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Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

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If you love the taste of carnitas, you’re going to go crazy for Instant Pot barbacoa beef. This shredded beef recipe is cooked until it’s perfectly tender and then seasoned with a flavorful mix of spices. The result is a delicious meat that is packed with flavor. Whether you eat it on a sandwich or use it to make tacos, this beef barbacoa Instant Pot recipe is sure to please.

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy way to feed your family, using your pressure cooker give this beef barbacoa Instant Pot recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed with this Mexican food.

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Why Make Instant Pot Barbacoa?

You will love this pressure cooker barbacoa recipe. It’s incredibly easy to make, with just a handful of ingredients. Plus, it’s packed with flavor, thanks to the perfect blend of spices. And since this beef barbacoa is made in an Instant Pot, you don’t have to spend hours waiting for your meat to cook.

If you’re looking for a delicious and fast way to feed your family, look no further than this Instant Pot barbacoa beef. It’s sure to become a family favorite!

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Ingredients

Here are the ingredients for this Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa recipe:

  • Beef Chuck Roast: A tender cut of beef that becomes incredibly flavorful and succulent when slow-cooked.
  • Chipotles In Adobo Sauce: Infuses the beef with a smoky, spicy, and slightly tangy flavor.
  • Beef Broth: Provides a savory cooking liquid that enhances the meat’s taste and tenderness.
  • Minced Garlic: Adds a punch of aromatic flavor to the dish.
  • Cumin: Brings a warm, earthy spice that complements the beef well.
  • Smoked Ancho Chili: Adds depth and a smoky undertone to the barbacoa.
  • Mexican Flavor Bouillon: Enhances the overall taste of the dish with its concentrated flavors.
  • Oregano: Contributes an earthy flavor note, adding complexity to the dish.
  • Salt & Pepper: Enhance the natural flavors of the beef.
  • Ground Cloves: Adds a subtle warmth and depth to the dish, complementing the other spices.
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice: Provides a tangy freshness that balances the rich flavors of the beef.
  • Bay Leaves: Infuse the dish with an extra layer of herbal flavor during cooking.
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How to Make Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef?

Follow the steps below for a delicious barbacoa beef Instant Pot recipe:

Step 1: Saute Barbacoa Beef

Add olive oil to your Instant Pot. Turn the saute button on and brown the chuck roast on both sides. Deglaze Instant Pot with a small amount of beef broth and use a wooden spatula to remove any bits from the bottom.

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Step 2: Blend Ingredients in Food Processor

In a blender or food processor add the chipotles, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, beef broth, Mexican flavor cube, and lime juice, and blend until smooth.

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Step 3: Cover Beef in Sauce

Cover your chuck roast beef in the pureed sauce, and add the bay leaves to the inner pot.

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Step 4: Pressure Cook Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

Close the Instant pot lid to the locked position. Turn the vent to ‘sealing, and set it to manual setting. Set the timer to pressure cook for 55 minutes at High Pressure.

Step 5: Natural Release the Pressure

When the cooking time is up, naturally release the steam for 15 minutes. This should give the meat more time to cook through and become tender.

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Step 6: Garnish and Serve Your Beef Barbacoa Instant Pot Dish

When your Instant Pot barbacoa Beef is finished, shred it using two forks.

Garnish the shredded beef with sliced fresh limes, and serve with cilantro lime rice, tortillas, or your favorite side dish.

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What to Serve With Barbacoa Beef: Side Dishes

You can’t just eat shredded meat for dinner. Check out these Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Sides for suggestions of what goes with barbacoa beef.

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Refried Beans are a classic side dish for beef barbacoa, and they pair perfectly with the spicy and savory flavors in this dish.

Burrito Bowls

If you want to turn your barbacoa beef into a full burrito bowl meal, try serving it with rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Homemade Guacamole

Guacamole is another great option to serve with Instant Pot barbacoa beef. It’s packed with healthy fats, and it adds a rich flavor that complements this dish perfectly.

Mexican Rice

This classic Mexican side dish offers a nice textural contrast to the tender shredded meat in your barbacoa. Serve Mexican Rice hot or cold for an extra burst of flavor.

Roasted Vegetables 

If you’re looking for a healthy and filling side dish to go with your barbacoa beef, try roasted vegetables. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables, making them perfect paired with this savory meat.​

Creamy Skillet Corn

If you’re looking for a creamy and rich side dish to serve barbacoa beef with, try making some honey butter skillet corn for an indulgent treat.

Instant Pot Jalapeno Corn Dip

Jalapeno Corn Dip is the perfect spicy and savory side dish for barbacoa beef. This corn salsa dish will help balance out all of the rich, hearty flavors in this dish, making it a perfect pair to take your meal to the next level.​

No matter what sides you choose to serve with your Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef, you’re sure to love this comforting and delicious dish!​

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How to Store Barbacoa Beef

If you have any leftover meat after making your Instant Pot Barbacoa beef, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. To keep your beef fresh, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. You can also freeze cooked barbacoa beef for longer storage, just make sure to let it cool completely before transferring it to the freezer.

More Beef Barbacoa Questions

What Is Barbacoa Beef?

What Is Beef Barbacoa? Barbacoa beef is similar to carnitas. Carnitas quite literally mean little meats and refer to shredded chicken or pork. Barbacoa are little meats made from beef, goat or sheep. You can use Instant pot Barbacoa beef as sandwich meat, to put in salads, or to put on tortillas.

Where Does Barbacoa Come From?

Barbacoa originated in the Caribbean and parts of Central America. The word barbacoa actually comes from a Taino term that means “raised platform”. The idea behind this is that the meat was cooked over hot coals, which were placed on a raised platform. These days beef barbacoa is known as a Mexican dish and it is most often made by slow cooking the meat in an aromatic broth.

What Does Barbacoa Taste Like?

Barbacoa typically has a rich, smoky flavor with hints of cumin and chili powder. The meat is typically braised in a mixture of broth and spices. it tastes delicious and flavorful.

Is Barbacoa Beef Spicy?

So Is Barbacoa beef a spicy food? This spiced beef is slightly spicy and very flavorful and is packed with proteins that give you lots of energy throughout the day.

How to Pronounce Barbacoa?

If you’re not used to speaking Spanish, you may wonder how to say barbacoa correctly. In English we would say bar-bah-kay-ah.

Barbacoa V’s Carnitas

While barbacoa beef and carnitas may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two. For starters, carnitas are made from chicken or pork, while barbacoa is made from beef, goat, or sheep.
In addition, while both types of meat can be shredded and served on tacos or in other dishes, the spices used to season the meat are different.
While carnitas are typically seasoned with orange juice and citrus flavors, barbacoa is typically seasoned with chipotle peppers and other Mexican spices.

What Is Adobo Sauce?

Adobo sauce is a popular Mexican seasoning made from a blend of chilies, vinegar, and spices. It is used to season meats in many popular Mexican dishes, including barbacoa beef.
Adobo sauce or chipotle sauce are typically sold premade in grocery stores, or you can make your own at home. Adobo sauce tastes great on its own, or you can add it to your favorite dishes for an extra boost of flavor.
If you’re looking for a delicious and fast way to season your meat, try using adobo sauce in your next batch of Instant Pot barbacoa beef. You won’t be disappointed!​
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How to Make a Barbacoa Sandwich?

If you’re looking for a tasty way to enjoy your Instant Pot barbacoa beef, consider making a barbacoa sandwich. Here are some tips on how to make a Beef Barbacoa sandwich.
1. Heat the slices of bread in a skillet or in the oven until they are golden brown and slightly crispy.
2. Spread a layer of mashed avocado on each slice of bread.
3. Top the avocado with shredded barbacoa beef, and add sliced onions and jalapenos if desired.
4. Garnish with cilantro, extra lime juice, or other toppings that you prefer.
5. Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious barbacoa.

How to Make Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef?

If you prefer a more low-key cooking method for your barbacoa beef, you can try slow cooking your beef barbacoa. To slow cook Barbacoa Beef, simply follow these steps:
Place the chuck roast in the bottom of your slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.
Add the remaining ingredients (chipotle sauce, beef broth, minced garlic, cumin, ancho chili
powder, oregano, salt and pepper, cloves, fresh lime juice) to the slow cooker.
Cover the slow cooker and slow cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
Garnish your spicy beef slow cooker recipe with cotija cheese and diced green chiles for an extra touch.

How to Reheat Barbacoa Beef?

To reheat Mexican barbacoa beef, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and then warm it up in a skillet or the microwave until it is hot and tender. With these tips, you can enjoy this delicious and easy-to-make Mexican dish any time you want!

Is Barbacoa Healthy?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the health benefits of barbacoa will depend on a number of different factors, including the cut of beef used, how it was cooked, and what ingredients were included in the barbacoa recipe.
However, many people believe that lean cuts of beef like chuck roast are healthy choices, and that including plenty of vegetables, herbs, and spices in your barbacoa recipe can help to boost its nutritional value.

Can I Use Chicken Broth Instead of Beef Broth?

Yes, you can use chicken broth instead of beef broth to make barbacoa beef. Some people find that using chicken broth gives the dish a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor, while others prefer the savory richness of beef broth.
You can experiment with both types of broth or use a combination to get the flavor that you like best.

What Part of the Cow Does Barbacoa Come From?

Barbacoa is usually made from beef chuck roast, which comes from the upper front shoulder of the cow. This cut tends to be flavorful and tender when cooked properly, and it works well in a variety of Mexican dishes including Barbacoa Beef.

Best Cheese to Pair With Barbacoa Beef

There are many different types of cheese that would be delicious with barbacoa beef, so it really depends on your personal preferences and what you have available. Some popular options include
Cotija cheese
Pepper jack cheese
Crumbled queso fresco.
You may also want to try experimenting with different types of cream cheeses or soft cheeses, which can be a great addition to barbacoa beef recipes.
Whatever type of cheese you choose, just make sure to serve it alongside plenty of fresh cilantro and limes for the perfect finishing touch!

Add olive oil to your Instant Pot. Brown the chuck roast on both sides, in your Instant Pot on saute’. In a blender add the chipotles, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, beef broth, mexican flavor cube, and lime juice, blend until smooth. Cover your beef in the sauce, and add the bay leaves. Close the lid to the lock position. Turn the vent to ‘sealing, set it to manual setting. Set the timer for 55 minutes at High Pressure. When the cooking time is up, natural release for 15 minutes. When your Instant Pot barbacoa Beef is finished, garnish with cilantro.

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

Yield: 3-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef is a combination of healthy yet flavorful dish you can make for your family dinner.


  • 3 lbs Beef Chuck Roas
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • A tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked ancho chilli
  • Mexican flavor bouillon
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • A tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes )
  • 3-4 bay leaves


    Add olive oil to your Instant Pot. Brown the chuck roast on both sides, in your Instant Pot on saute’.

    In a blender add the chipotles, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, beef broth, mexican flavor cube, and lime juice, blend until smooth.

    Cover your beef in the sauce, and add the bay leaves.

    Close the lid to the lock position. Turn the vent to ‘sealing, set it to manual setting. Set the timer for 55 minutes at High Pressure.

    When the cooking time is up, natural release for 15 minutes.

    When your Instant Pot barbacoa Beef is finished, garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 905Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 450mgSodium: 1572mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 149g

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Make Perfect Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Today

Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a flavorful meal to serve at your next potluck, Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef is a perfect choice.

This easy-to-make dish is packed with bold flavors and delicious textures that everyone will love. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking and enjoy this tasty Instant Pot Barbacoa beef dish today!​

More Instant Pot Recipes You Will Love

If you love this Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef recipe then you may also enjoy the following pressure cooking recipes. These are absolutely delicious.

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