Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails

I love oxtails. Considering I seem to always be late to everything these days, loving the tail end of a cow makes perfect sense.

One of my earliest posts (complete with really bad photography) is a basic braised oxtail recipe.  It has also become one of my most popular posts, as a lot of people apparently have no idea how to make oxtails! My favorite oxtail recipe used to be Mexican Spiced Oxtails (also with really bad photography.) But there is a new kid on the block, and she’s a bad motha. . . shut yo mouth! (sorry, started channeling Isaac Hayes for a minute)

When I lived in Brooklyn I ate food from the Caribbean all the time. Seriously, I would cook all day in the test kitchen and the last thing I wanted to do was come home and cook! I would stop by my favorite Jamaican, Trinidadian or Guyanese joints for roti, brown stew chicken, curried goat, beef patties and other tasty treats.

In an attempt to recreate the flavors of my Brooklyn neighborhood, I made these Caribbean style oxtails. I cannot say this is an authentic recipe just like they make on the islands, but it is good!

I used a dried crushed habanero, which added a good amount of spice to the oxtails. You can use fresh scotch bonnet peppers, fresh habanero peppers, or a dried variation of either. You can also use crushed red pepper flakes, but you will need to add more than 1/4 teaspoon to get the same amount of fruity heat.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails

Summary: Slow cooked Caribbean spiced oxtails become fall off of the bone tender and succulent.


  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed habanero pepper
  • 4 pounds oxtails
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water


  1. In a small bowl, mix the scallions, garlic, ginger, allspice, salt and habanero pepper together.
  2. Rub the spice mix all over the oxtails, marinate for at least one hour to overnight.
  3. Place the sliced onion on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Place the thyme sprigs on top, then the oxtails.
  5. Pour the broth over the oxtails, cover and cook on high for 6 hours.
  6. When the oxtails are cooked, remove them from the slow cooker.
  7. Remove the thyme stems from the liquid.
  8. With a blender or food processor, carefully puree the sauce, then return it to the slow cooker, or pour it into a serving dish.
  9. Return the oxtails to the sauce.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 6 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6



Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

40 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Caribbean Oxtails”

  1. Just discovered this site. I cook oxtails in a pressure cooker (50 mins) but I am going to try the slow cooker way. Tonight I cooked a whole chicken in coconut milk in the slow cooker (3 hours on low) and the result was fall apart absolutely delicious meat. My wife is Jamaican and is looking forward to the slow cooker version of oxtails, but, she reminds me, real Jamaicans always cook them with broad beans (also known as butter beans) so I will add them towards the end. Thanks for inspiring me.

  2. The slow cooker should be set to high. If you are cooking them on the low setting, I am not sure how many more hours it will take for the oxtails to become tender. You will have to check them occasionally to see when they are done.

  3. Paul, I am not sure how to answer this. I developed this recipe specifically for the Caribbean flavor, and would need to go back and do a new recipe for a BBQ flavor. I don’t want to give you recommendations for a recipe I have not tried myself, since my educated guesses could be way off!

  4. Hi!
    Amazing recipe! Thanks so much!
    I’m now curious to try different tastes with with this. What would you recommend if I wanted more of a BBQ style taste to the meat?

    Thank you!

  5. I was looking for a recipe and came across this one. I am so glad that I did. The oxtails came out perfect and the taste was great! Thank you so much for this recipe. It will definitely be my go-to from now on! 🙂

  6. You are brilliant! I made this recipe for oxtails and it turned out so great! I use this seasoning on my smoked brisket and everyone just loves it! Thanks so much!

  7. I’m using Turkey Oxtails instead and should only need 4hrs on high. If all goes well, I’ll post the results

  8. Cheryl, did you purée the Onions with the sauce? My Oxtails are marinating in the fridge right now……..

  9. Beef shank, neck bones or a tougher cut such as brisket would be delicious. You will have to modify your cooking time depending on the size and cut, but the flavor will be good. You could even use goat meat.

  10. I love oxtails, too. Very difficult to find where I currently live. Is there another portion of beef you’d recommend for this recipe? The spice profile seems devine!

  11. So I had a question on this dish. Once you marinade overnight. Do you put everything in the slow cooker or just the oxtails without the garlic ginger etc.

  12. Tried this recipe last night. Could never season oxtails good so stopped cooking them. The flavor was really great. I put extra broth to be sure since cooking overnight. Next time I will follow recipe completely. Thanks

  13. I cooked oxtails today and they turned out MAH-VELOUS! I too didn’t have all the ingredients but what I had worked out just fine. Going to stock the fridge with the proper ingredients for round 2. They fell off the bone and the suggestion to puree the ingredients in the pan was great. This was only my 2nd time in my life making them. The first time they were tough. Now I’m a pro. THANKS CHEF! Great recipe.

  14. Tried this recipe with only what I had at home and it turned out wonderful!!!! I used cream of chicken with water for broth and it made a nice gravy. I’m not an experienced cook so surprised this worked. My husband is from the Caribbean and could live on oxtails alone. We simmer and add water to oxtail constantly when cooking over the stove. This was so simple and my husband’s response was, “we need a bigger crockpot”. Thanks!!! Headed to checkout more of your recipes.

  15. Oh my goodness! Just looking at this recipe is making my mouth water. Can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

  16. If I was cooking this on top of the stove I would brown the oxtails. But, because the beauty of a slow cooker is being able to toss in the ingredients and turn it on to cook, I omit this step. The flavor is still out of this world!

  17. Hi. I’m definitely interested in making this dish since my Gram used to make this for me as a child (although not in the crock pot). However, is it not necessary to brown the oxtails first? I await your answer, thank you.

  18. I wouldn’t use chili powder, as it is a blend of spices with a distinct flavor. Cayenne is a hot spice, so if you need to substitute you could a a few dashes of hot sauce at the end of cooking to bring up the heat. Otherwise, leave it out.

  19. Hi There Cheryldlee,
    Along the same lines,, The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne. I’m looking at my spice rack, and I guess I don’t have it! Can I substitute it for something else? What about chili powder?
    Keep up the posts!

  20. Making this for Christmas dinner. Had all the ingredients on hand except the thyme (used oregano sprigs instead). Gonna add dried thyme to gravy to compensate. Loved the recipe and the ease of it. Thanks and Blessings to you!

  21. I found this website yesterday after finding oxtails on sale at my local grocers. I put the oxtails on to marinade at about 4 and then put them in the slow cooker at 11 before bed. It was difficult to sleep because of all of the wonderful smells in the house. Sampled them this morning and now I do not want to go to church. I could happily stay here all day eating all of these by myself. Maybe today will have to be a sick day and my hubby will just have to pick up some KFC for himself on the way home.

    I will make this website a daily visit.

  22. Gotta try this recipe. My mother did Ox tails when I was a little tyke. Loved them. I’ve tried making them using a crock pot and the results weren’t bad, but nothing to write home about. This recipe sounds wonderful. I love spicy dishes and can’t wait to try this. Tomorrow I go to Costco and get a few hundred pounds of Ox tails. :>)

  23. Can I just say that this sounds totally kick ass and the photo’s are exquisite Cheryl. When my blog grows up it wants to have beautiful photos like yours!!

  24. I most certainly can’t wait to try this! I can’t recall ever making oxtails but I have sure eaten my share! The pictures are gorgeous!

  25. My mom used to make oxtails and as a kid I loved the crazy idea of it. But as an adult I have never attempted to make them For no good reason at all other than I just haven’t. Huh, must work on that. GREG

Comments are closed.