Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

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The amazing flavors of a classic Mexican recipe made quickly and easily. Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef is excellent in tacos, burritos and Mexican casseroles.A close up of a plate of food, with Beef and Barbacoa

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Recipe

My favorite meat to get at Chipotle is barbacoa. I’m the only one in my family that chooses this shredded beef. It’s not that no one else likes it…they just choose steak over my shredded beef! If you love beef barbacoa like me, make this easy Instant Pot barbacoa beef at home!

What is Barbacoa?

Barbacoa originated in the Caribbean. The word itself means “barbecue”, but in modern Mexico it refers to meat that has been slow cooked to a fork-tender perfection. All of the peppers and other spices give it a strong flavor which makes go so perfectly with rice and beans in burritos, tacos and Mexican casseroles.

How to Make Barbacoa

This barbacoa recipe is quickly made in the Instant Pot. You’ll start with a 2 1/2-3 ½ pound chuck roast. Cut the chuck roast into cubes. Set the Instant Pot to saute and allow the oil to get hot. Add the beef and stir it to brown lightly.

Next you’ll add the dry spices to the beef and stir it again. Then stir in the chipotle pepper and garlic. Lastly you’ll add the broth, vinegar and sugar.

Then you’re ready to set the Instant Pot! You’ll use high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Seal the lid and allow the Instant Pot to do it’s thing.

Once the timer goes off you’ll allow the cooker to vent naturally. Once pressure is released you’re ready to eat serve up the shredded beef!

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

You can also make this recipe in the slow cooker. Brown the beef in a skillet, adding in the dry spices. Once the beef is browned, add in the broth, vinegar and sugar. Scoop all of this into a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

how to make barbacoa beef

More Mexican Recipes

Tools to Make This Recipe

  • Tortilla Warmer: Simple white color for a pretty display.
  • Instant Pot: You’ll love how easy this recipe is with this awesome kitchen tool.
  • Spice Grinder: Easily grind up those dried peppers for lots of spice!
easy mexican dinner recipe
easy mexican dinner recipe

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

5 from 1 vote
The amazing flavors of a classic Mexican recipe made quickly and easily. Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef is excellent in tacos, burritos and Mexican casseroles. 
Servings 12
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.5-3.5 pounds chuck roast (cut into 1.5”-2” cubes, large chunks of fat removed)
  • 3 dried Guajillo peppers (stems and seeds removed, ground finely)
  • 3 dried Ancho peppers (stems and seeds removed, ground finely)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (chopped)
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  • Set Instant Pot to sauté, high, add oil.
  • Once the oil is shimmering, add the cubed roast and stir continuously until browned.
  • Add the dry spices and continue stirring for a minute, until they become fragrant.
  • Add the garlic and chipotle pepper, stirring occasionally for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the beef broth, vinegar, and brown sugar, then stir well to mix.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the lid. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Let naturally vent to release pressure, break the meat apart in another container, mixing in about ¼ cup of the liquid.
  • Serve on burritos or tacos.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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