Instant Pot barbacoa beef can be made in a Ninja Foodi or other pressure cooker. Fork tender shredded beef with TONS of flavor you’ll love.
Have you dreamt about Instant Pot barbacoa beef but unsure how well it would turn out? We tested it for you and here it is!! A delicious low carb dinner that’s great inside sliders. An easy Instant Pot recipe to try tonight. (affiliate links present)
The biggest difference between all of them is the sauce. From using a bottle of barbecue sauce and that is it, in our Instant Pot bbq beef, or more complex like this one. They all make my mouth water.
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then PRINT this —–> Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet that will help you understand how long meat, vegetables and beans take to cook in your pressure cooker.
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Instant Pot Barbacoa
We’re going to start with, well beef of course. We buy meat in bulk from local farmers in our area but you can do the same online as well. Let me tell you it’s cheaper, better, and saves tons of trips to the grocery store.
Chuck roast was used for this, cut into large chunks so it gets incredibly tender. I do tend to trim it a bit too but that isn’t totally necessary, just can’t hold myself back when I see a bit chunk of fat. lol
Other cuts of meat that would work just fine would be a roast or arm roast even. The latter has a stronger beefy flavor but does the trick. 😉
When it comes to cooking beef in an Instant Pot you just need to remember a few things;
- You don’t need to sear pcs at the beginning but that does help to keep juices in. Also it gives the outsides a bit of texture.
- Always remember to deglaze pressure cooker after the saute function with a little of your broth. That means to scrape stuck on meat pcs. off so the burn notice doesn’t appear later.
I don’t even think about it now because I use it so often and is just second nature but if you are new I like to mention these tips. Once you do it a few times you’ll do it automatically too. They are important to remember though.
As with any of our other creations you can use your Ninja Foodi or any other brand pot to make any of these.
Ninja Foodi Barbacoa
Ok so for this you’re going to want to blend a bunch of things together to make that amazing sauce. I would not personally double the recipe unless you have an 8 or 10 quart pot.
Make for for Cinco de Mayo or just during the week because it’s super easy and turns out great every time. This is what you’re going to need to have on hand:
- Beef – we used chuck roast cut of beef
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Green chiles
- Bay leaves are optional but a good add in
- Beef broth
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tomato paste
And a bunch of different herbs and seasonings to bring the flavors to the next level. I just use forks to shred the meat but you could use a hand mixer in a bowl once meat is removed from sauce. Then put it all back together.
You can use whole garlic cloves and mince yourself or just get jarred. I have a big one on hand at all times since I add it to just about everything. It’s a cheap way to add a ton of flavor, it’s good for you too so there’s that.
Remember to add another 30 minutes to the total cook time for it to pressurize and naturally release steam when done. It still is way quicker than any other cooking method out there for sure.
Traditionally in Mexican dishes they use goat, lamb or beef. The latter is quite a bit cheaper and more common than not.
It is difficult to explain the exact flavor but they are bold flavors. A thick sauce coats each piece of meat well and it may be seen as a cross between barbecue and teriyaki I guess.
The nice thing about making it homemade yourself is you can really adjust the heat level to your liking. Love super spicy foods, you can really amp this up or just keep it semi mild like this one is.
Pressure Cooker Barbacoa
If you have only slow cooked larger pieces of meat like this to get them really tender, you’ll love this method. It is faster, and gives you the same results. Yes I do love slow cooker carnitas that are similar, and recently made slow cooker beef barbacoa if you want to throw it in in the morning.
Give it about an hour and a half to reach perfection and serve on top of a bed of rice to make burrito bowls. I mean there are so many ways to serve this up really. You can also:
- Turn them into tacos with all the fixings on top and enjoy.
- Serve with steamed vegetables for a keto low carb one pot meal if that is what you’re looking for.
- Put some on top of a fresh green salad for lunch.
- Make a pot of black beans and serve it up!
If you love serving it other ways let us know. I am always open to new ideas so dinnertime doesn’t get monotonous.
Here is kinda’ a quick step by step below but we have a printable recipe card for you below as well.
Time needed: 1 hour.
Instant Pot Barbacoa
Set pot to saute and add olive oil. Cut beef into large chunks, rub salt and pepper on all sides and add into hot once hot. Sear on all sides, then turn pot off.
Remove meat and add 1/2 c of your broth to deglaze bottom to remove all stuck on pieces.
- Add ingredients
Put seared beef back into pot along with rest of your broth, diced onions and chiles.
Combine all the ingredients for your sauce, in recipe card below, in a blender and blend until the sauce becomes smooth with no large chunks in it.
If you want it a little more thinned out, you can add ½ cup more of beef broth. (set aside)
Pour this sauce into your pot with bay leaves on top if you want to add them. Slice your whole lime, remove seeds and squeeze inside pot, throw lime skins in pot on top.
Close lid and seal steam valve. Set to high pressure for 60 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural pressure release. Then quick release remaining steam.
Remove the lid, remove bay leaves and squeezed lime skins and shred beef in pot or on a cutting board, put back into sauce and stir to coat.
Serve in small tortillas with avocado and a squeeze of lime on top
And this is what the end result looks like y’all! Then you can serve it up as you wish.
I know, YUM right? If you’re having a bunch of people over this is a great one. During the holidays, for a Super Bowl party with small rolls to make sliders, or just to treat your family. However you wish, you’ll be obsessed too.
How long can I keep barbacoa in the fridge?
If you have leftovers you’ll want to get it to room temperature before packing it into containers. Remove as much air as possible and coat in sauce so it stays moist.
You can seal freezer bags with it inside as well. Reheat beef in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between times.
- You could make some air fryer flautas with this rolled up into the middle some night or throw some in an air fryer if you wanted it crispy and warm.
Looking for what to cook next?? We have shared several above but another idea is making Instant Pot beef tips. You can use several cuts for this too.
There is nutritional information listed below for the ingredients we used. Of course every cut of meat, and different weights, will calculate a bit differently. This is a good gage though if you are concerned with protein, calories etc…
Give this a whirl and then try our Instant Pot arm roast recipe and let us know what you think of them. If you added something different and that came out amazing too, leave us a comment below to let us know. 😉
Barbacoa Recipe Instant Pot
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Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef
- 3-4 lb beef chuck roast, cut into large chunks
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz green chiles diced
- 1.5 c beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion diced
- 1 lime juiced
- 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/2 lime juiced, about 4 tbsp
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp minced garlic or 6 cloves diced finely
- 4 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- Set pot to saute and add olive oil. Cut beef into large chunks, rub salt and pepper on all sides and add into hot once hot. Sear on all sides, then turn pot off. Remove meat and add 1/2 c of your broth to deglaze bottom to remove all stuck on pieces.
- Put seared beef back into pot along with remaining broth, onions and green chiles.
- Combine all the ingredients for your sauce, listed above, in a blender and blend until the sauce becomes smooth with no large chunks in it. If you want it a little more thinned out, you can add ½ cup more of beef broth. (set aside)
- Pour this sauce into your pot with bay leaves on top if you want to add them. Slice your whole lime, remove seeds and squeeze inside pot, throw lime skins in pot on top.
- Close lid and seal steam valve. Set to high pressure for 60 minutes followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then release remaining pressure.
- Lift lid, remove bay leaves and squeezed lime skins and shred beef in pot or on a cutting board, put back into sauce and stir to coat.
- Serve in small tortillas with avocado and a squeeze of lime on top.