We use quick pickle onions and radishes in this recipe, but a cole slaw, red cabbage, and spinach are also great vegetables to put on this burger.
We also top with crispy jalapenos, but crispy or sauteed onions, cheddar cheese, and potatoes are also amazing toppings!
Using two forks to pull apart your beef is a simple method that anyone can do. There are special tools that can help make pulled beef easier! Meat-shredding “claws”, such as these ones, make it a lot easier to pull apart beef!
If you follow this recipe that shouldn’t happen! However, if you find that your pulled beef is tough it likely either needs more time to cook, or it needs more liquid. Try adding additional liquid to your instant pot and cooking it for longer to tenderize the meat.
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
This pulled beef is great for meal prep. It can be stored in the fridge or freezer and here's how:
Fridge: Store your flavorful beef in an airtight container, or a dish sealed with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. The beef can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat from the fridge, simply microwave the beef for one minute.
Freezer: Store the beef in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
To reheat from the freezer thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat in the microwave for one minute.
Did you know that just three ounces of chuck roast have 23 grams of protein? This is a great cut of meat! The chuck roast cut comes from the front shoulder area of the cow. This cut is perfect for braising and slow roasting. It’s also well known for its rich, beefy flavor! That’s why we love using chuck roast for this recipe. (source)
More Joyful Recipes!
Looking for more burger recipes? Try these:
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
Pulled Beef Ingredients
- 3 lbs chuck roast
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup beef broth
- ½ cup bbq suace
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 6 buns
- 3 radishes
- ¼ red onion
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cane sugar
- Cut chuck roast into approximately 2” chunks.
- Turn instant pot on sauté mode and add 2 tablespoon olive oil. Sautee chuck roast pieces for a couple minutes on each side until brown. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper while sautéing. Note: you may need to do this in two batches if all the pieces don’t fit.
- Once the beef pieces have sautéed, add the beef stock to the instant pot with all the chuck roast pieces. Mix so that you scrape any pieces of meat off the bottom of the pot. After you’ve mixed, add the BBQ sauce on top and then don’t mix again. We want the barbecue sauce to sit on top of the meat to soak in!
- Set the instant pot to high pressure and cook for 50 minutes.
- While the beef cooks, chop up your onions into ½ inch slices. Also, slice your radishes into as thin of pieces as you can. We use a mandolin to slice ours, but if you don’t have one a knife works fine!
- Fill a large mason jar with the onion and radish slices. Then, fill it half way with white vinegar and half way with water. Next, add ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and sugar. Then, close the lid and give it a shake! Refrigerate until the beef is done cooking.
- Once the beef has cooked, release the pressure in the instant pot manually. Then, pull apart or shred beef using two forks.
- Assemble the best pulled beef burger you’ll ever have! Toast your buns, top with the pulled beef, quick pickle radishes and onions, crispy jalapenos, and more BBQ sauce if desired. Enjoy!